things aren't always as they seem

Mystery Block 1

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It’s a mystery. A mystery quilt, to be accurate. B&B Quilting and Gifts, the quilt shop in Buda, started their first $5 quilt block-of-the-month program and it’s a mystery quilt. (This is also my first time in a $5 quilt block program.)

quilt square in three batik fabrics

Batik block 01

The $5 quilt program goes like this: A customer buys the first month’s kit for $5. The next month, the customer brings back the first block sewn and gets the second block kit for free. On the proper day in the next month, the customer comes in with the second block sewn and gets the third block kit for free. As long as the customer brings in the sewn block on the designated day, they get the next month’s kit for free. In the end, the customer will have all the blocks and will have paid only $5.

Occasionally it doesn’t work out that way. Sometimes the customer can’t come in on the designated day. Sometimes they don’t sew the block but come in to the shop to get the next month’s kit anyway. In these cases, the customer pays $5 for the next month’s kit. The only way to get it for free is to bring in the previous one sewn (according to the pattern) on the designated day.

quilt block in three civil ware reproduction fabrics

Reproduction block 01

This particular $5 quilt program is a “mystery quilt.” That means that the overall pattern for the quilt and which fabrics will be used are unknown to the customers. They receive the fabrics and pattern with each month’s kit, but until that time, those details were unknown to them. Only at the end of the program when they receive the last month’s kit will they have the full picture of the quilt pattern.

B&B Quilting and Gifts offered two fabric choices for their mystery quilt: civil war reproductions and batiks.

Myself, I love batiks, so that’s what I chose. My friend, P., chose the reproduction fabric. For the first month, we set aside the time to sew our blocks on the same day that we bought them. I took my little sewing machine to her apartment. We picked up the first month’s kits and went straight back to her apartment to sew them. Once I saw it sewn, I liked hers so well that I decided that I wanted to sign up for the reproduction fabric kits as well. She like mine so well that she decided she wanted to sign up for the batik fabric kits. We took our sewn blocks back to the shop and displayed them for show-and-tell, signed up for the second set of fabrics and paid our additional $5.

two quilt blocks stacked

Not the same size

The instructions said that the finished block should be 10 1/2 inches square. I had good intentions, but my batik block was quite a bit smaller. The reproduction block is almost 10 1/2 inches square. Oh well, better luck next month.

Postaday2011 #284


Author: Tresha Barger

Writer (blogs, humor, short stories, poetry) and artist (miniature art quilts, watercolor paintings, soft sculpture dolls)

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