Mystery Quilt 2017#2 - Clue 1 / #QuiltvilleMystery - Zus van de Doppen

Every year my favorite designer Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) starts a mystery quilt. Everybody all over the world can sew along for free and I’m one of the many participants.

My introduction to this mystery quilt can be found HERE.

I decided to make a throw size quilt for my sister, to match the colors of her wall hangings. And because she is my sister, the working name for my quilt will be “Zus van de doppen” (Dutch for sister of the caps - don’t ask, it’s something between my sister and me).

Bonnie published the first clue on Friday 24 November 2017 and after reading and re-reading the pattern carefully, we can start cutting and sewing.

Before we start - first read these tips!

This is a list with tips from Bonnie and from the (more experienced) members of the Facebook group.

Don’t share copyrighted material! The pattern is subject to copyright so nobody is allowed to share any details of the pattern. You can save and/or print the clues for personal use only and you can direct others to Bonnie’s blog where all information can be found for free until the end of January 2018. On February 1, 2018 the pattern can be purchased online from Bonnie’s digital downloads.

This project is not a race! Take your time and work at your own pace. Some experienced quilters will have all units sewn in only a few days, where others only have sewn a handful of units before the next clue is published. If you’re not able to keep up, just print or save the clues and get back later.

No whining! Bonnie mentions this several times. So don’t say “I can’t…” or “I don’t like…” etc. but keep that to yourself. Encourage participants in a positive way when asked for opinions.

Read the instructions carefully! Bonnie puts all kind of little details in the clues and you must be sure you understand the clue completely before even thinking of cutting and sewing. So start reading, re-reading and reading again. If you still have questions: ASK! All members of the Facebook group are very helpful!

Don’t cut all required pieces at once! Sometimes you have to cut and sew a lot of units (like 120 or so). Start with cutting and sewing a few units first (six or so) and check whether they end up as described in the pattern. Bonnie says: “MEASURE  MEASURE  MEASURE !” If they do, you can continue cutting and sewing. If they don’t you have to find out what went wrong and start the testing process again. If you have only just enough fabric for the pattern you may want to use some scraps from other fabrics for practice. Make sure the units are the right size before you make them all.

Don’t cut all your fabrics at once! Cut only the fabric that is required for a certain clue and not more. Often it happens that the same color is used in other clues, but other shapes and sizes are required. Soo… cut a few, sew a few.

Sew accurately! Bonnie designs wonderful quilts. Take your time to set the seam allowances and placement correct. Because you will be sewing a lot of the same units your skills will improve with each clue. Even if this is your first project, when you have finished the top you have learned so much that you are confident to start anything else – at least that was my experience only three years ago.

Have fun! This is supposed to be a treat for quilters. We love to see pictures of your progress and mistakes (oops) in both the Facebook group and Bonnie’s blog (Mystery Monday Link-Up pages).

The full list of Mystery Quilt Tips & Tricks can be found HERE

And here we go!

The first clue is an easy one, nine-patches, and not too many of them. For me it is even less as I’m planning to make a throw size (approx. 60 x 60 inches / 150 x 150 cm). Following Bonnie’s tips I’m only sewing half of the required units first and do the math of the required units for my preferred size later.

For sewing strips together I love to use my little seam guide. You just screw it on the surface of your sewing machine (only possible if your machine has hole to put a screw in), adjust it to the correct seam allowance and off you go! All seams will be the same.

A few hours later my part of the first unit is finished. Don’t they look pretty?

Every Monday after releasing a clue Bonnie gives all participants the opportunity to share their progress by submitting a picture on the dedicated Mystery Monday Link-Up page. It’s a great way to see alternative color ways some participants are working with.

Now we have to wait five more days for the next clue. Fortunately I have another project I can work on – hand quilting a baby quilt for grandchild no. 3 who is expected in four weeks from now.

Do you want to join the mystery? You still can! (Available on Bonnie’s blog until end January 2018).


An overview of all my quilt related post scan be found here.

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