Are you looking to make some adorable needlepoint for Halloween, but not spend lots of money?
Look no further than your stash and stitches you already know to make a small piece based on a quilt block.
The two pictured above are a boy and girl ghost from Bryan House Quilts. The one below is a Jack o’Lantern quilt found on Pinterest and originally pinned from eBay. Both use square patches and are designed to use fabrics of many kinds in the same color.
The ghosts are 10 blocks wide and 11 blocks high, making them slightly rectangular. If you are making the boy ghost you will need assorted threads in white and black. For the girl ghost, add one thread in a bright color to make the bow.
All the patches are square except the top corners, the bottom edge, the eyes, and the bow. The eyes are half-square rectangles. Everything else is a half-square triangle. You will find suggestions for stitching these in the last section of the post.
The Jack o’Lantern is 7 blocks high and 5 blocks wide, making a longer, thinner rectangle. You will need assorted scrap threads in orange and black.
Although smaller, this design is more challenging because the nose is a thin triangle. This patch will need to be stitched in Tent. There are also half-square triangles in the corners, for the eyes and for the mouth. You will find suggestions for stitching these in the last section of the post.
Stitching the Piece
You can make these projects any size you like,making your first decision the size of each square. Here’s how to determine that.
- Decide the canvas mesh you will be using.
- Pick the size in one of the directions.
- Multiply the dimension by the mesh to find the total number of threads.
- Divide this number by the number of blocks in this dimension to find the size of your square.
- If there is a remainder, add borders to make the finished piece the correct size.
Once you know your square size, you can pick stitches. I like Scotch Stitches for quilt projects because they can be any size and can easily switch stitch directions, and be made into half-square triangles. You’ll need to do both for this project.
I have Scotch Stitches in my files going from ones over three threads up to one that covers seven threads, Aberdeen (below).
You can also combine square stitches into blocks of four to create even bigger square blocks. This would be a great way to do the half-square rectangles for the ghost’s eyes.
To make a half-square triangle, be sure the stitches of your square slant in the same direction as the diagonal dividing the patch.
- If your square uses only a single stitch, make the stitch up to and including the longest stitch in the primary color.
- If your square uses a block of four stitches, you will have one complete square in the dominant color. The squares next to it will be divided with the dominant color being used up to the longest stitch, as in the example below.
Pick your threads randomly to stitch each patch. To get a proper scrappy look, do not use the same thread in adjoining blocks. To keep things looking scrappy, change the direction of your stitches in occasinal square blocks.