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Thread: Dumb question -- any ideas?

  1. #1
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    Question Dumb question -- any ideas?

    Not really sure where to post, so I hope this is okay. I lurk a lot on the boards but issues with life have kept me from doing much this year. Anyway... I will preface my question with this: I do not always play well with others and I rarely excel at playing "follow the leader" blindly down the garden path.


    I belong to a quilting group that although filled with wonderful ladies, it could use some serious organization and planning, at least in my opinion.


    Our group is supposed to work on homework for our next meeting. Apparently it is a major secret what the project is going to be. I'm not confident in my ability to use good judgement in placing values/scales/colors in quilt blocks when I don't have a clue what the heck I'm supposed to be making. Yep, I'm one of those who doesn't like secrecy or mystery unless I'm reading a book or watching TV. I like to see the ending from the beginning so I have a clue of what to aim for.

    Our homework:
    2 sets of strips, WOF x at least 22 inches. Strips can vary in width and that is encouraged: 1.5 to 2.75 in wide
    background squares of white cut to 12 1/2 inches, with a mark 3 inches from each corner
    4 inch squares, 10 each of 2 colors to showcase in the blocks, cut on diagonal and then have the diagonal pressed under 1/4 inch without stretching anything. (Right, like I can do that. )
    a yard of non fusible interfacing or super thin fabric in place of interfacing.

    Apparently there is some super duper template we will have to use in addition to the long rectangular ruler and/or a square one.

    I've tried googling some keywords to see if I can hit on any possible quilts or blocks and have hit a brick wall. So, you awesome ladies & gents, does this pattern/instruction set sound familiar to anyone? I'll try to be a good girl and not pre-cut anything not listed in my homework, but I really would like an idea of the end result as it may change the fabrics I choose for the project.

    Another thing that has me on edge is that I am NOT into scrappy stuff unless it's planned scrappy (i.e., you have 13 reds, 12 blues, 5 whites and 14 purples & you vary which red, blue or whatever in each block, but the red is always in the same spot...) I don't like the stuff that came to be by your pulling out of a bag & sewing together whether it matches or not. Most of the rest of the group LOVES scrappy. Me, not so much.

    Even if you don't guess correctly, I know you'll have some spectacular suggestions. You always do.
    TIA & have an awesome week!

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Oh, I feel your pain! I can't do any type of mystery block/quilt project. I can't stand not knowing what the finished project is supposed to look like. I too can only do a "planned" scrappy project. A suggestion for the diagonals with the 1/4" turned under: I would use a piece of freezer paper, ironed to the wrong side of the fabric. I would make sure that I cut the piece short the 1/4" and then turn it under and press it making sure I starched it well. Good Luck!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  3. #3
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    YIKES! The only thing I can think of might be a twister of some sort?? Also, it sounds as if you know yourself well...you might just have to "blindly follow" on this one and think of it as getting you out of your box! Please keep us posted on this project!
    ~Laura

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    OMG! I don't think I could do that!

  5. #5
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    I really don't like the "pull it out of a bag, anything goes" type of scrappy quilt color schemes. I would HAVE to deliberately chose a very controlled color scheme for my colors = maybe very closely graduated tones on one hue, such as shades of blue,. Maybe shades of a medium and a darker medium blue. No big contrast at all - I would be very content with that. Then if I didn't like what the block looked like I could add something different with the sashing, or use it for a hot pad. LOL.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 10-02-2012 at 07:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I use to be stiff and no fun when doing a mystery by worrying about color placement or what I could have done if I had known what it was suppose to look like. I realized I was taking the excitement out of the group and making the mystery a chore instead of fun. Now I can make a mystery quilt and not fret over blue against blue or orange against red and have fun with the group.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 10-02-2012 at 07:44 PM.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
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    Sounds to me like this is a great exercise in "letting go"!

    Sounds like they didn't tell you what colors to pick....just start with colors you like (separately and together) and see what happens!

    What's the worst that could happen? You'll have something to donate to charity when you're done, or find a friend who loves it.

    What's the best that could happen? You'll have fun, learn something new (about quilting and/or about yourself), maybe even discover a new "flavor" in your taste for what goes with what!

    I say just go for it...no worries, no regrets.

  8. #8
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    I did my first mystery quilt 2 years ago and really enjoyed it!!!! I hope you let yourself go and try something new!!!
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jennie and Me's Avatar
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    I do like scrappy, but...I want to know ahead of time what the pattern is. I don't do mystery quilts...just can't stand not having some idea of what it will look like. Guess that I am a very uptight quilter. Sewnoma is right though...it will be a good way to loosen up, so just go for it. Good luck and show us what you end up with. Have fun!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member gramadona's Avatar
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    Hi draggin... Don't be so hard on yourself. There are loads of us who don't like the "pull outa' the bag" or mystery quilt projects. I figure that if I'm going to invest my time, energy and $$$ I want to at least have an idea of the outcome.
    If you aren't comfortable doing the mystery project... don't do it. There are soooo many fabulous patterns out there... make one of them and you'll love doing it. And that's the best part of making quilts..enjoying the process!
    Good luck and have fun with whatever you decide to make.
    Dona

    I thought I saw a spider,
    But it was just a Piece of yarn.
    It's dead yarn now.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    i know what you mean. i did a mystery quilt once, and i experienced a level of anxiety the whole time. there were people who sewed faster than i did, and i avoided looking at them so i could experience my own first. i am not so sure i would do another mystery quilt with or without a group. it is just too anxiety-provoking and not worth it. heck...making a quilt where i know what the outcome is supposed to be is anxiety-provoking enough! best wishes in whatever you decide is best for you.

