Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mystery Quilt Revisited

Just over four months ago, my first APPLIQUE MYSTERY QUILT ALONG was completed. Have you finished yours yet?

Or did you miss out; and wish you had joined in.... no problem! You can purchase the pattern from my Craftsy store at the special SALE price of only $4.95. Check it out now; and save $4.00 during the month of September. 

Thank you to everyone that joined in on this spur-of-the-moment quilt along idea. I am honored to have shared those four months with you. And if you haven't had opportunity to complete yours yet, here's some new incentive to still complete it in 2014.....

Special Report:

I am planning to do another Applique Mystery Quilt Along... in 2015! This one will only be FREE if you receive a special invite from me, to participate. See details below.

For anyone that has made the 2014 project: "Life's A Journey" quilt, whether it was during the quilt along or by purchasing the pattern; and submits a photo of the quilt before the December 31, 2014 deadline; will receive a free invite, when it is available. (Approx. mid-January 2015.)
Please note: If you do receive an invite; you are not required to participate. This will give you the option; and I'll send further details to you, if you are interested. 
If you have already emailed me a photo of your quilt, you are already on the list to receive a free invite. 

I plan to post photos on this blog; soon, and wish to have others see your creative versions of this pattern. However, if your quilt is a gift for someone; and they haven't received it yet; please let me know in your email when I can post the photo.


Once you receive the free invite, you will email me back to confirm your interest; and only then receive the mystery quilt details. These will include: the supply list and design options for the project. 

TIMING  (Example: If the project begins on February 1, 2015; your invite will arrive mid-January; and this will give you about two weeks to purchase supplies and be ready to begin when the project opens.) 

At present, dates are approximate; and the project is still in the planning stages. But, here are some clues:
  • It is a small wall hanging quilt with an artsy flair; using fabrics in grays and blacks.
  • It will have applique; however, you may change it with one of the options!
  • It will be pieced and embellished in sections to finish up in only four to six weeks.
  • Adding color will be fun -- do it with applique, stitching, crayons, and/or embroidery.
  • Don't like grays and blacks; then replace any with brighter colors!
  • Is it perhaps time; to try a small quilt project that is done from start to finish, quickly?

Over the next couple of months, I want to test out my design to see how these options will turn out; and if it could be made into a larger project. More details forthcoming...

If you can't wait for the weekly clues; 
or need to know all the details at the start, 
or cannot submit a photo of your finished 2014 project to receive the free invite; 
the full pattern will be available for purchase at my Craftsy store. 
You can then decide if you want to follow along, or make it on your own schedule. 

Happy stitching!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Final View of QAL Project


The first photo shows how the quilt top without borders looks with the applique designs done ALL in black. Here, I used nine-patch blocks for the pieced blocks that were a little bit smaller than the pattern asks for; however, I was still able to successfully put it all together. With only the quilt top done; I could add borders to include or exclude the swag applique design. The appliques have not been stitched yet.

(As shown: 25 1/2" x 25 1/2" square)

With everyone having a choice of at least four different pieced blocks and using their own fabric colors for their applique designs; one can see that each quilt would be totally unique. Each quilt can tell its own story; and that was what I entitled this project: "Life's A Journey". 

The approximate finished size of this project; if using only the two borders in the pattern instructions, it should be: 33" x 33" square. Please feel free to try other layouts and color choices for more new and exciting story telling... using colorful fabrics and thread. 

* ** *** * **** * *** ** *


I wanted to have you see that going totally scrappy will still create a stunning quilt. I even used only one thread color for the complete project. If I don't have enough fabric in a specific color grouping, I can easily select new ones, and still come up with a beautiful arrangement with these quilt blocks.

And even when I messed up; I was still able to continue. Or when I changed my mind, it still was possible to make adjustments. That is what is great about quilting, one can make changes or adjustments; if the need arises.
  1. While the pattern needed a three-inch cut for the second border; it was late when I was cutting out my own; and I forgot to add the seam allowance to the finished measurement; so mine ended up narrower than it should have been; because I hadn't written out the final instructions, at that point.
  2. I wanted to brighten up the quilt with bright borders; however, the pink was too much for me; so I added the brown to tone it down. 
  3. Before finishing up the final hand-stitching of the hanging sleeve and quilt label, I auditioned buttons and added them to several of the applique designs.  

Here’s how my quilt turned out...

(Size: 34 3/8" x 34 3/8")
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Closeups of some of the appliqued blocks:

Block 7 -- Potted Flowers (embroidered stamens)

Block 5 -- Fence (with Flowers)

Block 5 -- Fence with Flowers (button centers)

Block 11a -- Boat 

Thank you for joining with me to make this applique mystery quilt along project to brighten up those long winter months. The weekly lessons will be available on my website until May 18, 2014.

Happy Quilting....

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Mystery Quilt Layout

As this Applique Mystery Quilt Along is soon to be completed, here is how my quilt is shaping up; as I prepare each lesson to share with you.


With the applique blocks and pieced blocks ready and sewn together to make up the quilt top; here is how adding borders will complete the project, and update the look.

Using a narrow border, in a darker color; works well to add a framed look to the activity in the blocks; like a frame on a painting. The blue-green fabric was also used on the domino framed blocks.


The second border provides the surface area needed to apply my chosen swag applique; and give it added interest on this busy quilt.

I chose to use three colors (blue-green, yellow, and pink) on the domino frame and also bring it to the outer borders. My blocks needed to be brightened up and the pink definitely provided that intensity.


I wanted to add interest on this border; and so applied a swag applique to help showcase the handiwork of all the appliques used on the quilt top.

Here, I used a yellow; and instead of the bright yellow used in the domino framed blocks; I decided to use the same yellow as was used on the sun applique.



There are always decisions to make as one builds a quilt. Here were a few good reasons to consider adding an additional border:

1.)  It was only after I has added the swag applique, that I realized I had cut the strips for border two; at two and one-half inches, instead of the three inches wide they should have been. (That's what happens when I want to quilt late at night.) So I had less space between the applique and where the binding would be added. What should I do about this?

2.)  I found I had indeed brightened the look of the quilt; however, now it was just way too pink for my liking. So if I added a darker color, it should bring down the intensity of the pink. (Your computer screen may make this border look more red or orange. But it is very pink!)

3.) I was considering adding piping or lace, on the outer edge, so wanted to have more distance between the swag on this border two and the binding. And I didn't really know how wide this border should be, either; so made it two inches wide, so I could make this decision later.

4.) As a general rule, it is a good tip to have the ability of trimming the final border narrower, if desired; and to ensure it is even and has square corners, when trimming all three layers. Here, I would have possibly cut into my swag applique, if my quilt needed extra squaring up, before adding the binding.

So, here is how my quilt looks with the extra border in brown:


I decided that I really did need to add an extra border; and this color will provide a better background for my chosen binding fabric.  So, my quilt will be a few inches larger than the original pattern indicates.

The final post on this mystery quilt, will show up in a few weeks, when the last lesson has been posted on the website. Thanks for coming along on this quilt journey with me.

Happy Quilting....