Day of the Dead Quilt - Wise Craft Handmade
Upcycled patchwork, modern quilts, and books by Blair Stocker. Seattle, Washington
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Day of the Dead Quilt

Day of the Dead Quilt
Please pardon the lapse in regular postings while I get two kids ready for new schools (middle and high school, people!) in just a matter of days. We are back to school shopping, cleaning out closets, going to orientations, and trying to get the last bits out of our summer.
But in the midst of it all I did finish a quilt!
 
Don’t ask me why I had this idea…to make some sort of Halloween-inspired quilt…for years. But I have. I’m not even all that crazy about Halloween. I could actually take it or leave it. I know so many that live for Halloween. Maybe that’s why I wanted to do a quilt. Decorating for a holiday like Halloween is the best part of it for me. So I made a Day of the Dead quilt.
Anyway, all the Halloween fabric currently out in the market didn’t feel quite right, and I didn’t want to do just solids, so I’ve put it off for a long time. And then I came across Alexander Henry’s Midnight Pastoral. I suddenly dropped everything I was working on and began furiously searching the internet to find enough of the black/cream to make something, anything (local shops didn’t seem to have it). I go weak for a good toile, in most of its forms. But this. THIS!


I wanted the quilt to feel a little formal, with consistent structure to the blocks, and still feature the toile pattern as much as possible. And be fairly quick to go together too! This is just a very simple snowball block. The toile was cut into 6 1/2 ” squares, a size which featured most of the pastoral scenes wells. At first, I fussy cut (carefully cut out specific areas of the print) to keep the images in the center of the block, but later gave up on that to save fabric I later and just started to cut across the width, not thinking about where the print fell within each block. Because of that, there are blocks with lots more of the cream ground and I like the movement it gives throughout the quilt top.

But even within it’s structure, this quilt needed some lightness too; Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos is a celebration, after all. And that’s where the Kona solids in Halloween/Fall/Day of the Dead-inspired colors came in. I drew a simple graph to color in and used it to distribute the colors throughout the quilt. (Those Kona color cards are so handy.)
 

I made the back out of what I had left over. I had purchased a bit of Cartas Marcadas in black and white, also from Alexander Henry, and wanted to use it up, so I ran it across the middle back with some of the leftover Kona. The photo below is a better view of the quilting, straight lines across, using my walking foot’s edge as a guide, and carefully stitching around the colored diamonds instead of through them.