Archive for the ‘Mystery Quilt’ Category

Not quite fully-pieced

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

And even once it’s fully-pieced, there’s of course still a lot more to do before it’s a Finished Object. But I’m still quite impressed with this:

Not Really Finished At All Object

Monday, May 27th, 2013

So here is what I was finally able to finish piecing this weekend:

Mystery Quilt Center

Alert readers will recognize this as the central block in this quilt, whose previous status was documented here.  I had this central block pieced except for the last two seams for over a month — possibly two months? — before I was able to sew those last two seams!

But sewing those last two seams was enough to allow me to lay out the following on the floor:

Mystery Quilt laid out

Which is the entire quilt top, more or less.

Alert readers will also note that the corner log cabin blocks have been painstakingly taken apart and re-pieced, and are now no longer 1/4″ too small in both dimensions.  Taking them apart and re-piecing them also allowed me to change out the fabric in the outer “logs” to match the GIANT PURPLE TRIANGLES OF DOOM so that I get the same “floating” effect that Ann did in her rendition of the quilt. Silver lining, maybe?

Anyway, I’m very pleased with it! The next step is, well, sewing all the pieces together (which is what I’ve been doing all along, isn’t it?) but in this case, actually putting the whole thing together.  I don’t expect this to happen quickly, because long seams take a much longer time to set up, pin, sew, etc. than shorter ones. But this is the largest thing I’ve pieced to date, so it’s exciting, and challenging!

The part where the seam ripper comes in handy

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

by Cathy

So, flush from the completion of a longstanding UFO, I decided to take Nancy’s advice and work on something for me — in this case, an even more longstanding UFO, the famous Quiltmaker Mystery Quilt. (Which Ann finished so long ago that it now hangs on the wall in her cottage. Overachiever.)

When last we checked, my version of the Mystery Quilt stood here.

Then, a baby intervened, which gave me a convenient mechanism for tracking how long it had been since I worked on the project.  Five and a half years later, I finally dug it out of the Crafty Closet to see what state I’d left it in, and discovered that it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.

I’ve spent the last two weeks in a flurry of quilting (aided by a young man’s desire to build with Legos in my study, which is handy), and I’ve been able to complete the Log Cabin-izing of the four smaller blocks, as shown below (the white envelope in the middle is so that I could do some color correction in Photoshop);

log_cabinsThey’re beautiful, don’t you think?  I’m so proud of myself for getting so much done in such a short period of time!

They’re also a full quarter-inch too small in both dimensions.

Argh!  ArgharghargharghARGH.

I don’t have enough fabric to make the outer strips a quarter-inch larger, and that would look pretty weird anyway. So, I’m going to take each one apart and re-sew them with ever-so-slightly-smaller seam allowances, and hope I can do better.  Tune in again in, well, a few weeks or a month or two. 🙁

Mystery Quilt Unveiled!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

(by Ann)

Ta daaaah!

The Mystery Quilt that was begun in December, 2007 was hung in the Cute Little House on March 28, 2011. A certain e-mailing spouse sent this photo and a couple of others to several hundred of his closest e-mail buddies but apparently not to all the crackpots, so here it is. Now all I have to do is decide what colors to paint the walls.

Yikes! It’s a quilt top!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

In fact, it’s the Mystery Quilt, instructions for which were published in Quiltmaker beginning in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue. Crackpots may remember that Cathy started all this with her post in Nov., 2006 when she announced that she was planning to work on the mystery quilt and showed us her palette. Then I joined in. As I said way back then, I generally think mystery quilts are dumb. Why commit yourself to a whole lot of work on a project when you don’t know what you will end up with? But Cathy suckered me in. I thought – and still think – that it would be cool to have two Crackpots work on the same quilt and see how different they would be when finished. If you go back to our earlier posts, you will see that Cathy and I did indeed come up with very different blocks using the same instructions but our own unique choices of fabric. But the posts, and the efforts, petered out with the last post being from Cathy in July 2007. Cathy had the very good excuse of a certain adorable small James for putting her mystery quilt on the back burner, but I have none, except, of course, of having the responsibility of being grandmother to the aforementioned James.
But then shortly after Christmas, as I was planning and packing for a visit to the Cute Little House, I was looking through my various quilting UFOs trying to decide what I wanted to take with me to work on and I came across the plastic shoe box with the bits and pieces and fabrics for the mystery quilt. Despite higher priority projects, something in it called to me, and I took it along. Soon I was hooked. And here you see the result. I like it!!
Now all I have to do is layer and quilt it. It will be machine quilted in the ditch and shadow quilted. I’m not about to take on the task of learning free-motion quilting to quilt it as recommended in Quiltmaker. The current plan is to hang it over the couch in the Cute Little House. I just hope I can keep up the momentum.

