O’ Say Can You Sew Mystery Quilt-Along – Block #1

Do you have piles of scraps stacking up that are just waiting for a project? I don’t know about you, but it drives me a little batty to have a bunch of unused pieces of random fabric laying around. I look at them and keep thinking… I need to make something out of those! That’s why I decided to do a Quilt-Along based on using leftover scraps! Get your sewing machines ready because today officially marks the first clue release for my Oh Say Can You Sew” Mystery Quilt-Along!

You might remember me talking about my Mystery Quilt-Along during, Stitch with Lisa Bongean a few times over the last couple of weeks. If you missed it, let me tell you about the details. I’m calling this Quilt-Along, Oh Say Can You Sew because I have so many reds, whites, and blues leftover from previous projects (American Gatherings Quilt-Along, my American Gatherings book, and Stars & Stripes to name a few). I thought it would be a fun way to get an awesome patriotic quilt out of simply recycling my salvage. I also thought it would be entertaining to make this a mystery project – meaning you are not going to know exactly what you’re making until it all comes together in the very end! I think it’s exciting, can you handle the suspense?

Now don’t worry, I know it’s scary to jump into a project without knowing what the final results will be, but you can trust me – I would never have you make something that I didn’t have 100% confidence in. What I WILL tell you about this quilt is that it’s a pretty good size. It will be two blocks with a scrappy sashing. If you are using all scrap pieces for this project, be prepared to use up a lot of them!

How the Oh Say Can You Sew Mystery Quilt-Along works is simple and fun. On the first Monday of every month we will release a new FREE clue (there is no specific time that I will be releasing the clue – please keep an eye on the blog throughout the day)! There will be seven clues released in total. When the clue is released it will be posted not only here on my blog, but also on our YouTube channel, “Stitch with Lisa Bongean.” Each clue will be available to download as a printable PDF FREE for one month. When then next month’s clue posts, the previous clue will no longer be available for free, but can be purchased to download through our website for $5.00 each. You can download the first clue by clicking the button below!

As you might have already seen, for the first clue you will be making 31 blue and cream 9 patches. These can be done with 1 1/2″ strip sets or 1 1/2″ squares (I did all strip sets for my quilt because that’s what worked best for the scraps I have). They can be the same or different on each side. The only “rule” is that you need to pay attention to value. In other words, where I have dark pieces on my quilt, you put dark on yours. And where I put light pieces you put light. If you follow this rule it will all work out perfectly!

If you don’t have red, white, and blue scraps but would like to make a red, white, and blue quilt, Jess put some fat quarter bundle options together for you that will be perfect for that. We have blues, whites, and creams available in bundles of 12 fat quarters for $30.00 per bundle (that’s two FREE!), and red bundles of 8 fat quarters for $24.00. These bundles are also great to supplement your stash if you don’t have enough scraps to complete the project.

What makes this Quilt-Along even more fun is that anything goes! If you don’t want to do a red, white, and blue quilt that’s ok! You can use any scraps you’d like on this project. Just remember to pay attention to value when deciding on your fabric placement.

I really encourage all of you to get in on this fun Quilt-Along! Spring cleaning is upon us – what better way to use it as an excuse to QUILT more?! LOL Let’s get those scrap bins emptied out to make room for what else, but more scraps ! This project really only requires a little bit of sewing time each month, so don’t be afraid to dive into this one. You’ll still have time for other fires, I promise!

You can follow along as I turn my scrap bin into a masterpiece by watching me on my YouTube Channel, Stitch with Lisa Bongean every first Monday of the month where I’ll be “cluing you in” to the next clue on my list! As always, make sure to “like” and comment during our LIVE broadcasts, along with here on my blog posts and facebook for a chance to win a prize! Let me know if you plan to join me for my Oh Say Can You Sew Mystery Quilt-Along!If so, are you planning to do red, white, and blue or another color scheme? Let me know! …and don’t forget! Tomorrow is our first “Shop Talk with Shelley”! Tune in for that at 9AM CST by hitting the link below! See you soon! ~Lisa


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I live on a lake in beautiful Butte Des Morts, WI. I have three sons: Lance (forever 29), Luke 33, Jake 32, and two grand-babies, Little Man and O-Bug. I've been married to the love of my life Nick, since 1998 when we started our crazy adventure together! I am a quilter, rugger, and gardener. I also love to cook when I get the chance. Thanks for visiting and supporting Primitive Gathering Quilt Shop where I try to bring you the best Moda fabrics and wool projects anywhere!

