Monday, January 6, 2014

Adapting Patterns -- Part III and Bonnie's Mystery Reveal

What a nice surprise on New Year's Day morning to find that Bonnie Hunter had revealed the blocks and the layout for the Celtic Solstice Mystery!!  I've been stitching the blocks together a few each day since and so far there are 15 on the work wall.  What do you think?

Oops, I can see that I have a couple mistakes to fix -- all the orange squares are suppose to be going the same way -- well, the blocks aren't set together yet, so I'm okay.   Since I intend to donate this quilt, I'm undecided whether to make a twin (5 by 7 blocks) or two crib (3 by 5 blocks) size tops. 
I'm not sure how I looked at the layout for Bonnie's Birthday Girl block and reversed the direction of the green chevron units . . . . la, la,la . . . . but I love the large light star  that is created by alternating it with 54-40 or Fight blocks.  It would make a great setting for any star block based on a 3 by 3 block grid.  All I can think of is Ohio Star without pulling out my block books, but I'm sure there are others. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing all the color combinations this week as quilters who've been working on Celtic Solstice for the past month "link up" this week!!  And mine will look a bit different because I flipped that one unit.  hmmm!  Better make a note to myself on the instructions I've printed out.  
And that brings me to the third part of my series on "adapting patterns".   I often change the size of a quilt by changing the size of the individual blocks rather than changing the number of blocks.  And Bonnie's Celtic Solstice is a perfect candidate. 
These blocks finish at 9" and I used Marti Michell's Sets A and C to cut all my pieces.  Those two sets have a variety of basic shapes designed to make 3" finished units which can be combined to create a wide variety of blocks. 
 Had I used Sets B and D, I would have the same shapes but the finished size of the units is 4".
And if I used Sets T and R, the units would have   
finished at 5".  So each block of the quilt would have been 15" finished.  That size block would bring a king size quilt top together pretty fast!!
I first did this 15 years ago with my pattern, Marie's Scraps.  Each size of the quilt uses the same number of pieces, but by using Set A I made a crib/laprobe size quilt.  Set B is used for the twin size and Set Q for double/queen. 
More recently, A Trip to the Stars, which I designed to introduce my students to Marti's Sashing Star Tool Set follows the same principles of changing the size by working with a different set of templates for each size quilt. 


 So take a second look at those quilts photos you love -- could it be made larger or smaller simply by changing the scale of the pieces?  If you love small pieces, you can translate those king size blocks into a small scale quilt and vice versa.  Don't let a pattern limit you!
Mary Huey


  1. I love your ideas about changing the block size. I've been doing the same thing for years. And, don't worry about the flipped chevrons - I did the same thing deliberately!

  2. I have all of those Marti Michell Templates. Sewing this Mystery has been FUN! Thanks for playing along.

  3. I actually like your arrangement of the chevron blocks better, I think.

    I would like to re-make this quilt with bigger blocks. My usual adaption of quilt patterns is to change them into metric measurements, and I frequently make things a different size than the original.

    1. It really set one free to be able to re-size quilt blocks -- makes me feel very creative!

  4. Your mystery quilt is looking great!

  5. I love how the little change of rotating the chevrons forms a star. Super!