Mysterious April

Maddy's First Mystery Quilt

April is the revealing of the mystery quilt at my quilt guild. I am not really a fan of mystery quilts.

First, to do it right you have to commit without knowing whether you'll like it. For people like me who can't even read a mystery novel without checking out who did it first, this is not a easy task. Second, you have to follow directions and I just can't seem to do it. I try. Really I do. But it always seems to go haywire. I see a way to do it faster or just different and I can't stop myself.

Last year I decided it was time to finally try a mystery quilt. But I didn't want to suffer alone. So I railroaded my dear husband into joining me. He made his first quilt and won the First Timer's Award at my guild. I made a quilt I hated more than any I have every made.

So why try it again? I have no idea. Glutton for punishment I guess.

I started by choosing the border fabric. I wanted to use a border fabric in my stash so that limited my selections. I found two I really liked. Both had red and greens so I went for a Christmas theme. I couldn't select just one red or green so I went with a scrappy look. I needed to make a series of half square triangles so I went with my favorite method for this, the printed grid.

The internet is a fabulous thing. In a few short keystrokes, you can find a grid for almost any size and print it as needed on your home printer. In this case, the grid created 12 HST per page. Since I wanted a scrappy look I needed to make several pages. Some of you have already seen where this is going. I made enough HSTs for two quilts and I had border fabric for two quilts so why not make two quilts.

When it was time to lay the quilt out and add the sashing called for in the design, I discovered I didn't like it. Probably the gold sashing I chose was too jarring, but it caused me to play with different layouts. When I found one I liked, I used the sashing material as a flange or inner border. I had used several glimmer fabrics so when it was time to quilt the first top I decided to use metallic thread. I hate it because even used with a metallic needle and extremely low top tension, it shreds eventually. You can delay it with your precautions but you can't really wholly prevent it. It would up looking real nice though. And I won the blue ribbon!

After finishing the first quilt, I started playing with layouts for a second one. Same exact fabric, but see how different it looks with a different layout, setting fabric and borders. I created a curving saw points border that I paper pieced and appliqued onto the quilt. I also paper pieced a square in square center, placed the stars on point and removed one square from each star. This made the stars share that square and placed them closer together. I haven't quilted it yet, but I will probably use gold metallic thread again.