Halloween has always been a special time of the year at our house. I was reminded of this when I fell in love with Gigi Khalsa’s Halloween Street quilt hanging in her office at first sight. It immediately reminded me of a book I’ve read to each of my grandchildren a gazillion times, 10 Trick-or-Treaters: A Halloween Counting Book, written by Janet Shulman and illustrated by Linda Davick. If you’re familiar with the book, you know it has a colorful set of Halloween characters traveling through the neighborhood to pick up treats.
Halloween is also special to me because I’ve made my granddaughters’ costumes for the last 10 years (from their ideas and recommendations for a theme) and a few of my grandsons’. It’s become a family tradition. Thinking about what I could do with Gigi’s pattern, I thought it would be the perfect setting for all of our trick-or-treaters. I usually make the costumes for the girls remotely, exchanging design ideas and sizes, sending finished costumes in time for the big reveal. Last year was a special treat for me because I traveled to Indiana to make the costumes with their help and to join them for the town’s festivities in Franklin, Indiana. It was so much fun to walk around with the trick-or-treaters. There must have been over 500 treaters traversing the old town section of decorated historic homes.
The inspiration for my special Halloween quilt incorporates the memories of reading 10 Trick-or-Treaters: A Halloween Counting Book, many years of fun making Halloween costumes for all my special kids and the most amazing trick-or-treating I’ve ever seen.
Making My Version
You can get Gigi Khalsa’s Halloween Street pattern FREE here.
I pulled out all the Halloween fabrics I’ve collected over the years to see if I could find some similar to the ones Gigi used in her quilt. I discovered I didn’t have any of the same fabrics, but could probably improvise with the ones I had gathered. I was able to keep to the general theme, but had to make a few changes to the pattern to incorporate my trick-or-treaters in the street scene. I used the house shapes from the pattern. I also fussy-cut some of the characters from Halloween-themed fabric to fill-in the doorways, windows, landscape, roof-top and sky.
I really liked the shadows created by the black and gray print Gigi used in her quilt for a walkway, but I didn’t have a similar fabric. I used a technique I learned from quilter Ricky Tims to make my walkway “fabric”, increasing Gigi’s pattern from 2” x 36½” for the walkway, including the seam allowance, to make it 6½” x 36½”.
To make the walkway…
Making the background of the quilt…
I used fusible web to applique the houses and some of the fussy-cut characters to create the background first.
Adding the trick-or-treaters…
My Halloween quilt became a memory quilt as I added my own trick-or-treaters to the fussy cut ones. I cropped and sized Halloween photos of my kids and used printable fabric sheets to print out my trick-or-treaters. Once I had all the trick-or-treaters collected I added the fusible backing before cutting away the photo’s background. (Notice I made several sizes of the treaters so that I could more easily fit the right size of real treaters with the fabric ones in the street scene.
And, finally, it was time to play. I used my design wall to audition the variety of trick-or-treaters into the scene to create this final placement. It was such a pleasure to remember all the years of making Halloween costumes with my grandchildren, and the treating adventure of last year.
Happy Halloween Quilting!