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Fall is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it, the cooler weather, the change of leaves, the desire to eat warm food and drinks. I have lived in Oregon half of my life now and I think we Oregonians treasure a beautiful day more than anything else. So much of our year is filled with rain and drizzle that we take every opportunity to savor when we can be outdoors without getting wet.
Also, fall for me is sort of the start of a new year (based on school) while also mixed with the need to slow down. I have decided that October is all about letting things settle. Taking care of things that need to be done and then letting everything fall in place. I am not going to actively seek out new work or ideas because I am a little unsure of my "why" for making right now. I want to let myself breath and rest and sleep and through that I hope what I find to be important or inspiring will stand out. I feel like I eventually have a lot more I want to share about this process but right now, I am exhausted from my sharing. I read this quote last night and it could not be more perfect to sum up how I am feeling.
"Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of the progress towards a successful and ultimately happy life."
Part of my breathing is also letting myself breathe creatively. To make something for no reason and to make something because I was excited purely to make it. And a ghost quilt for my son was the perfect start of that!
Everett has been asking for another new quilt for awhile now and he has always loved the ghost quilt. And this time, I decided to make him the throw size and not turn it into a baby size. He was SO excited to have a quilt the size of mom and dad. :) Part of what he has been asking for is a rainbow or super colorful quilt and I had just purchased the perfect bundle to start.
This is the Neon Lights bundle from EvQuilts and they are Bella Solids from Moda Fabrics. I loved how bright and warm they were at the same time. I removed 2 colors - the darker blue and green but I kept the rest. The natural (whiteish) fabric is what I used for the eyes and mouth. I also had some Essex Linen in Silver in my stash and thought it would be the perfect background. So here is what my final pull of fabric looked like.
Everett gave me his approval and I decided this would be the perfect quilt to let him start helping more. For years he has seen me sew, cut fabric, iron, etc. He has always been interested in helping but it's not always easy to find ways for a child to help. I started letting him help by having him sit on my lap and when I was done sewing a piece he could push the "cut" button on my machine. Then I started letting him help remove pins after I had sewn pieces. Sometimes I let him help me lay out blocks when I am trying to figure out the final placement. Well for this quilt, I asked if he wanted to learn how to iron and his guys got big and he goes "really, mama?!" and I said "yep! you have to pay close close attention because you can hurt yourself or the fabric but I think you can do it". He was JAZZED. So I set him up with the ironing board, the iron and a stool to reach.
He did SO good. He was gentle and understood not to push the fabric but to carefully glide the iron over the creases. He was interested in helping with 7 out of the 10 FQs we needed to press, which I was pretty impressed by. After the ironing was done, I told him I would start working on cutting the fabrics. And you guys!!! HE WOULD NOT STOP ASKING ME WHEN I WOULD BE DONE WITH HIS QUILT. Every single day, first question in the morning "mama, are you working on my quilt today? can you do it before your other work?" It was adorable but also a little bit like a mini boss. And without fail, every day at pick up from school "did you work on my quilt? why is it taking so long?"
The first block I made was with this beautiful bright blue and it's just such a happy ghost. Here is Everett's response to me showing him this block and asking to take photos of him with it.
I spent the better part of a week working on all the ghost blocks. At the bottom of this post, I will include extra cutting diagrams for using 2.5" x WOF strips and FQs to make ghost bodies.
I usually take like 3-4 photo options when trying to get a single photo I like. You can see above I took 4 different angles/sets ups to get one photo to post on Instagram. You should see how many photos I take compared to the single posts I make on Instagram. LOL I have over 34,000 photos on my phone.
Anyway, the ghosts came together smoothly and then I had to play with the layout because the ghost tails alternate positions in each column. Because I didn't preplan what ghosts were going where, I made sure that each set of ghosts (3 per color) would have one left tail and two right tails and vice versa for the following set. So say for the bright blue, I made first, I did 2 right tails and 1 left tail and then the next set I made was the more muted blue and I did two left tails and one right tail. I just alternated as I was sewing.
I was so giddy to show Everett this finished top when he got home from school. I also did bribe him with candy if he laid on it for photos and was cute. haha No shame in my game.
Later this day we had soccer practice and I threw the quilt and my camera in the back. I always try to be prepared for a last minute photoshoot if the opportunity presents itself. And I am so glad I did. The evening was beautiful, not windy or rainy and we stopped at the farm on our street on the way home.
The ghosts in the corn stocks are just too good.
I also let Everett choose the quilt backing and he of course the cutest one possible. Ice creams cones!!
Because Everett would not stop asking me when this quilt would be done, I reached out to my local long armer, Michelle to see how quick of a turn around she could do. And she got it back to me within a week! WOOT! We had her quilt these little rainbow-esqe designs and they are perfect!! I also had Everett help me pick the binding and we choose the thick black and white stripe.
I finished this quilt on Friday and was so excited for Everett to see it all done. His reaction is the exact reason why I love making and gifting quilts. It was so pure and joyful and he has taken it everywhere with him since.
This project was so life giving and having my son love it so much just made it even more special.
The Ghost Quilt - How to use 2.5" strips AND FQs
The Ghost Quilt pattern is designed to be a modern two color-way quilt and those material requirements are what were tested and edited and provided. I personally have been sewing from my stash much more in the last year which means I am making a lot of my patterns on the whim. It is easy for me to figure out how to use different cuts of fabric but I understand sometimes it's not as easy for others.
If you want to use your scraps or some of your stash, here are two other ways to make the ghost bodies from different colors (this is Color B in the pattern).
You can get 1 ghost body (Color B) from a 2.5" x WOF strip; reference the pattern for the exact measurements and pieces needed for each section. I am not providing measurements on the diagram as that is part of the copyrighted pattern but here is a cutting diagram for easier reference:
You can get 3 ghost bodies (Color B) from one FQ. Again, reference the pattern for the exact measurements and pieces need for each section. I am not providing measurements on the diagram as that is part of the copyrighted pattern but here is a cutting diagram for easier reference:
There are 25 ghost blocks in the quilt pattern and if you use 9 FQs, then you will get 27 ghosts. I did this and will be making two ghost pillows with the extra blocks. Win win!
If you want more color ideas, read up on the blogpost from last year when I was hosting a sewalong for this pattern.