2021 Mystery Quilt Along – Month 2

Kimberlee Tanner

2021 Mystery Quilt Along Month 2

We have our fabric selected and it’s time to start sewing! If you are just joining us, we have designed a free modern mystery quilt along and invite you to join us this year! Each month we’ll be posting another step in the process and by the end of the year, you’ll have a completed quilt. If you need month one, you can access it here:

2021 Mystery Quilt Along Month 1

Something to keep in mind. We will be working on different parts of the quilt throughout the year, it’s not a block by block design. We recommend finding a container or bag to keep all the parts in so they are easy to find each month.

Also, we have a hashtag! I completely spaced adding a hashtag for the quilt along last month, but luckily you guys keep us on track. Use #sparkmysteryquilt and don’t forget to tag us @onwilliamsstreet when posting on social media so we don’t miss it.

Now, onto this month!


Cutting the Fabric

I feel I need to preface this section with a disclaimer: There is a reason we have Missy do all the cutting. She is much more patient and precise. So be like Missy. Iron your fabric if needed, lay it square on the mat, and make sure everything is nice and flat before cutting your squares. It will be much nicer in the end.

Now that that is out of the way, grab all your yellow fabrics (the set with 6 different fabrics, 5 @ 1/4 yard and 1 @ 1/2 yard).

The first piece we are going to cut is from the 1/2 yard cut of fabric. You want to cut 1 – 13 1/4″ square before you cut anything else. We aren’t going to be using this piece today, but we want to make sure it’s cut out first so we don’t run into issues later where we don’t have enough fabric. You’ll only need one square, so you can unfold your piece and cut a single layer.

After you have cut that piece, set it aside for later and cut 5 – 7″ squares from the remainder. We will then cut 5 – 7″ squares from each of the 1/4 yard cuts as well. You’ll only need 28 total squares (not the 30 you can get). Either cut the extra 2 anyway and use them for a label, or pick 2 fabrics and only cut 4 squares from them.

Piecing the Half Square Triangles

After everything is cut we are going to make half square triangles. Half square triangles are one of the easiest and most versatile blocks out there. We use them for lots of and lots of things. You can even make entire quilts just out of half square triangles. If you need more tips or help with them, head to this tutorial for a whole video just on these fun quilt blocks:

Half Square Triangles

First, we need to mix up the 7″ squares. We want them randomly arranged throughout the piece. The easiest way to do this is to grab the first stack and match up one of each of that fabric with one from each of the remaining fabrics. Then, take the second stack and do the same. Continue until everything is dispersed and you have 14 stacks of 2 squares.

Grab one stack of 2 squares and lay them right sides together. Now we need to put a diagonal crease down the block. You have two options here:

  1. Grab a ruler and marking pen/pencil and simply draw a line from corner to corner.
  2. Fold the top piece of fabric in half and finger press to create a crease.

If you choose to mark it, you can use a pencil or your favorite fabric marking tool. We are going to be cutting on this line, so it’s okay if it doesn’t disappear. I would NOT use a ball point pen or permanent marker though as they may bleed over time and show up in your quilt top even though they started in the seams.

After you have marked the diagonal on all of your sets, you are going to sew 1/4″ seam on both sides of the line. This is a great opportunity for chain piecing. Make a stack of blocks and just feed them through one right after the other without trimming. When you get to the end, turn your blocks around and sew down the other side. After you have sewn all of the blocks, trim the threads in between.

Cut the Half Square Triangles

Now that you have sewn on both sides of the center line, simply grab your ruler and rotary cutter and cut directly on the line you marked. Press all of your blocks.

If your blocks are all really close to the same size, there is no need to trim them for this project. You can sew them together as is.

If you had issues with your cutting or sewing or prefer things to be more exact, trim each of your half square triangles to 6 1/2″ square. Make sure that you use the 45 degree angle line on your ruler lined up on the seam line to keep everything square and the points of your half square triangles in the corners. This will make saving those points easier later! You’ll be much less frustrated trying to get all of the points to line up in the corners if you start right.

Piece the Half Square Triangle Panels

We are now going to sew the half square triangles into 2 different panels for use later on in the quilt. Separate your stack of half square triangles into two groups, one with 16 squares and one with 12 squares.  Lay them out into two panels, one 4×4 and one 4×3. Mix up the fabrics to get a nice even dispersal of fabrics, but don’t stress it too much. The seams can all go in the same direction, or they can alternate randomly. These panels aren’t going to stay exactly like we have them, so there is freedom in way the blocks go together. Use your imagination and lay it out however you prefer (just keeping the same size).  If you aren’t sure about your final layout, stop and snap a photo. It’s much easier to see parts that stand out in a photo than in real life. You can also turn your photo black and white to make sure that the values are evenly dispersed throughout your panel as well.

Sew the rows together, then sew them into the final layout. Use pins as needed to keep the points all lined up. Press the final piece and set aside for later.

As always, if you have any questions ask! We are here to help. Happy Quilting!

Kimie and Missy

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