Thursday, October 06, 2005

bad to the bone

Why do I love making Halloween quilts? I mean besides the fact that they are so much fun and make me smile everytime I see them? I like making them because they allow me to experiment more and I'm almost guaranteed to have good color contrast. The fabrics are wild and I know that the quilts can be wild and I will only have to look at them for 6 weeks of the year (even less if I really don't like it - but that hasn't happened yet).

If there is a technique that you are dieing to try but feel nervous about, then make it in Halloween fabrics. If you hate the outcome, you can make it into a kid's quilt - they aren't nearly as fussy as adults are. They'll love the ghosts and spiders and whatever other creepy-crawlies you end up with. Try something new. Explore this month. Sorry for the lecture - I'll stop now.

After I made my Halloween Houses quilt I went off on a letter making tangent. After several more quilts, I decided I wanted to explore free-piecing some more. I wanted to make a large Halloween quilt to hang behind our sofa. As I was making blocks for it, I made this skeleton with the words "Bad to the bone" and decided that I loved how it turned out SO MUCH there was no way I could just let it be swallowed up by a bigger quilt. So I sewed on a bit more black fabric on the top and right side and then the black and white batik on the other sides and I had a wallhanging.

Meet my skeleton. I hope you can see how he's constructed (if you're interested) by double-clicking on the image and going to the close-up. He's basically sewn in rows - the skull, the torso, the pelvis, the legs. I made the head first and then figured out how big to make the next row and so on. He's certainly not well-proportioned - but that's his charm, for me anyway.

I quilted black perle cotton unmarked fans everywhere but on the skeleton. I used perle cotton to outline each of the shapes on the little dude so that he'd stand out.

I finished this quilt in May 2001. It's 16 1/2" x 20".


7 comments:

Dawn said...

Oh my gosh he is adorable! And I love the words you put on him! way too cute! and I'm still in awe of the quilting you put on with the free form fans.

Tonya R said...

Dawn, YOU can do the free-form fans too. I PROMISE you can do it. Get out a project that you can have fun with and just try it. Okay? I want you to try it.

Scrapmaker said...

This guy has a lot of personality for a skeleton. Great quilt! Jen

Samantha said...

Oh, Tonya, I'm in love! If my husband sees this, I'll have to make him one of his own!!!

Finn said...

OK Ton, NOW ya got me...LOL..still no pic of the orphans but I now KNOW what I will take along to LLCC tomorrow. Had just talked to friend Betsy, and told her if I could just decide what I want to work on, I'd be allllll set.

I'M TAKING THE ENTIRE BOX (BIG) OF HALLOWEEN FABRICS, some black and maybe my black and white fabric stash...!! AND I'm taking Gwen Marson's Liberated Quiltmaking...HOW ABOUT THAT????

I LOVE your skeleton !! It's easy to see the construction for anyone who has done letters, or hearts and some of that stuff. Just need to decide the dimentions...great job on the teaching !!
He is a love, love the letters and the batik. Please show us the Aliens again..without having to scroll back through the archives..I love your Aliens. Signed: Finn a devoted fan !!

Sarah said...

Love the "Bad to the Bone" ! How cute!

Sarah N

Tonya R said...

thanks for the compliments guys.

Samantha, your husband would like this quilt? I knew he was a great guy :)

Finn, try the "search this blog" function on the top right of the screen. Just type in alien. It's actually very easy to search the archives that way. You're looking for "Alien Invasion" I think. Enjoy your retreat and go wild.