Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2011

Updated to add some photos on 10/29.
I saw this quilt in the August/September issue of The Quilter magazine, and for some reason, it just grabbed me. I'm not normally a Halloween decorating kind of person...I kind of prefer Fall decorating because you can put it out in September and leave it out for 3 months before you have to start putting up 15 Christmas trees, assembling an army of gingerbread, and baking 47 dozen Christmas cookies, so I didn't quite understand my fascination and drive to make a quilt that I could display/use for a couple of weeks. Not to mention, I'm not really a 'panel' kind of gal.

Nonetheless, I had this unexplainably, almost rabid urge to make this quilt, so I set about finding all the necessary fabrics, and a coordinating back (we all know I'm a bit OCD when it comes to things matching...I'm just now starting to get over that need to have every fabric used come from the same line/manufacturer). I had to order from three separate shops...a valuable lesson learned....

Lesson 1: By the time you see the quilt in the magazine, the fabric has already been out for months (if not longer), so good luck wrangling it up...AND...Most online quilt shops do not carry the full line of fact most brick and mortar shops do not carry full lines...they pick and choose from within the line and colorways, so never think that putting together a project like this will be a one-stop shop.

It didn't take long to piece this together. I was quite proud of my perfect points and alignment in the star blocks. The little cornerstones were fussy cut so that a spider appeared on each one...tedious, but necessary to the design. The problem came when I got to the backing and discovered that....horrors....I hadn't ordered enough fabric. Great. So, I pieced together border fabric, extra panels, and what I had purchased and with a little 'cut this strip off the border fabric and add it to this piece' magic, I wound up with just enough to leave an inch all around.

Lesson 2: An inch overhang on a backing is not enough to allow your quilt to be long-armed, when it occurs to you that you should send it out because you're going crazy with the October 8th wedding details and worried that this quilt won't see Halloween 2012.

Sucking it up, I decided to lock myself in the studio one weekend and machine quilt this baby on the Bernina. My current fascination is teeny, tiny stippling (thank you Sharon Schamber!), so that's what I did around the star blocks...well actually, teeny, tiny switched to just plain small after the first block when I realized how much time that was going to take, but it's all good.

 The pieced blocks were stippled around the points.

The center of the stars got a spiderweb pattern quilted in.

Not the greatest stippling, but it it is small....the area pictured above is just about 2.5". MQP have a field day.

Then I had this great idea to pull out a metallic thread (which I have NEVER quilted with) to use on the spiderwebs that I was quilting over. Thankfully, my metallic thread was Superior thread, so I never had an issue with a thread break, or tension, though it didn't seem to quilt as smoothly and evenly as I had wanted it to. Fits and starts, a bit of ripping, and it really bothered me that I only used it on the 2 blocks with spiderwebs. Even after the quilt was bound I considered ripping it out again and going over it with cotton thread, but's a Halloween quilt, it's for me, it'll be out 2 weeks a year and repeat after me....."FINISHED IS WAY BETTER THAN PERFECT".


Not sure you can tell there's metallic thread along the web lines.

They aren't the straightest or the greatest or the most even stitches. But it was my first experience with metallic, so I'll need to practice. Maybe I'll pull it out and use it on the Christmas quilt.

Lesson 3: Test out quilting with metallic thread BEFORE you put a needle-full into your real quilt project.

In the end my quilting isn't perfect...there's some microscopic stitching going on that would resonate like fingernails on a chalkboard with the MPQ (Machine Quilting Police)--I just didn't feel like using my stitch regulator on this one, it gets in the way when stippling. I'm not thrilled with the corner blocks, though they are what the pattern called for. I did play with some other ideas, but in the end I was lazy and just said screw it, go with the pattern. But I do have a colorful, fun Halloween quilt to snuggle under in the family room for the next week or so, so I'm happy!

Thanks for looking, and be sure to check out the other quilts in the Festival. You can link to the Festival page and navigate the entries by clicking on the icon on my sidebar, or you can click the title of this blog entry. Big thanks to Amy's Creative Side for hosting this Festival twice a year. Love you Amy!



  1. What an adorable quilt! I'd love the see a close up of the quilting. I just bought some metallic superior threads at their booth at a quilt show. I was told to change my top tension and use a specific needle. I can email you the info if you'd like.

  2. I like animals. Baautiful colors. I love these quilts!!! You are so fantastic quilter! The colors are wonderful! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world! :)

  3. Oh...your quilt is going to be so awesome!

  4. This is an amazing looking quilt, like you I am not much on Halloween decorate (living on 400 acres and the nearest neighbor is over a mile away!) But I do love this! Good Job!!

    your friend in stitches

  5. That is such an awesome quilt! I very much so understand that "rabid" urge. :)

  6. Great quilt! I love the combination of pieced blocks and vintage looking picture blocks. Halloween quilts are a weakness of mine - check out my BQF offering and you'll see what I mean. Thanks for sharing this wonderful quilt!

  7. LOVE!! Halloween

    and I LOVE your quilt

  8. This is a great Halloween quilt. You need to leave it out longer than two weeks! Try September to Thanksgiving!! It needs to be admired and coveted!

  9. This is a wonderful quilt....only you notice all the little imperfections....

  10. Well I love it and think it's great you were stretching yourself. Of course, I do also consider you a little... okay, a lot, insane for putting this on your to do list with the wedding!

    I will have to come see it in person one day (or you bring it down) so I can see just how quiltnig with metallic thread looks b/c despite your warnings, my brain is whirring and my heart is singing... good idea, that could be cool on your Christmas wall hanging.

  11. I love Halloween and Halloween quilts. Yours is extra special - thanks for sharing!

  12. Very nice work thanks for the quilt for division.

  13. I'm just finishing up my Halloween Quilt and can I just say that I like yours WAY better? I thought I was done with Halloween quilts but now I may have to add another to the list--although you say it's pretty impossible without the fabrics.

    It's wonderful! And I love all your quilting and your threads and the fun you had in putting it together.

    Elizabeth E!

  14. Perfect quilt for this time of year! Thanks for sharing. :)

  15. Love your quilt front and back! Really fun halloween piece. Loved your process story. Enjoy this every year. Metallic is not always a friendly experience for me, so think you're very brave. Thanks for sharing and have a great day

  16. Your quilt looks great. The fabrics are wonderful and I think the quilting looks great, too.

  17. What a great quilt! I think I want one too now! (Gee thanks...) You did a great job quilting it and I just pretend I'm not home when any of the quilt police show up. :)

  18. I enjoyed reading about the process and though I work all by hand, I can see how you made that machine do your bidding. I would never even try to make quilts using the fabrics shown in magazines. By the time they arrive in Japan they are pretty welll out of date and stores here probably would not have the fabric anyway.

  19. Your quilt is great and I love the quilting you did.

  20. Thank you for sharing this beautiful quilt with us.


I appreciate and look forward to your comments. Thanks for reading. Happy quilting!