Could You Make a Mystery Quilt?

Could You Make a Mystery Quilt?

McCall's Quilting magazine March/April 2012While some love unplanned adventures, blogger Summer Huggins prefers to have a map. Here, she has to decide whether or not to take McCall’s Quilting mystery quilt challenge. 

I just started quilting last year. I make a ritual of reading the instructions for each quilt from the very first word to the very last–sometimes more than once–before even reaching for a single piece of fabric. I’m still a beginner, after all.

However, now I’m going to have to change my routine because McCall’s Quilting magazine is trying to challenge that ritual.

Starting with their January/February issue and lasting for three full issues, they’re helping quilters create a mystery quilt–a quilt readers begin without yet having the full instructions. My hands almost sweat just thinking about it.

Still, I’m trying to learn the lessons the McCall’s staff is sharing with me, like enjoying every step of the process and taking care when choosing my fabrics.

Step one in the January/February issue was doing just that. The magazine offered tips and tricks for choosing fabrics that work well together and complement each other nicely. We even got to see the fabrics they had chosen as inspiration–they’ve been quilting along with readers, of course! They then outlined the fabric requirements for each of the four fabric choices for the mystery quilt, and readers started cutting their own fabric selections into squares.

Cutting squares without even knowing where I’m going with all these pieces? I still can’t decide if I can do it. My hands definitely sweating now.

Step two in the March/April issue had quilters begin to put the squares from step one together and add some other pieces. Step three–the final installment of the mystery quilt series–will come out in the June/July issue.

Several groups on Facebook and other online forums feature quilters showing off what they’ve done so far. I even saw two sisters who live across the country from each other and are each going to make the mystery quilt and then swap them as gifts for each other. It’s a sweet way to do a project together with so many miles between them.

Imagine getting into your car and just driving, not knowing where the road or your car would take you. It could be an exciting prospect for some. For others, like me, not having a full plan, destination and map in hand can be a little nerve-wracking. I just can’t decide. Should I drive ahead at full speed and start my mystery quilt?