I admit it. I am a control freak. I did a couple mystery quilts early on in my quilting life and found myself looking at those quilts critically ever after, wishing I had used a darker color here, a lighter color there, etc. I am choosy. I like making choices, and I like enough contrast in just the right places to make a quilt work.
So when our Q8 Quilters announced a mystery quilt, for me it was all like “Ho Hum” until she started telling us about it.
Our first month, we have to make a 20 inch block (20 1/2 inches unfinished) that can be turned on point. We will need about 4 yards of one fabric for the background. We choose our own colors, our own theme – Hey! This sounds interesting, and as challenging as we want it to be. In spite of myself, I was already planning my 20″ block.
I did all the math. I drew it out on my squared paper. I gathered my fabrics and carefully decided where I wanted them to fall in the pattern. I chose a Lone Star Center, because I have all these beautiful snowflake patterns in blue and silver, and I am dying to use them in a very wintery quilt.
It went together fine, and then I placed the insets by machine. Hmmm. Not so good. I did a Lone Star as my second ever quilt (I know, I know, fools rush in) which was in Seminole Colors as a graduation quilt for my son and I remember piecing and repiecing to get all the diamonds to line up. I did all the inset squares and triangles by hand. Now I remember why.
When I finish, my heart sinks. No matter how careful I was, no matter how I planned and measured – the square is more like 24 inches than 20. I don’t know how that happened.
As I am looking at it, and it looks all wonky, I see that I scorched a section as I was ironing. I quickly call my friend who knows everything about home things, and she gave me several suggestions. I tried the baking soda suggestion, and then, as I was rinsing the baking powder out, further disaster struck – my focus fabric, an Alaska-at-midnight blue with silver stars ran all over the crystal pristine white and silver that was to work as a snowflake. Horrors!
It was late in the day. I know there is too much wrong here to salvage, and, thankfully, I have a lot of the fabric; I can do it again.
The next day I started again, using a half inche less in every diamond measurement. I changed a couple fabrics, and I think I like the result. I also set in the setting triangles and squares by hand. Piece of cake.
I had to add a frame to bring it to 20 inches, but I was pleased to come as close as I did, working with so many seams, diagonals and a fixed block size. If anyone knows where there is a chart to tell you what size diamonds to use to get size X Lone Star block, please let me know.
The one on the top is the one I will use as the Mystery Quilt center. The one on the bottom . . . it needs a little work. I don’t think I will trash it, but I need to think about it for a while.