Mystery Quilt! Stellar Elegance, Welcome and Fabric Selections

Mystery Quilt Stellar Elegance Clue 1

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.

Past Mystery Quilt from Debi Montgomery
Past Mystery Quilt from Debi Montgomery

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):

If you aren’t on our email list, you can sign up below and we’ll also email you a copy of today’s mystery quilt instructions!

*By providing your email address you will begin to receive our newsletters, special offers, and more free content from The Quilting Company. After you hit submit, your free PDF will be emailed to the address you entered on the form.

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!

 Are you ready to get started? Without further adieu here are the instructions for week one.

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!

Fabric Requirements

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)

Choosing fabrics:

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.

Mystery Quilt: Stellar Elegance color choices

my colour choices

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.

Comments (49)

  • Sheila D

    …..and, here we go!!!! Hi Debi!

    April 27, 2018 at 7:49 am
  • Linda V

    This is my first Mystery Quilt. Looking forward to the challenge!

    April 27, 2018 at 2:08 pm
    • Debi M

      Hope you enjoy yourself! I’m always here to help with colors and any questions you may have!!

      April 28, 2018 at 11:06 am
  • Vickie B

    Do you have to use the particular rulers you note in the supply list or can others be used to achieve the same result?

    April 27, 2018 at 5:36 pm
  • Marsha M

    Debi, My internet finally stayed on long enough for me to download clue 1!!! It is no fun living out here in the “boonies” with our expensive, barely functioning internet. We must be going through a bad spell for Verizon signals right now. Phones are just a little bit better, but barely. I was shut down 4 or 5 times before I got to at least see the download appear and have now captured it!. Thank you so much for all your work and all the frustrations you have gone through to get this Mystery on it’s way to us. Need to go stash-diving now – so many fabrics that need using up. I could probably make several without buying a thing!.

    April 27, 2018 at 7:23 pm
  • Dino C

    This is just my size, so I am going to search my stash tonight, I am a real sucker for a mystery and your past ones look really cool. Like the idea of three colors and pattern within a pattern.

    April 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm
  • Christine Y

    Excited to continue being able to participate in your mysteries Debi! Have loved participating in your others loved them. I am off to pick fabrics. Thank you

    April 27, 2018 at 7:44 pm
    • Christine Y

      Sorry I posted 3 times my comment was not showing up. Now I know it was slow to post.

      April 30, 2018 at 7:00 am
      • Tiffany Warble

        Sorry about that Christine. We have a system of approving comments before they go up, so there’s sometimes a delay. Thanks for your patience!


        April 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm
  • Dawn C

    This sounds super fun. First mystery wuilt for me! The waiting for the final week to see what has been created. Im thinking i need more patience. LOL

    April 27, 2018 at 10:47 pm
  • Christine Y

    I am excited to be able to participating in another mystery hosted by you Debi! Have loved doing the past 4 with you . Going to go see what I have to make this one with. Thank you Debi.

    April 27, 2018 at 10:53 pm
  • Christine Y

    Excited to do another mystery hosted by you Debi.

    April 27, 2018 at 10:54 pm
  • Kathryn S

    Looking forward to the end result. Hi from northern CA

    April 28, 2018 at 1:54 am
  • lynda h

    My first also, I cannot afford the tools , I hove several rules, can I use another one instead with no trouble?

    April 28, 2018 at 3:15 am
    • Debi M

      I can give you options for other rulers on all but one of the rulers. I would have to draw another template and that takes a lot of time. I drew one for this one, I had to send it to the “engineers” at the quilting company to make the actual template. It would be so much easier if you have the tri-recs, all others are not as important. Hope this helps. Ask along the way about how to get the same affect with your rulers.

      Hope this helps!

      April 28, 2018 at 8:07 pm
  • Tiffany Warble

    Hi Debi! Do you think I could possibly use a fat quarter collection for this quilt? Or maybe just for one or two of the options needed? I have this beautiful set from cotton + steel I’ve been dying to use. Thanks!

    April 28, 2018 at 5:19 pm
    • Debi M

      You can definitely use a fat quarter collection. I know your largest single unit is no larger than a 6-1/2 inch square, so fat quarters would work for at least some of your options. I can’t wait to see how this one comes out!! GO FOR IT!!