81 thoughts on “O’ Say Can You Sew Mystery Quilt-Along – Block #1

  1. I’m in!!! Not sure what colors I will use just yet, been thinking and can’t decide. I will stew on this for a bit while I try to catch up on some other sewalongs. Can’t wait to see the mystery at the end! Thank you Lisa!

  2. I will be doing the red white and blue as I also have a lot of scraps in those colors. I also decorate for the whole summer in red white and blue and always can find a place to put another quilt

  3. I’m in!! I have quite a few red, white and blue fabrics from a couple of your fabric lines. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.

  4. i’m in– I don’t have many red-blues– Going to use up what I have though… Thank you Lisa for putting this together…

  5. Well, I’ve been resisting this since I’m Canadian. But I stopped and read your introduction and became convinced that I want to join in the fun. I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about colours. But I think I will probably stick to the red,white, and blue.

  6. I will be happy to participate in this quilt along. I have so many Red, white and blue fabrics, scarps and otherwise. I will use scraps where I can and fat quarters when I need to cut into them. I’m starting to think I need a bakers rack set-up to hold my works in process though.

  7. Sew fun! I cut up my “Flag” SAL scraps up already for your other flag pattern, both the throw and mini one. I am sure I can find more in my stash though! 😜

    1. Hi Pam! Since it’s a “mystery” I’m keeping the exact measurements a secret for now. I will say that it is a good size for a full to queen size bed, depending on the mattress setup. Thanks for participating and happy stitching! ~Lisa

  8. Have fabric requirements been posted for this quilt along? I can’t seem to find any info other than “scraps”.

    1. Hi Dorothy! Because it’s designed around using scraps, I haven’t posted exact fabric requirements for this project. You basically just figure it out as you go. For the first clue, I used 1 1/2″ strip sets because that’s what worked best for the scraps I have. You could also use 1 1/2″ squares. No matter which way you choose to go about it you just need to end up with 31 total 3 1/2″ blocks at the end. If you’re worried that you may not have enough scrap to finish the project, our “Oh Say Can You Sew” fabric bundles have 12 fat quarters in the blue, cream and whites, and 8 fat quarters in the reds. A bundle of each should be enough to complete the project! ~Lisa

      1. Lisa, thank you for getting back to me. Have tons of scraps to see me through 🙂

  9. I’m in!! Sounds like a fun project and I have plenty of scraps!
    Thanks doing this, Lisa. Your projects never disappoint.

  10. Oh Thank the Good Lord. I have so many scraps that I just couldn’t part with. Mine with definitely be scrappy – meaning all different colors. Thank you thank you !!!

  11. I’m in!!! I did the American Quilter’s SAL and it was so much fun! I have learned so much from you and know this is going to be Amazing! Super excited about this! Thank you Lisa for this!

  12. I noticed that your nine patches had white with blue shirtings. I have several of your white with red shirtings. Should I use the reds in these blocks or save for future blocks? I have all your blue shirtings as well.

  13. Oh goody! A Lisa quilt to work, thank you. Of course I’ll be using red, white and blue (Gatherings) since I have oodles of scraps but maybe, just msybe I’ll also be making a scrsppy color one since Garden Gatherings are cslling my name!

  14. I am ready, so let the fun begin! Even though I have plenty of American Gatherings scraps I did order more blue and cream. I thought the cream would be a good contrast to the white and some of the blues are from your Starlight Gatherings fabric line. Thank you Lisa

  15. Sounds like fun. Planning on donating to VA Hospital if it isn’t too large. Thanks for sharing your amazing quilt design skills with us!

  16. What a great idea to use up all the scraps from my AQS quilt, which is beautiful. I am anxious to start this new adventure.

  17. How fun! And yes! Who doesn’t have red, white and blue scraps! This will be a joy to sew along. Thanks for the offering!

  18. I could be wrong, but looking at the pattern I believe you would need to have 22 of the 1st strip set with the dark blue on the outsides. Very excited for a fun new mystery and to use scraps. Thank you.