Mystery Quilt, Part Three

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

So, I thought I was actually getting caught up from being behind in Quiltmaker’s Mystery Quilt series, when I finished these two blocks and was only one block behind. Then the very next day, the next issue of Quiltmaker arrived, with the final installment in the series! So I’m still behind, and not likely to catch up any time soon. Anyway, here are my most recent blocks:

the hand-pieced block from part 3

This block was hand-pieced, because I was working on it at Goshorn Lake and it seemed easier to just do it by hand than bother with setting up a sewing machine. I was also able to work on it a bit in between doctors’ appointments at the clinic, which earned me some smiles and approving glances from the older ladies walking through. 🙂

the template block from part 3

This block is done entirely with templates, which is fine, but I can’t imagine doing a whole bed-sized quilt this way! All of the tracing and cutting for just this one block got to be a pain in the neck. But I like how it turned out. Here are all of the parts of the Mystery Quilt so far:

all of the blocks from parts 1- 3

Mystery Quilt Phase 2A (for Ann)

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

As you all can see, I had a productive 5 days last week at the Cute Little House. With help from Marty and the extensive stock at Fields, I was able to extend my palette and produce the following:

mystery quilt 2

I like it. As you can see, it is quite different from Cathy’s. Actually I think I like Cathy’s better. Her blues and reds are more my usual style. But it is good for us to branch out and extend our range of palettes. Also, you will note that I have followed Cathy’s lead and photographed my blocks on a hardwood floor background. I think it has a warmer, richer look than the plain white sheet I have been using in previous photos.

My new Quiltmaker arrived yesterday. The next two blocks are large complex ones. I have not yet studied them closely, but they look interesting. Possibly a project for the next CLH trip.

Mystery Quilt, Part Two

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

So the latest issue of Quiltmaker came out recently, with the next installment of the Mystery Quilt, four six-inch blocks of different flower designs. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed, since I don’t much care for flower blocks, but oh well.

Here are my renditions of the four new blocks, with the original block in the center:

Mystery Quilt, part two, with first block

Clockwise from upper left, they are Ruby Slipper, Trumpets of Spring, Dutch Touch (this one is foundation-pieced), and Log Cabin Star. Trumpets of Spring was hard – there are set-in seams and seams that have to turn corners in the piecing of this one, and they don’t really give you any guidance or tips on how to make the piecing work. Also, the directions for Ruby Slipper contain a typo; under “Assorted spring prints” where it says “(1 from each of 3 fabrics)” they really mean “(1 from each of 4 fabrics).”

Ann’s mystery quilt

Friday, January 12th, 2007

OK, Crackpots, here’s my entry in the Mystery Quilt Event. First a look at my “palette.”
Actually it is only the part of my palette that I actually purchased for this project at Joann’s. I have lots of brown, beiges, and greens in my stash that will be called on as needed. Now here’s my first block.
mystery block 1
I like it. Note how different it is from Cathy’s. That is what I think will be the fun part of this project – to see how the two of us come up with quite different final results, despite starting with the same pattern and similar palettes. Cathy, you are quite right about the corner 4-patches, and I actually went to the trouble of making 16 half-blocks to get it to come out as published in Quiltmaker, which I hated to do because I’m a terrible fabric miser. I can only hope that I will be able to use the leftover units in another part of the project. I really can’t imagine that you will have a problem with your version in the final quilt. I did it the way I did because I couldn’t find a way to get the blocks to be proper 4 patches, rather than being a triangle square block. I can’t imagine why I had that problem, possibly because I already had 1 quarter block unit assembled when I realized the problem and started trying to correct it. Or maybe my brain was just out to lunch that day. Anyway, I am looking forward to the next Quiltmaker with more than usual anticipation.

Mystery Quilt: First Block

Monday, December 18th, 2006

This post could be subtitled: Rotational Symmetry Makes My Brain Hurt.

So a couple of weekends ago, I pieced the first block in the Mystery Quilt project. It went together pretty well, once I remembered about corner trimming templates for piecing triangles. The results are shown below:

Mystery Quilt, first block

There’s only one hitch: if you look closely at the quarter-square triangles in the corners of the block (the light and dark green patches), you’ll see that they’re not rotationally symmetrical. Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I can show you what I mean. Here, again, is the block as I pieced it, and the block as displayed in Quiltmaker:

First block, as pieced | First block, as displayed in Quiltmaker

I followed the instructions given in Quiltmaker, but because of the way that the block is assembled at the very end — it’s made up of four triangular sections, sewn on the diagonal — there’s no way to get all four corners rotationally symmetrical without making twice as many quarter-square triangle units and using only half of them. I didn’t have a huge amount of the green fabrics, and I wanted to be able to use them for other parts of the quilt, rather than throw them out. So I was faced with a choice:

  • Disassemble the block, sew a bunch more quarter-square triangle units, and re-assemble it, hoping that I wouldn’t need much more of the green fabrics later on, or
  • Leave the block as is, and hope that the perfect rotational symmetry of the block isn’t critical to the design of the quilt as a whole.

I chose the latter (for now), though I’m having second thoughts. Unfortunately, because of the way the block is assembled, if I decide to go back and re-do the block, I’ll have to disassemble the whole thing, which will be a pretty big pain in the neck.

So what do y’all think?

Also, Ann says below in her comment that she’s joining in the project – yay! I can’t wait to see her palette of fabrics!