Mainlining a Mystery…

4 09 2015

Quilt, that is.

After finishing with August’s contribution to the Travel Bee-utiful Swap, I considered my options. I’m very, very close to finishing my Swirling Sea of Stars – so close, I only need to complete three blocks.

Could I find the oomph to finish those blocks?

Of course not.

Instead, I started another new project. Desert Bloom Quilting, for whom I’d tested a baby quilt that hasn’t posted to this block, has been posting instructions for a mystery quilt for the last few months. The instructions have been posted at the rate of about one clue per week, since about May. The final clue was to be posted today.

This past Sunday, August 30, I decided to start this mystery quilt. I started pulling fabrics:

DBQ Mystery - Fabric Picks

I used the ‘dark’ fabric as my inspiration for the other fabrics. It’s actually more of a medium value, in comparison to the three solid fabrics. I went with it as the ‘dark’ anyway, as it’s the only print in the batch.

For those who are curious:

Light Fabric – Connecting Threads solid. No longer sure which color.
Medium 1 Fabric – Kona Cotton Berry
Medium 2 Fabric – Cotton & Steel Solid in Peacock
Dark Fabric: Effervescence Bubbles in Bright, by Amanda Caruso for Robert Kaufman

And, yes, everything was already in my stash. Well, except for being short NINE INCHES of the Kona Berry. I ended up ordering some online, and then got impatient and bought a yard at Joann’s for the ridiculous price of $8.99 a yard. I call that price ‘highway robbery’.

I’m quite pleased that I shopped my stash. I ended up using everything I had of the Connecting Threads solid, have enough Kona Berry left to bind the quilt, and only have about 3/4 of a yard of the Effervescence left. So, fabrics pulled, I then proceeded to make the entire quilt top, per the clues. I ended up finishing the top on Wednesday night:

DBQ Mystery - Quilt TopI then had to decide on a border. I don’t normally feel the need to add a border to a quilt top, but I definitely thought this top needed it. Per the fabric instructions, I had more than enough of the Effervescence to simply add a 2″ to 4″ border, but I didn’t feel like that was an effective use of the fabric.

The reason for that is that the Effervescence print actually includes a 9″ border print along the length of the yardage. This single border is why I bought the fabric, and so much of it. I’d thought I might make a skirt out of it.

I posted a few options to the subreddit /r/quilting, and got some wonderful feedback. Based on these suggestions, I ended up deciding to add a thin (1″ wide) Kona Berry border, and then to add another, more complex 9″ wide one:

DBQ Mystery Quilt Top - Bordered II

The border was added Thursday night, after I’d had a nap. My body decided I’d shorted it on sleep too often, in order to sew.

I did make a mistake when piecing the border. If you look at the bottom of the photo, the border print is actually cut at the wrong direction… I cut a trapezoid, rather than a parallelogram. Honestly, I’m not going to change it. I’m happy with the quilt as it is, and these things happen. At least the quilt top is finished, and is flat and square.

Desert Bloom Quilting named her quilt top ‘Secret Garden.’ I think I’m going to name mine Secret Spice Garden, as a nod to her design and to my color choices.

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