Welcome to Quiltmaker’s Bitty Boo staff challenge blog series! The Quilting Company’s Editorial & Design team had fun interpreting Denise Starck’s design for the September/October 2018 issue in our own ways. Click here to read about the Bitty Boo pattern inspiration and how the challenge worked.
The projects in this week’s installment were made with the Broomhilda’s Bakery collection from Maywood Studio.
Annette Falvo, Technical Editor
This is not the sound of zombies, ghosts, or creepy creatures haunting the hallways of my home. It’s actually the cacophony of packing-tape dispensers ripping across cardboard boxes!
When the Bitty Boo project was starting here in our Golden, Colorado, office, my sewing room was in a frightful mess! Bobbins were in boxes, machines were mummy-wrapped in foam, and tools were entombed in crypts marked U-Haul.
In the shadow of relocating to new digs, I knew I needed some magical potions to answer Bitty Boo’s howl.
Potion #1 Inspiration: Sweet before spooky is the way I like Halloween. Candy corn eyes helped my black cat glower, while a scrap of extra large rickrack was dying to become an awning for Broomhilda’s Bakery. Even the spider stopped spinning its web long enough to gobble down some of Broomhilda’s enchanting pie.
Potion #2 Design: I didn’t need a crystal ball to tell me I needed to keep this project small. After all, I’m only a muggle. A door hanger with a hanging sleeve seemed do-able, functional, and fun!! I made four blocks in the original 4” sizes, doubled the sizes of two star blocks, and created my own “awning” block for the center.
Potion #3 Technique: After hemming the sides of the hanging sleeve, I attached one end to the top edge of the quilt top and the other to the top of the backing before I quilted. To do this, I simply stitched as if I were attaching binding. Next, I folded the sleeve so the quilt top and backing were layered wrong sides together, sandwiched a rectangle of batting in between, aligned the edges where the sleeve was attached, and quilted! This way only three sides of the quilt needed binding, and I finished the ends by folding under where they met the sleeve.
Gigi Khalsa, Associate Editor
My favorite block from the original Bitty Boo pattern has to be the bat. There’s just so much detail in such a tiny space! And it looks exactly like a flying bat, which is spooky and very Halloween-y, so I decided to base my project around that block.
I decided to make my project look like bats were filling the night sky, flying up into the air away from the viewer, interspersed with some star blocks. That meant I could incorporate different size bat blocks, which is always fun to do. If you’ve ever wanted to change the size of a block, there are a few simple rules to remember, but the main one is very, very important: Subtract the seam allowance first, then multiply the finished patch size by the amount you want to enlarge it, then add the seam allowance back to the adjusted finished patch size.
I made two bats in the original 4” size, and one each in 6”, 8”, and 12” sizes. Making the 6” block was the most complex since I had to multiply eighths of an inch by 1.5, giving me a lot of patches that were in the sixteenth-of-an-inch range. But it worked out.
If you remember a few simple rules you can make any block any size you want. So go batty!
Carrie Sisk, Social Media Manager
I love Halloween—dressing up, decorating, and celebrating—and so does my three-and-a-half-year-old, Charlie. Since there’s no accommodating summertime trick-or-treating (for obvious reasons), I thought I’d make her a fun twin-size Halloween quilt inspired by the Bitty Boo row quilt. Inspiration took me on a wild journey and I found myself searching for free clip art and deviating completely from the original design. I went with it—it was a lot of fun!
Some of the clip art I found wasn’t the right fit for the 7½” x 10” quilt blocks I wanted to make, so I used a photo-editor to modify them. Once the layout was set, I printed the clip art images and used a light box to trace them onto fusible web for appliqué. Each appliquéd character is stitched in place with a bold zigzag stitch using black thread.
I’m going to use the computer-guided Q’nique longarm quilting machine to quilt black spider webs over the entire top of the quilt. I’m going to have to avoid the buttons and other embellishments on the quilt top, but I think it’ll look spectacular (spook-tacular?)!
My favorite part of the design is that with each type of block, there’s one that’s a little different from the others. The center block is a winking cat with an orange nose (not pink like the others), one of the bats has wonky eyes and a bowtie, and so on. I remember loving things like this when I was little—knowing something almost magical belonged to me and was my special secret. I hope my daughter finds that with this quilt—Halloween is a magical time, after all!
If you’ve missed any part of the Bitty Boo staff challenge series, click here for part 1. And be sure to come back next week for more Bitty Boo Halloween fun and not-so-spooky inspiration!