Catercorner Mystery Quilt

(Super Sunday 2008)

This mystery is completed, but I have left the clues in order so you can play along if you like.  Don’t scroll to the bottom to see the pictures until you are ready!

Is it kitty-corner or catty-corner? It depends on where you live! I am going to play it safe and call my little quilt Catercorner. This mystery will finish at about 50″ by 60″, but you can easily make it bigger. This is a very easy mystery quilt – don’t expect any tricks this time:-))

Once again, I am going to be presenting some of the clues in video format, or with video tips. If you have trouble seeing the videos, however, you can still participate. Just hit the print button  and you should get all the clues and the graphics – just no videos.  Here’s a tip for those on dial-up: click the video to start it loading, then click the pause button and minimize it. The video will continue to load while you do other things. When you are done, come back and hit the Play button.

Fabric Requirements and Cutting Instructions

I used Cat’s Meow fabric to make my sample.  You are welcome to use your own fabrics, of course! I suggest you go through and cross off my color names and write in yours – or just make yourself a cheat sheet to keep from becoming confused.  To give you an idea of how the colors work together, here is what I used:

  • Light:        3/4 yard
  • Cats:         2/3 yard
  • Caramel:    1/2 yard
  • Lt blue       1/4 yard (not a FQ)
  • Dk blue      1/4 yard (not a FQ)
  • Brown one: 1/4 yard (not a FQ)
  • Brown two: 1 yard

Here are the notions you might like to have to work on this quilt. None of them are REQUIRED. Don’t go out and buy them unless you are sure you will use them in other projects.

  • A June Tailor Shape Cut Ruler to cut strips and squares.
  • A 3 1/2″ square ruler (I like the QIAD Fussy cut set) and a mat that rotates for squaring up blocks.
  • A  walking foot is always handy for sewing on long borders and straight stitch machine quilting.
  • There are some HSTs (Half Square Triangles) in this mystery!  I will be giving you the traditional method for making them, but if you would like to experiment download our 7 page tutorial. 
  • The Quick Quarter Ruler is a big help with making HSTs the traditional way.

Here is a partial cutting list. You are not going to be cutting all your fabric ahead of time – some pieces will be cut just before you use them. All strips refer to WOF or Width of Fabric (about 40″)

  • Cut 5 strips 3 1/2″ wide by the WOF of the caramel. Crosscut (or subcut) these strips into (50) 3 1/2″ squares.
  • Cut 1 strip 3 1/2″ wide by the WOF of the cats. Crosscut (or subcut) these strips into (10) 3 1/2″ squares. If you have fabric that lends itself well to fussy cutting, you can center a design in these blocks.
  • Cut 5 more strips 3 1/2″ wide by the WOF of the cats. These will be used in the border.
  • Cut 2 strips 2″ wide by the WOF of the light blue
  • Cut 2 strips 2″ wide by the WOF of the dark blue
  • Cut 4 strips 2″ wide by the WOF of the light.
  • Cut 6 strips 4″ wide by the WOF of the Brown Two. These are used in the border.

Quilt Tip

The video below shows how to use the June Tailor ShapeCut ruler to cut your strips and blocks. Remember, in this mystery, you are cutting 3-1/2″ blocks.

Clue One

Here is how to make a Half Square Triangle block using the traditional method.This quilt uses half square triangles (HSTs.)  In this clue, I am will be giving you cutting directions for making HST blocks using the traditional method.

In the traditional method of making half square triangles, you put two squares of fabric right sides together and draw a diagonal line on the back of the lighter square. Sew 1/4″ each on either side of that drawn line then cut on the line and press to the dark. To use a Quick Quarter Ruler (pictured below), just place the ruler on the diagonal of the back of the light square. You can draw your cutting line through the slot in the center of the ruler. The two sides of the ruler are exactly 1/4″ from that center slot, so when you draw a line along the sides, you are drawing your sewing line.

Quick Quarter Ruler

Quilt TipThe video below shows how to make HST blocks using the traditional method


We will need 40 Brown One/Light combination HSTs for this mystery.

To make the Brown One/Light HSTs the traditional way, start by cutting (2) strips 4″ wide by the WOF 
from both the Brown One and the Light fabric. Crosscut (or subcut) these strips into 4″ squares. You will need 20 squares from each color.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 20 light squares.  Place each light square right sides together with a Brown One Square. Sew 1/4″ from both sides of the diagonal line. Cut on the solid line and press to the dark.

The actual formula for making HSTs using this method is to add 7/8″ to the size of the finished HST and cut your squares to that size. I had you cut your squares 1/8″ larger than needed so, in theory, you should now have to square them up. Measure your blocks and square them up to 3-1/2″ (unfinished) if needed.

Clue Two

You should have some Brown Two and Light fabric left over. Use that to make the 40 more 3 1/2″ 
using your favorite method.

Last but not least! Using your favorite method, make four HSTs of the Brown Two fabric and the Cats fabric. (If you need to cut a little off the strips you cut for the border, it’s okay.  There is enough extra.)

Clue Three

This is a quick clue to give you time to catch up and maybe even eat lunch.

Mitering the joinsSew the (5) 3 1/2″ wide strips of the Cat fabric end to end. These are used in
the border.  Miter the joins if you like.

