It’s a Mystery!

I came across a quilt I did a long time ago as a mystery pattern in a magazine and it gave me an idea . . .  so, with no apologies, instead of the Simple Blocks series you might have been expecting, today and for the next few Mondays there will be the steps for a festive Mystery Quilt.

Eight weeks will see the top completed and quilted if you keep up with us so there’s plenty of time to get it made for that Big Day in December. It is only small – 36 inches square – so ideal as a little wall-hanging or table topper.

Download the introduction today with the requirements list and cutting instructions. Why not dig out your Christmas fabrics

xmas fabrics

(or go and buy some more – there’s some really lovely ones in the shops at the moment!) and join us on our little Monday Mystery.

CM Intro


On the Christmas Quilts page of the website is a little table topper (or wall hanging) which would make a lovely table runner too. Here’s the original quilt -


The I looked at it and thought what happens if I turned the corner blocks around? And thanks to the magic of Electric Quilt – here’s the answer

poinsettia eq

Pity about the black lines – they still show up even though I’d opted not to show them. But I think it looks a lot better with the blocks turned. Try it yourself before you sew the blocks together.

And the runner? It looks like this -

poinsettia runner

Notice that I’ve coloured the fans differently. They look a bit like Christmas trees now (perhaps?)

And then I had a bit of a play with the sizing of the Dresden Plate blocks to make rectangular table mats.

First just one block

poinsettia mat b

and then two – a square one and a very skinny rectangular one -

poinsettia mat

Although it might look complicated to make, it really isn’t as the Dresden Plate (poinsettia) blocks are appliqued using fusible web. Why not download the pattern today – it’s only £3.50 – and you’ll have a table setting ready for Christmas!

As a special ‘Christmas present’ you can download the templates for a 6 x 12 rectangular block here, with thanks to Electric Quilt for working its magic!

Calico Puzzle

Continuing our series of simple blocks and units we come to half-square triangle units, sometimes abbreviated to HSTs. You will find a tutorial for several ways of making these on the website.

HST unit

One simple block that uses these units is Calico Puzzle and you can download instructions to make this block here.

calico puzzle

There are many ways to colour this block as well which means you can all sorts of different designs when you start to put blocks together to make a quilt. You will find several ideas in the pattern pdf but here are a couple, first the simple block just set 4 x 4 -

calico puzzle plain

then add another colour and turn the blocks on point -

calico puzzle on point

Find more ideas in the free pattern pdf.

Calico Puzzle


Autumnal Log Cabin

This quilt is a great stash buster. Mine was made from strips of autumnal fabrics – my favourite colours, so I had (still have) a lot. This photo was taken at a quilt show with a spotlight just in the top corner, but it gives an idea of the overall effect.

log cabin

I used two different widths of strips and added them randomly – lights one side and darks the other – until the blocks were the desired size. I occasionally added in a blue (sky? water?) to add a bit of contrast and there’s the odd green as well. It was also great for using up those fabrics that you’re not quite sure why you bought them anymore, but cut up small they blend in and don’t look so bad. What I love about Log Cabin is the many ways you can put the blocks together. Here’s some photos of the quilt in progress while I was trying to make my mind up which setting to use. First is Straight Furrows -

lc straight furrows

Next is zig-zags

lc zigzag

then Barn Raising

lc barn raising

and finally (because the strips are different widths – lights are narrower than darks) – circles

lc circles

In the end I just put the blocks together all the same way and here it is on the bed

Log Cabin quilt

You can download the pattern (£3.50) from the website. Of course yours doesn’t have to be autumnal – use your favourite colours.



This is the name I’ve given this block – I’m not sure if its a traditional block, I drew it in Electric Quilt to combine the 9-patch and Basketweave blocks we looked at earlier.


You can download the pattern for it here. Below I’ve given one or two quilt ideas and you will find more in the pdf.

roadblock plain

This quilt was made with the block in two different arrangements of the colours. The one below has had sashing and cornerstones added between the blocks and around the edge as a border.

roadblock sashed

This is a really simple block to make – if you need help with strip piecing and cutting 9-patches you can find a tutorial on the website.

What would it look like combined with the Double 9-patch block?


Ribbon Star

The Ribbon Star is a lovely, and easy, pattern for a quilt. Make it as big or small as you want by hand or machine. Play with colour placement as well.

ribbon star

The pattern for this little quilt can be found on the website. If I’d had more of the border fabric I could have ‘fussy cut’ it so that the flowers were all the right way up. But I didn’t.

Here’s a photo of another one I made a few years earlier to give you an idea of different colours.

ribbon star blue

Sorry its bit blurry – I had to take a photo in the shop where it is currently on display, and as it is pinned to the ceiling this wasn’t easy!

The pink squares are heavily quilted in a purple thread to change their colour – they were just not the right pink to go with the border I realised far too late.


Another simple block to make is Basketweave. This is closely related to the 9-patch block as it is cut from sets of three strips.basketweave block

You can download the instructions to make the block here – they include a few quilt ideas as well. This is the original block colouring set 4 blocks by 4.

basketweave quilt

If you add another colour to some of the blocks you get this effect -

basketweave quilt b

Windmills in different shades of blue, and the woven effect has gone.

Or if you use the original block and one that uses a lighter blue you get this -

basketweave quilt a

The woven effect is back again. There are more ideas in the pdf pattern.