Get ready for my 2019 Mystery Quilts, 'Stratford' and 'Trendsetters'

Every year since 2013 I have designed a Mystery quilt (two a year for the last 2 years). My precut Mystery Quilts are now available worldwide through my lovely partners; Kim at Cotton Cuts, Justine and Lisa at Simply Solids and now Vivienne at The Passionate Quilter.

I've designed another quilt in the same format for 2019, and this will be available through my partner quilters. This quilt is called 'Stratford', and sign ups open on December 7th.

fter running six mysteries in this format in New Zealand, and with the launch of my new book Quilts with an Angle, I decided it was time to try some new ideas. So my New Zealand 2019 Mystery will be different altogether.

'Trendsetters'

Sign Ups for precut packs open 1st December 2018 at Quilters' Lane

A pattern only option will be available, sign up to my newsletter (link on the right) to make sure you receive the information on how to take part.

Just for now, here's a sneak preview of Trendsetters

 

Jen Kingwell tease photo

 

I look forward to taking part in these Mysteries with you. You can join the Mystery Quilters facebook group to see how much fun we are having and to chat with other Mystery Detectives!

Preorder Quilts with an Angle Now - published by C&T - release date February 2019

Book Cover

 

Available at all good booksellers, ask your Local Quilt Shop to pre-order a copy.

Signed copies are available from me at Quilters' Lane  

 

 

 

 


Pastures New Mystery Quilt Reveal

On Saturday I revealed this year's Mystery Quilt, Pastures New.

We had a really fun day with 23 Mystery Detectives sewing up a storm all day to complete their quilt tops.

Reveal Day ladies

Here in New Zealand we did this Mystery Quilt in 9 different colourways, and I think all were represented on the day.

Reveal Day making Milan

This is the Portofino colourway in the double (large) size

Pastures New Portofino

This quilt features the 'Diving Board' range by Alison Glass. I love these fabrics, the colours are so rich, and there is a lot of movement in the fabric design. I used the backing from the same range and the binding is a linen stripe which complements the fabrics perfectly.

 

Here is the Cork in the small (single) size, featuring Linea fabric by Andover Fabrics.

Cork Single Sheila

We had a lot of Andover fabric lines this year, here is Brenda's Versailles, using Crystal Farm by Edyta Sitar

Pastures New Versailles Brenda

Reveal Day Maria pressing

Such soft and pretty colours!

 

Linda loves monochrome, so she made Sheffield. These fabrics are also by Andover and the line is called..... Monochrome!

Sheffield Double Linda G

'Milan' was another popular choice, again using Linea fabrics. Noeline added extra borders to her single size quilt.

Milan Single Noeline

If you took part in the Pastures New Mystery I hope you enjoyed it! I will be announcing two new Mysteries in December

'Stratford' is one of my classic Puzzle Mysteries and will be offered in pre-cut form by Cotton Cuts (USA), The Passionate Quilter (Australia) and Simply Solids (UK).

I will also be announcing a totally NEW Mystery  which we will be running, again in pre-cut format, at Quilters' Lane in New Zealand.

We love to see your Mystery photos in the facebook group, thanks for taking part and sharing!

Sheila


New Pattern on Craftsy

I'm really excited to introduce my latest pattern..

This Nine Patch Crossings table runner is easy to make and would make a great gift for family and friends. The flanged binding is sewn down by machine, so you won't have to spend hours hand sewing!

Made with Morris Holiday fabrics by Moda, but it would work with any charm squares you have.

Nine patch crossings runner

I have launched the pattern today in my Craftsy Shop, click here to buy

I hope you enjoy making this runner, do post a review on my pattern page if you like it!


Announcing my first book

I am so excited to announce that I have written a book!

 

Book Cover

Quilts with an Angle - A Field Guide contains fifteen quilt projects and has lots of how-to photos and explanations.

It will be released in February 2019 by C&T Publishing - look out for it in your favourite quilt shop, book store and online!


Through the Garden Gate - the Mystery is Revealed

Ten months ago, we started the adventure of Through the Garden Gate.

