Monday, August 19, 2013

American Patchwork and Quilting One Million Pillowcase Designer challenge and Voter's Favorite

American Patchwork and Quilting magazine's One Million Pillowcase challenge( is a little over half way there!  To promote the second half million and keep the momentum going, they opened voting on Pinterest, for a reader's favorite pillowcase pattern and the winner is...a darling appliqued train! Then, the wonderful staff at APQ asked 25 designers to make the design and pillowcase in fabric of their without hesitation I selected Halloween! You could have guessed I would, right? 
So here is my Boo Crew Choo Choo...

I'll be donating to One Safe Place
in Fort Worth, Texas
Molly added her approval.
Thanks Miss M!
Don't you want to make one? The pattern is readily available on the magazine's website.
Selecting Halloween colors and prints for a project is so much fun!  However, I can't narrow the choices too much by keeping the pieces all in one line, got to mix it up.
The pillowcase base, wheels, and middle car are from Sweetwater's line for Moda, called The Boo Crew (love that name!). For the band and the caboose, I chose Sweetwater's Lucy's Crab Shack. The two lines work together perfectly. The engine happens to be from my Wrappers line I created for Blue Hill Fabrics. The piece is finished out with Moda's  almost white Bella Solid for the ghostly steam.  For the appliques, I used HeatnBond Lite and stitched them in place with matching thread in a tiny blanket stitch.
So, for every quilt, there is a story, and as it happens one for a pillowcase, too.
If you didn't already know, my Rachel is going to have a baby in November. Yes, I'm joining the grandmother's club.  Sooo it is time I freshened up my applique skills, in case they are needed.  I'm a patchwork quilter, but do enjoy wool applique projects.  Couldn't do wool for this though, it is a pillowcase for a child. Soft cotton fabrics are needed, and even a soft selection of colors for the season. Hate to admit this, but I really dreaded doing the applique, and called my friend Carol to enlist moral support, not having machine appliqued for YEARS. To my surprise, the fun and ease of stitching the appliques in place returned without problem. Fears and doubts abated, I can still machine applique. Rachel is having a little girl. For her, I can repeat the colors here, but substitute the green with purple, and when she is older, she can sleep with the Boo Crew, too.
Rachel doesn't like lime green. Oh maybe granddaughter will!
Why a Halloween theme? Smiles. Halloween makes me smile. We all need memories of happy times that are triggered by something, whether a smell, or a fabric, or a project, or a photo, whatever. Whatever the trigger may be, suddenly without thinking you will find yourself smiling. I love that feeling, and when it comes, I drink it in!  If you know me at all, you know Halloween makes me happy, the decorations, the costumes, the parties, love it. Silly fun. Guess Rachel will come to this year's party as pumpkin, although that is pretty predictable. Last year she came dressed as her childhood's favorite stuffed animal, Bamboo the panda bear.  Panda bears are the theme for the nursery. hmmm coincidence?
Making new happy memories gives me hope for the future and when this pillowcase is made again, it will bring me back to today, writing this post about a very rewarding project, that will bring a million smiles to recipients everywhere.
Until next time~

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