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Have Fun Making the 2013 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt

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Meet the 2013 Mystery Quilt
2013 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt Pattern

Two possible sets of fabric for an orderly mystery quilt; note that an extra fabric is shown in the second row, and replaces a repeated fabric in the first row

Janet Wickell

Get Ready to Stitch the Mystery Quilt

Let's start talking about the 2013 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt. This year, I'll release a few cutting instructions sometime in early December, possibly sooner, and a few sewing steps will go live on New Year's Eve. Early release will allow our friends outside of the United States to start sewing when their New Year's Day arrives, and help other quilters who aren't able to sew that day.

New steps will be released about every 1-1/2 hours on New Year's Day (or more often -- I'll watch the Forum to see how quilters are progressing).

Last year, I wrote the mystery quilt pattern with a 'design your own' quilt attitude, and gave a suggested layout later in the day. Not everyone was pleased with that, so yes... this year the design is 'set in stone,' but I am positive we will see loads of creative variations.

Talk About the Quilt in the Forum

Fabric Suggestions

As always, this year's mystery quilt is all about color value and color dominance. The drawing above illustrates two potential palettes -- please do not try to duplicate the colors, because they are only meant show a couple of dark to light progressions. I'll replace the image with photos of actual fabrics soon.

  • Fabrics can contrast more with each other -- quite a bit if that's your choice
  • More warms and hots can be added (the purples in the top row aren't very warm -- that's easy to fix)
  • Your 'very dark' can be lighter than the darkest bar on the left, and if it is, your progression to light might be very different

Even though values are somewhat similar in each row, fabrics are repeated in the quilt in a way that creates contrast.

Below you'll find suggested yardages for mystery quilts made with 12" blocks (check back for the 6" block option). I know that many quilters will be sewing from their stash, and some will stitch scrap quilts. Instructions will include both options, but please do not purchase fabrics yet -- yardages are included to help you evaluate your stash to decide if you already have enough fabric on hand to sew. We'll firm-up the yardages as feedback comes in from the quilters who've graciously offered to test this pattern.

The larger quilt finishes at about 52" x 68". The smaller version is half that size.

Fabrics for Scrap Quilts

Start sorting your scraps by color value and color dominance. Some of the scrap sizes below are a bit larger than you'll actually need -- just in case squaring-up is necessary. Do not cut fabrics.

Image shows fabrics from dark to light -- fabrics below are not in that order, because your choices will differ.

Very Dark

  • (17) scraps at least 4" square
  • (34) scraps at least 2-1/4" x 5"
  • (28) scraps at least 2-1/4" x 2-3/4"
  • (3) scraps at least 4-1/2" x 4-1/2"
  • (4) scraps at least 3-1/4" x 3-1/4"
  • (24) scraps at least 5" x 5"

Medium Dark Warm or Hot

  • (48) scraps at least 2-5/8" x 4-5/8"

Light Neutral OR Very Hot

  • (24) scraps at least 5" x 5"
  • (48) scraps at least 2-3/8" x 4-5/8"

Medium Warm

Could be the same as the light neutral or very hot above; second row illustrates using second fabric

  • (12) scraps at least 4-5/8" x 4-5/8"
  • (34) scraps at least 2-1/4" x 5"
  • (28) scraps at least 2-1/4" x 2-3/4"
  • (12) scraps at least 4-1/2" x 4-1/2"

Lighter Warm or Neutral

To contrast with medium warm above.

  • (34) scraps at least 2-1/4" x 5"
  • (28) scraps at least 2-1/4" x 2-3/4"

Light Cool

Contrasts with all fabrics above.

  • (6) scraps at least 5" x 5"
  • (9) squares at least 8" x 8"
  • (10) scraps at least 2-3/4" x 5"
  • (4) scraps at least 2-3/4" x 2-3/4"
  • (2) scraps at least 5-1/4" x 5-1/4"

Yardages for Orderly Quilts

Generous to allow for cutting boo-boos.

Very dark: 1-3/4 yards

Medium Warm: 1-3/4 yards

Lighter Warm or Neutral: 1 yard

Light Cool: 1-1/4 yard

Light Neutral OR Very Hot: 1-1/4 yard

Medium Dark Warm: 3/4 yard

Other Materials

Quilt backing: yardage depends on how it is configured, see the quilt backing instructions

Quilt batting: low loft batting, about 62" x 78" Quilt binding: about 270 running inches of continuous binding to finish at 1/4"

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