  12. #12
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's a string quilt. Until the interfacing I really thought a reversible. I'm like you I like a clear direction on a mystery I like controlled scrappy. I'm doing a scrappy right now as part of a guild project and still find myself controlling it.....25 2 1/2" squares blocks of 5x5 and mine are 1 block is a bright block, 1 is country and so on I just cant put lime frogs with a homespun....I know I'm weird lol Good luck!!!
    *Rachel*

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    I think in quilting there's something for everyone, and I just don't think mystery quilts are your "thing". No big deal. Just accept that it's not what you prefer to do, and don't participate. Life is short. Spend it doing what you enjoy, and don't beat yourself up over the fact that you don't enjoy it. No matter what you're considering, there's always someone who doesn't like to do that particular thing.
    On the other hand, it is true that sometimes we just have to try something we don't want to do, because that's how we learn and grow. You may be pleasantly surprised if you can let go and try it. But if you've already tried mystery quilts and already know it's just not for you, let it go, don't participate, and move on to what you do enjoy, guilt free.

  14. #14
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
    Sounds to me like this is a great exercise in "letting go"!

    Sounds like they didn't tell you what colors to pick....just start with colors you like (separately and together) and see what happens!

    What's the worst that could happen? You'll have something to donate to charity when you're done, or find a friend who loves it.

    What's the best that could happen? You'll have fun, learn something new (about quilting and/or about yourself), maybe even discover a new "flavor" in your taste for what goes with what!

    I say just go for it...no worries, no regrets.
    Knowing that it's a not easy to let go, I'd really follow Sewnoma's advice and pick the colors you like. Good luck and keep us posted.

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    I've so enjoyed reading this thread. I thought I was the only person on this board who was not a fan of 'scrappy'! Nice to know others are right there with me. I've not done a mystery quilt. A friend did one a number of years ago and I was not impressed with the concept (I was a complete newbie at the time). I might be able to go there now but I'd have to know the requirements for the entire project vs. a month/block at a time thing.

  16. #16
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I Love scrappy, and don't have a clue how to read the instructions.

  17. #17
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Perhaps the white with the corners marked will become a 'snow ball' block that is surrounded with strips? That is all I can come up with by your description.

  18. #18
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    Would bet most of us are 'visual' learners. That's why it might be uncomfortable to not know exactly what the pattern will look like.

    You have to decide if you even want to participate. It might be a good learning experience... OR, torture. Your decision.

    I don't have a clue what the pattern/instructions will produce. I'm one of those visual learners!

  19. #19
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I agree. I like CONTROLLED scrappy! Here are some alternatives that have occured to me. The list of materials is intriguing, so look at the construction of the block as a class in a new technique and the $ spent on the fabric is the class fee. Get kids' fabric and donate whatever you come up with to charity. OR, they must have told you how many large squares to bring. jUst bring one and divide the rest of the materials by that number. In other words, just bring enough for one block to learn the technique. There always seems to be one or two members who fall behind time-wise, with your spare time, you can help them by pinning, sewing etc.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  20. #20
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    I feel your pain - I won't join that type of group for the same reason. I like to see the end result as it affects my choices at the beginning....I'm a planner. At the same time, I love scrappy quilts, but again, I plan out what goes where, but adore using up the scraps....

  21. #21
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I am with you on your level of discomfort. I can not do mystery anything. When I do scrappy I have some inclination of what it will look like since I have a pattern and pile of scraps in front of me and at least have some vision of final possible outcome.
    My advise .. approach this with no expectations.. that is the only way I could get through it.

  22. #22
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    I HEAR you, sounds confusing to me A mystery for sure. I don't mind mystery blocks if I can understand the directions.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by draggin_behind View Post
    . . .

    Our homework:
    2 sets of strips, WOF x at least 22 inches. Strips can vary in width and that is encouraged: 1.5 to 2.75 in wide
    background squares of white cut to 12 1/2 inches, with a mark 3 inches from each corner
    4 inch squares, 10 each of 2 colors to showcase in the blocks, cut on diagonal and then have the diagonal pressed under 1/4 inch without stretching anything. (Right, like I can do that. )
    a yard of non fusible interfacing or super thin fabric in place of interfacing. . . .
    I don't even understand the cutting directions - and I've read them a couple of times!

  24. #24
    Super Member Twisted Quilter's Avatar
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    I'm not a mystery person either. My skills are limited and I don't want to spend time making something I don't like. That being said, I did participate in a mystery quilt last week but waited to see some of the finished projects before I started.

    Hope someone has an answer for you.
    If you choose the behavior, you accept the consequences...Dr. Phil

  25. #25
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    There are a lot of people who can do mystery quilts. I am not one of them. I did do one. If I had known how it went together I would have chosen a different fabric for the center (it was a medallion quilt). I decided once was enough.
    Scrappies I do like. The first few were controlled. The last 2 were "pull out of the bags" - one lights, one darks. They actually do not make me uncomfortable anymore.
    We all need to "let go" on occasion but I like to chose when I do that. I sometimes make up my quilts "as I go".
    Based on your directions I have no clue what it could be. Good luck. Hopefully it will turn out well for you.

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