I love a good challenge. My life in the past two years has been full of plenty of challenges, but not all of them were good. House disasters, health disasters, my life has seemed to be a series of catastrophes, one after another. My friends will tell you I met those challenges with poise and grace, but I certainly did not always feel that way. Quilting and then starting my pattern design business have been the ways that I tried to create beauty and order from all the chaos.
Quilting has provided me with good challenges. Choosing the right fabrics, maintaining accuracy when cutting and piecing, adding the right finishes with quilting design – all wonderful tricky tasks.
Pattern designing and running a business have been their own set of difficulties. I’ve been scraping the rust off the knowledge gained from my college accounting classes. There have been a lot of long nights doing research, planning, and implementing.
With all the challenges I’ve faced that were unavoidable, you’d think I’d try to lay low for a little while, right? Sail some calm seas, coast along for a little bit, stay quiet enough and trouble won’t find me. Well, I’ve tried that, and trouble really seems to have my number.
But this was fun trouble! The kind that comes with a box of fabric in the mail. And a deadline, of course. I was mostly focused on the box of fabric in the mail.
As the Henry Glass Desire to Inspire Challenge designer for March, I got to work with the Ghostly ‘Glow’ Town collection by Shelly Comisky of Simply Shelly Designs. I received a fabulous assortment of these fabrics – the panel, the border stripe, and several accompanying prints. My favorite thing about these fabrics? They glow in the dark!
After playing and petting them for a bit, I set to work. I knew I wanted to focus on the panel – and what does a haunted house need? A spooky pumpkin patch, of course! (I originally toyed with a surrounding neighborhood of haunted houses made from wonky log cabins, but my sewing time is limited because of my toddler and I really loved the orange fabrics I received, so I kept the log cabin block but turned it into a pumpkin).
I cut the border strip to accent the purples and greens in the panel, and I just love the zombies and skeletons dancing around. I quilted the quilt with glow in the dark thread from Signature threads and used my favorite swirly pantograph. Minerva handled the thread like a dream and I met my deadline!
This pattern is available as a pdf download in my shop here. It makes a lap quilt that’s 50″ x 58″ and did I mention it glows in the dark?
I had a little bit of time to spare (when has a parent of a toddler ever said that? Okay, other parents with better time management skills than me probably say it all the time, but I digress) so I set to a few more projects.
I absolutely adore this fabric bowl. It went together so quickly and the pattern is so easy (and easily customizable!) that I’m sharing it with my entire email list (you can sign up below to get your own copy emailed right to you). This is a highly adaptable design – you can easily make it larger or small to suit your needs.
Jimmy loves it as a hat!
This table runner took me the longest to plan but sewed up the quickest – just one nap time! (The fabric bowl might’ve been faster but my little helper was awake). I’ve never done a “One Block Wonder” quilt before (also called Kaleidoscope quilts) but I thought this fabric was absolutely perfect for it. Instead of overthinking it the way I tend to, I just jumped right in with my rotary cutter. I had enough fabric for four repeats, so I went with a square One Block Wonder block. The blocks went together in a snap, I used another fabulous fabric for the setting triangles.
At this point, Jimmy did start to stir from his nap, but I decided to keep on going. I stitched it right sides together with the backing and a thin cotton batting, then turned it right sides out and top stitched the opening closed.
By this time, Jimmy was fully awake, so I had a little assistant while I tried to get some photos taken. I don’t mind, and I hope the amazing folks at Henry Glass don’t either.
This has been a truly wonderful experience – working with fabrics and letting them tell me the designs and not designing a quilt and finding the perfect fabrics for it. This was an exciting challenge to participate in.
Stay tuned for more excitement in the coming weeks!