Mystery lovers, read on! Over the next year, a tantalizing mystery will unfold in a continuing series posted monthly here on our website. This mystery originally ran on our site 10 years ago. It’s back by popular demand, rewritten for EQ5 and EQ6.
This first episode introduces our narrator, young Brooklyn-based “Quilt Detective,” Mitzi McDruben, along with her faithful receptionist Ruthie, and able assistant, Raoul.
In eleven successive episodes Mitzi will lead us through the story, attempting to find her way in the quilt world as she searches for her client’s missing quilt.
Following each episode you’ll receive clues and instructions. Do as they instruct and
you will create a quilt layout, then make (or find) eleven different quilt blocks in EQ5 or 6.
Mitzi solves the mystery in the final episode. And YOU will discover how to put your blocks together in EQ to form a secret “Sky Lights” mystery quilt.
Our “Sky Lights” quilt was designed especially for EQ learning fun by Fran Iverson Gonzalez from Edmond, Oklahoma.
Our mystery series was written by Megan McMorris, a Free-lance author from Portland, Oregon.
And now, grab your gumshoes. Tilt back your chair. But keep one eye on the door as you get ready to solve…The Mystery of the Missing Quilt
Episode One: Introduction
“Our mission? To find a missing quilt. Our time frame? Exactly eleven days. Our problem? We don’t quite know what this alleged quilt looks like.”
“There’s a Ms. Eggbert to see you, Mitzi,” my receptionist Ruthie intercomed. “Send her in,” I answered, finishing the last of my hommus sandwich and popping in a stick of red Trident (Ahmed, the deli guy downstairs, doesn’t scrimp on the onions).
A small, frantic-looking woman peered around my door, clutching her purse. “Ah, Ms. Eggbert, do sit down.” I stood, gesturing toward my long, cushy couch across from my desk. She perched on the edge rather than sinking all the way into it like most of my clients do, studying me with big, worried eyes.
I intercomed Ruthie for some coffee, and looked down at the notes I’d scribbled from Ms. Eggbert’s nervous phone call a few hours earlier. “So, we’re dealing with a missing…QUILT, is it?” I asked, to get the ball rolling.
Ms. Eggbert’s hands and eyes came alive. “Oh, it’s not just ANY quilt, you see. It’s the prizewinning quilt that is supposed to be unveiled next week at the “Trade Winds Treasures” show. I’m the curator of the show, you see,” she blurted. “But when we were unpacking the quilts, it did a doozy on us and went and just disappeared. I couldn’t even imagine what to do, but Ted, he’s the security guy you see, a nice man he is, he suggested I contact a private eye. Although good heavens, I can’t imagine that anyone would’ve deliberately TAKEN the quilt, as Ted suspected. We deal strictly with the most upstanding citizens, you understand.”
Ruthie entered with two coffees, one with milk and sugar for Ms. Eggbert, one with skim milk for me. I paced the room, stoking my chin, as Ruthie set the coffees before us. “Indeed, Ms. Eggbert, I’m sure you do,” I ventured. “However, we can’t rule out foul play just yet. Now, first things first. What does this quilt look like? Do you have some sort of pictorial representation?”
I caught Ms. Eggbert in mid-sip. Her eyebrows shot up over her quizzacle look. “A picture, Ms. Eggbert. Do you have a picture of the quilt?” Some people need everything spelled out for them. She brought her cup back down to the coffee table with a clang, to free her hands for gesturing, no doubt.
“That’s the problem!” Ms. Eggbert exclaimed. “The quilt was supposed to be unveiled next week at the opening–NO ONE knew what it looked like!”
Ms. Eggbert continued: “We can’t ask the designer. She’s completely out of reach — canoeing in the Amazon you see.” Her imploring and weepy look gave notice that she was in danger of bursting into tears at any minute.
I reached for my tissue storage. Dealing with distressed souls is all in a day’s work for a detective, and you quickly find that people will calm down considerably if they think they’re in good hands. “Not to worry, Ms. Eggbert,” I reassured as I handed her a tissue and sat down next to her. “You’ve come to the right detective. I haven’t let a quilt thief evade me yet.”
Well, it was technically true–I didn’t find it necessary to add that I’ve never tried to catch a quilt thief. Come to think about it, I didn’t really know much about quilts at all. Sure I knew the standard Grandmother’s Flower Garden block, like anyone with a crafty grandmother does, but that about runs the gamut. But I had an edgy Ms. Eggbert on my hands, so this was no time to nitpick.
“You’ve come to the right place, Ms. Eggbert. Meet Mitzi McDruben, Quilt Detective.” I placed my arm around her shoulder and smiled reassuringly as I tried desperately to remember what I’d done with my old Carrie Hall quilt book that my grandmother had given me one Christmas.
“Okay, listen up,” I announced to Ruthie and my assistant Raoul, both assembled dutifully on my cushy couch later that afternoon, clipboards on laps, at our usual pre-case meeting. “Our mission? To find a missing quilt. Our time frame? Exactly eleven days. Our problem? We don’t quite know what this alleged quilt looks like.”
I moved to my wall-length bulletin board, where my United States map hung, along with 11 faces and bios I’d just received from Ms. Eggbert’s office at the Trade Winds Museum. (Ms. Eggbert had become quite cooperative once I’d established my quilt-finding credentials.) “Our clues lie within these 11 faces.” I tapped each of them with my pointer for emphasis.
Three board members…..
“You see before you the board members of the Trade Winds Museum. It appears that the quilt in question was made specifically for these members. That is, each block of the quilt corresponds with one member. Therefore, we need to closely monitor each of these people to figure out what important part of their lives could translate into a quilt block. We cannot under any circumstances let these people catch onto us, though. At the very least, these board members may become upset if they find out their beloved, yet-to-be-unveiled, quilt is missing. “And, at the very most,” I slapped the pointer in my hand, “one of these members may hold all the clues, if you know what I mean.”
Raoul and Ruthie exchanged a confused glance. “I mean, one of these board members could have STOLEN the quilt. So we are to assume that each of these members is a suspect, and quite possibly armed and dangerous.
“We’ll divide up in order to cover all the bases. We have 11 people to observe in 11 days. I’ll do the majority of the observing, and Raoul, I’ll expect you to become well-versed in the quilt blocks. Log cabins, log schmabins. You’ll need to know the ins and outs of EVERY block. I want to know how they tick, what blocks are typically seen with each other, what color schemes they like to deck themselves out with. You’ll need to match up any clue I have about a board member with a quilt block. Therefore, your post will be mainly at the Public Library.
“Ruthie, you’ll cover the phones.We may receive some anonymous tips.”
Ruthie distributed batteries for our walky talkies, which is our ritual before a tough case (it was a faulty battery that caused us to lose the dognapper case in ’89) and Raoul studied his copy of the board members I’d given him. “And now, my trusty staff, I’m off to pay a visit to one Garret Green, Board Member One.”