I’m excited to announce the release of the new Trick or Treat Wall Hanging pattern! Time to embrace Fall and get ready for one of my favorite holidays- Halloween!
This pattern is essentially a background rectangle, with two sets of borders and applique on top. It's fun, quick and you can adjust the applique placement and finishes to meet your creative desires! I added a flange binding to mine for extra interest but your preferred binding method will be perfect, too. You can quilt this before or after the applique is added. Before will let the applique "float" over the quilting, while doing it after will be more of an all-over look. Both awesomely spook-tacular!
Oh and did I mention it's free? You can sign up below to get it right away! If you're already on the list, just use this same form to access it in time for Halloween decorating!
A Lifelong Obsession
Halloween has always has been one my favorite holidays. To start with, it's in Fall, my favorite season as I shared in my Fall, Leaves, Fall post.
On top of that, I’m a horror fan. Movies, novels, TV series, artwork- you name it. My fondness of this time of year and the genre in general, is tied to lots of happy memories and probably my overall weirdness. But who knows what came first, the chicken or the egg.
Either way, I've gotten comfy with my weirdness. One of my dearest friends Karen often says to me, "Oh Jess, my weird friend." While lovingly rolling her eyes at me.
Awkward Teen Amongst the Vampires
While I love gothic and horror fiction in general, this began with one particular author.
When I was in 8th or 9th grade, I was already reading Anne Rice novels and totally obsessed with the Vampire Chronicles. I had seen the film "Interview with the Vampire" at my friend Lindsay's house and was hooked so of course I had to read the books.
Anne Rice came to town, on tour for her release of "Servant of the Bones". I knew I had to go. My mom was reluctant to oblige at first, but with some persuasion she agreed to take me. I wonder if she later came to regret it.
There we stood in a line full of people dressed in their gothic best and I, in my awkward teen years, in a tie-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirt. Not because I even liked Grateful Dead, just because I liked the dolphins and colors on it.
I certainly stood out like a sore thumb.
Sometimes I feel embarrassed for my awkward early-teen self, other times so proud, because these days I'm sure I would fuss and fret over what to wear to such a thing rather than just being me.
Finally we got to the front of the line and there sat Anne, looking like Cleopatra with her cat-eyes and glorious beaded headpiece. Amused and possibly admiring my oblivious awkwardness, she gave me a crooked smile and said, "I like your shirt." Fan. For. Life.
Bring on the Zombies!
Flesh-eating, cannibalistic zombies actually stir fond memories in my heart, such as watching “Night of the Living Dead” with my Dad for the first time. Admittedly it was at an age younger than I should’ve been for such a movie. But it was a great bonding moment, and my first zombie movie! To say I became hooked is an understatement. Not only to zombie movies but anything post-apocalyptic. That’s my favorite type of horror movie, though obviously I won't say no to a vampire or haunted house story either!
I made this quilt which I titled “Creature Comforts” for my Dad last year, complete with all the lovely zombie and blood spatter fabric I could find! The pattern is called “Fractions” by GE Designs from the book "Stripology Squared". It was a really fun one to put together and he of course was thrilled.
Star Wars Skeletons
Back in April of this year, a woman at our local quilt shop informed me there would be Star Wars Halloween and Christmas fabrics this year!
My husband is one of the biggest Star Wars fans you’ll ever meet. It’s quite alarming if you get him talking about it too much because you wonder where there's room in any one person's brain for the wealth of random facts he holds. And of course he's happy to share any and all of it with you at a moment’s notice. One of our friends Cameron knows [almost] as much and if you get them talking about it, you might as well go do something else because they'll keep each other busy for literally hours.
So I knew we would have to buy some of this fabric. I had honestly forgotten about it amid this crazy year until the quilt shop messaged me telling me it had arrived!
It is by Camelot Fabrics. I haven't been able to find it for sale online, other than in a few Etsy shops so I apologize for not being able to provide a link to it.
My friend Mary said when I first mentioned this fabric, "How adork-able"! Darn tootin'!
