Are you looking for a new way to excite your customers to try a new project? Have you thought about a mystery weekend or retreat? This is so much more than your typical class.
My quilt pattern “It’s a Mystery” was originally developed for a local quilt shop. The event started on Friday evening and concluded on Sunday afternoon. The group was guessing until the end on what the finished quilt would look like. That's one of the reasons this pattern is such a good choice.
Steps to Organize Your Own Mystery Class
1. Start with an interesting pattern. I like to pick something with a number of different types of units to keep the group guessing and to prevent tedium (which can happen after around 500 half square triangle units).
2. Purchase enough patterns for all participants. These will be handed out to the participants at the end of the class.
3. Create a number of fabric options using favorite palettes or lines within your shop. Post a sheet with color swatches to aide in fabric selection. As an alternative, make up kits in two or three colorways for participants to select from.
In “It’s a Mystery”, five separate fabrics are required. Here a a few possible color choices from some new and upcoming fabric lines.
Whispers of Wisdom (Henry Glass)
Cold Spell (Laundry Basket Quilts by Moda)
Uptown Duets Tarnished Teal (Marcus Brothers)
Jo Morton (various lines by Andover) plus Kim Diehl (Henry Glass)
This is the set I picked up at a local quilt shop and am working on a trunk show sample.
5. Food and Decorations: Decorate the room with some “mystery items” including question marks, footprints, magnifying glasses. Include "wanted posters" with pictures of shop employees. Their crimes could include "failure to close the rotary cutter between cuts", "running out of fabric", and "wavy borders". If you serve food or drinks, consider adding mystery labels such as Detective Dogs, Mystery Punch, Mission Impossible Pizza, Spy Salsa (chips and salsa). Consider having the instructor/leader wear a trench coat or dress as a favorite mystery character.
6. Detective Kits: When attendees arrive, provide them with a detective kit to store their clues. Include a few “essentials” in the kit. Possible items to include:
7. Organizing the clues: Review the steps of the pattern and break them into clues. I like to provide a clue every hour. I will modify this if I see someone who is completely caught up. I don’t like to present the clues in “order”. For example if I have a pieced border, I will present the clue for that after doing one unit in the block.
Provide some catch-up times during the event. If there is an option of sewing later into the evening, stop providing clues at 4:00. Tell them the evening is for catch-up or if they are caught up, working on another project of their choice.
8. Presenting the Clues: When I present the clues, I like to provide a sample of my work and give a demonstration of how to complete the step. I love to use specialty rulers and this is a great chance to demonstrate and potentially create an add-on sale if they didn’t purchase the tools originally.
Keep track of the presented clues with a clue board.
9. Keeping participants on track: Encourage participants to get at least 10 units done of each clue. When presenting a new clue, encourage participants, to “bag” the last clue in a baggie which includes the copy of the clue.
10. Prizes: Provide prizes such as a free fat quarter for figuring out something ahead of a reveal.
It's a Mystery Pattern
It's a Mystery is the perfect choice for your next mystery event.
Bonus Offer: Purchases at least six It's a Mystery patterns in the next 30 days and I will provide at no charge the pdf of the pattern broken down into 13 clues. This is all you will need for your own mystery retreat.
I request that you only make copies for the number of patterns purchased and that you provide customers the full purchased pattern at the end of the event.
Click here for the wholesale ordering form. For additional wholesale information, click here.
Are you interested in hosting a trunk show of On Point Quilter patterns at your store? Check out the available quilts and download the trunk show form here.