quilting · Scraps · Sewing

The Swoon Halloween quilt

What does an empty nest mom do when Halloween comes along? I decided to make a quilt. Of course the theme would be spooky and the pattern bold. I had a stash of fabric and the will to craft it into something special. I felt a little forlorn with the weather changing and no little kids around to make costumes with. If I couldn’t sew my kid’s a costume, I could sew myself a quilt to keep.

I used  the Swoon pattern from Thimble Blossoms. I can tell you that I will make this pattern again, (in pretty colors next time). It went together great and has beautiful quilting space built into the pattern. It lends itself to custom quilting and next time I make it, I plan to quilt the heck out of it.

The quilt is made from 100% cotton batting, 100% cotton fabrics, and a polyester 40 weight variegated thread . I did not use the thread in the picture below. That was what I picked while collecting the fabrics. Not all the fabrics pictured made it into the quilt either. The editing process is intuitive for me. Nothing is really safe or a given. Anything can be added or subtracted from the composition. It’s all up to me to decide the look or emotional response that I’m getting from the color choices.

 

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I had a little stash of Halloween inspiration fabric. I started to pick some fabrics that would contrast well in a big block design.
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Getting fabrics organized for quick sewing . I say quick, but organized fabric piles help me relax while sewing too. I am super in love with the cream on cream dot fabric that I chose for the background.
The first block that I laid out. Polka dots and brown bats. This is going to be a fun quilt.
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This fabric block pile has a retro look.
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Stitching, stitching, and more stitching.
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It looks like old dress fabric to me.
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The first four blocks have a lot of impact and give me an idea that my contrasting fabrics are working.
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Another one done!
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I have this love of polka dots.
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Corduroy comes up for a closer look. Tell me I’m not the only pup-momma that takes photos of her pet’s misbehaving ?
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Bold and graphic. Look at all that quilting space built right into the pattern.
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This is a bright block. Is it to bright? I decided it would stay in the quilt.
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There is no mischief when they sleep.
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Piecing right along .
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Laying out the blocks. It’s beginning to take shape.
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Doesn’t take long for these two to get in the mix. They love rolling all over a quilt. (Someone should brush those dogs before taking a photo).
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Completed blocks! He time to play around and move blocks until you discover the best placement.
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Adding the sashing strips. Lots of pinning to keep the edges lined  up. I don’t want anything slipping.
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I decided to pin on my quilt frame because I needed to stand up. My poor knee’s.
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Auditioning fabric for the backing and binding. The orange bat fabric is going to be the backing. Now its between the two stripes for the binding.
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It’s in the frame. Now the quilting can begin. So far I like the size of the candy corn. I enlarged the pattern and spread out the design. I wanted to try a looser pattern and you know what, it worked out great after the quilt was washed.
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Great view of the candy corn stitch pattern.
Sewing on the stripe binding. I originally decided to cut the binding on the bias so that the stripe would fall at a 45 degree angle, but forgot and cut it straight of grain in my hurry to get binding on. Oops.
Now its ready for hand stitching. You can see the stripe has been machine stitched on the front of the quilt and now I will sit and hand stitch the folded edge to the back of the quilt.
I think these dogs love quilting more than I do. Hand stitching and a warm cuddle. It looks like I will be done before Halloween.
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Halloween Swoon went into a cold washer and warm dryer to complete the look. I didn’t pre wash any fabric because I like the shrinking that takes place after the quilt is washed for the first time.
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It’s a fun quilt . Not beautiful in the conventional sense, but it was the right project to fill the loss that I was experiencing for days gone by. The best thing about the quilt project is, that it was completed by October 30th.

Quilt making is a life journey for me. My memories are built into the process. The Halloween swoon quilt was actually a year in the making. I started it last (2016) Halloween pre season, but did not allow enough time to complete it, because life took a turn. My parents needed me due to an illness that put my father in danger. I put the quilt away, and went on with projects holidays and busy activities. Then in September of this year (2017) I got out the blocks and started to put it together again. The great news was that the quilt is finished and my dad is still with me. I should add a little detail here. Halloween also has special meaning for me because my dad and my husband share a birth date at the end of October. So this quilt was not just about being an empty nester. I was also facing losing my dad before the completion of the quilt. I’m not sure if I would have continued with the project if my dad’s illness had taken his life.

I have a lot to be thankful for. This month we celebrate Thanksgiving, and I am truly grateful for the people in my life.

3 thoughts on “The Swoon Halloween quilt

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