My first Mystery Quilt

It’s a funny thing about quilt retreats — I always pack projects to work on, usually UFO’s that I’m hoping to finish while I’m there. But more often than not, I end up rejecting whatever I brought, and starting something new. This year, I found myself unable to resist the optional mystery quilt project.

The first step was simply to cut 56 strips of 2.5″x WOF. Since I didn’t have any extra fabric with me, this required a quick trip into Exeter, the nearest town with a quilt store, for some emergency fabric. I decided to try some fabrics I don’t normally buy, and ended up with some bundles of folk-arty prints (stars, birds, berries, etc.). I wanted something that wasn’t too “girly”, since it would likely be one of my sons who ended up with the completed project.

I came back to the retreat and cut my strips. The next clues instructed me to cut many squares and many rectangles, then to piece 4 patches and rectangles with half-square triangles at the end… Finally, I assembled the blocks shown here (just laid out on the floor, but not yet sewn together).

I admit, if I had known what the mystery pattern would turn out to be, I might have chosen different fabrics. In fact, there was another bundle in teh fabric shop that I’d rejected, that had more blues in it… I wish now that I’d bought that as well, and incorporated some more colour. Nevertheless, the result is a cozy, scrappy looking top. I’m planning to add borders large enough to make it about twin size, and perhaps use a flannel backing for warmth. The boys often want a blanket when sitting doing homework on a winter evening, or to snuggle under on the couch. I think this will do the trick.

Since I got all the blocks pieced and squared up at the retreat, now I simply have to sew them together, and decide on the border. My current thought is to add a solid black border, and add some folk arty applique — maybe picking up on some of the motifs in the prints? Stars, birds, grapes…

We’ll see how ambitious I feel, once I’ve got the blocks together!

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