      April 28, 2018 at 8:09 pm
  • Dino C

    I had a 3 yard piece given to me by a friend, it is dark so I am reversing my colors. Funny I usually do as I like darker quilts-white and cream get dirty to easily(having 3 big black hairy dogs…) This time I was not going to. I also planned to use my stash, but alas I found I just had to -yep force to- buy fabrics to go with my dark. I found a light that goes with the green and touch of gold in the dark and a gorgeous gold for the POP. I was checking for a FB page to share but didn’t see a link. I am excited to start this.

    April 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm
  • Debi M

    For the questions about the rulers: I have found that having these rulers saves money in the long run…you will use less fabric, hence your cost savings. However, you can make do with your straight ruler, the template, and the tri-recs. If you don’t have the tri-recs, it is a worthy investment. I would have to draw another template for this one and it is a little bit of a tedious process (not that I’m not willing) as I draw it then it goes to the “engineers” at The Quilting Company to be re-drawn as a template using my specs. Takes time to get all this done. The companion angle and easy angle can be replaces with the quarter and half square ruler from Fons and Porter, however we could have a workaround for these.

    In a nutshell, if you can afford the tri-recs ruler, that would be the one that I would purchase first. The other ones are tools to help us save money on fabric. Hope this helps.

    April 28, 2018 at 8:27 pm
  • Glenys P

    I haven’t done one of your mystery quilts before, so looking forward to this one. I did have several questions, but two have already been answered (using fat quarters & about the rulers). For the background, will a plain or mat colour be OK? I have either dark or light (black, purple or cream) that could go with fat quarters from my stash? To try to make a dint in my stash I have made a promise that I will only purchase fabric this year if I need it for borders or backing as I have so much I should try to start to use.

    April 30, 2018 at 2:39 am
    • Debi M

      Hi Glenys,
      Of course a mat or plain colour will be ok. I used a print for mine, but this pattern would look amazing if all were solid colours, mat or plain colours, tone on tone…. the only caution I have in with directional prints. I love your “use my stash” rule…I may implement it. I have used only my stash for my quilts for a while, but I have a few quilts lying around that aren’t finished as I don’t have a piece big enough for the backing! I may just have to purchase for these. Thanks for the idea, it saves me making a reversible quilt!

      Have a great week and enjoy stash busting for this one!!

      April 30, 2018 at 11:24 pm
  • Debi M

    Also, for the questions about pics, we are working toward getting hashtags ready for Instagram. When we are all ready to go, we will let you know. I can’t wait to see your fabrics!!!!

    April 30, 2018 at 11:36 pm
  • Allura S

    I’ve never done a mystery quilt before, however, just a few days ago I was talking to my friend who called to wish me Happy Birthday and I’ve known since 1960, we were in the 8th grade together. She told me she was doing a Mystery Quilt! Sounds like a lot of fun and looking forward to the challenge.

    May 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm
    • Debi M

      Thanks for joining us. We love the sense of community and encouragement we find in making a mystery together. We are so happy you found us. Can’t wait to see your progress!

      May 2, 2018 at 11:46 pm
  • Beverley M

    Hi, Will we be able to do this mystery without buying the rulers suggested. Will we be able to use the rulers we have?

    May 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm
    • Debi M

      Hi Beverley,
      Yes, you can use your rulers. I have given you a template to use, but if you have the “tri-recs” ruler, you should be sweet. I am certain the other rulers will have a workaround. These rulers save time and money in the long run, well worth the investment. I use mine all the time!

      Glad you are joining us!

      May 4, 2018 at 9:49 pm
  • Brenda C

    Thanks for letting me join this challenge it will give me another project this one looks exciting can’t wait to start

    May 2, 2018 at 5:47 pm
    • Debi M


      Just under a week now and we get the second installment (first time to cut and sew). I am so excited!


      May 4, 2018 at 9:52 pm
  • Helen T

    Luckily today I got notification on Facebook. Looking forward to getting started Debi. Thanks so much for doing another mystery!!

