Sew Saturday ~ The Twist QAL

Last month I mentioned several Quilt A-longs (QAL) I was considering doing.  One of them was The Twist Scrap Dance Mystery from My Carolina Home.  I've been following Carole for years.  She is a cardmaker as well as quiltmaker among many other talents.  She has always been so good about commenting on my blog and responding when I comment on hers. If you are a quilter, cardmaker, homemaker, crafter, etc. I hope you will visit her blog and check out all she shares.

At first I wasn't sure I wanted to do 2 mystery quilts because I had never done one before, but I decided to join hers for a couple of reasons.

1.  I wanted to be a part of what Carole was doing and be able to share it here on my blog
2. It is pre-cut friendly and I could use up some charm packs that have been sitting on the shelf for years.
3. Doing 2 mysteries, put on by 2 different people would give me a better idea of whether or not I might ever want to do a mystery again.  
4. Step 1 is really easy and I was already 1/4 of the way there before I even started. (Technically I thought I was halfway there, but you'll soon find out it was only 1/4.)

Carole gives really good instructions, even though I am terrible at reading instructions.  I have to read every word of a book, but I tend to skim instructions.  The first step to this mystery is to pick your fabric (or just pull from your stash to make a scrappy quilt) and cut to size.  I wanted to make a quilt of valor from this mystery, but realized I don't have many charm packs that will work well for this type of quilt.   My next thought was to just go shopping and pick up some charm packs, but I really wanted to try to use up my stash, so I scrapped that idea.  Although, if I like how this one turns out, I am going to buy 2 more of the patriotic charm packs that were in my stocking this Christmas.  ;) 

What I landed on was from the first charm pack I ever bought.  Missouri Star Quilt company had this on sale a couple of times for around $4.  The first time I got 2, then they went down to (I think)  $2 a pack, so I got the maximum which I think was 4 at the time.  Later on it was included for free with purchase and I got more.  I ended up with 6-8 of these packs and made a hexagon quilt with them, even after making a hexagon quilt with a couple of the charm packs.

I also had a random charm pack of Bella Solids that coordinated perfectly as a background with some of the lightest blocks in this "Lovely" pack.  This must have been a free gift with purchase or a daily deal because I gravitate toward bright whites and it is an oatmeal/cream color.  That, or it looked white on the screen and was oatmeal when I opened the package.

One thing I have discovered since that first charm pack is that not all pre-cuts are created equal.  It is important to measure them for a pattern.  The Moda Bella Solids was a perfect 5".  The Lovely pack was crookidy and barely 5" on one side while being 5-5.25" on the other.  Every one of them had to be cut to the sizes in the pattern.  It will be worth it in the end, but it didn't make the process as easy as it would have been if it was a true 5".  Now I remembered why I never used up that "lovely" fabric by simply sewing the blocks together. 

*Hint- a spinning mat makes it MUCH easier to trim down the charm packs to the required sizes! 

Remember how I said I don't usually buy cream and ivory anymore?  I had planned on buying a couple more of those Moda packs to complete this, but I decided to look through my stash to see if I had anything that would work.  Wouldn't you know it, I had plenty to pull from?!  I ended up cutting out everything I needed with more left over.  I even found a pretty cream with tiny lavendar leaves/flowers that I had 3 yards of.  Plenty to use as a small border as well as in the main part of the quilt.  Now this quilt truly will be a stash buster.  There is something so gratifying in being able to pull fabric from what I already own.  I'm also super excited that it's not just one solid color for the background but a couple of solids and just as many tone on tone patterns in those colors.  I like that look in finished quilts, but have struggled to achieve it without having a personal "stash" built up.

To organize myself I stacked the cut squares into groups of ten, so I could easily count how many I had, then I placed them in ziploc bags labeled (with a sharpie) with the size of the cut.  Then I put all of these into a bag with clue 1. 

Unfortunately I'm terrible at reading instructions, as I said, and I kept looking for weekly??? updates with clues.  First I checked my spam folder to see if it went there, then I went to the blog to see if I missed one of her posts.  I skimmed the first clue post and then I finally went to her blog and carefully re-read her post.  (bangs head against wall that she missed the clearly stated time table 2 times!) 
Turns out clues are released the 3rd Friday of each month and won't end until late summer.  Wah!!!! I am ready to go and excited to find out what this quilt will turn into to.  By summertime I will want to be outside instead of sewing.  Oh well, I only have to wait a couple more weeks for clue 2.  In a couple of months life will get busy again and I will be glad the clues are spread far apart.  :)  Especially with 3 other QAL I am doing.  (squirrel!)

Carole has a download on her blog with these instructions.  I have a sticky note on it with sizes for Quilts of Valor.  Even though I decided not to do that for this first mystery quilt, I might just do a second one along with this one since I am ahead of the game right now.  ;)  Plus, that gives me an excuse to buy more charm packs.  (Like I need an excuse to buy fabric. wink-wink)

Thank you Carole, for this fun and (so far) easy mystery QAL.  After starting my first mystery QAL last month with another blogger I thought I might never attempt another one.  Yours has me excited to see what comes next.  <3  I also want to thank you for encouraging me to join you.  It is a big reason I kept thinking about it.   p.s.  I start singing "The Twist" every time I work on this project.  :) 

1 comment:

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Thanks so much!!!! I LOVE those fabrics!! I try to spread out the steps so you can make a bigger size, making each one easy enough to do around other projects. I can't wait to see how yours turns out, it is going to be gorgeous.