Mystery Quilt Mayhem (Part 1)

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.

Here are the results:
0020inchlonestar

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.

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5 thoughts on “Mystery Quilt Mayhem (Part 1)

  1. momcat says:

    EQ6 could have fiigured this out. Next time let me know and I will do it for you. What are friends for? I can’t wait to see how your mystery turns out. It sounds like you are doing your own round robin. Sounds like fun and perfect for someone who really likes control but wants the mystery fun of not knowing what the final product will look like til your almost done.

  2. […] O­riginal p­o­st: Mys­te­ry Q­uil­t Mayh­e­m (Part 1) […]

  3. worldquilter says:

    I should have thought of that, Momcat! When we live closer, I imagine I will call you with questions like that often!

  4. I’ve found Nancy Johnson-Srebro’s books on making stars without angles to be invaluable. I’ve always had trouble with that! The Stars by Magic book that I have gives instructions for blocks from 6 to 20 inches. She also has a book on making big Lone Star quilts using the same method, Big One-Star Quilts by Magic, which I will be ordering from Amazon as soon as my last order of knitting books comes in.

  5. worldquilter says:

    Thank you, Susan, great information. The books sounds like a gold mine of information.

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