Michele Holt
Sandy Hook, Virginia

Hours by Appointment Only

Machines are buzzing and I am as busy as a bee making your quilts beautiful!

Long Arm Quilting
Binding Services
Custom Quilts
Baby Quilts
Memory Bears
T-shirt Quilts
       Quilt Labels

Quilts for Sale
About Me

My Quilting Beehive 2020 Marvelous Mystery


Welcome to My Marvelous Mystery Quilt! We have 12 months of quilting fun ahead of us!  This quilt will be a great project for quilters of all levels.  Directions have been written with beginners in mind.  The quilt includes 12 sampler style blocks that will finish at 6” square and various block units that will be used to put all the sampler blocks together.  What will it look like? Well, that is the fun of a mystery quilt and I won’t tell!  But I promise it will be beautiful.

There will be a few fabrics used throughout the quilt, but the rest will be “planned scrappy.” This means you will pick fabrics (at least 12 different fabrics) that coordinate with your main-focus fabric to use in the scrappy parts. The focus fabric will be used as the outer border of the quilt (and can be used in scrappy parts).  The finished size of the quilt will be determined by your border width.  The main body of the quilt will be 63” x 63”.  You can choose your border width to be 6”, 8” or 10” to make your finished quilt 75”x 75” or 79”x79” or 83”x83”.

Instructions will be posted on the second Saturday of each month. If you would like to get an email with the instructions, please send an email to michele@myquiltingbeehive.com and I will add you to my Marvelous Mystery email group. I have also created a private Facebook group “My Quilting Beehive 2020 Marvelous Mystery.”  If you would like to join, visit My Quilting Beehive on Facebook and find the "Groups" link.  It is for sharing your photos of work in progress, asking questions if you are having trouble, and motivating each other to keep working on each month’s portion of the project.

Click on a button to jump down to the instructions you need (or scroll until you get to them)

Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 & 12

**Click here for Month 1 Instructions

This month you will select fabric and make the first two sampler blocks.
Here are photos of my fabric selections. 
The first shows the main fabric, accent fabric, and background fabric.
The second photo is my focus fabric with coordinating scraps from my stash.  I may add or remove scraps as we progress.

Here are the first two sampler blocks

**Click here for Month 2 Instructions

This month you will make a set of four patch blocks and another sampler block.

When you are cutting, you will cut some extra strips that will be used later in the borders.
Label these and set them aside.

While you are cutting, you will make some strips that we will use later.  Label them and set them aside.

Four Patch Block


52 Four Patch Blocks


After you sew together your strips, line up a straight line on your ruler with the seam line.  This will insure your cuts are square/straight. In the photo, my ruler is 10" from the cut edge... I will cut at 10", then slide it to make cuts at 8", 6" 4" and 2".


You can press final seams to one side, or if you would like to reduce bulk in the center, you can open up your seam to press it flat. I found an online tutorial to help you



 Courthouse Steps Block

**Click Here for Month 3 Instructions

This month, we will make some flying geese, cut our focus fabric border, and make a sampler block

Have you made Flying Geese blocks before? If not, this is your chance!
I learned how to make 4 at a time a long time ago. For years, I made them and trimmed the best I could using my plain ruler-- then I got the Creative Grids "Ultimate Flying Geese Tool." It is so much easier to get perfect blocks with this ruler. It makes 8 sizes from 1" x 2" up to 4" x 8"
There are similar rulers by other brands.  The Quilt in a Day Flying Geese rulers come in different sizes.  For this quilt you would need size small which makes 1 1/2" x 3" and 3" x 6" finished sized units.
Studio 180 makes the "Wing Clipper" which can cut 1" x 1 1/2" up to 5 1/2" x 10 1/2"
Marti Michell has a flying geese ruler-- It has you cut all of your triangles then sew (not the four at a time method I have shown in my directions).  It makes accurate geese and if you have it you will need to follow the instructions that come with the ruler to make your geese.

Making Geese 4 at a time (step by step):
Click on each image to enlarge
Mark diagonal lines on each of the 2 ¾” squares of the different scrap fabrics ¼” from the center diagonal as shown in the photo (some people prefer to mark the center diagonal then sew ¼” away from the line…that will work, too).  Place two marked squares on top of a 4 ¾” background square right sides together as shown. The small squares will overlap in the center.  Make sure they line up with the background fabric square in the upper left and bottom right corners.
Sew on your marked lines, then cut on the center diagonal between your sewn lines
Press the seams toward the small triangles.  They will look like angular hearts.
Place another marked 2 ¾” square, right sides together, over the corner with background fabric as show in the illustration. Sew on your marked lines, then cut on the center diagonal between your sewn lines. When I sew, I put the bottom of the "heart" under my presser foot first so the seam allowance doesn't get caught as it feeds through. 
Cut on the center diagonal between your sewn lines.
Press seam toward the small triangles. You should have 13 different fabric sets of 4 flying geese
Trim to 2" x 3.5" (finished size 1.5" x 3") with your favorite Flying Geese Ruler.  If you are using the creative Grids Ruler, line up your unit with to size "C".  First place your block under the corner that says "Trim 1" then rotate to the corner that says "Trim 2"

*** If you do not want to use a Flying Geese Ruler, be sure to keep 1/4" seam allowance above the triangle point.  Also be sure to center the triangle point. I recommend a flying geese ruler.

