What is a Mystery Quilt?

This post is preaching to the choir, because most of you out there already know what I’m talking about. But it was brought home to me that not everyone that is checking in on me and my ramblings actually knows what I am talking about!! I sometimes forget that. So I thought I’d be a little more specific about the mystery quilt that I am working on.

First, here is the definition of a mystery quilt:

“A quilt pattern written in steps and revealed one part at a time to hide the final appearance of the finished quilt.”

Bonnie Hunter is a quilt maker and teacher who has a blog at quiltville.blogspot.com

Each year, on her blog, she does a mystery quilt for her followers, so that we can all join together and have a lot of fun. Starting on Black Friday, she releases one “clue” each week, until the final week, when she tells us how to put all the clues together. Then we get to see the marvelous pattern that she has shared with us. Part of the fun of doing one of Bonnie’s quilts is trying to figure out how all the different units are going to go together. Each of the “clues” this year measures 3″ square when sewn into the quilt.

Clue #1: Make 96 with white background and 92 with pink background:


Clue #2: Make 100 chevrons:


Clue #3: Sew 200 half-square triangles, then make 25 pinwheels:


Clue #4: Make 120 foursies:


Clue #5: Take the remaining 100 HST and make 100 split triangles:


I’m assuming we’ll have one or two more clues before we get the final directions on how to sew them all together.

I’ve been “puzzling and puzzling until my puzzler was sore” and I still wasn’t coming up with what I thought would be a workable solution to the mystery.

I put together some of the pieces like this:


but the math doesn’t work out right to make blocks like this. Although this would make a gorgeous quilt, in MHO! I looked at the clues again and figured out that we need to make 25 blocks that have a pinwheel in the center. And having 100 of the chevrons and split triangles means (to me) that there are four of each of those units in those blocks. But then, what are we doing with those “odd” number of units!?!

So I sat down with a pencil and paper and started really thinking:


My guess is that we are going to have to make 36 square in a square units and then something with the neutrals for the outside edges of the quilt. Here’s how I laid out a few of the units on the design wall:


So, what do you think!?! Am I on to something? Or can you even make sense of what I’m talking about!?!

I’m linking with Bonnie’s Monday morning link- up. Click HERE. And with Judy at Patchwork Times. Click HERE



24 thoughts on “What is a Mystery Quilt?

  1. My stumbling block has been the chevrons – I love ’em, but when I shuffle them around, they always seem to want another unit than what we have so far. I like your guesses though. And I love your thirties fabrics.


  2. I think your layout is good. You could well be right; I see a Celtic Cross in the centre of your blocks. The Celtic Cross has four arms of equal length and it’s sure to be on one of those Cathedral floor mosaics somewhere.


  3. Know and understand what you are talking about. Bonnie Hunter said the other day on quiltcam that people were trying to guess the finished quilt! Even if it isn’t the pattern for the mystery, it does make a pretty block. Guess that is how block designs are created.


  4. Congratulations on being the first to post on DWM today! Your 30’s-fabric version of Celtic Solstice is very pretty. I like your layout. With all these units CS will be a very interesting design.


  5. Do think you are on to something!!! Bonnie likes blocks on point, like in Easy Street. And it makes sense that would be a Celtic Cross in there also. Think our next clue will be triangles for the sides.


  6. Your guesses are gorgeous. I love Bonnie’s work so whatever she has planned I’m sure will be wonderful. I look forward to seeing your quilt.


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