Midsummer Mystery


Based on 107cm (44in) wide fabric

Refer to the chart to find the fabric requirements for your chosen size You will also need:

  • Neutral sewing thread
  • Neutral or contrasting quilting thread
  • Small bags to keep the separate units in, as you make them, ziploc bags from a supermarket are ideal.

Finished Size

Small: approx 71 x 71cm (28 x 28in)

Medium: approx 112 x 112cm (44 x 44in)

Large: approx 112 x 152cm (44 x 60in)

Skill Level


We love mystery quilts and we know you do too, because we had lots of requests for this one in 2008, to take us from summer into autumn. This quilt is very exciting because we have instructions for three different sizes; so you can choose the one that suits you best.


For each size, you'll need three different piecing fabrics plus one background fabric. You could select them all from a single fabric range or mix and match fabrics you like the look of. Make sure there is a good contrast between the light, medium and dark fabrics for the best effect. Small prints and close designs will work well. Avoid obvious directional prints like stripes, unless you don’t mind which way they end up pointing, and beware that animals, fairies and similar may end up legless or headless!

Handy hint  Choose the quilt size you would like to make; small, medium or large. Read through the instructions and carefully mark or highlight the quantities that apply to your choice of size.

This is not a difficult design to make, but accurate 1⁄4in seams are important.

Practice sewing a few small test squares together, opening out and measuring them each time, until you are happy with the finished size. Carefully follow the instructions for your quilt size and remember the saying: “Check twice, cut once!”



71 x 71cm (28 x 28in)


112 x 112cm (44 x 44in)


112 x 152cm (44 x 60in)

Background 50cm (5⁄8yd) 1m (1 1⁄8yds) 1.25m (1 3⁄8yds)
Light 25cm (3⁄8yd) 50cm (5⁄8yd) 1m (1 1⁄8yds)
Medium 50cm (5⁄8yd) 75cm (7⁄8yd) 1.25m (13⁄8yds)
Dark 75cm (7⁄8yd) 1.25m (1 3⁄8yds) 1.5m (1 5⁄8yds)
Binding 35cm (3⁄8yd) 45cm (1⁄2yd) 45cm (1⁄2yd)
Backing 80 x 80cm (32 x 32in) 122 x 122cm (48 x 48in) 122 x 152cm (48 x 64in)
Wadding 80 x 80cm (32 x 32in) 122 x 122cm (48 x 48in) 122 x 152cm (48 x 64in)


Figure 1: Join light and medium strips

  1. Cut 3, 9 or 13* light and 3, 9 or 13* medium strips, 1 1⁄2in wide across the complete width of fabric.
  2. Take a light and a medium strip and, with right sides together, sew along one long raw edge. Open out and press the seam to the darker side. Repeat with the remaining strips for your size of quilt. Your strips should now look like Figure 1.
  3. Take these long pieced strips and crosscut into 80, 248 or 360* 1 1⁄2in units, as shown by the dotted lines in Figure 2. There will be lengths of pieced strips left over. Keep these remaining part strips intact, for later.
  4. Take two of the 1 1⁄2in crosscut units and turn one so the light and medium colours are opposite each other as in Figure 3. Sew together to make one square. Press the seam to one side and trim to 2 1⁄2in square. Repeat to make 40, 124 or 180* four-patches looking like the one in Figure 3.

Letf Figure 2: Cross cut into 1 1⁄2in units. Right Figure 3: Two units become a four-patch


*Choose amount depending on whether you have decided to make the small, medium or large quilt.


  1. Take two of the four-patches you have just made, pair them together and sew them as shown in Figure 4. Carefully check the placement of the squares in the finished rectangle, as shown.
  2. Open the new unit out and check that the colours are placed correctly. Press the seam to one side. Repeat to make 4, 16 or 24* rectangles. Press and trim each one, if necessary, to measure 2 1⁄2in x 41⁄2in. There will be some four-patches left over. Keep these four-patches safe, as they will be needed next time.

Figure 4: Join two four-patches into a rectangle

Place all your four-patch and rectangle units in separate bags, marking them Unit A and Unit B. Keep your part strips and spare four-patches in marked bags too.

First published in Popular Patchwork June 2008