This Mystery quilt has been so much fun and I have loved watching the progress of detectives as they have posted their clues in our facebook group, which has now grown to over 400 members around the globe.

Before the Mystery started, this colour chart was all people knew about what they would end up with ...

#TeamZinnia (2)As the months went on, pre cut pieces arrived through the mail to make the various sections

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On Friday, Kim from Cotton Cuts did the Big Reveal of the quilt on facebook live, direct from Valley Industries where the US Mystery packs are all cut and packed. You can watch the video and catch up with ace quilter Lincoln's great jokes here

We have been doing a blog hop while making this Mystery, and each month a celebrity blogger has been making one of the clues. The blocks have all been signed, and Kim has now put them together in the completed quilt.... ta da........

 

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'Through the Garden Gate' quilt measuring 48" x 60"

This unique quilt complete with signed blocks is being raffled off in aid of Valley Industries, a sheltered workshop which provides fantastic opportunities for some great folks. It's not too late to enter the raffle, you can purchase tickets here:

BUY RAFFLE TICKETS

The quilt has signatures from all these bloggers, I'd like to thank all of them for donating time from their busy schedules.

Nicole Young (www.lillyella.com)
Cheryl Sleboda (www.muppin.com)
 
Plus yours truly
Sheila Christensen (www.mysteryquilter.com) with guest blogger Kim Moos
 
As well as this colourway, 'Through the Garden Gate' was made in lots of other colours. The fabrics were all pre-cut and ready to sew, and detectives had great fun making the clues each month. If you join our facebook group you will be able to see all of the photos posted by members, the difference in the colourways is amazing!
 
I made my own version in Moda Grunge fabrics. This is the large size pattern (72" x 72")
 
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NEW MYSTERY - This Way and That Way
 
I am really excited to announce that Kim will be running another of my Puzzle Mystery designs soon. Sign ups will be open at www.cottoncuts.com on May 25th. Bookmark her site now and be ready for more Puzzle Adventures!

 

 


Silver Ferns

After a busy 2017 it was lovely to be able to close the year with a walk to my favourite place by the Atiwhakatu stream.

The perfect companion was Silver Fern, one of the colourways for my 2017 Mystery Quilt 'All Aglow'.

This pattern is now available in my Craftsy store

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The Silver Fern is an emblem of New Zealand and can be found everywhere in the bush. It is also the emblem of our mighty All Blacks rugby team.

The weather has been mixed this Christmas but New Year's Eve was a beautiful day, with a light breeze (which means quite a strong breeze in the Atiwhakatu valley!) and lots of sunshine.

The place by the stream is about half way to the mountain hut, about an hour and a half's walk from the car park for me and enough of a good stretch after not doing much exercise all year.

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I love taking  a quilt with me, they have so many uses! This time it was a great cover-up against too much sun as well as the biting sand flies.

Eating my lunch by the stream I heard a pair of Kereru (native pigeons) flying into a tree just above me.

Walking back, the sights, sounds and smells of the bush were so refreshing, and the lines and patterns inspiring.

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If you took part in the All Aglow Mystery I hope you are enjoying finishing your quilt. If you didn't, you can now make one of these quilts for yourself. The pattern for the 48" x 60" version is in my Craftsy store now, and will soon be followed by the 72" x 72" version, which will be included in your purchase once released.

May I wish you all a very Happy New Year and an exciting and creative 2018.


Mini Wonders

The last few months have been really busy with the New Zealand Quilt Symposium plus a trip to Quilt Market in Houston where I was lucky enough to meet up with Kristy Lea of Make Modern Magazine. When I got back home I was excited to see the launch of Issue 19 of the magazine which contains the first block of my Mini Wonders sampler.

 

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This sampler is made using my 60 degree patchwork technique, which is also the method for my Modern Triangle Sampler quilt.

Make Modern is a digital magazine, which is fabulous as you get a huge amount of content in each issue and can just print out the patterns you are interested in. Subscribe to this magazine by following the link on the right hand side of this page.

