Mystery Quilt! Mystery of the Scrappy Thanksgiving Table Runner: Introduction & Clue 1

The Quilting Company's Thanksgiving Mystery Quilt

Are you ready for the mystery quilt thriller, The Scrappy Thanksgiving Table Runner??

We all know Thanksgiving is THE time to celebrate, be thankful for the happiness in our lives, get together with family and friends, and to EAT! We think it’s also a great time for quilters to come together to make a mystery quilt.

We are so thankful for all the mystery quilters that have participated in our recent series, Stellar Elegance and the Mystery of Halloween, visiting the TQC website for clues and sharing their progress with our Facebook group at #TQCMysteryQuilt. When Lori and I learned that we needed to push back plans for starting a holiday mystery quilt we were so disappointed that we decided to host a Scrappy Thanksgiving Table Runner mystery. (P.S. The holiday mystery is coming early November, just in time for gifting.)

The Scrappy Thanksgiving Table Runner mystery is a 4-part series.

 Lori Baker, Acquisitions Editor, Editor of Love of Quilting; Tricia Patterson, Group Editorial Director; and Denise Starck, Quilting Company Art Director

Lori Baker, Acquisitions Editor, Editor of Love of Quilting; Tricia Patterson, Group Editorial Director; and Denise Starck, Quilting Company Art Director

Lori and I decided to combine our efforts to make parts of the table runner and take turns hosting the clues for you each week. Both of us will participate in our Facebook social network at #TQCMysteryQuilt where we’ll answer your questions. We are also really looking forward to seeing your progress and project photos.

We raided the fabric stash in the office quilt studio.

We raided the fabric stash in the office quilt studio.

Lori and I knew we had a short amount of time to develop a mystery so we quickly came to two decisions. We brought in another partner-in-crime from The Quilting Company office, Denise Starck. Denise is the Quilting Company Art Director; we knew she could help us with the design of the star of our Thanksgiving table runner mystery quilt. We asked her to choose three blocks from the volumes of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks for the design. And, like many a great quilter who needs a quick gift or home accessory, it didn’t take long for us to consider the fabric we had immediately available. We raided the fabric stash accumulated in the quilting studio at the office.

Our final 6 color selections.

Our final 6 color selections.

We chose an assortment of batik fabrics in each of 6 colorways for our project. We thought they would be perfect for a Thanksgiving table runner, reminding us of all the lovely fall colors gloriously mixing as each of the green leaves turn gold, rust, red and eventually brown. We grabbed what we could from the office studio, and found more from our home quilting stash. We think the Scrappy Thanksgiving Table Runner will work with any fabric, and for any season, event or holiday.

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Materials List

Select assorted batiks or choose other fabrics. They don’t have to be of the same print but be sure to select fabrics in the same hue or shade for each color.

Turkey Gobble Tip… The yardage below makes a table runner with three 12” blocks, a 1” border 1 and 2-1/2” border 2. The finished size of the table runner is 19” x 43”.

Or make nine blocks with a 3 x 3 block layout to make a table topper. Or, if you want to go farmhouse chic for your Thanksgiving table, just keep adding blocks to make a table spread!

• 1/2 yard total assorted cream

• 3/4 yard total assorted rust

• 3/8 yard total assorted green

• 1/4 yard total assorted gold

• 1/4 yard total assorted red

• 1/4 yard total assorted medium brown

• 1/2 yard medium brown for border 2

• 1/4 yard total assorted dark brown

• 3/8 yard dark brown for border 1 and 2

• 3/4 yard binding

How do you sort your stash for a quilt?

It didn’t take long before Lori and I discovered we have a different approach for selecting fabrics from a stash. We decided it’s a mystery of its own as we watched the difference in the approach each of us took unfold. You could interpret these behaviors in so many different ways.

I select a fabric, fold it and place it in a staggered stack of like fabrics as I sorted so I could see how they work together. I “auditioned” the fabrics as a collection for the quilt as I go, often pulling one that didn’t belong as I stacked.

Lori told me she typically takes another approach.

Lori’s tub stash of batik fabrics

Lori’s tub stash of batik fabrics

She pulls out all of the fabrics that are good candidates for the project and heaps them on the table.

Lori selected all candidates from the heap

Lori selected all candidates from the heap

Then, she sorts the heap. In this case, to join the fabrics we collected to add those similar to the same hue or shade. (Please note, there is still a heap.)

First sort of Lori's fabrics

First sort of Lori’s fabrics

Next, Lori auditions the fabrics to pull out the ones that won’t work for the quilt. (Please note, the heap hasn’t changed much.)

Second sort of Lori's fabrics

Second sort of Lori’s fabrics

And now, Lori has a pile! She’s ready to go to the next step… cutting the patches.

(Lori wants me to share with you: “I actually folded the fabric here because Tricia’s fabrics were folded. If I were doing this without Tricia, I’d move the heap to the cutting table and pull fabric from the heap to cut it. I wouldn’t fold anything until I was done cutting.” And, now I’m wondering if she would iron any of the fabrics first before cutting.)

Lori's final fabric pile

Lori’s final fabric pile

All right! We are now ready to prepare for the next clue. Join Lori next week as she shares cutting and construction. Hope to see you on #TQCMysteryQuilt. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks!

Happy Quilting!


The Scrappy Thanksgiving Table Runner Mystery Quilt Series is brought to you by:
The Quilting Company


Creating for your Thanksgiving table is just the beginning. Show your colors throughout the fall season with our Autumn Leaves Table Runner and Placemat.

Autumn Leaves Table Runner and Placemat

Autumn Leaves Table Runner and Placemat

Looking for more fall-themed quilt designs? Check the August Leaves Are Falling, Leaf Quilt Pattern Roundup.

Explore more inspiration!

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