Have Fun Sewing Mystery Quilt Patterns

Colorful detail of quilt sewn from square pieces on sewing machine, quilting and sewing accessories
MaxCab / Getty Images

Mystery quilt patterns are fun group events that illustrate just how different each person interprets a pattern from basic clues but without knowing what the final quilt will look like.

Mysteries are sometimes revealed in one day but instructions for others are released over a few weeks or months. Don't feel you must complete a ​mystery quickly because some quilters take months to finish sewing quilts after the mystery has been revealed. Sometimes quilters can't decide how they want to place the quilt blocks into a layout and other times they prefer to let the design sink in a bit before proceeding.

It's not unusual for quilters to create several quilts from the mysteries they love best.

  • 01 of 11

    2016 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt

    Mystery Quilt Fabric Swatches
    Mystery quilt fabric swatches Janet Wickell

    The 2016 New Year's Day mystery quilt offers plenty of choices for color and contrast, and a complete layout surprise during the final steps. Quilters had lots of fun with this one, and you will, too. 

    If you like smaller quilts, take a look at our 2016 Super Bowl Sunday mystery quilt pattern.

  • 02 of 11

    Springtime Mystery Quilt Pattern

    Folded Fat Quarters
    Folded fat quarters

    Moment/Getty Images

    I published instructions for this mystery quilt pattern over a longer period of time, so be prepared for lots more patchwork units and somewhat fussier cutting than I use in New Year's Day mystery quilt patterns.

  • 03 of 11

    2015 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt

    The quilt has been so popular that the instructions are now available as a typical pattern.

  • 04 of 11

    2014 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt Pattern

    The 2014 New Year's Day mystery event was fun, and lots of quilters created completely unique quilts from the pattern.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    2013 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt Pattern

    2013 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    The 2013 pattern includes a few variations for the mystery quilt, including two finished sizes and the option to either strip piece the patchwork or go completely scrappy. If you don't mind spoilers, take a look at the 2013 Mystery Gallery.

    Not long afterwards, we had another mystery sewing day for the 2013 Super Bowl Mystery Quilt. 

  • 06 of 11

    2011 New Year's Day Mystery

    new year's day mystery quilt pattern
    New Year's day mystery quilt, 2011 Janet Wickell

    Like all mysteries, every quilter interpreted color themes quite differently in 2011. The result was a wide variety of lovely quilts, all unique. This beginner-friendly quilt doesn't include even one triangle.

  • 07 of 11

    2010 New Year's Day Mystery

    Floating Squares Quilt Pattern
    Make a floating squares quilt Janet Wickell

    This remains a favorite mystery quilt, and it really did remain a mystery until nearly all patches were cut and sewn. But it was time to convert the design to a typical pattern and the final quilt (and a link to the instructions) is illustrated here. As always, there are loads of layout options.

  • 08 of 11

    2009 New Year's Day Mystery

    In 2009, quilters made a smaller mystery quilt that finishes at 28-inches square. Although everyone stuck to the same layout, the variations in color and contrast made each quilt quite unique. You may be surprised just how much those variations affect the final appearance of a quilt.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    2008 New Year's Day Mystery

    Our first New Year's Day mystery quilt, another smaller design. The pattern illustrates everything in shades of gray, which keeps anyone from being influenced by suggested colors. We don't have an official gallery for 2008.

  • 10 of 11

    Mystery Medallion Quilt Pattern

    This mystery quilt pattern was published mid-year. The central medallion is revealed at the beginning of the pattern, but rows surrounding it are taken one step at a time.

    Two sizes are possible – make a 22-1/2" square quilt or double that size to sew a 45" square version.

  • 11 of 11

    Mystery Table Runner Pattern

    This table runner pattern was initially a mystery but it's super easy to jump ahead to see the end results. The example table runner is Christmas themed, but the design is suitable for any fabrics you choose. Border stripe fabrics work nicely with this pattern but aren't required.

Watch Now: 5 Hobbies That Give Your Brain a Workout