Get Ready to Make the New Year's Day Mystery QuiltIt's December 14th, just a couple of weeks from New Year's Day, 2010, and time to think about fabric selections for the New Year's Day Mystery Quilt.
A scrappy quilt was the top response in the mystery quilt poll I posted in November, but I have heard from quite a few people who want to sew a more orderly design. The pattern will work for either.
Let's start by talking about fabrics. The mystery quilt pattern is all about color value and warmth. If you are working with scraps, begin sorting them. If you are buying quilting fabric, preview some combinations.
The quilt does not have a border and it measures 48" x 64", on the smallish side since we're dealing with sewing a quilt top in a day. It's easy to make it larger if you wish.
One fabric is very dark -- even black. Even if you're going scrappy, consider using the same fabric or similar fabrics in those positions, to tie the design together. It should be a mottled print, a tone on tone, or another fabric that won't compete with other prints in the quilt.
Yardages listed are generous for the 48" x 64" quilt. Double up if you want to expand the size.
To Make an Orderly Quilt:
1-1/4 yards each of four different fabrics. Choose tone on tone, mottled, multicolor and other small to medium prints. Print scale should differ among fabrics, but large prints on a solid background won't work very well.
Make a window template that measures about 3" x 5" and place it randomly on the fabric. Do you like what you see in a piece that size? Ideally, the print should flow continuously within that window.
1-1/2 yard of a very dark fabric as described above.
- 2 cool quilting fabrics, one somewhat lighter than the other (example: a blue and a green, one lighter than the other; both should be visible when placed against your dark)
- 2 warm quilting fabrics, one somewhat lighter than the other (example: a red and a gold, one lighter than the other; both should be visible when placed against your dark)
To Make a Scrappy Quilt:
Your choices will be the same, but you'll have lots of warms and lots of cools. Begin sorting your fabrics by color warmth and value, coming up with a piles for each of the fabrics listed above: cools, a light stack and a darker stack; warms, a light stack and a darker stack.
Where you start with "light" is up to you. Just make sure that your darkest cool or warm is visible against the fabric(s) chosen for the dark.
Beginning quilters who aren't accustomed to sorting by value, or choosing fabric based on warmth, should read both of these articles before buying or sorting fabric. Experiment a bit with the concepts before choosing fabrics for your quilt.
Bookmark this page (or make it a Favorite). I'll add to it as we move towards the first. I'll upload photos of my fabric choices in a bit, but for now I don't want to intrude on your own choices. And I'll add some cutting instructions, too.