By Mavis and Marion Haslam
As the nights draw in, it's an ideal time to start some new patchwork projects. This small quilt was a joint project between mother and daughter Mavis and Marion Haslam. Why not involve your family and have a fun weekend putting the quilt together?
- 9 fat eighths of fabric (we used 4 patterns and 5 plains)
- Fabric 1 - background - solid apricot
- Fabric 2 - apple and pie dish - red plaid
- Fabric 3 - big and small leaves, nine patch - green print
- Fabric 4 - pumpkin features and nine patch - solid black
- Fabric 5 - background, stalk and nine patch - solid brown
- Fabric 6 - background - solid plum
- Fabric 7 - pumpkin and nine patch - solid orange
- Fabric 8 - pie crust - yellow print
- Fabric 9 - witch print
- 30 x 45cm (12 x 18") of Bondaweb
- 55 x 65cm (22 x 26") cotton wadding
- 55 x 65cm (22 x 26") backing fabric
- Top stitching thread for quilting (we used Gutermann thread in four colours)
19 1/2 x 24" (50 x 61cm)
The starting point was a wonderful witch fabric from Debbie Mumm. Having always
liked sampler-style quilts made of different block sizes, Marion drew an initial
design idea on the back of an envelope (yes quilt design is very low tech with the
Haslams)! In order to fit the different sections together, all the blocks were based
on a multiple of 1 1/2". The nine patch blocks and appliquéd sections were allocated
space first and the subsequent 'gaps' filled in with printed fabric. This is a great
way of designing a one of a kind quilt and the principle could be also be used for
combining all those sample blocks made at workshops over the years.
- Attach a small swatch of each fabric to a piece of paper and label 1 to 9.
Decide on the positions of fabric for the centre of the quilt,
using the photograph
as a guide. Remember to choose contrasting fabrics (either light and dark or contrasting
colours) for the nine patch blocks. You should also check that there is a balance
of fabrics and colours within the quilt. You do not need to decide on fabrics for
the border and binding until later.
- Sketch out the design of the quilt from Figure 1 and label each section with the
numbers of the fabrics being used (if different from the arrangement here).
- Scale up the appliqué designs by 200% on a photocopier and trace off.
TIP! When deciding on fabrics for your quilt, fold up small sections
to correspond to the different sections. Layout roughly to check the colours work
- Attach Bondaweb to the following fabrics:
Trace off in reverse the appliqué motifs. Cut out on the line. Where
the fabric is to be used for several motifs (eg fabric 2, apple and pie dish, position
the motifs carefully on the fabric before cutting).
Using Figure 1 as a guide, cut out all the witch rectangles, filler sections
and all the background sections for the appliqué motifs. Remember to add 1/4" seam
allowance to each side. (Eg. Apple block is 6 x 6" finished size so cut the background 6 1/2
x 6 1/2").
Iron on Bondaweb motifs in the correct order. With the apple section,
iron the apple to the background first, then add the stalk. With the pumpkin section,
iron the pumpkin to the background first, then add the features and stalk. With
the pie section, iron the pie dish to the background first, then add the crust.
- Fabric 2 - apple and pie dish 6 x 6"
- Fabric 3 - big and small leaves 8 x 6"
- Fabric 4 - black pumpkin features 4 x 4"
- Fabric 5 - pumpkin stalk 2 x 1 1/2"
- Fabric 7 - pumpkin 4 1/2 x 7"
- Fabric 8 - pie crust 7 1/2 x 3".
Figure 1: Happy Halloween quilt layout showing the finished sizes of each section.
Figure 2: Assembly order for the sections of the quilt.
- Using the thicker top stitching thread, stitch around the edges of the motifs and
add the decorative stitching as shown on template.
- Cut fifteen 2" squares from the black and four each of the green print (3),
brown (5) and orange (7) fabrics. Note that the 2" includes a seam allowance.
- Assemble into 3 nine patch blocks, each containing 5 black squares and 4 colour
Assembling the quilt
- Layout all the pieced, appliquéd and cut sections according to Figure 1.
- Refer to Figure 2 and sew the sections of the quilt together. Press each seam after
sewing. Assemble the four sections together. Press well.
- From the remaining fabrics, cut borders 2" wide. (They can be pieced to make up
the necessary lengths of 21" for the two side borders and 20" for the top and bottom
borders). Attach the side borders, then the top and bottom borders. Press.
Quilting and Finishing
- Assemble the quilt sandwich of quilt backing, wadding and quilt top. Pin
- Using the top stitching threads, quilt as you wish from the centre outwards.
Here, I have echoed the shapes of the appliqué motifs, quilted around the
edge of the blocks, crisscrossed the nine patches and added freehand swirls.
Remember to quilt evenly across the surface, including the border.
- Trim any excess wadding and backing fabric. From the remaining
fabric, cut out binding lengths 2 1/2" wide and join to give a total length of 90".
Sew a double binding on all four sides. Do this by folding the binding in half. Pin onto
the front of the quilt with the raw edge of the binding at the edge of the quilt. Sew
using a 1/4" seam allowance. Fold over and slip stitch onto the back of the quilt.
- Attach a sleeve and then settle down with a glass of cider and a toffee apple!
Show and Tell quilt
OPTION Once you understand the concept of quilts made of different block sizes, why
not experiment with other fabrics and designs on a theme such as gardens, Japan,
tea and cakes? Mavis sewed the 'Show and Tell' quilt as a quick quilt for her workroom,
using her stash of fabrics with appropriate sewing motifs. Simple straight line
quilting, tying and buttons finish the quilt. A simple patchwork like this would
be great fun for a junior quilter to sew whilst Mum is making the Halloween quilt.
Remember if this quilt is to be used as a play mat for babies, you should not attach
buttons which could be chewed or swallowed.
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 8 Number 6 - October 2000