Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Red Letter Day Halloween Quilt

I am not a huge collector of novelty Halloween fabrics but over time, I have acquired quite a few favorites.  My son is nuts about Halloween- he was born in October and it really just seems to be in his blood.  So I decided it's definitely time to make a fun kids Halloween quilt we'll see if it actually gets done in time for the holiday this year.

Even though I had plenty of fabric to get started, I went ahead and ordered some Halloween Parade from my BMQG friend, Hema.  She waited till after I moved from Massachusetts to start selling fabric online!  The nerve.  Thankfully- receiving it in the mail is almost as fun as getting it from her in person.  (A little bundle of Jungle Ave slipped into my order too- LOVE it!).

Anyway, I am seriously in love with this Halloween Swoon quilt by Amanda at Hey Porkchop.  It has juvenile fabrics but it is designed in such a stunning and "mature" way.  Inspired by that beauty, I am trying to make a Halloween quilt with another Thimble Blossoms pattern: Red Letter Day.    

Monday morning- I was just floored by one of the Sewvivor entries for the Hexie challenge.  I love her use of a unique color combination: teal, olive green, and black- but I especially love that she used all prints (no solids) to make something so unique.  

I decided to try to make a Red Letter Day block with only prints - I debated combinations of fabrics for over an hour- it was annoying!  I finally just went for it, but after all of that effort, it looks like a hot mess to me:

I think the picture makes it look better in person but it's way too busy, right?!  I feel sad that such good/cute fabrics may be wasted (I am still debating with myself if I can salvage any of it for this project) but I keep trying to tell myself that it's good to experiment and the wasted fabric is minimal in amount and cost.

So I decided to try again, using a neutral along with two prints.  What do you think?  I feel like it's world's better than my first attempt:

I would seriously love any opinions!  Thanks in advance.  Linking up to WIP Wednesday.


Sarah Fredette said...

I love that you're doing a Halloween quilt (I've been planning one too!:D). I think the first block's problem is scale. Those bats are a larger scale print, and its a high contrast. Most of Nicole's printed backgrounds are either very small prints, or tonals. Now the dot in your second block would be a perfect "background" because its a smaller scale print. Also, I personally find its really hard when pearl bracelets (especially the high contrast ones) are chopped into smaller pieces. It becomes inconsistent because some squares have lots of white, and some are nearly all purple (in this case). Whew, I'm longwinded today. :D Any of that help? Also, to salvage you might try replacing the purple corners with the bats. I know it changes the pattern a little, but it might work. Worst case, you can use it on the back. :D

rachel @ the slp quilts said...

I agree with you - I like the second block much better. Are those tiny ghosts on the green fabric? So fun!

Ann said...

The second one reads better because it's quieter but the first may still fit in. If nothing else, put it on the back as Sarah suggested.
A friend of mine used some permanent ink or fine-line pen to color the white areas on a piece of fabric. It changed the look so much. Perhaps that would work here.

Anonymous said...

I also prefer the second block. It is really pretty, the first one is fairly busy. Last fall I made this block with Halloween novelty prints, thinking I would just put the block on a wall somewhere. Wow- it was miserable. Gave me a headache just to look at it, being soooo busy. I debated what to do with it for quite a while but finally chalked it up to experience and tossed it. I've been there! All part of learning, right?

Harriet Toothfighter said...

I like the purple and orange together in the first block. I think if you just took out the bats and replaced them with something else, it would look great. And be less work than dismantling the whole thing entirely. Then you could just take the purple and bat squares and make them into a strip or something for a pieced back. You know, since I make so many quilts. And would know how to do that. But I think that first block would still look really cute if you put in a nice light solid where you have bats. But then I love orange and purple together, so there's that.

AmandaK@whatthebobbin said...

Loving where you're going with this. I have those little ghosts too - love them!

MalinisQuilts said...

You're welcome ;). I wish I started selling fabrics...but I did buy a lot like store.

Unknown said...

I think using the basic colour wheel principles might help. The complimentary or accent colour for purple is yellow, and orange is the complimentary colour for blue. Try putting those together.