Welcome back 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 of Quiltmaker Magazine each in our own way. Read about the Bitty Boo pattern inspiration and how the challenge worked by visiting our blog Halloween is the Time for Bitty Blocks.
The projects in this week’s installment were made with prints from Woodland Haunt collection by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.
Lori Baker, Acquisitions Editor
What fun it was to work on my Halloween project. We had staff parties both to pass out the fabric and then to show our projects. Even though it was the wrong time of year, we decorated for our parties and had a good time.
We Have a Mission. Now Let’s Get Started.
The day before the first of the parties, my six-year-old granddaughter was at my house and I found a note she left behind that says, “We have a mission. Now let’s get started.” It seemed to be her special message to our team.
I used the bat and pumpkin blocks from Bitty Boo for my project and added parts of two patterns from Crabapple Hill Studio: The Bewitching Hat and When Witches Fly. I wanted my quilt to be able to hang in the window by my front door so that’s where I started. I measured the size of the window and then added parts until I had the correct size.
Adding Machine Embroidery
I don’t do hand embroidery so I scanned the pattern for the embroidery and loaded it into my Baby Lock Destiny. The first section of the embroidery came out great. The second was not good. I didn’t get it placed correctly. It wasn’t a problem with my Destiny or the design; it was totally human error. So I tried again and it was no better.
With the quilt due soon, I didn’t take time to figure out how to properly place the embroidery. Instead, my solution was to mark the rest of the motif with a permanent black fabric marker.
So the only machine embroidery on my quilt is the leaf/floral section to the left of the hat stand. All of the rest is done with permanent fabric markers.
When it was time to quilt my little quilt, I found a cute ghost edge-to-edge quilting design in my Handi Quilter Avante. I started quilting in black thread so it would show up but …
When the ghosts were quilted in black on the white background with the “embroidery,” the design got all mushy. You couldn’t really tell what either part was.
So I removed the stitching where the black thread was on the white background, changed to white thread and finished quilting.
And here is my finished Bitty Boo quilt.
What a fun project!
Kelly Eisinger, Editorial Assistant
Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate for, however, my stash of decorations is already full to the brim! When I brought these fabrics home, my 4-year-old filled with excitement and asked what I was making for him. I didn’t have an immediate plan on how I was going to use the bitty blocks in this challenge, but his sheer enthusiasm helped to direct their use.
Considering the current status of our Halloween décor stash, I decided to make him a trick-or-treat bag. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a functional project!
Making the Trick-or-Treat Bag
My son chose four designs from the group of bitty blocks and also helped with fabrics. The adorable critters in costumes were a big hit and the perfect scale to fussy cut from. Pairing this fabric line with a variety of Patrick Lose basics worked perfectly. The bright jewel tones and funky designs made for a fun and vibrant bag.
This was a fun afternoon project, with simple sashing, a border, and scrappy handles. To say he is excited for Halloween this year would be an understatement, which is what makes seasonal projects so much fun!
Tricia Patterson, Group Editorial Director
I’ve wanted to make a Halloween-themed bed quilt for quite awhile. The opportunity came with the Bitty Boo staff challenge. It took several weeks for an idea to come for my version of the Bitty Boo quilt.
In fact, my youngest son, Andrew, gave me the germ of inspiration. I showed Denise’s design to him at the beginning of a visit one Saturday. He looked at the design and told me he would think about it. As he left us that visit, he stopped by the desk and looked at the page again. He pointed to the candy corn block to tell me I could use 4 blocks, pointing the “teeth” end (the white part you bite off first on the Halloween candy, if you are savoring the small candy to last longer) toward the center and then spiral rows of the other blocks from the center. He’s like that: I thought he had forgotten, and then an idea was born…
As life happens, around the time we started our staff challenge I was promoted to a new position and needed to take extra time to get organized. This need delayed a progressive start-up on my Halloween quilt. So, I only had 2 rows completed for the quilt to meet the deadline of the photo shoot for the Quiltmaker September/October 2018 issue.
Ground Rules for the Challenge
A couple of them were about fabric. We had to use the fabric we chose at our first Halloween party, although we could add blender fabrics or solids. Lucky me, I got Northcott’s Woodland Haunt collection and had an assortment of Northcott purple, yellow, orange, and green solids in my stash that I had picked up during an earlier fabric grab at work.
The only fabric I had to purchase was black solid and tone-on-tone fabrics in each of the quilt’s colors from the Toscana collection.
Tricia’s Quilt Design
My finished quilt is 88” x 88”. Almost all the blocks in the quilt are from the Bitty Boo design. I substituted Pinwheels for the Windmill block in row 6 because they are much faster to make. I added a contrasting ribbon for bands on every other witch hat; I also added faces to every other pumpkin. For a little extra fun, I alternated the placement of the witch hat, pumpkin and cat blocks to create an interesting zigzag pattern in these rows (4,5 & 7).
To get the bed size I wanted I added 4” borders. Borders 1 and 3 are solid black and border 2 is pieced with 76 black and assorted Woodland Haunt print 4” squares. I used a multicolor stripe from the Woodland Haunt collection to bind the quilt.
Judy and Matt Lanza at A Better Quilt added the perfect finishing touches with assorted Halloween symbols in the quilting motif: witches on brooms, cats & bats, and crescent moons.
Finally, several months later my first Halloween bed quilt is finished!
The Bitty Blocks Featured in Tricia’s Quilt
Here’s a summary of the 4” blocks I included in my quilt, row by row:
1: Candy Corn – 4 blocks
2: House – 12 blocks
3: Windmill – 20
4: Witch Hat – 28
5: Pumpkin – 36
6: Pinwheel – 44
7: Cat – 52
8: Sawtooth Star – 60
I made a total of 256 Bitty Blocks. At times I felt a little crazy that I even considered making all these tiny blocks, but as always with such a detailed project, it’s always worth it in the end!
If you’ve missed any part of the Bitty Boo staff challenge series, be sure to read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4. And also be sure to come back next week for the final installment of our Bitty Boo Halloween series with two more unique projects, this time made with a vintage-inspired fabric collection!
Ready to make your own Bitty Boo Quilt? Check out these great resources: