Category Archives: Mystery quilt

Back to weekends

Now that school has started here, I’m back to sewing mainly on the weekends. I do hope to find time to get at least a few minutes of sewing in during the workweek, but that depends on the workload, evening meetings, and how tired I feel.

Today I sewed some units together from the mystery quilt and made what they call the A blocks. I’m assuming the units remaining are going to be sewn together to make the B blocks, and they’ll be alternated throughout the quilt. Here’s the progress so far:

mystery quilt blocks

I’m even more pleased with my choice for the sashing fabric. I think it sets off the dark blues and the light blues very well! It’s a busy enough fabric you don’t see the seams where the sashing comes together.

Even though this was my first attempt at a mystery quilt, I’m starting to think I want to create my own mystery quilt for subscribers to try to sew-along. What do you say? What theme might you like to have for a mystery quilt? How about a Christmas wallhanging, or other seasonal decorative quilt? Any comments welcome, and I will consider writing and photographing and posting a mystery quilt-along.


Catching up

Lately I’ve been catching up on my sewing. With the wall quilt completed, I started working on book purses. I’ve thought about sewing a couple of blouses for when school begins again. As a teacher, sometimes I treat myself to new school clothes, too.

Today, however, I knew it would be just too hot in the sewing room so I packed up a machine and a bundle of quilt blocks, and worked on the mystery quilt. I set up a second, temporary sewing room in the dining room, where the air conditioning is working fine. I caught up on 4 pages of directions for the mystery quilt, which is going too slowly for my tastes, and made some progress.

I realized I had made a promise, and I’m going to have to take steps to honor that promise. Our oldest is expecting in about 6 months, and I had promised to make cloth diapers for this baby. I have a pattern but I need to search for the fabrics and notions that I’ll need. Soon I’ll be posting about the diapers and the cute designs that I’ll be making.


Busy day

With the heat reaching upper 90s and the heat index even higher, I knew I didn’t want to be in the sewing room in the afternoon. It’s upstairs and heat rises, and the upstairs a/c isn’t working at this time. Ugh. Anyway, I decided to get an early start on things.I had two pages of the mystery quilt to work on. Thank goodness there was no cutting this time! I have no idea if all the cutting is finished, or if it’s just a couple of simple steps in a row. One step had me sewing a rectangle to a sashing strip, and the other had me sewing a light/dark combo to a light/dark/sashing strip. I ended up with what looks like a 4-patch with a sashing strip.

mystery quilt blocks

Then I decided it was time to alter some clothes. I bought two pair of cotton pants at a thrift store. One was my size but too baggy, and the other was too big and needed more than a little alteration. I’m pleased with how they came out. They are both a gingham check, one is a mossy green and the other is purple, though I’m sure it doesn’t show as purple in the photo. Here are the after pictures, on a hanger.

green ginghampurple gingham

Later, in the dreaded hot afternoon, I had the brilliant idea to make a business card holder. I wanted something to make it simple for my business cards to be displayed in the toe ring boutique, and if I sew it, it will reflect the kind of work I do. Tutorial follows, and I hope you enjoy!


Sewing in cool comfort

I’m from the north, but I’m here in Southwest Missouri. It’s hot and humid these days, and I typically hide indoors most of the summer. Excellent choice for someone whose hobbies include quilting and sewing!

I got a couple things done in the sewing room today. Two pages of the mystery quilt were waiting to be completed, so I got busy. This involved cutting some rectangles, sewing some 4-patch blocks, and some half-square triangles. I’ve decided to keep the parts of this particular quilt in a shoe box and set it on a shelf when I’m not working on it, so I have more clear space on my cutting table for other projects.

mystery quilt pieces

I was going to make some book purses next, but while I was looking through some of my notions, I came across my gold crochet thread. I found a large-eye needle, threaded it from the back of the toe design on the pillow front that I made for my stepdaughter, and used monofilament thread to zigzag over the gold. Instant toe rings! I made one as a triple-wide band, using a multiple stitch zigzag, and  one double-wide, and one toe has two thin rings.

toe rings

I’ll have to work on book purses another day. My stepdaughter has offered to sell them in her boutique in KC, so I need to work up an inventory now.

Day 18 of 50-Day Challenge

Day 18 of 50-Day Challenge

Erik, I’m ready!

Day Seven of sewing was actually on Saturday. That was a busy day!

I worked on finishing a book purse I had started the day before. I had to finish sewing the box form to the backing fabric, glue it all to the book cover with the purse handle, and make the closure. For the closure, I made a simple flower shape from an olive green ribbon and sewed a pearly button in the center. It took a little work to make the holes through the book cover for the thread, but it wasn’t as hard to do as I thought it might be. I sewed a length of ribbon with a loop on the end to the underside of the purse.  Now complete and ready to post in my Etsy store.

Then I got to work on step Four of the mystery quilt. More cutting, larger pieces, and sewing some of the squares to make half-square triangles. My stack after completing this page:

I’m really ready, Erik Homemade, to start making rows of blocks! At this point I have caught up with the instructions released so far, so if I’m going to be sewing every day I need to look toward something else to work on between pages.

After the sewing yesterday I helped my husband as he was cutting down trees. When we quit around sunset, I was a little too tired to think clearly enough to write a blog post.

Sewing Interrupted

Well, since it has been a day or so, I thought I’d better get to the sewing room and do a little work.

Today I completed another page in the mystery quilt, which of course means more cutting and more sewing. After completing step 3 (which is page 4), my cutting table looks like this:

It’s a pile of (mostly) blue that keeps growing. I looked ahead and what I need to cut next time, and I really am running out of blue now. I know, that was the reason to do this mystery quilt, but it really defeats the purpose to purchase more fabric in order to have some variety in the prints, and I really don’t want to add another color at this late date and time. I don’t know yet what I’ll do; tomorrow is another day.

I looked around and decided to work on another book purse. I got out this book cover and found that this floral fabric coordinates well.

I backed it with interfacing for the part that is glued down over the end papers of the book cover. I found burgundy corduroy to use for the box part, and also backed that with interfacing. I was working on this when I was…..interrupted. My stepson had come over and so I reluctantly left behind the sewing for a while. It turned out to be a short visit, actually an errand for him to retrieve something from the barn, so I was able to go back to sewing.

I keep re-designing how I make these purses. Each time, it seems to be a new process. Once again, I tried to force too much fabric through the machine (an older mechanical machine) and broke a needle. Seemed like a good place to stop for the day.

So, in summary, Day Six yields one more page of the mystery quilt completed, enough of a book purse completed to haunt me for several days, and I’m done sewing in time to get ready for my “date” with my husband. We have some boat shopping to do.

Day Five – Oops

First thing I did was get right to sewing. My directions were to put 15 sash pieces to 15 prologue units, like thus:

Now the “oops”. You know, they have a saying for this: measure twice and cut once. I seem to have that backwards.

These are 2.5 by 4.5:The instructions clearly say they should be 4.5 by 6.5. How did I get that wrong? If it had been the other way around, I could have cut them down. My challenge was finding enough large pieces of the dark fabric to cut the proper size pieces.I found them, but there isn’t as much variety in the print anymore, and I wonder what is left to cut and how much fabric I’ll have. I may end up adding other fabrics if I need to. I hope I don’t need to. Now that I had the proper size dark rectangles, I could sew them to the remaining 15 sashing pieces.

After today’s cutting and sewing, this is what I have:

I peeked ahead, and I know some half-square triangles are coming up. I really want to see the overall pattern in this quilt, but part of the mystery is not seeing that until the last couple of pages.