Mystery Quilt 2018

It’s a mystery – a Mystery Quilt!  As a person who likes to plan out every aspect of my life, giving over control to someone else can be difficult.  I can safely say that there was nothing overly difficult with this mystery quilt. I am so glad I made this quilt.

A beginning

I thought long and hard about the element I could control – the fabrics.  The initial instructions called for (3) fabrics.  I considered patriotic, monochrome and floral but then finally ended up choosing a Christmas theme.  In addition, all three fabrics had elements of gold to unify them.

Mystery Quilt 2018
Christmas Fabrics

The adventure begins

Because I never follow a quilt pattern unless I have designed it, the thought of beginning a new quilt at the instruction of others made me apprehensive.  My concerns were calmed as I began putting my sections together.  

Mystery Quilt 2018

It was easier to keep track of each set by using labels and zip loc bags.

Putting it all together

I won’t say that there weren’t a few bumps along the way, but in the end, I really enjoyed the process of constructing this Mystery Quilt top.

Mystery Quilt 2018

As I started placing blocks on the design wall, I was rewarded with another surprise – the circular secondary pattern that was coming to life.  It began time to consider how I was going to quilt this beauty.

Time to quilt

I pieced the entire top, then took pictures.  I find this is an important first step when beginning to consider what type of custom quilting to employ.  My first consideration was thread color.  I thought of white, or beige or even red or green, but none of them seem to unify the quilt like I wanted it to.  Then I realized that the perfect color was GOLD!  As gold was laced throughout all three fabrics, this would be one way to tie them together.

Next, it was time to consider the actual quilting patterns.  I chose two different snowflake block patterns for the two blocks in the quilt; however the top ended up having an additional row around the blocks that completed the secondary pattern, so I wanted to address that separately.  I chose to use a meandering snowflake border to go all around the quilt.  This pattern was actually mirrored in the white background fabric.

Mystery Quilt 2018

I did have to fill in with some hand-guided long arm quilting to finish up the inside sections.  

The borders were a different story.  As I said, the inner border was filled with dancing snowflakes, but the outer border was something special.  I thought a great deal about what to do here and I really wanted to include something like piano keys.  The problem with that is that it was not quite Christmas.  Then I had a revelation!  I created a Tree/Key combination for the border that was perfect.

Mystery Quilt 2018

No longer a mystery!

Mystery Quilt 2018
Johnson County Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt 2018

I will never say that I did not follow a pattern again!  I am so glad that I took the plunge and went outside my comfort zone.  Thank you Donna Bardwell for all your hard work designing this quilt.  I can’t wait for next year’s mystery adventure.