I hope you will have a go at Mini Wonders. I love the beautiful Alison Glass fabrics in the project, the ones in the photo are Sunprints, and I am now making another using her latest Diving Board range. Another really exciting part of going to Houston was meeting Alison, and I came away with a signed Quilters' Planner which was an unexpected bonus!

Mini Wonders 5

Here's Mini Wonders hanging out in the Bush at Kiriwhakapapa when I took her for a walk. I also saw this beautiful Kereru (native wood pigeon)

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Knights and Castles - and Goats?

Do you know someone who loves Knights of old, castles and dragons?

This new range from Dear Stella is called 'Winter is Here' and I just love the colours as well as all the cute motifs!

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These fabrics were just waiting to be sewn into something fun, and Linda who tests lots of my patterns set to work. Today she brought along the completed Toy Box quilt.

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Out in the garden taking photos I laid the quilt on a bush and the goats next door took quite an interest!

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On the back of the quilt we used the castle tower print

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We loved creating this quilt and you can make one too as this range is now hitting the shops.

The pattern is listed in my Craftsy store.

Contact your local quilt shop to buy these fabrics. If you are in New Zealand you can order a kit from my shop, Quilters' Lane in Masterton.

 

Wholesale pattern enquiries - contact me if you are interested in stocking this pattern in your shop.


Through the Garden Gate Blog Hop begins - enter to win the signed raffle quilt

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Welcome to the 2017 Fall mystery blog hop! I am so excited to be starting this blog hop off and to tell you about this project.

For those of you here for the first time, my name is Sheila Christensen and I am a quilt addict - so much so that I bought the shop! I have been the owner of Quilters' Lane in Masterton, New Zealand, since 2011. In 2012 I designed my first Mystery Quilt.

How does the Mystery work?

  • We offer a choice of colourways and sizes.
  • Each month for ten months you receive a pack of perfectly cut shapes and instructions for sewing them together.
  • You can follow the clues as people post them on facebook in our friendly group.
  • In the tenth pack you get instructions for putting the quilt top together.
  • Mysteries start in February (New Zealand and USA) and July (USA only).

I love seeing all of the different mystery colourways coming together, and our facebook group is a great way for Mystery Quilters to interact and share the buzz! Anyone can join the group and it is a great way to see what the mystery is all about.

You can see photos of my previous Mystery Quilts by clicking on the Mystery Quilt category on the right. This is one of the 2016 quilts.

Stone and Moss Lisa

The Mystery has become so popular here in New Zealand that last year I contacted Kim Moos, President of Cotton Cuts to see if she would be interested in offering the same program in the USA.

We met up in Houston at Quilt Market and hatched the plans, and now Cotton Cuts are offering not just one but two Mysteries each year.

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Here with are with Jennifer Sampou, designer of the 'Snowdrop' colourway fabrics.

Kim is working with Valley Industries to produce the packs for my second Mystery quilt of 2017, which I have called Through the Garden Gate.

Valley Industries is a sheltered workshop in Hazelwood, Missouri, whose mission is to  provide dignified, meaningful employment for adults with developmental disabilities, while providing outstanding quality and service to their valued customers.

 

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Here is Lemarr working on cutting fat quarters for Cotton Cuts monthly subscription boxes.

Valley

Jackie is folding fabrics to go in the boxes.

Cutting and packing all this fabric is a huge job, and I was so happy when Kim told me she was planning a Blog Hop to support this great organisation.

During this Blog Hop, we will be making up one of the Mystery Quilts, and the quilt will be raffled to raise funds for Valley Industries.

You can have a chance to win the quilt by entering the raffle Each of the bloggers will sign their blocks, so this really will be a one of a kind quilt!

