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In the Quilting World

Fun With Halloween Projects

Let me introduce myself: I'm Carolyn Vagts, editor of Quilter's World magazine and writer of this update. That's my day job, and at night, I'm an addicted quilter. I tend to eat, breathe and sometimes sleep with my quilting. I have a beautiful studio with my work space right in it. How convenient, since I work at and with quilting. As editor, I am very hands-on with every issue. I'm also very hands-on with this update. I love to share my experiences with other quilters in hopes it will inspire them to explore the endless possibilities available to them.

With each update I select a book or pattern to accompany it. It's usually something that I feel goes along with the content of my update. This time I've selected a special interest publication, Quilted Tricks & Treats. It's the perfect blend of fun Halloween and autumn projects. I'm not one to decorate for Halloween, but I do love it and there are several great projects in Quilted Tricks & Treats that have caught my interest. Several of them will take very little time, and I just have to make them! I love these kinds of projects. They easily fit into my busy schedule.

Quilted Tricks & Treats
Quilted Tricks & Treats can be purchased at AnniesCraftStore.com.

The first project I plan to make is the Candy Corn Candle Mat. It's a small, easy project I can make in a short amount of time, and I already have everything I need to make it. I love it when that happens! It makes my studio seem all worth it, even on the days when I must clean and organize it all once again.

Candy Corn Candle Mat
The Candy Corn Candle Mat pattern featured in the Quilted Tricks & Treats special interest publication.

The first thing I did was go to the Quilter's World website and download the printable templates for the pattern. I like to keep my books and magazines in pristine condition, so by printing the templates I don't have to trace them out of the book or bend back the spine. I then dug through my wool fabric pieces until I had what I needed. Wool felt is something I don't have on hand, but I knew I could substitute wool woven fabrics to make this project.

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The printed templates and the wool fabrics I chose to use for this project.

I followed the instructions to cut out the strips to make the candy corn. I then stitched the strips together as directed and pressed them, remembering to use a lower setting than I typically use for cottons.

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Cutting the strips for the candy corn and stitching them together.

I traced the template shapes for the candy corn pieces onto freezer paper and pressed them onto the wool strip-pieced unit, lining up the inner lines with the seams as directed. Then I fused with a piece of paper-release fusible web to the back of the strip-pieced unit and cut out the candy corn. Once all the pieces were trimmed and ready to applique, I fused them to the black octagon-shaped background.

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The candy corn cut out and ready to applique.

Once all the candy corn appliques were arranged, I selected a machine buttonhole stitch to sew them into place. To save time I chose to fuse and machine-applique the candy corn pieces instead of doing the stitching by hand.

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Sewing the candy corn pieces to the black wool background.

I stitched around each and every one of the candy corn pieces using an orange thread. After all the candy corn was secured, I centered the appliqued black background piece on the slightly larger orange octagon. Once it was in position, I used the same buttonhole stitch, only using black thread, to stitch the black octagon to the orange octagon, leaving a 1/4-inch border of the orange wool showing all the way around.

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Stitching the black octagon to the orange octagon.

I really enjoyed this fun project. It was easy, and by deciding to applique it using fusible web and then stitching it all together on the machine instead of by hand, I was able to complete it in about an hour. And now since I've un earthed my wool-fabric containers I just may see if I have enough to make some of the cute tree ornaments on my next free afternoon. I have lots of wool fabrics and I also have a great spooky black tree to hang them on. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get busy and make those ornaments and put my black tree up. I haven't had it up in several years and I think it's time.

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My finished Candy Corn Candle Mat.

Well, I love my candle mat, and I can't wait to start my ornaments. I'll try to get them cut out yet today and have them ready for any free time that pops up in the next week or so. If Halloween is one of your fun holidays you may want to check out this special interest publication today on newsstands. It's loaded with great projects!

If you have any tips on how you channel your ideas into quilts I'd love to hear from you at editor@quiltersworld.com.

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