Creative articles about quilting

Preparations Crazy Crystals Mystery Project 2018: the new mystery quilt !

After so many enthusiastic comments about my Crazy Colors Mystery Quilt 2017 project, which you could (and still can) follow the entire year 2017 via this BERNINA Blog, I have designed another mystery project for 2018 – again it is all for FREE via this Blog, just like the last one. You can start whenever you want – at your own time – and download patterns of the blocks, read the text and look at the step-by-step pictures to make this quilt yourself. That’s the advantage of the BERNINA Blog. Even if you don’t own a Bernina sewing machine, you can work with any sewing machine, as long as there are decorative stitches available (number of stitches is not important).

Perhaps you would like to make your preparations ahead of the project, to be able to start properly at January 15, 2018, making the blocks. That’s why I am giving you the opportunity to purchase/search for the materials, cut them and store them untill the first month. Please read everything carefully. If you have doubts about something, just wait for the first clues of January 15, 2018. If you understand it all, you can start your preparations.

logoThis project will be made with rectangular blocks: 12 blocks, for which the materials for the sandwiches will be cut larger than the finished size: 45 x 32 cm is the size for cutting. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOT CUT BACK THE BLOCKS AFTER FINISHING THEM, not even to straighten them. The finsihed size will be reveiled in month 12, December 15 2018. The blocks will be assembled in a special way, directions are given in month 12 also.

Like the last mystery project of 2017, the quilt will be made ‘Quilt-as-you-go’: that means you will work on a sandwich (backing, batting and Vlieseline L11), for direct quilting. It is called ‘quilting’, because attatching the fabrics, making the decorative stitches and attatching embellishments will be done through all layers of the sandwich, with no quilting afterwards. The sandwich is much larger that your block eventually will be: not only because of ‘shrinkage’ with making the stitches, but also to have extra for assembly. Make the decorative stitches all the way to te edges of the sandwiches, to be sure the entire block will be covered. Do NOT cut back the sandwiches/blocks after making all the stitches and perhaps some embellishments. Wait for month 12 for directions about finishing the blocks and assembly. The finished size of the quilt will be aprox. 1.15 x 1.26 m.

To prepare basic materials, you will need Vlieseline L11, batting 100% bamboo,off-whitebacking (extra wide) and black batik quilt fabric: the measurements can be found further up this message. You can provide your own materials, but for those who want to order a basic kit, they are already availabe for ordering via my website (limited amount). A basic kit is always better priced then seperate materials, but there is also the possibility to order the materials per piece, as long as they are in stock. Perhaps you don’t want to use the color black, but another color: you are free to use anything you want, but be sure the batting is soft and low in loft.

All other colors/fabrics which will be used in this project, can be of your own choice: just be sure to keep in mind why I have choosen those materials. Also threads, Hotfix stones, ribbon etc. can be ordered via my website, or use your own stock.

What basic materials are used for this mystery project (available in a kit)?

– Vlieseline L11
– Batting 100% Bamboo (Matilda’s Own)
– Soft off-white backing, extra wide
– Black batik quiltfabric – this is the basic color, which will be used in all blocks of the quilt, and with assembly

What else do you need?
All kinds of fabrics, like lamé, organza, velours de panne, taft, tule, silk, lace, decorative fabrics, festive fabrics, quilt fabrics… in short different kinds of fabrics in the colors of your choice. You can use left over pieces from making garments (not too small), but also fabrics from the yard. Make sure there are a lot of different types of materials, but keep the colors limited. A total of 12 to 15 fabrics should do. But the colors should be toned down: it will not be as colorful as the Crazy Colors Mystery Quilt 2017! You can just use quilt fabrics, if that’s what you like. Be sure to variate them in hues from light to dark.
With the picture above you can see my stock: purple, gold, rust and brown. The rolls that you see at the bottom of the picture are decorative fabrics, bought in a garden centre during their Christmas sale. I am always on the lookout for special materials, all year round. I collect whatever I think I can use for future projects.
Machine threads in matching colors. You can use metallic threads, cotton (variegated) and polyester threads, of all weights. Just be sure to use machine threads, no hand threads. Vary as much as you want. Be sure to use a thin bobbin thread, like  DecoBob/Wonderfil – Wt 80 – which can be used with al top threads.
Ribbon and lace in matching colors.
– Beads, sequins, Hotfix stones, charms, buttons, Lizzy metallic yarn, lace and other embellishments
– A fabric for the final backing, directions in month 12
– Flower Pins: long quilting pins with flat heads
– Blue and White water soluble pens
– Ruler with centimeters
– Lightbox or window
– Scotch tape
Where required, I will add more different material per month: this will be explained with the directions of that month

