I'm not a big fan of Mystery Quilts, and although our quilt guild runs one each year, I have only participated once. It's hard to make construction choices when you can't picture the finished quilt.
This year, my friend Rosemary suggested we give it a whirl. The cost was only $7.00 for the pattern, and the hostess of the Mystery told me it could be made with scraps if I didn't want to purchase yardage.
I decided to jump on the bandwagon. It is a lot of fun at the "big reveal" to see how everyone's quilts came out.
Step 1 was to choose three fabrics: a light, a dark and a medium. I decided to raid my Civil War repro bin and this is what I came up with:
The plan was to use a variety of pinks and browns, but use the same tan fabric throughout. During the Superbowl, I retreated to my sewing room and cut out all the pink and brown components.
I had the choice of 2 similar but different tan fabrics to use for the third color. However....
the amount of yardage I needed was just a little more than I had of either of them! The whole time that I was cutting up the pinks and browns, I was debating whether or not I could just use a little of both. My goal was to not purchase any fabric for this quilt, but without knowing the final block pattern, I couldn't tell what effect it would have by using 2 fabrics instead of one. After much internal debate, I decided to just go with a little of both.
I ironed the fabrics, and smoothed them out on the cutting table. It was just then that I wondered whether there was enough contrast between the pinks and the tans, so I took a bunch of the pink squares and tossed them on top:
Not enough contrast.What little I knew about this Mystery quilt was that the third color should provide good contrast with the other two fabrics. Now there was a new internal debate about whether the tan fabric would do the trick. (Did I mention I'm not a big fan of Mystery quilts?)
In the end, I had to go to the quilt store and buy yardage for the third fabric. I found a light beige with a tiny print that provided a much better contrast to the pinks.
I took my purchase home, washed it, ironed it, cut it out, and finally got to do some sewing. Here is Step 2:
Switching fabrics provided me with the inspiration for the name of this quilt. Instead of calling it "the Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt", I am going to call it "Harlequin", like the ice cream: