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Can't do mysteries...nope!

Can't do mysteries...nope!

Old 11-05-2020, 07:48 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Walker Missouri
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Originally Posted by Julienm1 View Post
Can't do mystery quilts. Can't do block of the month. Can't buy mystery quilt bundles. My crazy brain wants to see the finished product to see what to use. Mystery bundles...afraid of clinkers/clunkers. MSQC has great daily deal today but just can't push that submit button...lol https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/dailydeal
I have had this conversation twice this week. I cannot do random either e.g. put fabric pieces in a bag and pull out and sew. I must have a plan and rearrange until I am pleased. For the first time ever I am doing a Sweetpea mystery Christmas block of the week (machine embroidery quilt). Could not. Had to get at least 6 blocks and develop a color scheme before I would even continue to do the blocks. I admire people who can just throw things together randomly and they come out looking nice. I have just accepted the fact that my personality does not allow that!
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:55 AM
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I think it is fun to read along with the mystery quilt projects as they roll out, and particularly to check out the pictures posted by those sewing along. But, actually doing one without knowing the ending - nope, definitely not for me. For me, one of the things I really enjoy in almost most every project is planning out what result I aiming for. I enjoy tweaking things so that I can end up with something that is exactly what I want. So, giving up that control does not appeal to me.

Last fall, at my guild's quilt show, there were two quilts that someone had made and the blurb explained that they were from a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt project - when the time came to put the two types of blocks together, the quilter felt they just didn't work well together. By making extra blocks, she was able to get two decent quilts out of it, but I imagine it was disappointing to try to follow the color guidelines and then end up something that didn't seem pleasing.

I could see myself sometime trying a *small* mystery quilt - say wall hanging size. There the time and fabric commitment is so much less, that a disappointing result would not be so significant.

One fun thing with reading along with the mystery quilts as they happen is guessing which fabric combos are going to more or less well together. It's particularly interesting watching someone get good results with a color palette that is one that I'm not very drawn to - I feel it's a great example of watching color theory play out, and I learn things. But for me, I'm more inclined to stretch my color skills by using a kit or example of a color combo that I would not create on my own. My favorite of this type is a Jinny Beyer quilt that has many colors and includes orange, dark pink and red pieces all touching each other. In my childhood, I was taught that those colors do not belong together (for clothes and such), so putting them together was radical. The result is a dramatic quilt that I love. But, I was comfortable doing the radical (for me!) combination *because* I knew what the end result would be.

I think another big factor is whether you are mainly quilting for yourself (and/or family) or mainly quilting to donate the end quilt. With the latter approach, it is not a big deal to end up with a less than stellar end quilt - undoubtedly there is someone out there will who love almost any quilt one can create.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:47 AM
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I don't buy mystery fabric bundles. I don't like those kinds of surprises lol

The one exception would be Jinny Beyer. I always love her fabrics.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 434

Just figured out what I also like a lot about Bonnie's mystery quilts
1. Uses up a lot of my little scraps sorted into color families
2. Are very easy to quilt quickly on my long arm as there is so much busy and colors and I can just do an overall free motion something. Quilting my top is the hardest part for me...trying to decide what I can with my limited skill set when long arming
3. Are usually designed big enough to actually use on a queen sized bed
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:05 AM
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I always save the instructions for the mystery quilts, then decide at the end if it might be a quilt i would like. Small/wall/doll/mini quilt mysteries are diff. LOVE small quilts, not as much time and investment if I don't like it.
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Old 11-07-2020, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by aashley333 View Post
I have too many ideas swimming around up there to blindly follow someone else's directions.
This is exactly how I feel! But then blindly following anything has never been my style.
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Old 11-07-2020, 06:39 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ballwin, MO
Posts: 3,237

I had not so much as heard of mystery quilts when I noticed a thread here a few years ago about a Bonnie Hunter mystery. I didn't click on it, but then noticed how quickly the thread was adding pages; I had never seen a thread grow at such a rapid pace, and I thought, 'I wonder what's going on here.' I then proceeded to read the entire thread, and got caught up in the excitement. That was the Grand Illusion mystery. It was the most fun I'd had in recent years, apart from when we redid our kitchen and I got to pick out all the cabinet and counter colors. The fun for me was in the community aspect of the event -- following all the hubub, both here and on Bonnie's facebook page, seeing people's color choices, watching their progress, and of course, bursting with curiosity and anticipation to find out what we were making.

I do have one regret about that first mystery. I had a very strong urge to use a single neutral in one of the clues, but I wasn't confident enough to make that choice because I had no experience with how things pan out in a mystery. I realized in retrospect that it would have been a great choice, and I still kind of entertain the idea of appliqueing this fabric onto every neutral piece in that clue! I've since accepted that the trade-off for all the fun of enjoying the mystery is that you don't always make optimal fabric choices. I've always liked my mystery results, but always have something that I would have done differently had I not been working blind.
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:35 AM
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Every quilt is somewhat of a mystery when you are choosing your own fabrics from what is in the stash. They only look like the picture if you buy a kit!
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Old 11-08-2020, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by quilting cat View Post
Every quilt is somewhat of a mystery when you are choosing your own fabrics from what is in the stash. They only look like the picture if you buy a kit!
I've found that even a kit is not a guarantee. I bought a Jinny Beyer quilt kit, in part because I loved how a section with light blues in it really glowed. When the kit arrived, the blues were rather gray and did not give the glow effect. I went shopping and found lighter blues that gave the effect I wanted. I also notice that some of the fabrics were different from the printed key in the instructions - I think over time some fabrics had been retired and been replaced with others. So, even a kit is not an absolute guarantee. LOL.
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Old 11-09-2020, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 63

I might enjoy doing one from a designer I am totally confident would do something I would really use in my home (or would be suitable for my Mom or sister). But my quilting/sewing time is toooo valuable (and limited due to work) to do something mostly for the social aspect or to fill the time. The ones I have seen don’t often match my desires even though they are very well done. So the odds of me doing one anytime soon are pretty slim. Maybe when retirement rolls around I might like it to motivate me to try some things I would not pick for myself...open my mind to other styles. But not yet!
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