The Three Witches

28 Jul 2014

Three Witches
Hi, it's me -- Shelly Pagliai (Polly-Eye), from Prairie Moon Quilts, here to present another tutorial using Riley Blake's new Halloween-themed fabric line. It is the cutest Halloween line ever! It’s called “Witch Hazel”, by October Afternoon, and the prints are all so fun -- there are spider webs, a panel with Halloween quotes and poems, stripes, polka dots, pumpkins . . . and the witch -- Witch Hazel is just the cutest little witch, you can’t help but love her!

Three Witches

This time I’ve designed a mini quilt using this collection. The mini quilt has embroidery in the borders, and a center embroidered panel. But . . . I’m also including a pillow project as well, because this way, you can mix and match the elements according to what you’d like to make.

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For example, if you don’t want to do the embroidery, you can simply use one of the panels from the fabric line in place of it. Or, if you’d rather make a pillow instead of a mini quilt, you can substitute your embroidery piece into the pillow in place of the panel. You can also use the pieced block pattern, and just make an entire pieced quilt! I like having options, don’t you?

I'm presenting the quilt here in this online tutorial, but you'll need the downloadable file for the embroidery patterns, and that is where you will also find the instructions for the pillow. You can download the printable PDF HERE.

Please read through all the instructions before beginning.

Here’s a list of the materials you’ll need to make the mini quilt:

Off-white background: 1/2 yard

Assorted coordinating Witch Hazel prints, the more variety, the better.
A fat eighth packet or a fat quarter packet will give you more than enough fabric.
I used several different pieces from the line, trying to use a little from each one.
It’s also nice if you can fussy cut motifs from these cute prints. I’ve done this in some of the strips and squares and in the centers of the pieced blocks.

Green polka dot: 1/3 yard for binding

Witch Hazel print on gray background: 1 yard for backing
30" square of batting of your choice
2 yards of 3/4" black rickrack
If you like to put stabilizer behind your embroidery, you’ll also need that. I recommend Pellon Shape Flex. You’ll need 1 yard.

Embroidery floss
I used DMC floss in my project, and the list of colors I used can be found in the downloadable PDF.

You’ll need to complete the embroidery before you can assemble the quilt top, and since that is the most time-consuming part, we’ll cover that first.

From your background fabric, cut a piece 18" x 20" for the witches panel, and cut 2 pieces 5" x 20" for the words. These will be trimmed down once the embroidery is complete.

The embroidery patterns are found in the downloadable PDF file (see above).
Print them out, and tape them together on the dotted lines.
Trace the embroidery designs onto your background fabric, centering them on the fabric.
Keep in mind that if you use a marker that irons out, you’ll want to add your stabilizer before you trace. I use a permanent pigma pen with a very fine line for my tracing.

Complete the embroidery however you wish.
I used the following stitches in mine:
    Backstitch        Outline stitch
    Straight stitch    French Knot
    Satin Stitch

For help with embroidery stitches, I recommend the following website:

Three Witches

I used one or two strands of floss, depending on how fine a line I wanted to make. For instance, I completed the witch’s eyes and teeth with 1 strand, and almost everything else is done with 2 strands. All the lettering was done with backstitch.

In addition, I colored the letters in with a black crayon, then heat set the crayon with a hot iron before stitching. I think this makes them show up a bit better. I also lightly shaded some areas of the witch panel with a gray crayon, but I’m not sure you can tell from the picture. This is completely optional.

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When you are finished with the embroidery, press all the pieces from the back side.
Trim the center witch panel to 12 1/2" wide x 14 1/2" tall, making sure to keep the design centered when you trim.

Trim the “By the pricking . . .” section to 3 1/2" x 13 1/2".
Trim the “Something wicked . . .” section to 3 1/2" x 14 1/2".
Set these aside while you make the blocks for the quilt.

I always suggest that you cut and piece one block by itself at first. That way you can tell if everything is going to work out all right before cutting up all your fabric. Also, in this quilt, I’ve made every block different, using from all the various fabrics, so cutting one at a time will help you make decisions on which fabrics you’d like to use in each block.

So . . . for ONE BLOCK, you’ll need to cut as follows:
For the center square, fussy cut:
    One square 2 1/2"

From a print fabric, cut:
    Four rectangles 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"

From another print fabric, cut:
    Eight squares 1 1/2"

From a third print fabric, cut:
    Four rectangles 1 1/2" x 4 1/2"

Now for the sewing . . .

Sew a small rectangle to two opposite sides of the fussy cut center square, as shown. Press seams toward the center square.

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Sew a square to each end of the 2 remaining small rectangles. Press seams toward the squares.

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Add these two units to the top and bottom of the center square. Press seams to one side, or open, if you prefer.

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Sew a large rectangle to two opposite sides of the center unit. Press seams toward the rectangles.

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Sew a square to each end of the 2 remaining large rectangles. Press seams toward the rectangles.

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Add these two units to the top and bottom to complete the block. Press seams to one side, or open, if you prefer. The block should measure 6 1/2" square. Now you need to make 5 more blocks!

Three Witches

We’ll start in the center and work our way out. You’ll need to choose a print and cut, for the top of the center panel, a strip 2 1/2" x 12 1/2". I fussy cut mine from one of the prints.

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From a different print, cut another strip the same size to go on the bottom of the center panel.

Cut 2 lengths of rickrack 12 1/2".

Lay a piece of rickrack on the right side of the top edge of the embroidery panel.

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Lay the strip right side down on top of the rickrack, aligning the raw edges, and pin in place. Stitch through all the layers, and press the strip open, letting the rickrack frame the center panel as shown.

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Repeat with the bottom strip and the other piece of rickrack.

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Arrange your blocks on the sides of the center panel, three on each side, in an arrangement that you like. Join the three blocks into a vertical strip, as shown. Press seams however you wish. Repeat for both sets of blocks.

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Cut 2 more pieces of rickrack 18 1/2” in length.

Line a piece of rickrack up along the side edge of the center panel.

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Lay the section of 3 blocks on top of the rickrack, right side down, and pin in place.
Stitch through all the layers as before, and press the blocks back and out of the way, letting the rickrack frame the center panel.

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Repeat with the other piece of rickrack and the other strip of 3 blocks on the other side.

Make sure while you’re sewing that you have everything right side up and turned correctly, if you are using directional motifs.

For the top of the quilt, you will need your embroidered piece that says “By the pricking of my thumbs”.  You will also need to cut the following pieces from various prints, fussy cutting if you wish, to showcase motifs from your fabrics.
    3 squares 3 1/2"
    1 rectangle 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Sew these together into a strip, in any order you like.

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Sew this strip to the right-hand end of the embroidered strip.
Add this strip to the top of the quilt.

For the bottom of the quilt, you’ll need the embroidered piece that says “ Something wicked this way comes.” You’ll also need to cut the following pieces from various prints, as before.
    2 squares 3 1/2"
    1 rectangle 4 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Sew these together into a strip, in any order you like.

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Sew this strip to the left-hand end of the embroidered strip. Add this strip to the bottom of the quilt.  And with that, you’re all done with the quilt top.

Quilt your mini quilt as you wish, then use the green polka dot strips to bind it.

Three Witches

Thanks for joining me here at Riley Blake's Cutting Corners College. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial, and have fun making your own Three Witches quilt and pillow!

Categories: Quilts, Home Decor | Read 3 Comment(s)

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