Clue 3 – Surrounded by Scraps

Today I worked on the third clue of Charlotte Hawkins mystery quilt-a-long, called Surrounded by Scraps.  She was delayed in posting the clue by a massive windstorm that knocked out her internet, along with a lot of trees and other people’s power lines.    They are recovering now from that storm, so it was on with the sewing.


Clue 1 had us sewing little 4 and 9 patches.  In Clue 3 these joined together with some background rectangles to become larger squares.


The other part of the clue finally used the larger squares we’d cut.


My background fabrics are scrappy as well as the darker pattern fabric, and I’ve been a little worried that it dilutes the contrast between the two.  I’m still not sure after finishing this clue.  Maybe I should have stuck with a solid or near solid background?

Here are all the blocks so far.  It will be mid April before we get another clue.




Clue 2 finished

The Surrounded by Scraps mystery quilt-a-long came out yesterday, and today I finished up sewing the rectangular blocks.  A few 1 1/2″ squares sewn to 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles and a colorful pile is ready for clue 3 to come in March.



Lots of chain piecing, which goes quickly, especially as I just finger pressed until the blocks were done.


Now they join the 4 and 9 patch blocks and wait in the closet for their next addition.  I’ve a big pile of bigger squares that will be involved somehow.

This is all the sewing that I’ve gotten done since before the weekend, because we’ve been very occupied with this new little addition to the family:


Meet Theo, our new five month old beagle/dachshund/mystery mix puppy.  Who maybe should have been named Puddles.

My youngest son has been asking for a dog for years, and we decided that he was old enough, and responsible enough.  Now we are all taking turns spending a lot of time outside, usually in the pouring rain, waiting for him to decide to pee.  It takes up a lot of sewing time!

But he’s sort of adorable, so it is hard to mind.  Actually, last night at nearly 10:00 as I stood in the cold, dark, dripping backyard, it wasn’t that hard.  I bought a huge golf umbrella on the way home today.


New mystery quilt started


Yesterday the first clue in Charlotte Hawkins’ new mystery quilt along was posted, and with the help of yet another snow day, I’ve started right in.

This quilt is called Surrounded By Scraps, and involved cutting a lot of small squares and rectangles that today I started chain piecing into 4 and 9 patches.

It is all about the 1 1/2″ squares for this first clue.


There is plenty of time to get all of this ironed and finish sewing as the next clue isn’t until February.  When we will probably still be out of of school . . .

These icicles are the only real sign that any melting is occurring.


A mystery solved

The fourth and final clue in the Scrappy Stars Around the Corner mystery QAL came out quite some time ago (April 12) but I didn’t get to it until this week as I was caught up in the red and white X quilt top instead.  That one out of the way, I got to work on sewing blue and black triangles and squares together again.

The centers of these 12 blocks, like the star blocks, are basic economy blocks, and then additional corner layers add a bit more complexity.  My point matching skills got a work out and as always, I improved over time so it is best not to look too closely at the earliest parts.

I’m eliminating the sashing that the pattern calls for as the quilt will be plenty big without it. It takes up my whole design wall, floor to ceiling and side to side. I couldn’t get far enough away in my small craft room to fit the entire layout in the iPad camera.

Just nine more blocks to sew the last corners on and then I can sew it all together.


The blue and black make a restful change after all the red I’ve been working with.

Mystery QAL clue 3

I devoted this weekend to clue 3 of the Scrapitude Mystery QAL.

My sewing mojo was really off.  I kept making really dumb mistakes, and my seam ripper got quite a workout.  And my seam allowance was all over the place.  Usually I’m fairly consistent, but despite using the same line I normally do, my blocks grew and shrank randomly.

I couldn’t even read directions correctly.  My eyes saw 4 1/2″ despite the fact that the number turned out to be 4 1/4″. That doesn’t help in making correctly sized blocks.  Nor does forgetting to cut squares into 4 sections, not two.

Despite all this, the various parts of clue 3 are done.  Not necessarily done well, but done.

My best guess at how the various pieces are going to come together.


But it there are a lot of squares left, so there are still some twists yet to come.


Sashing in a heat wave

92 degree weather is not optimal sewing weather.  It isn’t quite that hot in the sewing room, but the steam heat from the iron doesn’t help.  So I’m moving slowly and not making a lot of progress.

Scrap-in-a-Box final clue

I’m at the sashing stage of the Scrap-in-a-Box mystery quilt, which isn’t a mystery anymore as the last clue has been revealed after a delay for a very sad event.

I chose a dark blue leafy fabric for my sashing, with more scraps for the corner stones.  I’ve a stack of essays to grade, so I’ve been alternating.  Some essays, some sashing, then back to the essays.  But I’ll need to stop both soon as it is almost time to go cheer my sister’s derby team.


I’ve only gotten about 1/3 of the sashing added, but it is enough to know I’m going to like the final results.  Not a quiet quilt though!


Clue 3 – Scrap-in-a-Box

Clue 3 of Scrapitude’s Scrap-in-a-Box mystery quilt came out last week and I’ve been working on it on and off the last couple days.  It still completely escapes me what this quilt’s layout will be but it is going to be colorful!

Chain piecing little triangles together
Chain piecing little triangles together
And more chain piecing
And more chain piecing
Back and forth to the ironing board
Back and forth to the ironing board
Triangles sewed to triangles and sewed to more triangles
Triangles sewed to triangles and sewed to more triangles
And then sewing strips and squares for a bit of a change
And then sewing strips and squares for a bit of a change
And clue 3 is done!
And clue 3 is done!

The next clue will be out in mid April, so this project goes back in its box for awhile.

Scrapitude – clue 2

Today I finally got to clue 2 of the Scrapitude mystery quilt.  This is actually February’s clue, and March’s comes out tomorrow, so I caught up just in time.

Step 1 was halving background squares into triangles and attaching two of them to each of the small squares from clue 1.

Scrapitude - clue 2 - step 1


Then ironing and clipping dog ears and adding larger triangles to make squares.

Scrapitude - clue 2 - step 2

Scrapitude - clue 2 - step 2 assembly

My guess for the layout of these blocks was squares within squares, but that leaves me with two extra blocks, so I haven’t guessed correctly.  I’ll find out tomorrow!

Scrapitude - clue 2 completed