Are You Looking for Something Fun to Do This Summer?
Have You Always Wanted to Make a Mystery Quilt, but Didn't Know Where to Begin?
Do You Want to Join a Community of Quilters Who Are Also Fans of 'Downton Abbey'?
Hi, I'm Ebony Love, and I'm excited to tell you about a wonderful quilting event, the Hampshire Holiday Christmas in July Mystery Quilt Along, that's set to being on July 12th, 2015. It's themed around the show 'Downton Abbey," but you certainly don't have to watch the show in order to have a great time and play along.
Our winter mystery quilt along attracted nearly 1,300 participants from around the world. We expect the excitement to continue with the next quilt along, and we hope you'll join us for this one too!
I know what you're thinking. "Mystery quilts scare me!" Maybe you've had a bad experience before, or you feel hesitant to start something without knowing where it will end up. Trust me, I know how you feel, and I've worked hard to design a program that's easy to follow and is sure to result in a beautiful quilt that you'll be proud to own.
Each week during the mystery, I release a new set of blocks for you to work on, complete with a PDF pattern, full-color photo tutorials, and even videos and live webinars to help you as you go. We also have a very active and supportive Facebook group with nearly 2,500 members. Add to that the participating quilt shops and our customer service line, and you'll see that there's a great network of support that's committed to your quilting success.
Here's what a few people had to say about last year's program:
The quilt itself has been meticulously designed and tested, and is available in three stunning colorways.
The Fun Begins July 12th!
The mystery quilt along runs over a 6-week period, with a new clue released each week. Here's the full schedule you can expect when we launch in July. Blocks are released on Sunday mornings, and are available in a secure, private classroom on our website.
Signups begin, fabric requirements available
July 12, 2015**
July 19, 2015
July 26, 2015
August 2, 2015
August 9, 2015
August 16, 2015
August 23, 2015
Hampshire Holiday Revealed
** Fabric shipment dates have not been finalized. The start date may shift based on fabric availability to allow time for kitting and shipment.
So How Does this Work?
- You visit our website, and sign up for the quilt along.
- Checkout through our shopping cart. If you have an account, login to checkout using your existing account. Otherwise, you can create an account during the payment process.
- At the bottom of your order confirmation, there's a link to a Class Registration Packet that tells you how to navigate the private Classroom area.
- Each week, a new pattern and tutorials will be posted to the private classroom, and you'll log into your account to access them.
- You can even sign up for email updates to be reminded when new blocks are released.
- Fabric and other supplies can be purchased from a participating shop.
- Best of all, the patterns and tutorials are available to you 24/7, for as long as you need them, and you can log in at any time and work at your own pace.
As with any "surprise" that you don't want spoiled, if you're working a little bit behind, or you've joined the quilt along after it's started, you'll want to resist the urge to peek in the places where you might come across finished blocks that have already been revealed. You can keep the quilt a mystery for yourself for as long as you need to; the blocks are segregated in the classroom and you won't see them revealed unless you visit the page they are stored on.
Ready to Register?
We wanted to make it such a no-brainer to participate that we're offering the quilt along for a one-time fee of $19.50. This gets you access to the private classroom, weekly PDF patterns, and unlimited access to the videos and tutorials. Plus, you get access to our Classroom Help, which is a direct line to me, Ebony Love, if you need more help or have questions.
Use Our Colorway, or Make Your Own
The quilt has been designed to take advantage of the luscious line of Christmas-themed Downton Abbey fabrics produced by Andover Fabrics in collaboration with the costume designer from the show. The finished quilt is 65" x 82". There are borders on this quilt, but you're welcome to add more to make your quilt larger.
Here's a look at the fabric chosen for this quilt.
And if you want to use your own fabric? Go ahead! We just recommend that you pick fabric that's close to the values/hues that you want to use, so you can follow the instructions based on our colorway.
Do You Die-Cut Your Quilts?
If not, no problem! Our patterns are written for rotary cutting, but they also include an easy-to-learn die-cutting notation system for those who are interested in cutting their quilt that way. If you do plan to die cut, you'll find ample assistance to make sure you're successful and minimize waste when cutting.
If you're not familiar, EDeN stands for Equivalent Die Notation System, and it's a way of standardizing common quilt shapes across all cutting systems to make it easier for people to know what tools they need to cut their quilts.
If you are going to die cut, you need to familiarize yourself with EDeN. You can download a complete EDeN Chart over at the EDeN website, but a specific chart for the quilt along is available when you purchase the quilt along.
In terms of dies, if you participated in last year's quilt along, you probably have most of what you need.
Low Pattern Fees
We're only charging the one-time fee for the pattern, but there may be other fees to keep in mind:
- The one-time pattern fee. The cost is $19.50.
- Your fabric. Shop at your local quilt shop or favorite online dealer for a kit. I have a list for you so you know what shops are participating.
- Shop fees. Some shops charge an additional program fee to participate in their events.
