Happy Halloween! Today we have a great scrappy Halloween quilt we’re sharing from Beth Helfter, a member of Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad. The Scrap Squad is a select group of six readers who make scrappy versions of QM patterns to inspire you. They are terrifically talented quilters!
Today’s quilt pattern is in Quiltmaker’s Nov/Dec issue. It’s called Christmas Ribbons, and it was designed by Carolyn Beam. The fabrics are Chalkboard Christmas by Melissa Ybarra for Windham Fabrics.
Christmas Ribbons, designed by Carolyn Beam and made by Hatty Brown. Fabric: Chalkboard Christmas by Melissa Ybarra for Windham Fabrics. Batting: The Warm Company. Quilted on an HQ24 Fusion by Handi Quilter.
The digital pattern for this easy quilt is also available as a single: Christmas Ribbons at quiltandsewshop.com.
Beth Helfter from Pepperell, Massachusetts
Beth Helfter is from Pepperell, Massachusetts. She blogs regularly at Eva Paige Quilt Designs. She tells her Halloween quilt story below, in a way that only she can.
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My Scrap Squad reveal was set for Halloween. I had never made an official Halloween quilt, and so—even knowing that I pretty much despise Halloween—I decided to Halloween-ize this scrap project. I’m still not sure what possessed me, and I never expected to like the result, but I really am kind of loving it.
Black, orange, green, purple, and white scraps were thrown about the studio in joyous preparation for turning Christmas Ribbons into a Halloween-themed masterpiece. The joy quickly dissipated when I realized I was really low on blacks, oranges, greens, purples, and whites.
I’m an absurdly cheap quilter whose stash is beyond pitiful compared to most. But all was not lost, and QM even helped me out by sending some of their extra samples to fill my Halloween fabric void. Thanks, QM’s closets!
For someone who doesn’t like Halloween or knick knacks, I have an awful lot of Halloween knick knacks.
For the snowball blocks, I chose to keep consistent pairings of fabric colors and positions so that the scrappy didn’t get out of hand.
The green/orange snowballs, post-flurry but pre-packing.
So every orange centered snowball has purple corners, every black or green snowball – orange corners, and the white ones have black.
The black/orange ones, all kitted up.
I despise the cutting process for most scrap quilts, and I like to cut as I go so as not to lose my mind. I was able to cut all the color combos as I went, which made me much happier.
White/black. I think you get the picture. You’re smart.
I decided to do the alternate blocks containing the smaller elongated snowball guys all in the same color scheme, again so that the scrappy wouldn’t become offensive or hurt anyone’s eyes.
I believe the key to a good scrappy quilt is consistency within the crazy. Keep a few things consistent (color combos, one certain fabric in the same place in every block, etc.) and the quilt has just enough order to make you focus on the scrappy beauty without needing to look away to give your eyes a break.
Is it just me, or does this look like recess at the Frankenstein Child Care Center?
For the background part of these blocks, I chose a creamy fabric I happened to have about a yard of. I have no recollection of ever buying it and am not sure why I would have as it is so not my style. Have to admit though, it was pretty perfect for this project, so I’m glad I had it.
It’s so not me.
And so began the chain piecing portion of our story.
All we need now are some used cars to sell.
The finished alternate blocks were pretty cool.
Finished alternate blocks
The one major change I made to the design was to scrapify the sashing, cutting green, orange, and purple strips 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ to place between the blocks in each row. In my humble opinion, that gave it a huge extra punch. Yay me.
Isn’t it awesome to see a quilt come together? And to have the whole thing fit on your design wall? This was a new experience for me.
The borders on the original were your basic one-fabric borders, which I always see as a challenge—let’s come up with something a little more jazzy. I added a solid black border with just one narrow strip of orange or green in each corner. Funky awesomeness without being overwhelming to my dwindling time frame to get this sucker (as in Halloween candy) done.
I quilted Supernatural Snowball Fight with Aurifil 4657, aka “Sunset,” a variegated orange/yellow/white that would blend without overpowering. Don’t I sound so knowledgeable and cool? Really I just thought it was pretty.
Another reason to love Aurifil – this spool is still probably only half gone after quilting a billion miles (or seven bobbins-worth) on this quilt.
I don’t consider myself a masterful machine quilter. I’ve said it before – I may not be a good machine quilter, but I am an enthusiastic one. This time I actually am pretty proud, though, of how my enthusiasm and design ideas for the quilting actually revealed themselves in attractive quilting. It’s a rare thing, so I think we should celebrate. Who’s bringing the cookies?
Each block was individually quilted with a wavy squiggle from corner to corner, with the squiggles leaning to one direction and then the other as the line moves down each column.
The sashing was also squiggled, and then the borders straight line quilted with lines about 1/2″ apart around and around and around until my shoulders felt like they might freeze up. But Lordy I love the result.
The final result – a quilt which I really do love way more than I could ever love Halloween, and one which my eight year old offered to buy from me this morning for $2.00 to guarantee I will never give it away. If only she knew how close to accurate she is regarding how much people are willing to pay for handmade quilts, but that’s a post for another day.
My Vannas were all at school today. The swingset had to do the honors for showing off Supernatural Snowball Fight.
Bonus points for finding the one Snowball block that does not follow the color combos I had oh-so-carefully chosen. We’ll just call it my Amish Moment.
The tree helped out, too.
I hope you enjoyed the way I waved a magic wand to turn Christmas into Halloween!
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Plan for next year’s Halloween holiday and make Robbing Peter to Pay Jack—Quiltmaker’s most popular ever Halloween quilt pattern!
Robbing Peter to Pay Jack