Today let's look at Joyce's Mystery quilt block. Traditionally, this block has a light center with a dark frame around it but I wanted to see what it looked like with a fussy cut piece in the center. So I dug into my scraps and found this large floral on a dark purple background and put a lighter frame around that - what a difference! Anyway, let's get started!
Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Joyce's Mystery Quilt Block:
- Light/Ivory: 4 - 3" squares (I know I only have 2 in the picture - I guess I can't count!), and 8 - 2.5" squares
- Medium/Tan: 4 - 4.5" squares, and 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
- Medium/Green: 4 - 3" squares (once again I counted wrong), and 4 - 2.5" squares
- Dark/Purple: 1 - 8.5" square
Center Square in a Square Unit:
Using the Dark/Purple 8.5" square and the four Medium/Tan 4.5" squares, sew together a Square in a Square unit as shown in the picture below. You can find the tutorial for making a basic Square in a Square block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-square-in-a-square-block
Since this unit is so big, when sewing the Medium/Tan squares to the Dark/Purple square, I ran a second line of stitching about 1/2" from the first stitching. I then cut between the two stitching lines and now have four bonus Half Square Triangle units to use another day. You can see what I did in the picture below.
Half Square Triangle Units:
Using the four Light/Ivory 3" squares and the four Medium/Green 3" squares, you next will sew together eight Half Square Triangle units as shown below. You will find a tutorial for sewing a Half Square Triangle at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block. Press the seam allowances toward the Medium/Green fabric. Trim the units to 2.5" square.
Flying Geese Units:
The last components you will need are four Flying Geese units. Using the Medium/Tan 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles and the Light/Ivory 2.5" squares, sew together four Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below. A Flying Geese tutorial can be found at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block.
Using the picture below for a reference, lay out a Step 3 Flying Geese unit and two Step 2 Half Square Triangle units (top example). Sew the units together (middle example) and press the seam allowances sway from the Flying Geese unit (bottom example). Repeat for a total of four units.
Putting It All Together:
Lay out the Center Unit, the Step 4 units, and the four Medium/Green 2.5" squares according to the picture below.
Sew the units together in three rows as shown below.
Press the seam allowances in the top and bottom rows toward the Medium/Green 2.5" squares and the middle row toward the center as shown below.
Now you can sew the three rows together, and...
Press the seam allowances toward the center as shown in the picture below. You're done!
The Joyce's Mystery quilt block went together quite quickly but the seams got a bit bulky in a couple of spots and so my points didn't come out as nice as I would have liked. When multiple blocks are sewn together, a Medium/Green star will form at the intersections - that's always a nice surprise! This would be a great block for highlighting a piece of embroidery or applique in the center. (See P.S. below.)
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial for the Joyce's Mystery quilt block. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane.
P.S. My good friend Brenda (The Whimsical Quilter) was inspired by this block. She also wanted to let you know that if you do a piece of embroidery in the center of the block to make it a 4" design directly in the center of the 8.5" square.
That way when you make the Square in a Square unit it comes out great!