There are still 15 sewing days left until the deadline for our Beyond the Block Mystery Quilt Contest. The excitement here at AQS is growing, as we’ve already received entries from quilters in 23 U.S. states and Canada. For complete contest details, see page 66 of the September 2010 issue of American Quilter magazine. (This article is also available online for AQS members.) And be sure to read my blog posting of August 5 for important cutting corrections to patches E and H. Here are a few more samples of the distinctive focus blocks readers have chosen for this challenge.
Marlene Hager of Springfield, Illinois, sent me photos of her beautifully pieced focus blocks (above), but admits the mystery quilt was a little beyond her comfort zone: “This is my very first mystery quilt and it was hard to let go of the control—choosing focus blocks and colors and not knowing where they were going to be in the quilt. Now that my first installment is done, I really like the blocks, so I feel better.”
Abigail Fuller of Troy, Idaho, started with leftover Maple Leaf blocks she had pieced for her sister’s wedding quilt 12 years ago. What a beautiful color scheme!
“Wow. I thought I was being bold in my fabric choices, but this is over the top,” writes Judy Hoxie of Cornelius, North Carolina. Judy, those blocks are just dynamite, and your finished quilt will have amazing visual impact.
The focus blocks chosen by Joy Hatcher of Clarksville, Tennessee, include an alphabet’s worth of sage advice and uplifting thoughts.
Barbara Skimin of Troy, Michigan, compliments our pattern instructions: “I really appreciate the precision of the instructions. Thank you for making this mystery so much fun. I can hardly wait for the next set of clues!” Barbara’s focus blocks are fabric transfers of photos taken during a recent vacation in Tucson, using colors that coordinate with her newly-painted living room.
A soothing Kona Bay oriental print was chosen by Jennie Peck of Alexander, New York, for her focus blocks. Jennie’s other fabrics include scraps from antique kimono pieces.
Ann Alexander’s lovely bird blocks are from the Legacy Studio "Nestled In the Branches" collection. This Tubac, Arizona, quilter intended to do something "traditional" with the fabric (for her mom's bird collection) but decided to use them for this mystery project instead. Ann says, “The birds are squared up on the fabric, but I found that some could be put on point without falling off the branches!”
I wish I had time and space in this blog to post all the wonderful entries. But I can say with assurance that each mystery quiltmaker so far has done a great job of expressing his or her personality and quilting style in their Part 1 blocks. Great work, everyone!