“Grand Illusion” Finished!

8 04 2015

Have you noticed the “button” in the right column of my blog? The one with the red geranium on a black field? The one that says “Grand Illusion Quiltville’s Winter Mystery 2014?”

If you click the button, you will travel to the “Grand Illusion” blog post of links for the clues on quiltville.com, the blog of Bonnie Hunter, the queen of scrap quilts. Each year she designs a mystery quilt and gives clues once a week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. She chose colors for the 2014 mystery from the decor of the Grand Hotel on Makinac Island, Michigan. If you would like to make the quilt, print the clues prior to June 2015 when the quilt will be retired from the blog.


I chose muted tones of Bonnie’s suggested palette, bending pink to red and wine and bending yellow to gold. For my “green,” I chose one multi-colored print instead of many bright greens. My bad, this did not work well for my quilt. The print ended up being used solely in the pieced sashing and did not show off my patchwork blocks well. You can see the sample of four blocks with the pieced sashing here.

I decided on a different layout and used muted teal print (thank you, Denyse Schmidt) for sashing. I rotated the pieced border blocks to simulate red Prairie Points. And I added a black-on-black for the outer border.


The pantograph is “Happy Times” by Lorien Quilting. The gold Magnifico thread blends well with the scrappy blocks and adds interest to the outer border.


When adding the black Kona cotton binding, I positioned by Ott lamp for better visibility as shown in the photo below.

Ott Light

What an awesome quilt . . . even if I didn’t follow the instructions 100% correctly. I’m glad I participated in the mystery even though the clues were published during a very busy season. The time spent working on Bonnie’s mystery is a gift I give myself for Christmas! I wonder what Bonnie will dream up for us in 2015.

How about you? Is your “Grand Illusion” finished or still a work in progress?




7 responses

8 04 2015
Brenda E.

I have not completed my Grand Illusion yet because when I started it my intention was to make a smallish quilt but when it was revealed I changed my mind! Working on the last two steps then assembling (hopefully) next week. My colors are dark purple, pink, blue, yellow and teal. Its going to replace a quilt my grandparents tied when I was young and I want to preserve it.

8 04 2015

I like the way you did it better than any Grand Illusions I have seen!

8 04 2015
Marie Krause

I didn’t do this mystery but want to at some point. I thought I might just choose one fabric for each of the colors rather than doing it scrappy like Bonnie does since my stash doesn’t support so many choices within each color necessary. Is that how you ran into your problem? I do love how you worked it out. I also want to say that I like the way you had a close shot of your quilting since it is usually hard to “see” in the posted pics online.
Lovely quilt!

9 04 2015

Beautiful! Diane

13 04 2015
Jen Johnston

It is amazing to me how your eye can see a problem and fix it! An untrained eye like mine….would never know you had a problem!!! Great job Aby!

15 04 2015
Quilter Kathy

It’s fantastic! Love it!
Mine is still a quilt top in the making….

14 05 2015

I love your adjustment to the sashing! I have my Grand Illusion top pieced, but don’t like my pieced green sashings. They just don’t look right to me. Thanks so much for sharing this. I had wondered what it might look like with a single fabric there.

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