Enter the raffle

Each blogger will make up one of the clues and send it to Kim who will complete the quilt. Here is the list of blogs where you will be able to follow the quilt being made:

 
August - Yvonne Fuchs (www.quiltingjetgirl.com
 
September - Teri Lucas (www.terificreations.com)
 
October - Wendy Welsh (www.wendysquiltsandmore.blogspot.com)
 
November - Nicole Young (www.lillyella.com)
 
December - Chris Dodsley (www.madebychrissied.blogspot.com)
 
January - Amy Smart (www.diaryofaquilter.com)
 
February - Sam Hunter (www.huntersdesignstudio.com)
 
March - Cheryl Sleboda (www.muppin.com)
 

Each Mystery Quilt I design comes in a range of colourways. The colours for 'Through the Garden Gate' are named after flowers - Violet, Rose, Geranium, Foxglove, Aster, Zinnia, Hydrangea and Snowdrop.These are four of the colourways still available - Aster, Snowdrop, Geranium and  Zinnia.

Snowdrop

Geranium

     Zinnia

 

 

 

#TeamZinnia (2)This is all the information you get at the beginning to see what you are in for (apart from the size)!

For the raffle quilt we decided to join #Team Aster. We are using Carolyn Friedlander's beautiful 'Friedlander' range from Robert Kaufman.

So, here is the first clue. In the pack is a colour chart, a set of instructions and all the pieces perfectly cut and ready to sew.

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Kim has made up this first clue and she sent me these photos. I love these fabrics and it's going to be so much fun to see all the clues as they are assembled by our bloggers.
 
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If you would like to take part in this Mystery, some of the colourways are still available from www.cottoncuts.com 
 
Do head on over to enter the raffle and read about the great work that Kim is supporting at Valley Industries.
 
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If you cannot take part in this one, don't despair as there will be another Mystery starting at the beginning of 2018.
 
A big thank you to all of our bloggers who have agreed to help us with this Blog Hop and Raffle Quilt. Don't forget to visit www.quiltingjetgirl.com  next month for the next installment!
 

Starting to Quilt my Circle of Stars Runner

Last week I made a new table runner, Circle of Stars

 

Circle of Stars

I used traditional Christmas fabrics, but I can't wait to see what other colours people will pick for their own runners.

I am busy working on the pattern and will release it soon, as well as teaching the class on August 18th. For now I am getting started on quilting my sample, so I thought I would share the process with you.

I am using fusible cotton batting from Hobbs. This batting is perfect for smaller projects as you can iron it in place, eliminating the need to spend ages pinning.

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Use plenty of heat and maybe some steam to make sure it stays in place. I also put a few pins just around the outside. The fusible is not permanent, so if you get any wrinkles you can pull it apart and iron it down flat again.

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I put all the layers together and then gave it a good iron - being careful not to twist.

The next step was to choose a thread. I love variegated thread so I picked this cotton one from Gutermann that highlights the gold tones in the fabrics. When picking thread, pull a little out and lay it down to see what it will look like. This is something we always do when helping customers in the shop.

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For the back, I am using my favourite Aurifil thread. I usually recommend the same type of thread top and bottom and these two are both cotton - mixing cotton and polyester often ends in tears!

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Next I set up my machine with a 3.5mm stitch length and the walking foot. A walking foot helps feed all the layers through at once and avoids creating wrinkles and pleats.

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Notice I have set the needle position at 0. That's because I am going to use the seams as a guide and with this machine I can run the edge of the foot along the seams to keep my lines straight.

Before starting, I test my setup on a scrap piece of fabric at the edge of the project.

IMG_6545Looking good, so let's get ready.

I am marking the runner with two different markers - a Sewline  ceramic marker for the dark fabrics and a Frixion iron-off pen for the light ones.

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I decided to quilt 1/4" away from the seams of the star shapes. Afterwards I will decide where to fill in the spaces and what pattern to use.

To get started, I position the needle where I want to begin and draw up the bobbin thread by holding the top thread and turning the manual wheel of the machine.

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This will stop the bottom thread forming a nest on the back of the work. I will tie these ends in after I have finished.

Now it's time to follow the lines, not too fast, and making sure to keep the weight of the work on the table, not my lap. When I get to an outside star point, I am using the lock button to do a few stitches in one place, this helps keep my points nice and sharp.

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More when I get this one completed ....

 

If you would like to make this runner, I will be releasing the pattern soon so look out for an announcement..

 

Sheila