I used it for the thick border, letters and main binding color of the Trick or Treat wall hanging. The cream background is from the "Grunge" line by Moda (one of my favorite lines to use for backgrounds). I used leftovers from my scrap bin for the bats and a small piece of orange yardage I had left for the inner border and flange portion of the binding.
Did I mention the Star Wars fabric GLOWS IN THE DARK?!?
What to Make?
There's something very satisfying about a project like a wall hanging or table runner. They come together relatively quickly and can be put out on display. I like holiday and seasonal ones especially, because it feels special bringing them out each year. It’s like seeing an old friend.
So I decided that's what I wanted to make. I didn't find a pattern that quite fit what I had in mind so I decided to come up with my own.
Cue the Trick or Treat wall hanging! Applique on a wall hanging is great because you can add fun shapes without complicated piecing to keep in the spirit of a fun and quick project. This pattern has some bats and gothic letters to bring home the Halloween feel.
Don’t be scared by the little points on the letters! Since this is for Halloween, I would encourage you not to be too fussy when you're cutting and stitching around the letters. If you want to forego those points altogether, just don’t include the points when you’re tracing the templates to straighten things out. That’s one of the beauties of applique!
I purposefully let mine get a little wonky just to add to the feel. I love the parts where the blanket stitches around the letters got off track a bit.
You don’t even have to stitch around everything if you don’t want. The edges can be left raw or you can quilt over the entire thing! Since this is a wall hanging, it likely won’t be washed often so you can get away with leaving raw edges without too much worry. And if the edges do fray a little over time, even better for the Halloween look!
Speaking of quilting, I decided to quilt the top before adding the applique so it would appear that the quilting is all behind the applique. In the center background section, I did some spider webs and simple lines. In the narrow border I did a loopy line and in the wide border a series of straight lines.
So much fun and so easy! I added some dangling spiders here and there. This was really satisfying and addicting to do and I had to convince myself there were enough and I should just stop already!
The spiders are just a little starburst with 8 "legs", dangling from a line. I did some extra stitching in the center to bulk up the bodies just a bit. The webs are easy, too! You basically make a big starburst, and then go around in a circle connecting those main "spokes" to each other with lines that slightly bend in towards the center.
Again, perfection is not mandatory and not even desired for a look like this!
To me, applique is one of the less technical quilting methods. Piecing is usually pretty basic; this one has two borders applied and that’s it for piecing!
Then you decorate how you like with the applique. You can use more of fewer bats, or even print out some other shapes you like, such as pumpkins or cats!
This project in particular might be a great one if you are new to applique because if you go off track or things aren’t perfect, it’s even better!
I used “Susie’s’ Magic Binding” (again!) in this project but you can certainly use whatever method you prefer. The fabric and cutting instructions in the pattern are for regular machine binding. If you want to do the flange binding as I did, you will need 3 strips of each your “main” binding color and your “flange” binding color. The main strips are cut 1 ½" wide and the flange strips are cut 1 ¾" wide. Check out the tutorial for how to use this method; it’s fantastic. I used it recently on my “Fall, Leaves, Fall” quilt as well!
When you print the templates for this pattern, make sure your printer is set to print at 100%. Again, this isn’t a fussy pattern so if you want to change the size you can go for it but if you want things scaled as shown, you will want to print at 100%.
You can hang this wall hanging with Command strips or add a sleeve to the back to be used with a rod. This is a great video by Fons & Porter that shows how to add a sleeve either before or after binding.
The best part about this pattern? It’s my Halloween gift to you and free!
Just sign up in the Trick or Treat Wall Hanging email form at the top or bottom of the page and you'll be able to download the pattern right away with plenty of time to make for Halloween! (Make sure you use the Trick or Treat sign up form instead of the regular one at the very bottom if you want the pattern).
I hope you feel inspired to put together this cute wall hanging! And to give applique a shot if you haven’t tried it already!
Let me know what you think in the comments below; your feedback is always appreciated!