Monday, January 14, 2019

New Year Mystery

None of the New Year's mysteries posted on line this year seemed doable to me. For a mystery quilt to be manageable for me, it needs to have 4 or 5 fabrics maximum. It's hard for me to pick 8 fabrics from my stash that "work" together without seeing the quilt design. 
So I found an older mystery on line that just needed 4 fabrics, and got together with some friends to sew it on New Years Day
I used my deceased brother's shirts for this project. I had deconstructed the shirts (refer to Bonnie Hunter's Scraps and Shirttales books for tips) and have been looking for the perfect project to use up this fabric.
However, this turned out to be a stressful experience, with lots of bias seams, pieces not matching well, lots of fudging (stretching and swearing) going on, several bouts of unstitching (more swearing), and one pattern cutting error that meant we had too few pieces to sew our blocks. I won't post the link to the pattern because it was really not an enjoyable experience to sew it.

Just look at these block edges... some of them are 1/4" out. I rarely have this problem when I'm sewing because I'm quite meticulous about the 1/4" seam. But this quilt... well, all of us found it challenging from start to finish.

I did make it extra challenging by using directional fabrics, but that was one of the easiest factors to sort out. And I'm happy with how all the stripes are going.

The positive part is that we did have a great day together, talking about what we are planning to do in the new year, and enjoying good food. And we managed to sew many quilt blocks that are missing lots of points! 


Here are my 9 blocks on the design wall. I can't tell you how many hours were spent on unsewing and resewing, and trying to get the darn blocks to be close to the right size. The blocks are ready to sew together and next come the borders.
Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Small Quilts.

14 comments:

diamondc said...

What a great idea for a quilt.
A great way to have memories of your Brother.
Catherine

Linda Cobarrubias said...

Of possible I would love to have the link. It's a wonderful quilt so far.

Mary said...

I didn't care for the QAYG Mystery this year either. Great Memory Stars.

Ramona said...

I am super impressed with the stripes all going in the same direction!It is a very cool design and I'm sorry it's been so frustrating to make.

maggie fellow said...

But it looks great...

Jay said...

Really good looking, Kathy. Too bad the pattern wasn't better written, but you've made a wonderful quilt. Those blue stripes are really impressive!

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

Quilts that often give us the 'hardest' time are often the best ones when finished--so just keep working on it--it is coming together nicely!!
luv, di

Theresa Leppert said...

I love the quilt. Can you share the pattern? Just how it was. The quilt is so nice and I agree 4 colors are easier to pick

Jenny said...

How frustrating but you got to spend time with your friends and have made a great start on your quilt blocks.

Melanie said...


Thank you for sharing your experience. Nice to know I'm not the only one disappointed sometimes w/patterns that seem a good idea in the beginning. Nice idea to use your late brother's shirts for good memories. Actually, the quilt looks quite nice!

Louise said...

I'm sorry this pattern was so frustrating! But your blocks look really great in those shirting fabrics and I hope you'll cherish the memories it brings of your brother.

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Frustrating experience but you prevailed! Very nice to use your brother’s shirts. Years ago I did a mystery quilt and discovered they just aren’t my thing - although I think the concept is pretty cool!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Those blocks look nice. Sorry it wasn't a fun experience. Some patterns just aren't written correctly.

Kaja said...

It sounds like a very frustrating experience, but your finished blocks look great, so hopefully you'll end up thinking it was worth the bother.