Bernina-770qe-front-1380pxWhat to prepare with your sewing machine?
– Be sure your sewing machine is clean, and in good condition (remember the anual maintenance). You don’t specifically need a BERNINA machine, to make this project, allthough I am working with my BERNINA 770QE. As long as there are decorative stitches available, its ok, with the use your own imagination.
Open embroidery foot #20C, if you are working with a BERNINA sewing machine where you can use this presser foot: if not, use a presser foot for making decorative stitches.
– Multiple presser feet, which will be explained per month, if you need them for special effects (a number of different feet were used with the Crazy project of 2017). Feet for working with ribbon, etc. If you don’t own these feet, and cannot purchase them, alternative methods will be given.
Topstitch machine needle(s), preferably 90/14. You can use all kinds of machine threads, including metallic threads, with these needles.

For special effects some hand work will be given, for instance applique* and crochet*. Nothing complicated, but just to make more special effects for your blocks. Crocheting will be done with Lizzy glinstergaren, or other yarn in matching colors. Materials will be explained with the block where it is used. If you don’t want to do this, alternatives will be given.
(* preparing applique and crochet will be done by hand, attatching them to your block will be done by machine

More about preparing the basic materials: you can make these preparations now, ahead of 2018, to be ready for starting at January 15 2018:

Vlieseline L11– Vlieseline L11 is known with most quilters. It is a non-woven, translucent material, used to draw and sew on, without it adding thickness to your project. You will need a piece of 2.25 x 0.90 to cut your blocks. The measurements are giving you a bit extra, just in case.

Cut the following from Vlieseline L11, according to the directions of the scheme above: 12 rectangles, each 45 x 32 cm. Put them aside and use them with the directions per month, on the BERNINA Blog.

Bamboo_BattingFor batting, use Matilda’s Own 100% Bamboo: a low loft batting, soft, and anti-allergic. (Don’t use (high loft) polyester batting: the blocks will shrink too much, making your blocks too small. Because of the ‘sticky’ characteristics of the Bamboo, the fabrics will lay flat agains your batting, which helps to prevent using too much pins. The measurements are giving you a bit extra, just in case. You will need a piece of  1.00×2.40m.

Cut the following from the batting, check the scheme above: 12 rectangles, each 45 x 32 cm. Put them aside and use them with the directions per month, on the BERNINA Blog.

Ecru stof_BackingThe basic backing is an off-white fabric, extra wide: soft and not too thick: this is the ‘temporary’ backing of your sandwiches: for working on, making the decorative stitches and adding embellishments. After assembling the quilt, you can add a final backing to your quilt: all will be explained with month 12. For this off-white backing, you will need a piece of 1.00 x 2.70 m.

Cut the following from the off-white backing, check the scheme above: 12 rectangles, each 45 x 32 cm. Put them aside and use them with the directions per month, on the BERNINA Blog.

Zwarte stof_Black fabric– Black batik (quilt), which will be used for the centre of the blocks, but also for assembly with the quilt. The scheme above shows you what to cut from the black fabric: for your 12 blocks, you will need the 12 rectangular pieces, each 30 x 20 cm: you can cut these now. PUT THE BLACK FABRIC ASIDE, WAIT WITH CUTTING THE STRIPS UNTILL DIRECTIONS ARE GIVEN IN MONTH 12.

This black batik (quilt) fabric will be the base of each block/center piece, where stitches and effects will be added. If you don’t want a black fabric, choose another (solid) fabric, but be sure to choose one color for all blocks and the strips: it’s all about the total effect of the quilt. So don’t use more than one color/fabric (colors will be added with the Crazy parts, not with the center and strips).

Do you want to order the kit with the four basic materials? This is possible as long as this is in stock (limited availability).

Calculations for the basic materials are with some extra measurements: this way you will be able to cut extra, if something went wrong … Vlieseline L11, Matilda’s Own 100% Bamboo, off-white backing and the black batik are available for seperate ordering via my website, as long as they are in stock.

These are your first directions for my new Crazy project. Check every month at the BERNINA Blog: every 15e of each month in 2018 you will get directions and block patterns to download via this blog, with many step-by-step pictures. It is not important to keep up with everybody: the monthly blogs will be available at all times, so work at your own pace and enjoy.

Wishing you a lot of fun: we will make this a wonderful project again, see you on Januari 15 2018!

Happy Quilting!
Sylvia Kaptein
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio

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