- Supplies. If you need dies, rulers, thread, etc. those must be purchased separately.
Don't Take My Word For It
Listen to what these other participants had to say about their experience:
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some other questions people have been asking, to help you get more acquainted with how we do things here!
How do I access the private Classroom?
It's easy, but the main thing to remember is that you must be logged into your account to see it (and you also need to have a paid registration.) To access the Mystery Quilt Along, please follow these steps:
- Log in to your account by clicking the "Login" button in the upper right corner.
- Click the “My Classes” link in the status bar (just below the Customer Service button in the upper right corner, where it says "Howdy, <your name>!")
- Click on "English Manor" to load the classroom.
I'm not seeing stuff where you say I should see it.
Are you on a mobile device or a tablet? Get ye to a full-sized device post haste. If you're on a tiny little screen, my site likes to rearrange things to fit instead of shrink them. A larger screen in Landscape mode will help immensely.
Can I use my own fabric? If so, how?
Yes, you may, and it's really easy. Just download the fabric requirements chart (it's in the Classroom, under Supplies). Choose a colorway that matches most closely to the "tones" you want your quilt to be (for example, a mix of dark/med/light like Team Cora, dark/light like Team Carson, or med/light like Team Rose). The column on the far right gives you the yardage, the column on the far left is the fabric # you should assign to that fabric.
What type of kit should I get?
Participating shops may be offering several types of kits: complete yardage kits, weekly block kits, or die cut kits. Complete kits would have the total yardage you need for your quilt top, while weekly kits would have only the fabric you need to make that week's block. Die cut kits will have all the pieces cut out and grouped for each week. Some shops may also provide binding fabric in your kit.
My suggestion would be that if you are rotary cutting, either kit will work for you; if you are planning to die cut, you should purchase a complete yardage kit, so that you can cut your fabric based upon the dies you have available. If you don't want to do any cutting, then purchase a die cut kit.
Fabric requirements are based on the assumption that you do not have leftover fabric after cutting each block, so some people may have more fabric leftover than others. I love piecing those extra bits into my backing, so you might want to wait until the end to purchase your backing fabric, unless you plan to do the special backing I've designed.
Can I use fat quarters?
Sure, just know that you might need more fat quarters eventually.
What does the quilt look like?
Ummmm.... did you miss the part that says "mystery"? :) If you want to know what it looks like, you'll have to wait until August for the big reveal. Otherwise, mum's the word. The only things we're willing to share about the quilt is what we've already mentioned above in the Colorways section.
How do I know how much fabric to buy?
Go to the Classroom. It's available under Fabric Requirements and Supplies.
How do I know where to buy my fabric?
Go to the Classroom. It's available under Fabric Requirements andSupplies.
What other supplies do I need?
Go to the Classroom. It's available under Fabric Requirements andSupplies.
How do I join the weekly Webinars?
Go to the Classroom. Read the section called "Joining Live Webinars." (Will be posted closer to the start of the quilt along.)
Where do I download the patterns?
Go to the Classroom. Read the section called "Getting Started."
What do I do if I need more help?
Go to the Classroom. Read the section called "Getting Help."
Is there anything else I need to do to get ready?
What should I do now?
If you haven't signed up yet... sign up! If you are signed up, go to the Classroom.
I've tried getting to the Classroom. I don't see anything listed under "My Classes."
Two things could be going on here; either you didn't pay, or you paid but you actually have multiple accounts with us - one of them bought the quilt along, and the other one didn't. The first solution is to buy it (click any of the giant blue Register Now! buttons.) If you still have problems, just call our customer service line - 877-577-8458.
Can shops still sign up?
Yup. They can do so here.
What if I’ve never seen Downton Abbey?
Well, we're not the television police, but personally we think you're missing out. We understand the urge though to keep NOT watching - why break your streak, right? After all, we're still holdouts for Star Wars - haven't seen any of it, and we're on a pretty good roll now. However, we do know who Han Solo and Princess Leia are, we know the difference between an Ewok and a Wookie, and that James Earl Jones was Luke's father, whatever that means. All we're saying is... if you're not gonna watch, then just soak up some details so you're not completely at a loss.
I want to give you money now. Where do I sign up?
Participating Shops, Ready to Support You
We've got shops positioned in North America & Australia to provide you with fabric, notions, and other help. For our far-flung international customers, many of these shops are happy to help you with an international order and shipment.
The Quilt Crossing
LoveBug Studios (online, die-cut kits only)
All About Quilts
Charlotte's Cottage Quilt Shop (online only)
Winston's Sewing Center
New South Wales
Handmade by Emily (online only)
I still have more questions that you haven't answered yet!
Perhaps your question is addressed in our private quilt along area, which you'll have access to once you register? We'll update this page with general information of course, but the deep, burning, meaning-of-life questions & answers are reserved for our paying guests. If you're still not sold, you can sign up for updates, and hear about all the fun the rest of us are having!