Quilters Lead Pieceful Lives.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Scrap Lap

A simple lap quilt, made from scraps, at the request of my mother-in-law, Pauline. Click here for more pictures.

But wait! This quilt contains a 3-part mystery...hidden in plain sight.
First: What is the nature of the mystery?
Second: What does it mean?
Third: Why does it have that meaning.

Anyone should be able to figure out the first two parts of the mystery; only family members will be able to answer the third question (hint, hint!).

Please submit your entries to my email address (wsrhodes@gmail.com) - not as a comment on this post - by midnight December 31st.

I will pick two winners (one for questions 1 and 2, one for #3) at random from the thousands of correct entries. Each winner will receive a morsbag! I will also post the answers.

This four-patch pattern will also be used in my next beginners classes this spring (without the mystery component!). If you are interested in attending, drop me a line.

Da-da-da-da-da-dee-da!!!!! The answer to the mystery:

As indicated in the quilt's name, this is a scrap quilt. That means that all of the pieces were taken from fabric used in other quilts. The color palette was red and blue and purple. The various fabrics are used randomly throughout the 4-patch blocks. However, in the 3 highlighted rows there are some odd-looking smaller orange pieces. See them? Why are they there? Those orange pieces are the separators for the red and blue pieces that make up the mystery message. You will notice (if you look closely) that the red and blue fabrics adjoining those orange fabrics are used nowhere else in the quilt (except, as a subliminal reinforcement, in the inner and outer borders).

Notice the relative sizes of those red and blue pieces. If we "translate" them to words they would be:
square (orange separator) rectangle (separator) rectangle (separator) square
rectangle (separator) rectangle
rectangle (separator) square (separator) square (separator) square

By now, you may have deduced that this is Morse Code (part 1 of the mystery).

In more common terminology then, the message is:
dot (space) dash (space) dash (space) dot
dash (space) dash
dash (space) dot (space) dot (space) dot

Decoded, this becomes: P M B. So the quilt contains my mother-in-law's initials. (part 2 of the mystery).

But in the third part of the mystery I asked why it has this meaning?

Here is the answer: At Thanksgiving in 1995 Pauline happened to mention that she had no middle name. Her parents never gave her one when she was born. And she had always felt bad about that, as if she was missing something. So, unbeknownst to her, her 9 grandchildren (at that time) decided to rectify this gross omission. They got together and discussed some possibilities, and reached a consensus.

And on January 29, 1996, her 64th birthday, they happily presented her with their gift - a middle name. On that day she was finally christened: Pauline Margaret Baron.

And now you know the rest of the story!

Winners: um....no one got the answer. Only Pauline guessed that it was Morse Code, but could not decipher it. So the morsbags will go back in the prize closet until next time.


Karen Finerman said...

wow wayne.
pretty obscure. my sisters and i were not given middle names at birth either. i gave myself a middle initial when i got married and changed my last name.

thanks for posting the answer.

happy new year!!

ProjectStory said...

The NSA wouldn't have gotten this one. Great puzzle (and quilt). Happy New Year.

bb said...

Geesh. This was almost as easy as your Thanksgiving Day quizzes! :)

Richard Gumsley said...
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