  In addition to flying geese, we will be making the following:
 When you cut for your flying geese, you will have a set of thirteen 3.5" square to hold onto until next month

To cut your border, fold the length so the selvedge is together. 
Line up your ruler on the folded edge (the 23" line in the photo).
Trim off the selvedge. 
Cut your border strips to your desired width. 
Set these aside with the border strips from month 2.



 "Jewel Box"
sampler block

Tip-- when you trim your half square triangles,
line up the 45 degree angle line of your ruler with the center diagonal of your block


***Click here for Month 4 Instructions

This month we are sewing 13 of your Flying Geese units onto squares.
You can match the fabrics like I did, or mix and match to make them scrappier.

We are making two sampler blocks this month
Sampler block 5 is the Churn Dash Block.
Sampler Block 6 is Shoo Fly.

Both sampler blocks have Half Square Triangles
Be sure to line up the diagonal line on your ruler with the seam when squaring up your block.

***Click here for Month 5 Instructions

This month, we are cutting some background fabric pieces. 
We are sewing our four patches from month 2 together, then making a 16-patch sampler block.

Tip-- when I laid out my 16 patch for the sampler, I used numbered pins to keep my rows in order.
For this block, you can choose just 2 fabrics for a checker board effect, or make it scrappy. 
I used my focus fabric to border my scrappy 16-patch.

*** Click here for Month 6 Instructions


This month you will be making 12 sets of 4 flying geese-- larger than the ones we made in month 3.
Refer to month 3 post for step by step illustrations.

The instructions for the sampler block make one block and one reversed block.  Only one will be used in the quilt.

***Click here for Month 7 Instructions

This month, you will sew a square to each end of the flying geese that you made in month 6 and make two sampler blocks.

Here are some tips for making the quarter square triangles:
Start like you are making half square triangles.
Mark the back of two of the half square triangles.
Layer a marked half square triangle with a second half square triangle, wrong sides together.  The seams will nest. Be sure two different fabrics are touching (my pink is on the blue froral)

Sew on your marked lines, then cut apart between the sewn lines.  Press seams.

When trimming, use the 45 degree line of the ruler along the diagonal.  Since these are trimmed to 2 1/2", the center point should be 1 1/4".  Make sure your center point of the block is 1 1/4" from each side before you trim. When you line up your ruler, the center point of the block should be 1 1/4" from the top and the right side of the ruler.

When matching your points, put a pin through each point.  Pull the pin all the way in tight to pull the points together.  Hold the points and place a pin on each side of the point to secure it.  Remove the pin that is pulled all the way through, then sew.  Leave the pins in until just before they reach the needle on the sewing machine.

Sew right by the intersection of the seams just a needle width above your point so you have nice crisp points showing after you press.

***Click here for Month 8 Instructions

We are making our last two sampler blocks (Hooray!)
and we are sewing squares onto the small flying geese from month 3

You need to square up each time you add triangles to your center square. The first time, you are trimming to 4 3/4". When you line up your ruler, make sure you have 1/4" beyond the point of the center square for a seam allowance. Your half way point is 2 3/8". The top and bottom corners of the center square should be 2 3/8" from the edge of the ruler.
When you sew, place the wrong side of your center square on top so you can see the seam.  This will help you keep the points sharp.
Once you add your second set of corner triangles, your block will need to be trimmed to 6 1/2". The half was point is 3 1/4".  Your top and bottom corners of the second square should be 3 1/4" from the edge of the ruler.
Line up your 45 degree line with the diagonal when trimming your half square triangles. Pinwheel should be 4 3/4" x 4 3/4"
Reduce bulk in your center seam by pressing the center seams like we did in month 2.
Watch your corners when you are sewing the triangles to your pinwheel.  The 1/4 seam allowance will line up with the diagonal of the pinwheel
Just like in block 11, this block will be trimmed to 6 1/2" x 6 1/2".  The 3 1/4" line of your ruler should line up with the center diagonal of your pinwheel block.

***Click here for Month 9 Instructions

This month, you will make 12 star blocks with your sampler blocks as the center.
Each block should measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2"

You only need to watch your flying geese points in these blocks

These sampler blocks have points that you will need to use care to keep sharp. 
Pin these points as well as the flying geese points

The square in a square points need to match with the flying geese points.  Pin carefully!

***Click here for Month 10 Instructions

Way back in month 2 we made some 4 patch blocks.
We are finally using them to make star blocks with 4 patches in the corners

make 13 blocks

Nestle seams and pin to match corners
Sew with star blocks on top so you can see your points
OOPS! These are wrong!
Be careful... I got to spend an lovely afternoon with my seam ripper.
Make sure your four patch blocks are in the right directions!

***Click here for The final assembly instructions!!!

Time to put it all together

Do you hate binding? Click here to visit my binding page with step by step tips and photos on how to bind a quilt

Don't forget to make a label