Part 2 – Hopelessly Unenthused October Baby Seeks Joyfully, Non-Creepy Halloween

Hi Quilty Friends,

Okay, remember a few weeks ago when I shared my rather soul-baring story about how Halloween is historically my least favorite holiday?  In the event you need a refresher (or you just plain didn’t read it because maybe creepy, scary, gory Halloween is your chosen bag of chips), you can catch up HERE for Part I of this post.

The update is – I did it! I found something really joyful about Halloween.  In short, it started with seeking. You might remember in my last post that I shared about a really treasured childhood story I loved when I was a kid:

Gus was a Friendly Ghost

I have to mention here that the above book is not actually my copy from childhood.  I didn’t ever have one, just read it whenever I stumbled upon a Weekly Reader copy in a doctor’s office of some kind. This book came from a library book sale I went to in my twenties. Regardless of the fact that it was a crummy copy with a loose binding (a result of all those perforated pages in the beginning which had obviously been torn out for kids to send in for their ‘copy of this book FREE’), I still bought it. It was Gus. I loved Gus and wanted my kids to have a chance to love Gus too.  Even though it was a lousy copy, we read it often.

As also mentioned in my first post – a few years ago, in my quest to find something Halloween happy with which to decorate, I picked up a few more copies of various Gus books. For the last several years, That small stack of books has been my only Halloween decor:

Gus BooksThen…I opened a fabric shop last June.  Everybody knows you have to sell seasonal stuff, right?  Hence, the seeking…

Scary Fabric 1Scary Fabric 2

Scary Fabric 3

Mmm Hmmm…

Sally Ugly Crying

After a while I stopped figuratively blubbering, and kept seeking until finally – I was able to assemble this:

Serendipity 2015 'Happy' Halloween Bundle

Our 2015 Halloween Happy Little Bundle. Fabrics from various Moda lines, and (as you may have noticed) scrumptiously non-creepy, at least from my point of view.

which somehow felt joyful, in part, because it gave me the same warm feeling as this:

Gus was a Friendly Ghost

And what I really wanted to tell you in this Part II post is that as a result, I made this:

My Halloween Joy Quilt, made with fabrics from Moda's Farmhouse, Mixologie, Tiki Tok, Feed Company and Meadowbloom, Kona Snow for the Background and Backing, and topped off with Aurifil 2021 for the machine piecing and quilting.

My Halloween Joy Quilt, made with fabrics from Moda’s Farmhouse, Mixologie, Tiki Tok, Feed Company and Meadowbloom, with Kona Snow for the Background and Backing, and topped off with Aurifil 2021 for the machine piecing and quilting. The pattern is Woven Scrappy Strips, available for digital download at the Fons and Porter website.  With the exception of navigating my blocks to the on-point layout (which is always a little confusing for me, since I don’t do it often), the blocks and quilt went together really fast and both contain only minor imperfections!

…which was triumphant enough in itself, until I stopped to realize that much to the tradition of quilters past and present, I have never – in all the quilts I’ve made – labeled the back of one single quilt I’ve ever made. G’head – gasp, all you wonderfully judicious, never-made-a-quilt-I-didn’t-label quilters out there. I envy the fact that everyone will always know which quilts are yours and which quilts were made by that one gal who never labeled her quilts (thumbs swinging right back this way).

I can’t say there is really a solid reason I haven’t ever labeled any of my quilts, except I guess I’ve just never taken the time; or maybe more that I can’t say that I’ve ever made a quilt for which I wanted to yell from the rooftops – I made this! Even if you see a flaw or a mistake, I don’t care – I made this, it makes me happy, and I’m really proud of it!

Until this quilt.  So I made a label, which began with a sacrifice:

Gus Book Sacrifice 1

Seam rippers are useful for more than just loosening threads from more than just quilt pieces.

And then, go ahead – tell me I’m infringing upon copyright laws – but I think Jane Thayer wouldn’t mind if she knew I’d copied my favorite page (which I know by heart), onto printable fabric for this important something I would never, ever sell…

Gus Quilt Label 1

Toasted. Cheese. Sandwiches. All those pillows, which I envision to be velvet for some odd reason (Aha! Next year’s Halloween craft idea! And I have all year to seek just the right fabrics!)

…especially because I made sure that her name was there too, along with Seymour’s, above mine…

Gus Quilt Label 2

So there it is, friends. My first labeled quilt, and some of the most unbelievable Halloween Joy I have ever felt.

Even if you see a flaw or a mistake, I don’t care – I made this, it makes me happy, and I’m really proud of it:)

P.S. My ‘new’ copy of Gus should arrive within a few days, thanks to the Peach Street Bridge Shop at Etsy, who had a really lovely, gently used copy. In case you didn’t know – I’m a pretty big fan of used books and the shops that so lovingly seek to find new homes for them.  I’ll share more about that another time 🙂


  1. quiltiferous says:

    Oh my gosh! I have loved reading your Halloween story. As a person who grew up not celebrating the holiday, I often feel like this time of year is all about the frightful, creepy, and spooky. But, I have to say, I love your take on a Halloween quilt, and the book that inspired it! It does look joyful! =}

    • Thanks for your encouragement! I often think about folks that don’t celebrate Halloween for various reasons, and TRUST ME – I considered it when my kids were small. I decided to encourage happy costumes instead, and that seemed to spill over into my kids’ older years too (when they themselves made such decisions). I have to say actually – that’s the one area of parenting where my viewpoints seem to have rubbed off and haven’t been otherwise rebelled against. Huh. Three cheers for one tiny mom triumph. 🙂

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