January 20, 2022

Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight – The Big Reveal!

Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


The time has come to put it all together – 

We’ve got just about EVERYTHING ready to lay out, with just some surprise setting triangles to assemble from pieces you’ve already cut.
And most of all – this is where you get to see that aqua come into play!

We’ve got diagonals.  We’ve got verticals and horizontals. We’ve got rotation. We’ve got mirror image.
It’s a delight for the eyes!
I really wanted to do something a bit different this year – something with a more open “contemporary” feel that would also turn out gorgeous with traditional or Civil War type fabrics, and be really exciting for those who chose a darker background, or switched up their colors.
There are some things you are going to watch for when you layout your blocks, so please refer to the assembly diagrams and my own assembly photos and take note of how those “B” blocks rotate to frame each of the “A” blocks.
Likewise, our setting triangles are ALSO going to be made with the hourglass “butterflies” taking flight in different directions to complete the hourglass chains at the edge of the quilt.
We’ll be making the setting triangles in two different layouts to have this happen.
Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF version.
There are 15 pages in the PDF, including full page assembly diagrams, images and paper piecing templates to help you complete the quilt.  My suggestion is that you save the PDF to your device where you can find it, and only print off the pages that you need if you want to save ink/paper.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Setting Triangles!
Make 9 of Triangle A
Make 9 of Triangle B
The top and side will measure 10 1/2” and finish at 10” in the quilt.
You have already cut all of the pieces for these.  We are using the remaining 2 1/2” neutral and garnet squares and the 2 1/2” X 6 1/2” neutral rectangles as well as the garnet/neutral hourglass units.
The pieced setting triangles are assembled from the CENTER OUT.
Join an hourglass unit to a neutral square as shown in the center of the first image above, pressing seam toward the neutral square..  
Join the neutral and garnet squares just below them, pressing seam also toward the neutral.
Join these two rows together as a four-patch, pressing seam toward the neutral/garnet squares.
Add a garnet square to the two neutral squares in the four-patch, pressing seams toward the garnet squares.
Adding the outer sides: Join an hourglass unit to the left end of top rectangle, pressing seam toward the top rectangle.
Join left side rectangle to the setting triangle center, pressing seam toward the side rectangle.
Add hourglass/top rectangle unit to setting triangle top, pressing seam toward the top rectangle.
Add the two remaining garnet squares to each end of the top/side rectangles. Press seams toward the garnet squares. We do it this way so that extra seam bulk is not doubled back against itself during the quilty assembly and trimming process.
Make 9 of Setting Triangle A, and 9 of Setting Triangle B, rotating the hourglass units in Setting Triangle B as shown.
The diagonal edges of setting triangles will be trimmed AFTER quilt assembly.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Corner Setting Triangles.
Bottom row will measure 10 1/2” and finish at 10” in the quilt.
Start with the center row, joining a garnet square to each end of a neutral square. Press seams toward the garnet squares.
Center a garnet square at the top of the center unit.  Seam allowances will extend 1/4” beyond the seams in the center unit. Join to center unit, pressing seam toward the garnet square.
Add the bottom neutral rectangle to the center unit, pressing seam toward the rectangle.
Add a garnet square to either end of the bottom rectangle, pressing seams toward the garnet squares.
Units are assembled this way to avoid excess seam bulk during assembly and trimming.  Make 4.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Center Assembly Diagram
Aqua sashing time!  And oh, that sashing is a skinny little thing!  Yes it is – and that is what makes it so fantastic.
Cut 120 sashing strips 1” X 10 1/2”.  Sashing will finish at 1/2” x 10” in the quilt.
To make the most of your fabric with the least amount of waste, first cut 10 1/2” sections across the fabric from selvage to selvage, and then cutting 1” sections, as many as you can from each section.  If your fabric is 40” wide, you may get 38 sashings per section after trimming selvages.
From garnet fabrics cut 71 cornerstones 1”.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Laying out blocks –
To lay out the quilt, take it one thing at a time.  First, position all of the A blocks, moving them around until you are satisfied with the arrangement and leaving room between the blocks for where the sashings will go.
Then position the B blocks, rotating every other one as shown in the assembly diagram and photos. Add in the setting triangles and corner triangles, double checking the placement.
Finally add in the sashings and cornerstones.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Ready for assembly.
Pay no attention to the scrap trash on the floor!


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Notice how setting triangles also alternate!


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
“B” blocks rotated every other one.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Begin in one corner!
On-point quilts are assembled in diagonal rows.  Some rows have blocks and sashings, other rows have sashings and cornerstones.
Construct each row separately, pressing seams toward the sashings and away from the cornerstones.
Don’t let the narrowness of these sashings scare you – it’s the same seam allowance you’ve been using all along.
Why sashings?  Simple!  There were too many seams that were impossible to nest throughout the quilt, and I thought it needed something to break up the “so much neutral” that would be joined together without it. Ha!


