This week’s bag o’ scraps of quilt-related news has a decidedly seasonal air, with stories of Halloween, falling leaves and even the election (I promise you, it’s a fun story, unlike the election itself).
We received an email earlier this week from the head of collections management at the Kentucky Historical Society, Beth Caffery Carter, in response to my “This Month in Quilt History: October” blog post, in which I included the Graveyard Quilt. Beth wrote to thank us for mentioning the 1843 quilt, which is part of the KHS collection. She also wanted to let us know that the KHS has the Graveyard Quilt on display through December, a rare event owing to the quilt’s age and the fragility of the paper used to make the coffins. So if you’re in the Frankfort, Kentucky, area in the next couple of months, swing by to see this moving and unique quilt.
If you can’t make it, here are a couple of close-up photos that Beth sent for me to share with our blog readers.
For a modern and definitely more irreverent take on coffins-as-quilt-design, check out designer Jeni Baker’s foundation-pieced free pattern available from her website.
The block above is one that I made; the Crows print came from Timeless Treasures’ 2015 collection Wicked, and the background is a new Bali Batik in (coincidentally) Raven designed by Stacy Michell for Hoffman Fabrics. Somewhere in my stash at home I have a Día de los Muertos fabric I’d like to use to make another one, but first I have to find it.
For even more inspiration for fussy cutting Halloween fabrics using this block, check out The Confused Quilter’s blog.
And since we’re on the subject of dark colors, paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore announced a deep amethyst they call Shadow as their 2017 color of the year. It certainly creates a mood in a room, that’s for sure, not unlike the darker colors major museums have been painting their galleries to offer more contrast to the art on display. Would it do the same for your favorite quilt?
Harmony Susella, founder of organic fabric manufacturer Harmony Art, has worked in textile design for many years. In a recent blog post, she shared a cute story about designing three politically inspired fabric prints in the run-up to the 2000 general election. “They wanted a donkey, elephant and eagle (for the reform party),” she writes. “It ended up being a huge PR campaign with all the candidates and their wives getting complimentary pajamas of their parties.” Maybe you had some of those pajamas yourself!
Canadian artist Nancy Zimmerman is not content to just admire the changing leaves this time of year in her part of Ontario, or use them as inspiration for traditional quilts — she’s been stitching the leaves themselves into beautiful, ephemeral pieced quilts. “I’m going to keep making them until madness sets in or God just gets rid of the temptation,” she said. “Everyday, the colours seem more vibrant and beautiful.” To see what she’s been making, watch the short video at the link below, where her pieces are shown to better advantage than in the photos. You just might find some design inspiration for your next autumn-themed quilt.
Going back to the subject of free Halloween quilt patterns, be sure to visit the Quilters Newsletter website to view the autumn and Halloween patterns that are available for download. I remember a few years ago when fellow associate editor Gigi Khalsa was asking around the office for a variety of Halloween scraps to be used in a free pattern design she had in mind. When she brought in the finished Halloween Street, I thought, “That’s the type of Halloween wall quilt I’ve wanted to make for years but didn’t know how!” It’s adorable, and the more novelty Halloween prints you can get your hands on for fussy cutting, the better. Click here to download the free pattern for Halloween Street.
You can find even more Halloween and fall quilt patterns on the McCall’s Quilting website and for sale at Quilt and Sew Shop. Note that Quilt and Sew Shop is holding a Half Price Kits sale that ends Saturday, 10/22 — lots of great deals to be had on quilts for all seasons, featuring fabric from Moda, Dear Stella, Robert Kaufman, Art Gallery Fabrics, Hoffman and more.