Monday, March 11, 2013

Mini Mystery in Miami

I should work on UFOs more often.  It’s a great sense of accomplishment when a project goes from the UFO list to the finished list!
I finished piecing my mini version of the Mystery Quilt in Three Parts from McCall’s Quilting magazine (J/F, M/A, and M/J 2012 issues).  I started with three fat quarters of fabrics I purchased to make a wall hanging for my guest bath.  The focus fabric has orange, brown, and white on a turquoise background.  My accent fabrics are an orange and white polka dot fabric and a turquoise wood grain fabric.  The pattern calls for four fabrics, so I added a fat quarter of white tone-on-tone fabric. 

Several of the McCall’s staff members were participating in the mystery quilt challenge and I was drawn in by the fabrics they chose.  So how do you make a quilt that is supposed to measure 72” X 72” with only four fat quarters of fabric?  Well, I could have made a quarter of the quilt, using full-sized pattern pieces, or I could reduce the pattern pieces so I could make the entire quilt.  I decided to reduce the pattern pieces, not knowing if the amount of fabric I had would be enough to make the full quilt.

Because this was a mystery quilt, only a portion of the instructions was revealed each month.  Not having all the cutting directions in the first month turned out to be a slight problem.  If I ever decide to resize a mystery quilt in the future, I would want all the cutting directions up front.  In any case, I dove in, cut the fabrics for the first month, and followed the piecing instructions.  I decided to reduce the block sizes to 1/3 the original size.  So if a square was supposed to be 6 ½ inches, I cut it 2 ½ inches.  I have gotten used to instructions calling for oversized pieces that are trimmed down to the correct size after piecing.  No trimming down with this pattern, so some of my points aren’t perfect.

The second installment came and I cut the fabrics and pieced the next set of blocks.  Then I had my neck surgery and this project went to the UFO bin while I got sidetracked with other projects.  Last week I cut out the third installment’s fabrics, determined to finally finish this little quilt.  It turns out I had to cut into a second fat quarter of white tone-on-tone fabric.  Even though I had some left of the original fat quarter, I couldn’t get the sizes I needed for the month three blocks, but I think I could have if I had all the cutting directions the first month.

It didn’t take me long to piece the third month’s blocks, assemble the rows and piece the borders – maybe two hours total.  I thought that my finished top would be 1/3 the size of the original, or 24 X 24 (the original throw size was 72 X 72), but it finished at 20 ½ X 20 ½.  I love the way it turned out  Next weekend I will quilt and bind it and be all done with a few weeks left in March to start the April wall hanging . 

I’m calling this quilt “Mini Mystery from Miami”.  What’s the Miami connection?  My brother, Chris, and sister, Kelly, are both big-time Miami Dolphins fans.   While I was working on the quilt this weekend, my sister called and told me about some new sneakers she designed that feature the Dolphin’s colors – turquoise and orange (they will really stand out)! 

(Dolphins logo courtesy of
I told her I was currently working on a quilt in Miami’s colors – so there’s the connection. Now I will think of the Dolphins and my siblings every time I look at this wall hanging.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! Love the mystery element and that you tied in the colors with the family story!