  19. I for sure am doing this, I have so many scraps of red, white and blue scraps and I LOVE your quilts so I am sure it will be Amazing,,, THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS….

  20. I was just thinking I needed a scrappy project for all my red, white and blue scraps that I have been reluctant to toss. You must have been reading my mind Lisa. I am starting today!

  21. I am excited to join you in this sew along. I will use the red, white and blue theme as I have quite a stash of these colors. Thanks so much Lisa!

  22. I have all my extra fabric and will be doing this too. I love your nine patches.

  23. I’m in but should probably talk myself out of it, but then I’ll be mad so…yup…I’m in.

  24. I am definitely in! received my fat quarter bundles you talked about when you announced this on your live. Can’t wait to get going.

  25. This sounds like so much fun. Not sure what yet if it will be a red,white and blue or true scrappy from my scrap stash.

  26. I’m in. I didn’t plan to join in, but clue one sounds so easy, I can’t resist. I also like that the clues are published once a month. I love red, white and blue quilts.

  27. Love blue and cream so will start with those colors and then see what’s next before making another color decision! sounds fun!

  28. Im doing scrappy all different colors. can you tell me if it would be best to use the same color group ( example green blue tan) for blue placement with another color group for the red. would that keep the design more visible or wouldn’t it matter

    1. scrappy version, spread the colors random in the darks…do not use all the same colors…you want the 9 patches to have a bunch of different colors to them…

  29. I always want to join in on Quilt Alongs, but finding the time to do it is my problem. I will try to participate and I actually would like to make the quilt in red, white and blue. I do have scraps in these colors.

  30. I’m in! Been wanting to do a red,white and blue quilt!! Love all your projects!

  31. I am eager to join this sew along with you. I have a lot of scraps left from your collection so can now make something beautiful with them! Thank you Lisa for doing this💕

  32. I’m definitely in with a red, white and blue color palate. I’ve printed the first clue and am ready to start.

  33. […] Bongean of Primitive Gatherings just released block #1 in her QAL “Oh Say Can You Sew.” She’s using Red, Cream, and Blue scraps for the design, but I have chosen to sew from my […]

  34. I’m in, I have a huge tote of Halloween fabric, so that’s what I will be working with. It’s my daughters favorite holiday, so this could be a Christmas gift for her.

  35. I am excited to participate- it will help fill the time between Moda Blockheads…. not that I don’t have plenty else to do. I am going to go Civil War Reproductions but am deciding if I am going to go purchase (help the economy!) a chunk of background fabric as I am making my Moda Blockheads scrappy. Will you send out a reminder to go “look” or where should I sign up to get into the “group” Thankyou for doing this- always love your patterns and works of arts.

    1. Hi Jane! I don’t want to give too many details away since it’s a “Mystery Quilt,” but I will say that all blocks will combine to make larger blocks! Stick with it, you won’t be disappointed! ~Lisa

  36. It sounds interesting and may be a challenge! But here I go. I may have to purchase some “scraps” if I don’t have enough. Thank you so much for the challenge.

  37. I think I am going to join! I’m thinking of aqua, peach and whites for mine. I rarely sew with red lol.

  38. I have a couple of time sensitive projects I’m working on already but I am saving the directions for this one to do in the future!

  39. The timing on this project couldn’t be better! I was just sitting in my sewing room thinking about my next project. Your video came up on my YouTube list and my decision is made! I’m going scrappy and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

    1. Hello! Sorry for the delay, I have been traveling! If you are doing the “controlled” version of the O’ Say Can You Sew quilt, you will need to make four of the 3 1/2″ squares of whichever fabric you chose to be the controlled element of your quilt. I explain it all on the YouTube tutorial for Clue #2 which you can find by clicking this link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6GfhUj9Xjw

  40. I started this project while I was in Florida,(clue#1) then spent time with family in the Netherlands (where I bought some fabulous fabrics and sewed clue#2) and now, back home in the Fingerlakes, NY, am ready to sew Clue#3. Great project!

  41. I finished my top, did a scrappy, to use up my fabric! Lol. Was a lot of fun. Had to finish before we leave for the winter.
    Thank you,

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