Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pattern for sale: Candy corn!

While all my fandom patterns are free, I will occasionally list a pattern for sale on Craftsy.  Every once in a while I need to try to earn a few dollars off my crafting so I can support my fabric habit family.

With the stores having reminded us for the last two months that Halloween is on its way, I thought it would be fun to put up a little Halloween piece.  You should have plenty of time to make one for yourself and a couple as gifts for friends and family.
I decided to make a pattern based on one of my favorite Halloween candies:  candy corn.  Candy corn is a running joke in my family, where the rivalry between “love it” and “hate it” is as fierce as that between any rival football teams.  The block measures 15” square and is intended as a mini quilt or a single quilt block.  This would resize easily to 30” for a nice wall hanging.  However, if these sizes are too large for you, there is also a 7” template included with the pattern.  The 7” size would function really well as a mug rug.
The computer-generated image.
I made mine as a 15" mini quilt to use as part of a Halloween tablescape.
The finished quilt.
This is about as beginner of a piece as you can get, so even those who are new to paper piecing should have little to no trouble with it.  There are no tricky angles, which I still hate and get wrong occasionally, even after a year of paper piecing.  It is all one section, so there is no joining sections together at the end.  If you stitch on the lines, everything will look exactly like it is supposed to!  The only problem I can really foresee people having is paper piecing with such large pieces of fabric.  However, the brilliant thing about doing larger patterns with big pieces is that you can pin them a lot easier without running the risk of hitting the pins with your machine.  I recommend pinning them to keep them in place while you sew, even if you don't normally on smaller patterns.

I had fun picking out some nice tonals for the candy corn and background.  I tend to work primarily in tonals and use patterns only when I need them to help get part of the paper pieced "picture" across.  Here are my main colors:

And I went with a bit crazier fabric for the backing, because that’s the perfect spot to do that.

There was not much to choose from in terms of Halloween fabrics.  I wish someone would come up with some really cute ones. So many of them were very dated.  I chose this because it is candy corn pennants so it matched the theme, and I thought the purple would go with the black nicely.
Two of my fabrics that I chose, the white and the yellow, happened to be very thin and light-colored.  That is often the case when you use fabrics from the big box stores instead of buying really nice quilting fabric.  My solution for that, especially when there is not a lot of intricate piecing, is simply to cut a piece twice the size I need and double it up.  It adds very little bulk to the piece and keeps those seams from showing through.
In retrospect, I probably would have made the binding a solid color, like a dark purple, because it looks like it is slightly off with the wavy pennants.  On my next one, I will use a different binding.  This was my first time free-motion quilting a stipple-type design over a whole mini quilt.  I normally stitch in the ditch and have only ever FMQed to add a little interest in small spots.  It was a little intimidating!  But I chose one of the easier patterns from Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project.  The pattern I used is Spiral Knots.  I like this pattern because it is simple, there is room for error, and it has a fun, swirly design that is perfect for Halloween.  It made me think of a crazy spider web.  It is a really good beginner quilting design.  At this point, I haven’t quilted the candy corn, which almost makes it puff out in a sort of 3D effect.  I am not sure if I will go back and quilt that eventually or not.  I think if I did, I would echo quilt or just do wavy lines going up the length of it.  I am really on the fence about that, though, because of the three different colors.  If I do quilt it, I will probably go with monofilament thread.

You can keep your candy corn traditional, as mine is here, or go crazy with the colors.  For only 2$, this is definitely a pattern worth adding to your collection.  You can purchase it on Craftsy here.

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