    May 2, 2018 at 7:59 pm
    • Debi M

      Hi Helen!

      Glad you found us! I am really excited about this one, it’s one of my top two favorites. I am even working on another one!!

      EEK, I am having way too much fun!

      May 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm
  • Rosemary G

    Can you tell us the names and manufacturer of the fabrics you’re using. The colors you picked would actually go great for a throw in my family room. Or, did they just come from your stash and aren’t available anymore? Thanks.

    May 5, 2018 at 3:34 pm
    • Debi M

      The black/brown is 3’s Company by Thimbleberries c2009 by RJR Fabrics. One of the “reds” is called “Grunge” but I can’t remember who makes it. They do a green and other colors as well. The rest of the fabrics are from my stash, most bought at my local quilt shop. There may be some in there from JoAnns, but not many. I’m truly sorry I can’t be of more help. Just have fun with it and see what you can come up with. I can tell you this combination is absolutely beautiful on my bed!

      May 8, 2018 at 6:53 am
  • Nataly H


    First time I do a mystery quilt.
    Happy to do it and anxious to start.
    A simple question about the fabric choice : solid “ombré” will be ok or not since you have pale shade or darker in a single piece?

    Note : I’m French-Canadian, so thank you to excuse the mistakes I can make in my spelling.

    May 10, 2018 at 4:51 am
    • Debi M

      The fabric choices are yours, if you can see a good contrast between your three colours, you will be very happy with your colours. If you love your ombre, please use it!! I can’t wait to see what you’re coming up with. Please join the Facebook page if you haven’t already and share your pics!

      Happy to have you along!

      May 25, 2018 at 9:07 pm
  • Peg G

    My first mystery quilt. It sounds like fun! I have two friends who are working on it, too. We have our fabrics chosen and are eagerly awaiting today’s clue! It is May 11th (also my parents anniversary and my brother & sister in law’s – it is a good day!).

    May 11, 2018 at 8:21 pm
  • Dottie N

    I’m wondering how I can find clue 2 or is a link e-mailed? Thanks!

    May 15, 2018 at 12:36 am
  • Dottie N


    May 16, 2018 at 1:40 am
  • Gail W

    Hi from Iowa! This is my first mystery quilt. In Clue#2 we make flying geese. It says finished 6” x 3”, so that means 6 1/2” x 3 1/2” right? Or are they supposed to be trimmed now?

    May 16, 2018 at 9:20 pm
    • Debi M

      The flying geese should be 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ right now, once in our quilt they will measure the smaller measurement. Please don’t trim any smaller than 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ now.


      May 25, 2018 at 9:09 pm
  • Kerensa S

    I tried to get clue #1 but get a 404 error. I have clue 2. How do I get clue 1? Anxious to get started. 🙂

    May 18, 2018 at 3:13 pm
    • Quilting Company Staff

      Kerensa, thanks for your comment! To note, this page is Clue One, but there *was an error in the link. That’s now been updated and we’ve added a link to Clue 3 (released *just this morning) that’s now up and running as well. We hope you enjoy the Mystery Quilt!

      May 18, 2018 at 3:25 pm
  • Michelle G

    Hi Deb, I’m in New Zealand, Te Kuiti, as well and am wondering if the tools are available here please as would be quicker and easier on the postage costs ?. Thankyou. I have just found this Mystery Quilt and love the idea. I am also wondering if you could give the fabric requirement/guidelines for the queen size as I don’t really do the knee rug size. Thank you, Michelle

    May 22, 2018 at 5:29 am
    • Debi M

      I am in Rotorua, if you need anything, just let me know. I can let you borrow, or find them for you and let you know. I bought mine from overseas, but I have seen some of them at Spotlight. I’ll be on the lookout for you. My email is send me an email and we can get connected that way about the rulers.


      May 25, 2018 at 9:11 pm
  • Debi M

    Michelle, In that email, ask about the queen size (this will be gorgeous! I did the king) and I will forward you those requirements. Can’t wait!

    May 25, 2018 at 9:13 pm
  • patricia n

    i have been checking for the last clue..any idea when it will be loaded?

    June 18, 2018 at 9:36 am

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