Sew the (6) 4″ wide strips of the Brown Two end to end. These are used in
the border.  Miter the joins if you like.



Quilt TipThe video tip below shows how to miter a seam


Clue Four

The only thing left are those 2″ wide strips!  Sew the Light Blue strips to the Light strips and press the seam to the dark.  Make two sets. Do the same thing to the Dark Blue and Light strips.

Quilt TipHere is a tip on setting your seam

Make 40 of these blocksCrosscut (or subcut) those strips into 3 1/2″ square two-part blocks.  You will need 20 Light Blue/Light blocks and 20 Dark Blue/Light blocks.

You are done!  You can go watch the game now.

Clue Five

OK, I was just kidding.  You do have put all those parts and pieces together before you are done.  Lets do a quick inventory.  You should now have:

  • (40) Brown One/Light 3 1/2″ HSTs (unfinished)
  • (40) Brown Two/Light 3 1/2″ HSTs
  •   (4) Brown Two/Cats 3 1/2″ HSTs
  • (50) 3 1/2″” squares of the Caramel
  • (10) 3 1/2″ squares of the Cats
  •   (1) really long 3 1/2″ wide strip of the Cats
  •   (1) really long 4″ wide strip of Brown Two
  • (20) Light Blue/Light two-part 3 1/2″ square blocks
  • (20) Dark Blue/Light two-part 3 1/2″ square blocks

Make 10 of these blocksUsing the Brown One/Light HSTs, the (10) 3 1/2″ Cat squares, and the (40) two-part
blocks you just made, make 10 of these blocks. Sew the 3 1/2″ blocks in horizontal rows, pressing the seams of the top and bottom row in toward the two-part square.

If you would like, you can fussy cut the center 3 1/2″ square of this block.

Press the seams of the center row out, away from the center square. This will help your seams “nestle” (just touch each other) when you sew the rows together.  Press from the back to make sure none of your seams twisted.  Square up to 9 1/2″.

Don’t go to the next clue until you have finished this one!

Clue Six

Make 10 of these blocksUsing the Brown Two/Light HSTs and the (50) 3 1/2″ squares of Caramel, make 10 of
these blocks. Again, press the seams of the top and bottom rows towards the outer block (the caramel square) and the seams of the middle block toward the center.  Press from the back to double check and make sure none of your seams have twisted.  Square up to 9 1/2″ if needed.

I bet you have four HSTs (the Brown Two/Cats ones) left over!  Don’t
worry about them, we will use them in the last clue.

Clue Seven

Playtime!  Put your blocks together in an arrangement that pleases you. This is what I did, but there ARE other layouts. Take your time. Twist and turn the blocks until you get an arrangement you like.  This part can get very tricky.

The catercorner layout

Once you have a layout you like, sew the blocks together in rows.  Press the seams of the even rows to the right and the odd rows to the left. Again, this is to help them lay flat against each other which keeps the bulk down in your quilt.  When you are done, give the quilt one last pressing, double checking to make
sure you haven’t twisted any seams.

Last Clue

How to measure for borders so your quilt lays flat

MEASURE for your borders. Don’t just sew on a border and cut it off when you get to the end. That is a recipe for wavy borders. Measure your quilt through the middle horizontally.  It will probably measure 36 1/2″ but use your personal measurement. Measure the quilt through the center vertically (probably 45 1/2″) as well.  Cut two of the lighter cat borders to the vertical measurement and two to the horizontal measurement.  If you are scratching your head and saying, “But that won’t work, the borders aren’t long enough!” you are right.  Remember those four leftover HSTs?  We are going to add one to both ends of
the horizontal border strip, like so:

Make two of these strips - be sure to position the HSTs the way they are in the picture.


Sew the two side borders on first, matching the center of the border with the center of the quilt.  Ease to fit if necessary.  NOW you can add the top and bottom borders with the HST at either end.  You have just framed your quilt. (See the picture at the bottom of this page.)

The video below shows how to measure for borders so your quilt lays flat

Here is my sample.
Press your quilt and add the last four borders, made from the Brown Two fabrics, measuring through the center again as you did for the first border.  This method is more time consuming than simply sewing a border to a quilt and cutting off any excess, but it does get the quilt to lay perfectly flat.

NOW you are done!  What do you think?

Send me a picture
and I promise I will put it on the bottom of this page.



This pattern is a fund-raiser for cystic
fibrosis and is copyright free for a donation of any size to the CF
foundation.  Feel free to copy and share – but please don’t remove our request for a donation.

Click here to donate at


CaterCorner Quilt Top melissa-ss.JPG

Melissa added a border to hers.  I like it!

Wow, Charley had hers done before I finished typing the

Mlovin sent us this

Birdies’ Maryland
Mustangs.  Same quilt, completely different effect.

Janice-OnlineMysterySuperbowl2008.jpgJanice used the same layout as Birdie donnaS.jpg

Puppy Love by Donna S

Nancy-CC.jpgNancy calls this “Spring Fever”  Can you
see the Friendship stars?

Roseann’s Easter
Quilt.  Look at the cute chicks!
Linda-catercorner.jpgLinda’s Catercorner Kitties Look at the border Celia is adding to her Catercorner quilt!