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2014 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt Pattern


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A Prequel to the 2014 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt Pattern
2014 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt

Save the Day: January 1, 2014

© Janet Wickell

November 3, 2013... A few updates to the 2014 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt pattern, including yardages at the bottom of the page.

If you played along for last year's mystery quilt pattern, you'll notice two changes to options this year -- changes that I hope will avoid confusion for quilters (and me).

  • One block size
  • One set of cutting and sewing instructions, although going scrappy is very doable

Start Thinking About Fabric Choices

To be completely honest, I focused on a single mystery quilt design all summer, but changed it several times and have been tweaking the pattern. Thank goodness I have feedback and help from a member of our quilting forum, who shall remain anonymous until she decides to reveal her assistance.

Start thinking about mystery quilt fabric choices:

  • Any type of color scheme will work, from a monochromatic quilt, made up of variations of a single color (plus neutrals) to a scrap quilt. Beginning quilters might want to take a look at How to Use a Simple Color Wheel for ideas.
  • As always, contrast is essential. I know that the term 'color value' is confusing to some, but it simply refers to contrast among fabrics, and a determination of which fabrics 'pop' in the layout and which fabrics 'recede.' But yes, some of the poppi-ness (I know, that's not a word) can make dramatic changes to contrast. Take a look at Use Color Value to Choose Quilting Fabrics for details and a helpful exercise.
  • Tone on tone fabrics (appear solid from a distance, but are actually prints using variations of the same color) will work nicely in many areas, but there are also spots for larger scale prints.
  • Each quilter has a different starting point for light -- your light fabrics might be another person's mediums. That's perfectly okay, again... it's all about contrast among your own selections.
  • Even if you plan an orderly arrangement, do try to use a variety of different fabrics and make sure they offer a good amount of contrast. Scrap quilters... do the same, monitor contrast more than color (as you always do).
  • This one will be a bit difficult to write with contrast/value variations. If you're sewing from a stash, I suggest you sort through fabrics to find a group of neutrals. Just one neutral is fine, but variations might make the quilt a bit more interesting. Choose neutral fabrics that are light to medium-light in relation to other fabrics.
  • Not into neutrals? Go with versions of other colors that will recede to the background somewhat.
  • A border stripe fabric can be put to use in this quilt. It's not a requirement, but if you have one you love, set it aside; large pieces aren't required, and even a fat quarter or two will work.
  • You'll need one fabric that's much darker than the other darks -- even black. Or, you could go with a fabric that's much lighter than the other lights.

One hint: this quilt is not made using what we sometimes think of as a traditional layout. Yes, it's structured, but I will not be surprised to see everyone run with the layout to make each quilt unique.

Specific Fabric Recommendations

Use the recommendations below to become more specific with fabric choices. I'm calculating yardages... for the third time just to make sure my calculations are correct and will publish the figures for my Monday newsletter (11/4).

Going monochromatic? Choose contrasting fabrics within your color group

For Scrap Quilts

Stay within the same guidelines, but choose from an assortment of fabrics. Put groups together and walk across the room (or use another 'trick' to view them, such as looking at the fabrics through backwards-positioned binoculars). Fabrics within specific groups should blend together nicely. They needn't blend perfectly, but you'll be happier if they are close. (How to Make a Scrap Quilt)

Mystery Quilt Yardage Requirements
Yardages are somewhat generous. If you wish, bump up a bit more to allow for cutting and piecing errors.

Fabric A: 1-5/8 yards

  • A very dark fabric, even black.If working with a light palette, should be much darker than other fabrics in the quilt. I suggest using the same fabric, but if you go with scraps, they should look very similar to each other when viewed from a distance.

Fabric B: 2-3/4 yards

  • A neutral background fabric, small to medium prints are fine if they are fairly subtle. If going scrappy, choose fabrics that blend nicely with each other.

Fabric C: 1 yard

  • A dark fabric that can be a cool dark  or a warm/hot dark, but should contrast with Fabric A. Yardage can be all the same fabric or a combination of fabrics if you wish to go somewhat scrappy. If a combination, fabrics should match closely in contrast. View from across the room or use another method to make sure they blend. Don't stress to achieve perfection, but come as close as possible.

Fabric D: 1-1/2 yards

  • A medium-dark warm fabric, such as gold, that will stand out in the design without overpowering the layout.

Fabric E: 5/8 yard

  • A medium light fabric that you feel works with fabrics B through D. A neutral that's darker than B could work nicely.

Fabric F: 1/2 yard

  • A fabric that's lighter than, but works nicely with Fabric D.

Fabric G: 5/8 yard

  • Could repeat Fabric D, or choose another fabric with a bit of warm punch.

Fabric H: 1-1/4 yard

  • A true bright… either warm or cool, but something that stands out.

Fabric I: 5/8 yard

  • Could repeat fabric C, or be another fabric that falls into the same general category. For instance, if you used a dark teal for C, try a dark purple for I.

Border Stripe Print

  • Optional, but 1/2 yard should be plenty if the print has repeating motifs that can finish at from 3" to 6" in width.

Backing and batting: for a 69" x 87" quilt (backing instructions) (about cotton batting)

Binding: 340 running inches of double fold binding to finish at 1/4" -- or binding of your choice for the quilt size given (binding instructions). I prefer to purchase binding after a quilt is complete.

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