(Drum Roll……….) Here goes!

Well, I guess we’re ready!  At least as ready as we’re gonna get!  But first, I want to tell you about my new find.  I do a lot of black stitching on black fabric.  My machine has a light but it’s really hard to see those black stitches.  A friend of mine “enlightened” (HaHa, I like that!)  me to an LED light strip that you can attach to your machine.  It has a sticky backing so you can position it to get the most light exactly where you need it. It is plenty long enough and you can easily cut off the extra length that you don’t need.  I’ve tried other lights and there always seems to be a shadow and although they help they’ve never quite cut it for me.  This light is bright and gives me no shadow!  But it has a dimmer so if you are working on really bright fabrics it is more pleasing to your eyes.  At least it worked that way for me.  I found it on Amazon  –  Bonlux Sewing Machine LED Lighting Kit, Machine Working Led Lights Attachable LED Sewing Light Strip Kit – Fits All Sewing Machine.  And the price was very reasonable – $19.99.  I will be buying 2 more soon for my other machines.  I don’t know how I sewed without it before.  Love it!




OK, so here we go with the first clue.  Warning:  this clue may be somewhat boring but we need to grow the bones for this mystery.  Remember, there are two sizes offered here with the large size in ( ).  My background is black so substitute your background color for mine.  We will be making 4 patches and 9 patches, as shown, –  48 of each, and  (80 of each).  As always…….no need to matchy match here.  Just use as many different colors, patterns, fabrics as you can.  Variety and no duplication will give you the best look. ( Yup, those are Christmas gingerbread boys!  I use it all!  Go wild!  Have fun with it!)   Flip and nest the seam allowance to reduce bulk.  Press to your darkest side.  When finished, 4 patches should measure 2 1/2″ square and 9 patches should measure 3 1/2″ square.

Next clue will be on February 8th at 7pm EST.  As always, have fun and Happy Quilting!


Please feel free to direct others to this website for the information and clues. 




  • Cala
    January 11, 2017

    Lovely to get the first clue early in the morning…..now I can plan my day! ? I was weary of the black, but your 4- & 9-patches looks striking! I’m off to make breakfast and start sewing!!
    ???Thank you!???

  • Kathy Nyman
    January 12, 2017

    Charlotte- since there are so many pieces in this quilt, could you put in the beginning of the instructions which size squares we are using?
    At the end of the instructions you include what size the finished block is- but that required math to figure out what to start with.

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      January 12, 2017

      Sorry, 1 1/2″ squares.

  • Jan
    January 12, 2017

    Yippee!!!!! “Toss em like a salad” she says!!!!

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      January 12, 2017


  • Pratima
    January 13, 2017

    Thank you, Charlotte for all your hard work.. I just started cutting, it will be fun to make cute 4 patch and 9 patches. The contrast of your scraps with black is wonderful 🙂

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      January 13, 2017

      Good to hear from you, Pratima! Glad you will be sewing along!

    January 17, 2017

    My niece a newbie quilter is trying this one on her own …. We have been making quilts together with me doing all the ” BRAIN” work . I live 100 miles away from her. She needs a little more instruction than what was posted in your original post. Can you go in more detail as if you are teaching newbies.


  • Donna O
    January 28, 2017

    I’m still confused. When the mention of “background” is black but you can say our background can be our choice. To me background is maybe sashing, etc but not part of each of our 4 Patch and 9 Patch but certainly that background fabric can be part of our paches as well. I don’t see what yardage we are to have for our background fabric. I purchased 4 yards but not sure if that’s too much or not enough. I plan to make the smaller size. On FB I see many are using a solid in most or all of their blocks. Mine are all scrappy & a few solids thrown in. I thought I read we need 80 3.5 inch squares but now I can’t find that now. Sorry to be so “clueless”. My first mystery quilt.

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      January 28, 2017

      Hi Donna,
      Thank you for your question. The fabric requirements were given in a December post. Please go back and check. It will tell you the yardage and also the size and number of squares for this mystery quilt. Background fabrics can be your choice of color, scrappy or not. Usually the background fabric gives a continuity to the quilt to set off the pattern and may or not be used for the sashing. In this case the sashing uses the background fabric and will enhance the design.
      Happy quilting!

  • Debbie Bryant
    February 4, 2017

    How do I enroll?

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      February 4, 2017

      On the right hand side is a link to subscribe.

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