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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Piles of Stars as the Mystery Quilt takes shape

I made 24 of these stars.
I hadn't sewn this one together yet.

I believe my "mystery quilt", made up of various stars, may turn out to be one of the loveliest I've ever sewn. I am really happy with how it's taking shape. Since January, each star and its position is revealed monthly, and there's still 3 months left!

The past few days I've been sewing the stars together and I have...

A TIP!! to share with you :)

While serving as a volunteer at a local agency a few years ago, I noticed some sheets of thick cardboard that had been used to separate out a print job they had received. Those 8" x 11" sheets of cardboard were going to be recycled, but I decided to re-purpose them myself and brought a bunch home and put them in a drawer. I knew they'd come in handy for some project in the future, like stenciling or cutting out rigid patterns like I did for "HO HO HO" (see December 2013 postings). I've discovered another purpose now! These thick, rigid cardboard sheets work perfectly as "trays" for laying out all the pieces of each block to be assembled and bringing them neatly as a stack to the sewing machine for completion. Here's what I mean:

  1. Assemble sheets of thick cardboard, or some other items that are rigid: trays, plates, platters, thick magazines, etc. I've even put pieces of blocks to be assembled between pages of magazines to carry to the machine. It's not quite as rigid, but it helped to travel and keep it all together.

2. Assemble the blocks on the cardboard sheets (or whatever you're using).

3. Pile the sheets of assembled blocks on top of one another.

4. Carry them as a stack to the machine. 

5. Stitch the lovelies. It's like a book, ready for you to turn page by page as you progress. If you need to walk away, they'll be waiting neatly in a stack for you when you come back.

Now I have 24 star blocks, each measuring 6.5" square, 
ready to assemble in the border for the mystery quilt.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced, and Sew Fresh Quilts:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced                                                                Sew Fresh Quilts


  1. very useful tip! When. have a stack of blocks to sew all the same, I put a completed one on the bottom and lay out my pieces in the correct layout so I can check I haven't flipped them around as I go.

    1. Flipping pieces, dropping blocks, getting parts out of's a challenge to get them from one spot to the other. I hope you can find something to "transport" yours :) Thanks for stopping by, Lisa

  2. What a great idea! Looks great to see them all stacked up and your finished blocks are beautiful. Love the combo of pink and green!

    1. Hi Lorna, thanks for stopping by again. The colors are a bit bold, but I'm liking the combination as well. I'm usually not a "pink person", but I love the fabrics from In The Beginning on which I'm basing this quilt, which includes: pink, green, blue, yellow. I guess the whole Mystery Quilt activity is stretching me :)

  3. Looking good so far!

  4. Those blocks are big, I love the whole arrangement and your stars will look dramatic when finished.

  5. Looking good! Nice use of those cardboards. Also thanks for commenting on my blog.