If this isn't under the wire, I don't know what is...nothing like a deadline to give you a good swift kick in the fanny:)
I hope you purchased, washed, and pressed your fabric so you can get started on your quilt over the holiday weekend.
Please remember these directions are written to allow a first-time quilter to have success. There are some built in mistake buffers and leniencies that aren't typically found in quilt patterns. The goal is to be as precise as possible, but in each step I will try to tell you how to fix any common problems that may occur.
This step took me just over an hour to complete. If you are new to a sewing machine and rotary cutter then you will need to allow more time.
1. Your fabric will need to be folded in half down the length, just as it was on the bolt. Stack one piece on top of the other with the folded edges at the top. Place your stack on a cutting mat if you are using a rotary cutter and square up the right-hand side of the fabric (left if you left-handed). The easiest way to do this is to use a long straight edge and slice it with your rotary cutter. If you are using scissors, then you will need to draw a pencil line with the straight edge and then cut on that line.
2. Cutting through all 4 layers of fabric, cut eleven strips that are each 2 inches wide. You are cutting from right to left so that each strip will be folded in half like a hamburger once it is cut (the fold will be at the top). Use the same process for cutting that you used in step 1 (rotary or scissors with straight edge).
3. You will now have 11 dark strips and 11 light strips.
4. Place one dark strip right sides together with one light strip. Pin down one of the long sides of the pair of strips. Sew down one of the long sides using a 3/8" seam allowance (this means the seam should be 3/8" from the edge of the fabric. Repeat with the remaining 10 pairs of strips. Try to keep your seam allowances equal on each strip...TRY!
5. Open each strip and press the seams to the dark fabric. This means that on the under side of the fabric, the excess should be lying flat on the dark fabric.
CONGRATULATIONS! You just finished Part 1 of your Mystery Quilt...any guesses yet???