I’ve always loved Halloween, although I think the reason I like it so much mostly has to do with the weather! I also like funny costumes and fall festivals complete with trunk-or-treating and donuts on a string. But I really love Halloween decorations. Not really the kind that try to be seriously scary or gory or whatever. Just the fun stuff.
I especially like Halloween decorations that have a vintage flair, and was drawn to some fun fabric I found on clearance at a shop called Stitching It Up in Cedar City, Utah. I have been to this shop a few times over the years, and I follow Kim on Instagram. The shop is lovely and covers lots of stitching joy- quilting as well as needlework.
I was really excited about the fabrics you can’t actually see very well in the photo. They are printed Halloween banners with a gothic text style, and when I saw them inspiration struck.
While I love holidays for a lot of reasons, the biggest one is that it gives me an excuse to make stuff for our kids and grandkids. First of all, I don’t think we celebrate enough in life. There is so much good in this world. So many things to enjoy and be happy about. And secondly, let’s be real, as much as there is to be happy about, life can be hard. Maybe things are tight financially. Maybe work or school hasn’t been going as well as one had hoped. Maybe there are unexpected physical challenges. And maybe everything is just fine. In any case, I am grateful for little opportunities to do things for our kids to try to let them know that I love them. That I am thinking of them. That I want them to have a little something extra to smile about.
So, why not some Halloween goodies? Just for fun. There were just enough banners on the fabrics to accomplish my goal, so when I got back from Utah I started plotting.
The first set of banners weren’t quite big enough for what I wanted to do, so I added a striped fabric to the bottom of each strip of lettering before loading them onto Juan. I plotted out the desired shape on the computer and stitched around each letter. It took a little longer than I expected because I wasn’t sure how to plot it such that it didn’t stop between each letter.
The other banner had the shape I wanted, and it was just a matter of stitching the layers together. I was glad to have strips of batting left from other projects that were just the right size. It is always good to me to find a use for leftover batting, although I usually cut it into smaller bits and use it to dust and clean.
After they were stitched out on the longarm, I used pinking shears to cut around each shape. I didn’t want to make a double-fold bias tape to connect the letters because I felt like it was just too much work. So I cut a strip of fabric using a pinking blade on my rotary cutter and then using a glue stick, glued the letters into place. I was really worried I was going to accidentally put them in the wrong order and spell something wrong! Then I took the banners to the sewing machine and just stitched through the top strip to hold everything in place more permanently.
Once these were finished, I packed up a few other things- some paper banners and little bit of candy, along with some Halloween themed books for the littles. It’s quite the stack of boxes when I put these things together, and it does my heart good to know what that stack represents. I love my peeps more than I can tell them, so I try to show them instead.
Years ago when I was a young mother, I was at a friend’s house when she received a package from her mom. It was nothing special- just a small box of candy with a silly note. I asked my friend about it and she said that it was from her mom, and that she sent things like that all of the time. It stuck with me, probably more than it stuck with her. I knew it was something I wanted to do for my kids when they grew up and moved away from home. I don’t do it as often as I would like, but I try to do it from time to time, and holidays give me a good excuse.
These pics from our son and his wife that were taken in their little college apartment made me smile. I love holidays.