Trunk Show: Twisted Tails Mystery Quilt

Here’s an oldie but goodie that hangs on the wall in my stairwell. I completed this in 1999 (or so it says on the back; this one actually has a label of sorts, unlike many of the other older quilts around here—shame on me, I know), but it was probably started long before that. I remember piecing the top, and then putting it away for a while because I didn’t know how to quilt it. I even had a place to hang the thing when I pieced it; our bathroom was decorated in these colors, but by the time the quilt was completed, the decorating scheme in the bathroom was on its way out the door due to a move since the new bathroom didn’t have wall space.

Twisted Tails Mystery Quilt

While I was preparing this post, I searched on my hard drive for the instructions for this, as it was from a pattern I thought I had found on the Internet. Couldn’t remember the name of course, so I never did find it. Lo and behold, when I looked at the back of the quilt, there was the name of the pattern! Dang, I amaze myself sometimes, and it isn’t even that hard. 😉 I have to be honest, it probably wasn’t forethought that made me note the name of the pattern on the back of the quilt, it was more like being unable to come up with some other creative name for the quilt!

Anyway, the Twisted Tails Mystery Quilt pattern is still available out there as a quick Google search proved, though Quiltzine was not where I got the pattern way back when. Now that I’ve really thought about it, Birgit from Patchcom gave me the pattern, but she did tell me that it came from the Internet, so maybe she picked it up there.

It’s a really cute pattern, with the center Snail’s Trail block doing duty for the cats’ tails and the Birds in Air blocks in the corners. The triangles in the border were fun and easy, too. I chose the color scheme by starting with this kitty themed fabric:

Twisted Tails border fabric

The fabric has such a soft pattern and color palette that it’s hard to see the kitties, but they’re there. When I finally decided to quilt it and finish it up, I chose a flower pattern and plopped it in the middle of the open areas around the cats, and then used it in the border as a repeating design. Everything else was quilted in the ditch.

Twisted Tails quilting design

It’s interesting to go back and look at the quilts I made years ago, and think about how different they would be if I was to make the same quilt today. Today’s version of this quilt would be scrappier, with tons more fabrics, and lots more quilting with a totally different motif, probably mice, birds, fish or cat’s paw prints (or all of the above), definitely something more in theme. The cats would probably have faces embroidered on somehow as well and maybe other details like paws or something. I would either use the cat fabric somewhere else in the quilt and use a plainer fabric in the border so that the quilting would show, or quilt the border with an allover grid design which would let the fabric show through a bit better.

I wouldn’t go back and make this exact quilt again just for the sake of doing it better, but it’s a good “design it in your mind” exercise to think about it, and also to think about how an older piece like this could be an inspiration for something new and different. From time to time, I’ll be taking a look at some of my older quilts that I’ve not shared on my website or my blog, and sharing them in this new Trunk Show category.

4 thoughts on “Trunk Show: Twisted Tails Mystery Quilt

  1. Nadine, it’s taken me a while, but I went back and read all your blog entries since the beginning. Your quilting is absolutely amazing!!!!

    I hope poor Patches is feeling better. There is nothing worse than when our fur babies are hurting.

    I enjoyed reading all your tips, your book recommendations and most of all looking at your work – both quilting and embroidery. You should be so proud of yourself – your work is just wonderful!


  2. Thank you for your kind comments Irene! They’re just what I needed to hear this morning (somehow your comment went to moderation and my trusty WordPress blog didn’t email me about it, and I just saw it waiting there this morning). Patches is better, and he’s finished the last of his meds, but I’m not feeling well now!

    And I read this morning that Ben’s not feeling well still either, poor baby. And poor you: like you said, there’s nothing worse. I hope he’s on the mend soon!

    Thank you again for your lovely thoughts, Irene!


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