I tried to make my first Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt in 2016, I believe. Her pattern that year was tilted En Provence. I made it through the first clue which was overwhelming in terms of the number of pieces, and then I ended up abandoning the quilt on clue 2.
At the time, I just wasn’t prepared for the volume of work – cutting and sewing – that goes into a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.
But, the next year, 2017, I buckled down and made the quilt, and I’ve made Bonnie’s annual mystery every year since. I also made the mystery quilt that she released during the early months of COVID to help quilters deal with the self-isolation.
If you’re not familiar with how a mystery quilt works, here’s a quick explanation. Bonnie designs the full quilt top, but the quilters working on her mystery have ZERO idea what the final quilt will look like until she releases the final clue and the big reveal of the quilt top.
She begins the mystery every year on Black Friday. She releases the first clue which is instructions on making a series of pieces that will eventually be used in the blocks and the quilt top. For example, she might teach multiple techniques on making a four patch or a nine patch or a flying geese. And, then, there’s the kicker. She will write. Now, make some huge number of that one piece. 75 half-square triangles or 125 flying geese, etc., etc.
This year, Bonnie’s mystery quilt is titled Chilhowie. And, I’m at work each week on the clues.
Here are some photos of my work thus far: