Happy Halloween


  • 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)

Finished Size

19 1/2 x 24" (50 x 61cm)

Skill Level


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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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 together.


  1. Attach Bondaweb to the following fabrics:
    • 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".
  2. 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).
  3. 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").
  4. 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.
  5. Figure 1: Happy Halloween quilt layout showing the finished sizes of each section.
    Figure 1: Happy Halloween quilt layout showing the finished sizes of each section.
    Figure 2: Assembly order for the sections of the quilt.
    Figure 2: Assembly order for the sections of the quilt.
    1. Using the thicker top stitching thread, stitch around the edges of the motifs and add the decorative stitching as shown on template.

    Nine Patches

    1. 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.
    2. Assemble into 3 nine patch blocks, each containing 5 black squares and 4 colour squares. Press.

    Assembling the quilt

    1. Layout all the pieced, appliquéd and cut sections according to Figure 1.
    2. Refer to Figure 2 and sew the sections of the quilt together. Press each seam after sewing. Assemble the four sections together. Press well.
    3. 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

    1. Assemble the quilt sandwich of quilt backing, wadding and quilt top. Pin and tack.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Attach a sleeve and then settle down with a glass of cider and a toffee apple!
    Show and Tell
    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