LS: Art of Quilting Column October 26, 2008
Trick or Treat Street a popular destination
Halloween has always been my grandson Kaleb’s favorite holiday. He is enthralled with all that creepy, scary stuff that goes bump in the night.
His attraction to the trick-or-treat season started fairly early, perhaps because he got his first lick of a lollipop at a pumpkin patch while wearing a bright red, Po the Teletubby costume. He was 15 months old.
On his first Halloween, at 3 months of age, Kaleb couldn’t walk yet. But his parents, Mark and Loyse Hinkle, dressed him in a cute little Sweet Pea suit with a long, pointed green hat.
Since then, he’s gone door-to-door over the years masquerading as a lion, a cowboy on a stick horse, a vampire, a velociraptor, a skeleton, a werewolf and an alien.
Making Kaleb’s velociraptor costume was a challenge of Jurassic proportion. That was during his dinosaur phase, and he insisted on dressing as one of the fiercest of them all.
Then about four years ago, I saw a Halloween quilt hanging in an outdoor show in the little town of Silt. It featured three rows of characters dressed in different Halloween costumes. They were all lined up against a starry night sky waiting to receive a treat. The house dispensing the goodies was depicted by steps on a front porch, complete with jack-o’-lantern, and an arm handing out goodies.
I knew right then that I had to duplicate that quilt for my little fan of all things “spooktacular.” I don’t recall who made the quilt in Silt, but a friend of mine happened to have the pattern and graciously shared it with me.
I had so much fun making those 23 characters. They were based on the Sunbonnet Sue pattern, but I used unusual fabrics for various effects — fuzzy material and tiny pompoms for a clown, shiny silver lame for a Tin Man and black ribbon for a fireman’s hose.
Embellishments included a tiny straw broom for a witch and raffia coming out of a scarecrow, buttons, bows and lace for Dorothy’s dress and black embroidery floss for her pigtails, eyelet fabric for angel wings, sequins on a princess veil, metal stars for a magic wand and an itsy bitsy goodie bag to hang over a ghost’s arm, complete with pretend candy wrapped in cellophane.
It was the ultimate creative playtime for me, and I enjoyed it.
Then, my daughter, Loyse (Kaleb’s mom), came up with the idea that made this quilt a true family keepsake.
“Why don’t you include all the characters that Kaleb has portrayed through the years,” she suggested.
That was a light bulb moment.
I already had a lion with the Wizard of Oz group, but I added a wooly mane and tail. A cowboy was easy to add, and I tacked a red satin cape complete with a little bat on a Dracula figure.
Again, that velociraptor gave me fits, because he didn’t conform well to Sunbonnet Sue’s shape. But I managed, and once I put some teeth in his mouth, he was satisfactory.
I also had to improvise a bit with the skeleton’s skull, but finally, the entire project was complete — just in time for a Halloween party in 2004 that Kaleb’s parents threw for him.
The skeleton was the last character I added to the quilt, because that was the costume Kaleb chose to wear that year.
The wall quilt, titled “Trick or Treat Street,” was the focal point of the party decorations, and all the little costumed guests gathered in front of it to have their picture taken.
Kaleb was 6 years old that year, and every Halloween since, the quilt goes up on the wall as part of the holiday decor at his house.
We enjoy it each time, fondly remembering the stages of his growth and changing interests.
This year, Kaleb is 10. He’s mostly grown out of his dinosaur phase, but now he’s a “Star Wars” fanatic like many boys his age.
His costume request for 2008? Boba Fett, the bounty hunter hired by the Galactic Empire.
Luckily, I found that outfit already made in a costume shop. I don’t think “The Force” of my sewing machine would be any match for Boba Fett’s required helmet.
Now that I’ve shared the details with you, perhaps a visit to Trick or Treat Street should be on your itinerary.
Happy Haunting, everyone.
E-mail Sherida.Warner@ gjsentinel.com