Add off-kilter strips one at a time to craft a bewitching jack-o'-lantern and coordinating Shadow Box blocks from favorite Halloween novelty prints.
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Designer: Tonya Alexander


  • 26--6-1⁄2" squares fussy-cut novelty prints (blocks)
  • 4-1⁄2 yards muslin (block foundations)
  • 3--1-1⁄3-yard pieces assorted black-and-purple prints (blocks)
  • 11--18×21" pieces (fat quarters) assorted lime green, orange, and purple prints (blocks)
  • 1⁄4 yard total of assorted orange tone-on-tones (pumpkin block)
  • Scrap of green tone-on-tone (stem and vine appliqués)
  • Scrap of solid black (pumpkin face appliqués)
  • 5⁄8 yard black print (binding)
  • 3-7⁄8 yards backing fabric
  • 69×81" batting
  • Lightweight fusible web

Finished quilt: 60-1⁄2 ×72-1⁄2"

Finished blocks: Shadow Box: 12" square; Pumpkin: 24" square

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces. To use fusible web for appliquéing, complete the following steps.

1.    Lay fusible web, paper side up, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern once, leaving at least 1⁄2" between tracings. Cut out each fusible-web shape roughly 1⁄4" outside traced lines.

2.    Following manufacturer's instructions, press fusible-web shapes onto wrong sides of designated fabrics; let cool. Cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines. Peel off paper backings.

From muslin, cut:

  • 1--26" foundation square
  • 26--13" foundation squares

From each black-and-purple print, cut:

  • 18--2×42" and/or 2-1⁄2 ×42" strips (If you are using scraps instead of only three prints, note you will need 65"–70" of strip length for one Shadow Box block.)

From each lime green, orange, and purple print, cut:

  • 6--2×21" and/or 2-1⁄2 ×21" strips (If you are using scraps instead of fat quarters, note that you will need 40"–45" of strip length for one Shadow Box block.)

From remaining assorted orange prints and assorted orange tone-on-tones, cut:

  • 20--1"- to 2"-wide strips in lengths ranging from 4"–20"

From green tone-on-tone, cut:

  • 1 each of patterns A and B

From solid black, cut:

  • 1 each of patterns C, D, E, and F

From black print, cut:

  • 7--2-1⁄2 ×42" binding strips

Plan the Quilt Top

Designer Tonya Alexander recommends using a design wall to determine the colorways of individual blocks and block placement in the quilt center. Block placement was critical to Tonya because most of her novelty prints, used in the block corners, were directional prints, and she wanted them all right side up in the finished quilt.

Assemble Shadow Box Blocks

1.    Gather a novelty print 6-1⁄2" square, a muslin foundation 13" square, strips from one black-and-purple print, and strips from one lime green, orange, or purple print.

2.    Position novelty print square right side up in one corner of muslin square; pin in place.

3.    Cut a black-and-purple print strip slightly longer than one edge of novelty print square. Place strip right side down along an inside edge of novelty print square (Diagram 1). Sew in place through all layers. Flip open attached strip and press.


4.    Cut another black-and-purple print strip slightly longer than the combined adjacent edge of novelty print square and just-added strip. Add second strip to adjacent edge of novelty print square as before (Diagram 2). Flip open attached strip and press (Diagram 3).


5.    In same manner, use lime green, orange, or purple print strips to add a second row to same two edges of novelty print square (Diagrams 4–6). To add strips at a slight angle for a wonky look, either sew with an angled seam allowance or pretrim (cut carefully to avoid cutting the foundation) the next edge at the desired angle, adding 1⁄4" for seam allowance.


6.    Add three more rows of strips, alternating colors, to cover foundation square (Diagram 7). Trim muslin foundation to 12-1⁄2" square including seam allowances to make a Shadow Box block.


7.    Repeat steps 1–6 to make 26 Shadow Box blocks total. If you desire the same layout as in Tonya's quilt, make the following block configurations:

  • 8 with novelty print in bottom right-hand corner
  • 5 with novelty print in top right-hand corner
  • 8 with novelty print in bottom left-hand corner
  • 5 with novelty print in top left-hand corner

Assemble Pumpkin Block

1.    Referring to Diagram 8, place a 4"-long orange print or orange tone-on-tone strip right side up in middle of muslin 26" square. As with Shadow Box blocks, add assorted orange print strips clockwise around the center strip; flip each pieced strip open and press before adding the next strip. Add enough orange print strips randomly until you create an orange center that is about 15×18" (Diagram 9).


2.    Referring to Diagram 10, add assorted black-and-purple print strips to corners of orange center to create angled corners. Press strips open and trim even with edges of orange center. Add remaining assorted black-and-purple print strips around orange center to cover muslin foundation (Diagram 11).


3.    Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, position green tone-on-tone and solid black A–F appliqués on pumpkin foundation. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse pieces in place.


4.    Using threads that match appliqué pieces, machine-blanket-stitch around appliqué edges.

5.    Trim muslin foundation to 24-1⁄2" square including seam allowances to make a pumpkin block.

Assemble Quilt Top

1.    Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out blocks in horizontal and vertical rows.

2.    Sew together blocks in each row. Press seams open or in opposite directions, alternating direction with each row.

3.    Join vertical rows and pumpkin block to make the pumpkin section. Press seams open. Then sew together horizontal rows and pumpkin section to complete quilt top. Press seams in one direction.

Finish Quilt

1.    Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2.    Quilt as desired. Using purple, bright orange, and lime green threads, Tracey Fisher machine-quilted a large spiderweb motif in the strips of each Shadow Box block (Quilting Diagram). She quilted around motifs in the fussy-cut novelty print squares to highlight the motifs. In the pumpkin block, she stitched green spiderwebs in the corners, green and orange spiders above and beside the pumpkin, green vines by the stem, and orange curvy vertical lines for pumpkin segments.


3.    Bind with black print binding strips.