I am really excited to get this mystery quilt underway, but first, let me introduce myself and the quilt and also explain a bit about mysteries. My name is Debi Montgomery. I’ve been designing mystery quilts for the Quilter’s Club of America website since 2015.
I am an American living in New Zealand. Our seasons are reversed as we are in the southern hemisphere and we are the first to see the sun, we are ahead of the west coast by almost an entire day! I enjoy making other designer’s mysteries, but I have found I also love to design and offer mysteries. I have been making quilts for more than ten years, beginning to design about six years ago. I think I have made somewhere along the lines of 100 quilts. I love the process and find I enjoy the challenge of learning new things.
I found my inspiration for this quilt from my granddaughter. She was about 9 at the time, this was a couple of years ago. She was playing with my quilt design app and did some very nice designs. I have used one of them in a past mystery quilt. She had started one (this one…Stellar Elegance) and hadn’t finished. So, I took up the baton and decided it was time to finish.
The look of this quilt is amazing and has a secondary design as well. Many of you who have made my mysteries in the past, know I love to make quilts with at least two designs depending on how you look at it. Here are two of my completed mystery quilts (as you can see the dog enjoys approving the quilts). I also love colour and contrast while finding ways to encourage you to step out of the box to try new things.
So, what is a mystery quilt? On day one the final design is a mystery to everyone (but me of course), all you know are the fabric requirements and finished size. Each week you are given another “clue” for six weeks or so, depending on the extent of the quilt. I will be here to help and encourage you through the entire process. For this quilt here’s how the clues will arrive in your inbox (look for them in the Quilting Company newsletter on each of these days):
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For fabric selection, I’ll give you suggestions such as light, medium, dark, or whether non-directional or directional prints are ok. For a scrap quilt option I try to let you know the biggest single scrap you would need (ie. 2-1/2” or 6” square); and colour combinations that would look good together. In the end, the choice is yours and I love seeing my pattern in other colour ways.
There is always more than one way of doing things, and you will find I offer you your choice of ways to make a certain section of a block (flying geese and half square triangles, for instance). I want you to have fun and enjoy seeing the mystery unfold.
As you get comfortable feel free to change up the size, colour way (light vs dark, etc), border or no border, or even design your own border, the sky is the limit and there are no rules!
Clue #1 and Fabric Requirements for Stellar Elegance
I am in love with the pattern and will tell you a little about it so you can choose your colorway and fabrics. Most, if not all, of my designs will work with a controlled colour plan or scrappy. I tend to stay scrappy, but keep the colours controlled within each set because I tend to make larger bed size quilts and don’t have enough of a single piece to make the quota of what’s required. For Stellar Elegance, I chose three colours: light (background), medium, and dark.
The mystery quilt is a throw-sized, 56” x 68”. The fabric requirements for the throw size are listed below. You can also make it bed sizes: twin, queen, or kcling. I love the pattern so much that I made the made the pattern again, king-sized, for my bed!
Note, the yardages include a small border. I added a bit of a buffer for boo-boos.
Dark: 1-5/8 yards
Medium: 1-1/4 yards
Light: 3 yards for background
Binding: 1/2 yard (for 2-1/2” x 40” width)
I suggest you not choose a directional print for any of the fabrics for this design. Directional prints, particularly for the background fabric, can make the assembly more confusing.
Use two shades of the same fabric for your light and dark fabrics (i.e., navy and light blue) with a “pop” fabric, one that will make the medium fabric stand out. OR, you could completely reverse and use the dark as your background and light as your dark. It would also work as a monochrome, as long as you have an amazing contrast between your three hues. In future posts, I will use the terms “dark”, “medium”, and “light” for the fabric you need to use in each circumstance. My colour choices are shown below.
Contrast is important in this quilt. The higher the contrast in your fabrics, the better the detail of the pattern will jump out. With only three colours we can play with contrast and show off secondary patterns.
This quilt will work for either a controlled fabric layout, or scrappy choices. I used scrappy for my background and my medium; my dark is the only controlled colour.
We will be using a template (provided with clue #4), the tri-recs ruler, and the easy and companion angle (or the Omnigrid Half & Quarter Ruler), as well as your normal rotary cutter and ruler for straight cuts.
Click here to download a PDF version of the fabric instructions and join in on the Stellar Elegance mystery quilt!
P.S. We also invite you to get social and share your mystery quilt progress on Instagram! Use hashtag #TQCmysteryquilt to share your fabric selections and every moment along the way.