Now for the finishing touches on the Mystery Quilt.....
In week #6 I was finally able to see how the center of the quilt was going to look as the instructions indicated how to sew together the blocks and units made in week #5. A secondary pinwheel pattern made from the accent fabric emerged as the blocks were sewn together. With all of these blocks I had to take care when stitching to be sure that the centers of the pinwheels matched as well as that the points of the triangles were not cut off.
When using blocks that are on point the rows are stitched together at an angle rather than straight across. This pattern was no exception. The difference was that the edges had a stair-step effect rather than being even or straight. This made the whole quilt top look rather strange and wonky. It was apparent that the sides would need to be trimmed before adding the borders.
In week #7 I was instructed to line the 3” marking on my ruler to the middle of a pinwheel close to the edge and trim. I did this on all four sides in order to make the quilt top edges straight and ready for the borders.
I then cut 7 - 2 1/2” strips of pink fabric for the inner border and 8 - 6 1/2” strips of green fabric for the outer border. After stitching all four sides of the inner border I decided that I didn’t like the pink fabric. That is the downside to making a quilt in which you have no idea what it will look like when it is finished. So I auditioned a light purple fabric and decided that it looked much better. A quick trip back to the fabric store ensued and I found the perfect purple fabric. After some quality time spent with the seam ripper to remove the awful pink border I was ready to attach the new one. Luckily the green fabric that I purchased earlier for the large outer border worked just fine.
The next step in this process was to decide on the quilting designs and choose a thread color. Throughout the construction of the top my mind was constantly thinking about which custom designs I could use on this quilt. I thought this would be a good opportunity to practice some new designs and see how I liked them. However since this is a large throw-sized quilt and would probably get quite a bit of use I decided that an all-over swirl design would be the best choice. I also decided to use a light grey thread that matched the background fabric instead of either a purple or green as I have found that I like light thread on dark fabrics better than dark thread on light fabrics.
The final step before pronouncing this quilt finished was to decide what fabric to use for the binding. I could use either the green fabric that I used for the outside border or choose a purple fabric - either the accent fabric in the center of the quilt or the fabric that I used in the narrow border. Since the pieced portion of the quilt is fairly busy I opted to go with the green so the focus would stay on the center of the quilt.
Now that this project is finished I have to say that my first Mystery Quilt was a success. I looked forward to the new instructions that were posted every Thursday afternoon and enjoyed stitching the blocks. There may just have to be another one in my future!