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Corner unit joined to sashing/cornerstone row below.
The next  setting triangle/sashing/block/sashing/setting triangle row is also assembled and ready to add to the corner unit above it.
I build each row one at a time and add the rows to the “Mothership” as I go.  Press all seams toward the sashing rows.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
See the arrow?
Sashing row seams will extend 1/4” out like this – cornerstones will be trimmed with the edges of the setting triangles when the center is assembled.
I tend to build on-point quilts in two diagonal “halves” and then finish the quilt center by joining the halves together.  This keeps things from becoming too large, too heavy and unwieldy.
When quilt center is together, press well.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Trimming the edges.
If you are wondering about the white thread on my pieces – I was chain piecing these units and just running off the edge of one onto the next. Nothing strategic about it.
Use a large surface such as your dining room table or kitchen island along with a large mat and a ruler with an easy-read 1/4” line. I use the table side of my longarm for trimming quilts.
Place the 1/4” line on the ruler at the outside corners of the sashings, and trim leaving 1/4” seam allowance at the edge of the quilt. (I consider these scraps too small to save!)


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Nice straight edge!


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Stay stitching.
The edges are now straight but they are also on the bias.  To minimize stretch and stabilize the bias, set sewing machine stitch length at a bit larger stitch than normal, and sew around the outside edge of the quilt top slightly less than 1/4” from the edge.  The stay stitching will be hidden in the next inner border seam and will also keep seams from popping open as borders are added.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Quilt center ready for borders!
Let’s talk more about on-point quilts!  Especially RECTANGULAR on-point quilts.
Did you know that when we turn a 10” finished block on point, it is no longer a 10” block?  On-point blocks are measured across the diagonal.  To figure that measurement, the finished size of the block is multiplied by 1.414 (which is the closest rounded off measurement, because it can go farther out than that, kind of like Pi.) giving us a block measurement of 14.14 as our finished block size.
Square on-point quilts have an advantage in that they are the same measurement around all four sides. You can adjust the width of your inner border to bring the quilt center up to whatever measurement you need it to be so that your straight set pieced border will fit.
But take an on-point rectangular quilt, and you are going to have to do some fudging when it comes to straight-set borders. If I wanted to be mathematically correct it would mean that my long side borders would have to be a different width than the shorter top and bottom borders to make them equally divisible. Which I think just looks weird.  
The first thing we are going to do is minimize the weird math as best as we can with an inner border that rounds things off a bit better.
From aqua fabric, cut 9 strips 1 1/4” from selvage to selvage across the width of the fabric.  Join strips end to end on the diagonal into one long length.  Trim excess 1/4” beyond seams, leaving 1/4” seam allowance.  Press seams open.
Measure the length of the quilt from top to bottom through the center (never along the edge!) and cut 2 side inner borders this length.
Add side inner borders to quilt center, pinning to match centers, ends and in between.  Ease where necessary to fit.  We do this so the quilt has the same measurement along the sides as it does in the center.  Side/center/side should all be the same length.  Press seams toward the inner border.
Repeat the process, measuring across the quilt from side to side through the center, including the side borders just added in this measurement. Cut top and bottom inner borders this length.
Add top and bottom inner borders to quilt in the same manner.  Press seams toward inner border.
 Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Adding Flying Geese border!
(Including the fudge units!)
Things to love about pieced borders:  They are easy to fudge!  They give, they ease – all of those seams allow your border to behave much like an accordion. 
I get the math as close as I can (remember this is a straight set border =normal math= on an on-point rectangular quilt =stupid math= LOL) and then use a fudge unit as a turning point in the center of the border to make the math work out. Can you see it in this photo above?
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Or how about here?
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


