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Ola, Sugar Skull Pattern!

October 22, 2015

Last year I participated in the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge with the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. You had to use their Petal Pinwheels fabric in pretty much any way you wanted. There was something about the colours and the higgledy piggledy teeth-like print that reminded me of a sugar skull. So that’s what I decided on. I designed a pattern end I ended up with this:

Sugar Skull Quilt

I pieced the quirky teeth fabric for the mouth, and used reverse appliqué for the eyeballs. For the hearts and the cheeks I wanted some extra dimension, so I did a bit of stuffed appliqué – my version of trapunto. (I know, it’s not REAL trapunto, but it did the trick for me.)



When I posted it on Instagram it got a lot of positive feedback, so I put it on my list of things to make a pattern for. This month, Daryl from Fabric Spark and I decided to collaborate on a project for her Creative Festival booth. So I designed a simplified version of my skull pattern that would be a tad less daunting than the one above. Here’s how it looks:

New pattern available in my Easy store: HappySewLuckyShop

New pattern available in my Easy store: HappySewLuckyShop

No stuffed appliqué and machine appliquéd skull instead of hand-turned and stitched. Embroidery pattern

Sugar Skull pattern

Daryl made up kits with fabric panels with the skull embroidery pattern printed on, to save you having to trace it. Then she picked fabrics for cushion backgrounds that would work well with the Day of the Dead design theme. Her kits also included matching embroidery floss. She has a few kits left over that she plans on making available soon in her fabulous online store, Fabric Spark.

If you prefer to choose your own cushion fabric and buy just the pattern, you can get a PDF version in my Etsy store: HappySewLuckyShop.

Although there’s a fair bit of embroidery involved, it’s a great project for road trips or when you have to sit in the car waiting for your kids while they’re at music lessons. The appliqué part is not tricky, and the cushion itself is really simple to put together. You can get the 18″ pillow forms at Ikea or many fabric or upholstery stores.

If you bought one of the kits at Fabric Spark, or the pattern from my Etsy store, I’d love to see how yours turns out so please tag me on social media when you post it.

See you on Instagram! 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2015 2:11 pm

    What is the cushion fabric that fits with the pattern so awesomely?!

    • October 26, 2015 2:34 pm

      Hi Marjorie
      Isn’t it just perfect spacing of the flowers?! It is called Himalaya, and you can find it at Fabricspark here:
      Having said that you could cheat the fabric design by cutting pieces of fabric to go behind the eyes and placing them strategically. This is what I did on the first version I did for the Michael Miller challenge.

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