Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mystery quilting with the JOY Quilting Group.

My church quilting group meets every other week in the fall and winter to stitch on the UFOs and learn new techniques. I go sometimes, but I never miss the Mystery Quilt Day.


 A mystery quilt is an adventure, especially for those quilters who might be color coordination challenged. This year’s mystery quilt fell at a bad time for me, so I took a short cut (which was an allowable choice) and used a jelly roll selection. The problem was, the store didn’t have a contrasting enough second jelly roll to make an eye catching quilt. My best friend offered to cut the strips but I didn’t want to impose on her too much and use fat quarters, which wouldn’t cut quickly. With no other choices, I opted for two rolls exactly alike. In the rolls, the colors looked like they had enough contrast. Spread out on the quilting table, not so much.


When making a mystery quilt the quilter has minimal information about the quilt. We’re told to buy “X” amount of fabric, light dark, and medium color values, and cut it in such and such a fashion. Then we come together at the church and receive our quilting instructions one block at a time. Once we’ve completed a bunch of blocks and have to start assembling them, we get to see what the quilt is supposed to look like. I say supposed to look like, because mine never look that nice.


 Here’s what one of the completed quilt looks like. I think the name of the quilt is Keys to My Heart. The blocks look like keys, and the border (which you can't see) has block hearts at the corners. Note: this is not my quilt. I should be so lucky!


Now here’s one of my sample blocks (on the left) and here’s a sample block of another quilter (on the right) who used some of the same fabric as I did but apparently got the last jelly roll of contrasting fabric.



I like her blocks much better than mine. Needless to say, this will not be my favorite mystery quilt unless I decide to rip apart all the blocks I managed to sew at the quilting bee and start over. With everything that’s going on in my life, I don’t think that will happen. My quilt may become a very small, and very unattractive, lap quilt for my office. On the bright side though, if I use a colorful fabric for the back, maybe no one will notice the front.


Do you have a quilt or other craft project that just didn’t work out right?



  1. Some of my best pottery pieces are those that mess up. I call them stress pieces and customers seem to love them.

    1. Ooh. I wonder what clever name I could give all those less-than-prefect quilt projects.

  2. I took a quilt class years ago and decide to make it for my mother. Purple is her favorite color. I had just started piecing and had no idea how to choose good complimentary colors. LOL The shop recommended a light green which would have been lovely, but I was taken with a dark burgundy calico. It turned out okay, but not as pretty as it could have been with the light green. Mom still has the quilt though. Mom's are sweet like that. :)

    1. In all reality, it's the love we put in our pieces that matter.