Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Highland Fling Mystery! The Cure for Droughtlander!

It's coming.

Droughtlander. That sad, torturously long period of time between seasons of Outlander. For me, even rewatching episodes or relistening to the books is just not a substitute for fresh smoulder, fresh interpretations of the story, and surprise non-deaths (Murtaugh lives! I'm still adjusting, but who doesn't love Murtaugh.) I'm a difficult woman who wants what she wants. Claire and I would get along well.

This year I'm hoping to help us all out with Droughtlander with my latest Mystery project - Highland Fling!

Never heard of Outlander? We don't understand where you've been. Not an Outlander fan? We weep for you. But no worries! This mystery really is for anyone who loves sewing and is ready for spring. The only truly Outlander-y thing about my own personal quilt I've made while developing this mystery project are the colors I chose. I promise you won't be creating some sort of project that screams "Claire and Jamie forever!" You will, however be creating something fairly springy, and that's something we can all use in the doldrums of winter, right?

You'll note that I have expressed this as "a mystery quilt in 5 1/2 clues" and I am certain you are likely thinking I said that just to be cute. I am being cute, but I'm also not considering the Fabric Selection and Cutting portion a full clue, mainly because it isn't very mysterious. This first 1/2 clue will be sent to participants a little bit early, on January 28. This will give you six full days to locate and cut your fabrics so that you can be ready to sew on Sunday evening, February 3, when the first clue will be sent to participants. I'll be sending the first and all subsequent clues on Sundays, so that we can spend our evenings sewing even if we would rather be on the couch admiring how quickly Jamie managed to build a pretty fancy cabin in the backwoods complete with craftsman quality furnishings or hiding behind the couch cushion trying to avoid watching the entirety of Claire performing 18th century surgery on the kitchen table. 

So what do you need to know? Here's the scoop, in my favorite Q and A format.

What's the full mystery schedule?

As stated above, the first half clue will come out on a Monday, and then subsequent clues will come out each Sunday for five weeks.

January 28 - Fabric Selection and Cutting
February 3 - Accordioning and Clue #1
February 10 - Clue #2
February 17 - Clue #3
February 24 - Clue #4
March 3 - Layout and Finishing options

Accordioning? What is that? And must we?

If you haven't accordioned, you haven't lived. But I may be biased in that belief, being the inventor of Accordion Sewn HSTs. Links to my videos on youtube are HERE. If you haven't tried it, I hope you will!

As with most of my designs these days, this one does utilize Accordion Sewn HSTs because I keep coming up with more designs that can use planned accordions and I just can't get enough of how magically scrappy they can be. But if you don't want to make accordions, I will give alternate options for making these blocks using traditional HSTs. Like any Accordion Sewn HSTs project, they can be done without accordioning, but WHY WOULD YOU? (Yep. I'm biased.)

How will clues be delivered?

Clues will be delivered to all participants via a pdf email attachment. Clues will be sent out by 2pm on the scheduled day. Depending upon the number of participants, they may need to be sent in batches, so I am only promising I will get them all out by 2pm. You may have them earlier in the day if I can do so.

A word on email delivery - I can only send your clues to the email you use when you purchase the mystery. If you decide to use a different email than you normally use, make sure you make note of where you are asking them to be sent. Also it's not a bad idea to triple check for any typos. I am not going to know if your email is correct or not, but you will. 

What will Highland Fling cost?

As with my previous mystery projects, Highland Fling will be $5 for the entire project. While the directions will include basic accordion sewing directions within them, and my videos of the technique are available 24/7 on youtube, I'll also be offering an optional handy accordion sewing full color technique sheet that you may wish to have if you would like to always have written directions of how to accordion and some tips and tricks right at your fingertips for an intro $3. This technique sheet is coming out in print soon, but you all will get first crack at it! It's not required for participation, but it's coming out due to popular demand and what the heck, why shouldn't I let you have it if you want it?

When and how do I sign up?

I'll be opening the link on my website for preorders on Saturday, January 19. Starting to take names and emails early really helps me to be totally ready for that first half clue to go out in a timely manner on January 28, but signing up before the first day isn't required to participate! You can sign up anytime until the very last day of the mystery, but by then it won't be much of a mystery anymore, so it isn't as much fun. Anyone signing up midway through will be sent all of the pdfs that have been released up to that point, then added to the general distribution to receive the next clues when they come out.

Can I share my progress online? 

Yes you may! I'm taking a page from that other queen of scrappy mystery quilts, that other BKH, the illustrious Bonnie K Hunter, and allowing you to flood the Quilting Along With EPQD facebook group with your photos as you progress. If you prefer not to share, or not to see what the others are doing if you fall behind, that's totally fine! Just don't follow the group online during the mystery. We'd still love to have you drop in when you are done to show off your creation! You're also welcome to use the hashtag #highlandflingmystery on IG.

 What happens after the last clue comes out?

Besides having to slip into a mild depression over trying to figure out what we will do with our lives on Sundays now, with any luck you will have a new project to brighten your home for spring. Or give as a gift, or use as a washcloth. It's always up to you and I never judge. 

As for the design itself, my mysteries go back into my design vault once we reach the end, and if I choose to release them later as a print pattern, I will do so at the regular pattern price of $10. See Suite Life, one of my favorite patterns I ever designed, and one that started as a mystery. A really fun mystery, too, as I recall!

I am SO excited to bring you this new Mystery project. I never knew I'd try this in my design life until I did my first one and I was HOOKED. I hope you'll join us to quench your Droughtlander!

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