The Mystery of the Holiday Quilt: Clue 3

mystery quilt holiday clue

And here we are, ready for Clue #3 of the Mystery of the Holiday Quilt. I sure hope you are enjoying this mystery holiday quilt series as much as I am.

If this is your first visit, it’s not too late to join us for this six-clue mystery to make a throw-size quilt. You’ll find the introduction to the mystery, materials list and cutting instructions for the whole quilt top in clue #1. And, clue #2 gets you started with the first set of units and strips for the quilt top. You can still finish this quilt top to give as a gift or use to decorate your home for the holidays.

I designed this quilt to make with the Poinsettia and Pine fabric collection from Maywood Studio. You can choose another holiday fabric or any non-holiday fabric collection of your choice. You don’t have time to shop for fabric? Make it scrappy! I give some guidance for choosing fabrics in clue #1.

Clue #1: Introduction, Materials List and Cutting Instructions
Clue #2: Triangle-Square Units and Triangle-Square Strips

mystery holiday quilt

Poinsettia and Pine fabric collection from Maywood Studio

Moving Along…Mystery Holiday Quilt Clue #3

Work with the fabrics in the bag labeled Clue #3:
• 7 White Tone-on-Tone 2-1/2” strips
• 9 Black Holly Print 2-1/2” strips
• 4 Red Tone-on-Tone 2-1/2” strips [All strips measure 2-1/2” x 42” or width of fabric (WOF).]

Piecing strips is the speedy technique that will help us complete this clue.

Make 40 unit 1’s.

1. Sew 2 white tone-on-tone strips and 1 black holly print strip together as shown. Press seam allowances toward the black print to make a band A. The finished strip is 6-1/2” wide. Make 3 band A’s.

2. Crosscut each of the 3 band A’s at 2-1/2” intervals as shown to make unit 1’s. You need 40 unit 1’s total.

mystery holiday quilt

Steps 1 and 2 to make 40 unit 1’s

Make 36 unit 2’s.

3. Make 1 band B by cutting 1 red tone-on-tone strip and 1 black holly print strip in half. Each will measure 2-1/2” x 21”. Join 1 red half-strip and 2 black half-strips to make a band B. Press seam allowances toward the black print. The finished band will measure
6-1/2” x 21”.

4. Similarly, make 2 band B’s by sewing a red 2-1/2” x WOF strip and 2 black 2-1/2” x WOF strips together as shown. Press seam allowances toward the black print. These band B’s will finish at 6-1/2” x WOF.

5. Crosscut each of the 3 band B’s at 2-1/2” intervals as shown to make unit 2’s. You need 36 unit 2’s total.

mystery holiday quilt

Steps 3-5 to make 36 unit 2’s

Make 4 long pieced strips.

6. Beginning and ending with a unit 1, join 10 unit 1’s and 9 unit 2’s to make a pieced strip as shown. In the same manner make 4 long pieced strips total. Take care not to stretch the pieces as you press the seam allowances open. Each long, pieced strip should measure 6½” x 38-1/2.”

mystery holiday quilt

Steps 6a


mystery holiday quilt

Steps 6b

Make 4 Nine-Patch Units.

7. Cut 1 white tone-on-tone strip in half. Join 2 white half-strips and 1 red tone-on-tone half-strip (left over from making unit 2’s) to make a band C. Press seam allowances toward the white strips. Band C should measure 6-1/2” x 21”.

8. Crosscut band C at 2-1/2” intervals to make 8 unit 3’s.

mystery holiday quilt

Steps 7 and 8

9. Cut 1 red tone-on-tone strip and 1 black holly print strip in half. Join 2 red half-strips and 1 black print half-strip as shown to make a band D. Press seam allowances toward the black print. The strip set measures 6-1/2” x 21.” (The remaining black half-strip is extra.)

10. Crosscut the band D into 2-1/2” intervals to make unit 4’s. You need only 4 unit 4’s.

mystery holiday quilt

Step 9 and 10

11. Sew the unit 3’s and unit 4’s together to make 4 Nine-Patch units, as shown in the photo. Press seam allowances away from the center row. Each Nine-Patch unit measures 6-1/2” square.

mystery holiday quilt

Step 11

12. Sew a Nine-Patch unit to each end of two of the long pieced strips (from step 6). Press seam allowances toward the Nine-Patch units. Each of these 2 long pieced strips should measure 6-1/2” x 50-1/2.”

mystery holiday quilt

Step 12

mystery holiday quilt

Finished Long Pieced Strips

Place all 4 long pieced strips in the bag labeled Clue #3. Set aside the extra remaining pieced units and strips for a future scrap project.


Piecing strips is definitely a speedy way to make Nine-Patches! So many lovely quilts include this time-honored patchwork design. Scrolling through The Quilting Company’s video archive, I found Colleen Tauke’s animated explanation of “Skip to My Lou.” If you love 1930s prints, you’ll love this quilt. Can you imagine how fun this quilt design would look using red and green 1930s prints for a holiday quilt?

skip to my lou quilt pattern

Skip to My Lou

For more inspiration, you can download a free ebook of Nine-Patch quilt patterns.

nine patch quilt patterns

Free Nine-Patch Quilt Pattern eBook from Quilters Newsletter

You will also enjoy perusing Nine-Patches “dressed to the nines” In another free ebook, Nine-Patch Quilt Patterns, from McCall’s Quilting and McCall’s Quick Quilts.

free nine patch quilt patterns

Free eBook from McCall’s Quilting and McCall’s Quick Quilts.

And, how about Nine-Patch Stockings? Yes! Check out this collection of Christmas stockings. Can you imagine all of the Nine-Patch stockings you can make for the family with our pieced strip method?

quilted holiday stockings

Holiday Hang Ups brought to you by the Quiltmaker staff

You mastered triangle-squares in Clue #2 and pieced strips to make Nine-Patches in Clue #3. Any guesses what basic patchwork unit you’ll be migrating to in Clue #4 of the mystery holiday quilt?

See you with the next mystery holiday quilt cluet! Don’t forget to join me with the Mystery Quilt Facebook group at #TQCMysteryQuilt.

Until then…

Merry Quilting!

– Abigail

Comments (2)

  • Judy L

    Can I catch up with the clues for the Christmas Mystery Quilt? I missed some, and I couldn’t figure how to print them! Thank you

    December 1, 2018 at 4:06 pm
    • Carrie Sisk

      Hi Judy – you certainly can! All of the clues for each one of our Mystery Quilts is available as a PDF download in our #TQCMysteryQuilts Facebook group (once you’ve joined, look in the “Files” section of the group). You can request to join here: Enjoy!

      December 19, 2018 at 2:53 pm

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