What do you notice about these?
The side fudge units (left) are wider than the top/bottom fudge units (right) even though they are the same height as the flying geese, as a different width is needed for the side fudge unit to make the math work as closely as possible.
The printable PDF paper piecing templates are found in the printer-friendly version of this part – click the link toward the top of this post. Save the file to your computer. Find and click to open the saved file from your computer to print PDF files.
Paper:  Any kind of thin easy-to-tear paper may be used for printing the templates. You can use printer paper, newsprint or designated paper piecing paper.  You only need 2 of each unit, but the templates are set to print “as many as fit the page” so you’ll get extras when you print. Side border units print as 4 per page, Top/Bottom units will have 6.  It’s good to have extras in case you fudge on the piecing!
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Printing PDF templates.
Please double check your page sizing and handling options.  Make sure you have checked ACTUAL SIZE (not fit) before printing. 
Printed units should be measured from the inside finished line on each unit as follows:  Top/Bottom 2” X 4”, Side: 2 1/2” X 4”. 
Should your own printing vary, use the custom scale percentage to enlarge or reduce the size to achieve the desired size. (This may take some monkeying.)  No printer?  Draw them out on graph paper. That still works too!
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Side units shown, process is the same for all units.
For the wider border units I started with a pink rectangle the unfinished size of the unit: 3” X 4 1/2”.
For each unit you will also need 2 neutral rectangles 2” x 3 1/4 or so. I believe bigger is always a bit better with paper piecing.  These sizes will also be ample for the narrower top/bottom border units.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Assembly shown on top/bottom unit.
Pin (or use a dab of glue stick) the back side of a pink rectangle to cover the diamond shaped area on the back side of the paper template.
Position a neutral scrap (piece A 2) with right sides together to the pink diamond area, extending enough fabric into the seam allowance area. Set machine to a smaller stitch (1.5 on a digital machine.)
Stitch along the drawn seam line, extending seam a few stitches beyond the seam line into the seam allowance area into both seam allowances at each end.
Trim excess 1/4” beyond stitching leaving 1/4” seam allowance.  Press toward the neutral scrap just added.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Repeat the process adding first yellow scrap at the opposite corner.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Add the remaining neutral and yellow sections following the numbers and shading on the paper template. Trim seams and press toward the pieces just added.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Trim the border unit by placing the 1/4” line on the ruler along the solid finished line on the template, trimming to leave 1/4” seam allowance all the way around.  Remove paper.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Finished side border fudge units.
Make 2 for sides, 2 for top/bottom.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Adding Flying Geese Borders!
The yellow wing triangles in all of the geese units are up against the aqua inner border, with the neutral wing triangles on the outside of the quilt.
Top/Bottom borders:  Join 19 Flying Geese with yellow on the right, and 19 Flying geese with Yellow on the left. Press as desired. Add a skinny border fudge unit in between the two border sections.  Press as desired. (Seams will not nest – pin to match.) Make 2.
Side borders: Repeat as for top/bottom borders, using 22 geese for each border half, centering the wider border fudge unit in between the two border sections.  Press.  Make 2.
Join side borders to quilt sides, pinning to match centers and ends and in between to fit. Press seams toward the aqua inner border.


Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
Join the remaining 4 block A quarter units to each end of the top/bottom borders rotating the units to turn corners as shown. Press seams toward the border corner units.
Add top and bottom borders to quilt, pinning to match centers and ends, and in between as needed to fit.
Press borders toward the aqua inner border.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Finishing –
Once borders are added, stay stitch around the outside edge of the border as you did with the quilt center to minimize stretch and to keep seams from popping open during the quilting process.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!
I quilted Rhododendron Trail using pastel pink thread in an edge to edge design called Lavish by Hermione Agee of LorienQuilting.com.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


I finished the edge of Rhododendron Trail with an aqua/cream striped binding, fabric that had been in my stash for a good couple of decades at best.  
I love how it pulls in the aqua in the sashings and inner border but doesn’t completely close in the outer edge of the quilt allowing the pink triangles in the border units to float.
And there you have it!
We’ve reached the end of yet another Quiltville Winter Mystery and I hope you had as much fun making Rhododendron Trail as I did.
I have really enjoyed the last couple of months working on all 8 parts (Plus the intro!) for you.
As in years’ past, Rhododendron Trail is only free here on the blog for a limited amount of time.
You MUST print and save all parts pertaining to this mystery before the mystery retires on February 13th, 2022.  I will be unable to provide you with any parts or PDFs from that time forward.
From February 14th, 2022 Rhododendron Trail will ONLY be available as a printable PDF pattern booklet download from the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store.
And the fun is not over – not by a long shot!  Some exciting new pattern releases and gift-away opportunities are kicking off tomorrow, 1/15/22 so be sure you pop back here to check it out.
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Cherry Crunch is releasing tomorrow!

And there will be introductory pricing, and a gift-away you won’t want to miss – yes, it includes fabric rolls from Cotton to Quilts!
And since it looks like we’ll be snowed in over the weekend and into Monday – I just may throw some other whacky discounts in to keep things interesting.  You’ll have to stop by and see!
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


Quiltville Quote of the Day –
Mind over matter as they say! 
In other words, what you think about matters. 
Take control of negative feelings and turn them around.  
Show negative thoughts who’s boss! 
And when all else fails, go sew something! 
The finishing of Rhododendron Trail awaits!
Rhododendron Trail Mystery Part Eight - The Big Reveal!


©2021 Bonnie K Hunter. All Rights Reserved

This mystery is given for personal use only. No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying for sharing, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author. 

Please no uploading and saving of this file with intent to share, email or distribute, either digitally or in hard copy. NOT FOR RESALE. 

Please send your friends to my blog to print their clues. Thank you!