The Happenstance Quilts

Posted on February 18, 2019 by prairiemoonquilts in Guild Stuff

One of my guilds does a mystery quilt every year, and this year, we’re doing a sort of “design-your-own-mystery” quilt. My friend, Candy, did this with her guild, and their quilts were absolutely gorgeous, so I asked her if I could steal their idea, and she said “Sure!”, so I based our program this year on their previous project.

It’s called “The Happenstance Quilt”, since how they turn out is kinda sorta pretty much happenstance (and everyone’s will be different — I’m so excited to see the reveal in May)!

First, we could decide on three different size options: 54″ square, 72″ square, or 81″ square. And you can make any one of those bigger with the addition of borders at the end, if desired.

The first step was to start with a center block, which could be either 18″, 24″, or 27″, based on the size of quilt you chose to make. Me, naturally, I want the biggest one possible — I always want it big because I’m hoping it will use up the biggest amount of scraps!

Altho we started this back in the fall, and I’m passing out our final installment tonight at our guild meeting, I only just a couple weeks ago made my center block. Cos I’m speedy like that.

Here’s my center block:

As I was riffling through the drawer of orphan blocks, I found this little wall quilt top that I made in a workshop with my other guild a few years ago, and never quilted. It was very nearly the right size, but I, of course, wanted to start with the 27″ center, so I added the black-and-white striped frame to bring it up to size.

Now to get on with Step 2 for this one, which I’m not divulging here because it is, after all, a mystery that we’re not done with yet.

But . . .

As fate would have it, while I was cleaning, sorting, purging, chucking, and searching through all the piles I have around here, I also found this:

It was formerly the center of a large medallion quilt I was intending to appliqué several eons ago, but then decided it wasn’t worth my effort. Turns out, I could trim it down, and it’s the perfect size for the center of my mystery quilt!

And I also found this — a whole lot of bias vine already made!

And these — a whole bunch of leaves already cut and ready to appliqué. I seriously don’t know how I hadn’t already gotten rid of this stuff — (hoarder, maybe)?

So . . . now I have two mystery quilts started. That, or I’m gonna have to make up my mind which one to continue with, and put the other one back aside for now. If I do them both, it’ll use up even more scraps, tho, right?

And I’ve been wanting to make a traditional-looking Christmas quilt, and I think the red and green one might be a perfect start for that. What do you think?

Which one would you go with? Would you do both, or just pick one?

I’ll keep you posted on what I end up doing . . .

12 responses to “The Happenstance Quilts”

  1. Bev says:

    Can’t wait to get the final installment at guild tonight!

  2. Christi Bentley says:

    Do both. They are really different and will make a good show and tell!

  3. Marianne says:

    Both! Bust stash! But concentrate on the red and green if you get behind. Fabric choices will eat up less time and hopefully you could be using it fir Christmas this year!

  4. Wendy Tuma says:

    Oh, this looks like a fun idea. I love that first block with all that bright yellow!

  5. Ginny Smith says:

    I am way behind with braking my arm and moving but I hope to get going this week I have an opthan block that will be my start. Now to find someone that will give me the steps to add on. Don’t find any with the moving.

    I really like the first block but both will make beautiful quilts knowing you as I do.

  6. Karen F. says:

    I like the first one but if I had to choose between the two … it would be the beautiful red and green. That’s for you, of course. 😀 I admire other’s work but I don’t have it in me to applique 92 little leaves and rosebuds on just one block!

  7. Definitely make two quilts. You’ll have one for summer and one for Christmas! AND, you’ll use up DOUBLE your stash/scraps/leftovers! Double bonus!

  8. Judy S. says:

    I really like the red and green one, but in my house it would be much more time consuming. You could always start them both and then adjust as time moves closer.

  9. Randy Menninghaus says:


  10. Angie in SoCal says:

    You need to decide realistically how much time you can devote to this. I like them both but would only make one now (probably the Christmas one) because I already have enough stress in my life trying to finish all these UFOs I have already – lol. Good luck.

  11. I love the red and green one

  12. Rose Marie says:

    You know that I would choose the first one. All that restrained color and applique in the red and green just doesn’t sing the right opera. Go for multiple colors and piecing and throw in some surprises!!!

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