All hail the Gypsy Queen!! This was one of those quilts that played out like a great book. I didn't want her to end. Ok, she's technically not done because she still needs quilted, but piecing her was so much fun. The Gypsy Queen Quilt Along was hosted by Cora over at Cora's Quilts.
I discovered the quilt along searching around on quiltalong.net (a great resource or quilt alongs and linky parties). It started around the end of August with a fabric requirement guide and cutting instructions. Cora provides both for a full and queen size quilt. I didn't have time to run to one of my LQS so I took a chance and visited a big box retailer hoping to find fabrics that would fit my needs. This was what I came up with.
I'll admit I had mixed feelings about these colors...all together. But the purchase had been made so it was time to commit. I rounded up my spool of Aurifil 2021 to piece her together with. Every Friday for fourteen weeks, new instructions were posted to lead us into our quilting journey.
Little by little, small pieces of the puzzle was revealed.
Then we hit week six, nine and ten and Cora totally lost me. Those weeks instructed us to make these totally wonky crazy blocks. I scratch my head. I had to be reading the directions wrong. Instead of being nice little square or rectangle shaped blocks like these...
They were "L" and "T" shaped. So instead of sewing blindly and trusting wholly, I skipped those three weeks, figuring I find my misunderstanding later on in the process.
Then a few weeks later (wonky blocks still unmade) Cora gave us the setting instructions and the big reveal...gasp!!! My eyes gazed upon one of the prettiest quilts I've seen. I scrambled to quickly assemble the wonky blocks.
So what was the great mystery?? Instead of the quilt being sewed in rows, it was set on point. Why didn't I see that coming? Well played, Cora. Well, played. After all the blocks were assembled it was time to lay the top out and trim it up.
Squaring up an on point quilt is one of the most nerve wrecking things ever. Measure several times and cut once...yikes.
Then came the business of borders. I decided to give mine a smaller inner border and a larger outer border. My quilt top became a victim of late night sewing. When I sewed my second strip on, I sewed it on backwards. I had it coming, I hadn't done that in a while.
In case you are interested, it takes about one episode of Cut Throat Kitchen to rip off a 61" long strip...just saying. So rested and refreshed, the next evening I finished my Gypsy Queen.
|An up close view of the fabrics.|
I LOVE how this quilt turned out. It is why I love mystery quilt-a-longs so much. Cora kept me guessing at every step of the process and provided us with a design that was more than I could ever imagine. I will definitely be watching to see if she releases another mystery quilt next year.
Have you ever participated in a mystery quilt? How did it turn out? If you have never tried one, I beg you to put it on your 2016 to do list. My ultimate goal is to join the ranks of the very talented Cora, Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs (you can check out Cheryl's Midnight Mystery Quilt still going on here) and Pat Sloan and design my own mystery quilt for all of us to play with. I'm just not quite there yet.
As for the Gypsy Queen, how will she be quilted? Honestly, I'm not sure yet. I would love to see her finished soon and I'm considering taking her to a LQS and having her long armed. However, I can here my little spools of Aurifil thread yelling..."Pick me! Pick me!" I guess time will tell her fate.