Monday, July 31, 2017

What's In The Box Mystery 2017

Throughout July I have been working on this mystery quit, designed and run by Susan-Claire Mayfield of Gourmet Quilter. She asked us to not publish anything on social media until after the mystery was revealed. So here is the history of a month of sewing!

The first clue arrived on the 3rd, which is part of why I was up to see that lovely sunrise. That clue involved a lot of cutting:

The next clue involved making some 9-patches, and a bit more cutting:

Clue three involved some wonky sewing:
I discovered it is not easy to be deliberately wonky!

A few days later I made these:
The diamond in the middle of each block is sewn into the seams, but not around the edges. I've never made this unit before, and found it challenging to avoid tucks
 and catching the top surface of the diamond in the seam
So my quick-unpick got a bit of a workout!

Next up:
The wonky units became stars.

Another unit I've never made before was the next clue:
Pinwheels made with little prairie points.

The next clue involved some more cutting:
Curvy sewing ahead, obviously! This template had been in the "Box" right from the start, but was in a sealed package we couldn't open until receiving this clue. I like the way the etched markings seem to glow. The template is easy to read on both light and dark fabrics.

Then there was some curvy piecing:
Curvy piecing does not run through the machine smoothly.

Finally I was ready to assemble the top. Here are the rows clipped together ready to be sewn:

And here are all the rows assembled:

Up until now everything had gone fairly smoothly, but the last step was a nightmare. When I started putting the first couple of rows together, I found that my curvy pieces did not meet up to make a smooth wave. They were out by a really obvious amount, which was too much to fix with a little pulling and fudging. And because my curves were such a contrast to the rest of the quilt, the mismatched  seams really looked bad. No photos, it was too upsetting! The solution I came up with was to use a wider seam allowance. So I just sewed the seam where the curves crossed, rather than trying to make them cross where they should have.

That meant a seam allowance of more like a centimetre - and in places it was closer to half an inch.
That meant my blocks were no longer "square". Instead of finishing at 9", now they are closer to 8.5". But at least the curves match up!

So here it is, after much upset yesterday and today. The completed top, hanging on the line:
Of course the sun was out before I took the photo, and came out again after I had given up and gone back inside. The colours probably look nicer in the sun, but we'll have to wait until it's quilted to see that.

I will be basting this on 12th August, at my quilt group's next scheduled Basting Day. Then I will quilt it so that it doesn't become a UFO!


  1. Wow! What a really challenging mystery. Your colours look great. Those stars looked like they have been buffeted about by the curves, perhaps they are cosmic waves.

  2. Wow is right. That is a lovely quilt with so many different things to look at

  3. Boyohboyohboy!! now that is a difficult mystery--curves, points, insets...congratulations on that lovely finish..hugs, Julierose

  4. Great finish, well done, looks like a very tricky pattern with all those new sewing challenges.

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  6. I admire your tenacity and discipline in staying on tracr with mysteries ; weather they are Bonnie's or this one. Great problem solving with the curves. The quilt is georgeous.

  7. Lovely! That was quite a challenge for a mystery quilt - well done!!

  8. A really complex mystery and full points for getting it to work out, without more unsewing.

  9. Well done Vireya! It is a really unusual quilt with challenging techniques.

  10. Gold star for perseverance! It looks great.