I am enjoying the challenges of the Mystery Quilt I joined last week. Every Sunday Darlee from http://quiltsamplerjournal.blogspot.com/2014/01/about-appliques.html posts a new step for those of us who signed up for it.
The other Mystery Quilt projects I have worked with were on weekend retreats, and also pushed me beyond what my skills were.
This one is for appliques, and Darlee suggests machine applique, which is a good way for me to learn, and yet, she also supports the more advanced quilters to do hand work.
My first mystery quilt took me a year to complete. I called it "Blue Ice" and gave it to Mother who lives in residential care. Her bedroom is blue and she loved it. The challenge was that the pattern missed a step, which took me so long to figure out.
The next mystery quilt I made went to my Godson Ken, and I LOVED how it turned out with how it looked like a 3-D. These fabrics were batiks and were stunning.
The third one is still a work in progress (WIP) and is going to my #2 Granddaughter Baylee for her graduation and have posted here earlier. I plan to buy the backing for it when I go to the quilt show at the end of the month.
I have to say that doing mystery quilts works a lot better for me than when I did the first one. I realize that I want to buy fabrics I like and then simply follow the directions trusting in my own choices.
The appeal in doing them is all about being committed to trying something new, but also having the safety of working with someone who is training and willing to answer questions if I get stuck.
Change is hard for most of us. I love trying new things and sometimes need this sort of project to help me grow beyond my comfort in order to learn.
The part about the mystery quilt that is hardest for me is that I don't have that final vision and get scared what I am doing will not turn out. Am I a confident beginner? Yes. I am also a newer intermediate. Right on that border, still questioning my choices, still struggling with this and that. However, I am quilting every day. How I got here is still a mystery.