Want to Make a Quilt with 50,000 Friends?
If you’re a quilter and you’re online, you’re likely aware of the recent kickoff of the annual Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.
I always enjoy the Quiltville Mystery, even when I don’t participate.
I’ve done Bonnie’s mystery quilt twice. In 2007 we were given Carolina Crossroads and in 2010, Roll Roll Cotton Boll.
Those quilts are both finished. I took a few years off but this year I’m doing the mystery quilt again.
I’ve been thinking about why this event appeals to me and tens of thousands of other quilters around the country and yes, even the world.
- The Camaraderie: It’s energizing to be part of something big! Quilting is mostly a solitary pursuit. To know that so many others are making the same thing really revs my engine. People greatly anticipate this mystery every year, and the excitement is contagious.
- FOMO: Along with camaraderie, there’s FOMO, a new acronym that stands for “fear of missing out.” It sprang up over the past few years as social media has grown and become an important part of many people’s lives. Constantly seeing what “everyone” else is doing can make you feel anxious. Don’t laugh—psychologists are seeing more people about conditions related to online behavior all the time.
- The Success: Bonnie Hunter is an experienced designer with dozens of original quilt designs under her belt. It’s practically guaranteed that this quilt will be another winner.
- The Challenge: It’s a tall order to make hundreds of units in stages and have them all fit together perfectly at the end. You have to cut and sew accurately, and that sharpens your skills.
- The Education: I always learn something new. When I made Bonnie’s Roll, Roll Cotton Boll, I hadn’t ever tried string piecing. I fell in love with it and have enjoyed using the technique many times since.
The last point, of learning something new, may be the most important for me. As I look at my quilts from past mysteries, I can see which parts stretched me and what I learned in the process.
I was learning to combine fabrics in new ways when I made Roll Roll Cotton Boll. In the photo above, do you see how different the pinks are from each other? There’s a salmon pink, a terracotta, a purplish pink and a dark shade that’s nearly red. I went out on a limb by using them all, and the quilt is better for it.
I also learned a lot about combining light fabrics to create interesting background areas. This was the first time I’d done that.
I loved the effect so much that I’ve used it again and again. I couldn’t have made Fowl Play if I hadn’t learned to combine light fabrics in this way. This quilt was published in the July/August issue of Modern Patchwork, my first time in that title.
So if you’d like to make a quilt with tens of thousands of other people around the world (and cure FOMO forever), visit Quiltville.com for step-by-step instructions to create your own Good Fortune. There’s a Facebook group where you can connect with other Quiltville fans, too.
And thank you, Bonnie Hunter, for contributing this to the world of quilting.
Thousands of people are loving it.