Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mad Jack's Halloween Table Topper

If you follow San Francisco Stitch Co. and you do machine embroidery, we hope you've been following this month's free stitch-a-long! To accent our Creepy Crawly Countdown Calendars, we're making a matching table topper for under our candy bowls on the big night!

This is what we have so far-- three 4x4 stitchouts. It didn't start out with a story line, but as we were picking our favorite advent pocket each week to make into the free design, we kind of thought it looks like that gold-toothed pumpkin has scary hands and is behind all the shenanigans in the lab jars! So "Mad Jack's Table Topper" was born. What is he cooking up? You'll have to come back next week to find out... and it isn't cookies!!

Obviously the goop in the lab jars is going to explode, and we all know, you see stars when that happens. A 54-40 or Fight block has just the right type of explosive star. So grab the template on the Creepy Crawly website page and follow along (it's at the bottom of the web page). 

You'll need orange, black, and an accent fabric and you need to heavily starch them for the best results. This is how to audition your fabrics-- just fold them and lay them out like this.

Two thumbs up!

Print out the template and measure the square to make sure it's an inch-- then cut out them out into three triangles--don't trim off the tips of the triangles yet.

Starch your fabrics, stack four of them and pin the templates to the  fabric stack-- using two pins helps keep the paper in place.

Cut out the triangles. Position your ruler as shown in the photo above when cutting-- otherwise it will rock on the pins.

Then cut off the little tips off the end of each point last.

Now continue with the smaller, orange triangles. 
You'll have four of each piece.

Ready to sew! Layout the pieces for one unit.

Pin the right orange triangle on top of the black triangle-- the missing tips easily show you how to line up the parts. Stitch 1/4" seam--- these are some wiggly, bias edges, so if you didn't starch, you're paying for it right now!

Do the same for the right triangle. 
The finished unit measures 5-1/2" x 5-1/2."

 Make all four; then cut your accent fabric square to
5-1/2" x 5-1/2" as well.

And here are all the pieces laid out-- you could probably start sewing some of them together, but we are just going to wait until we have all of them.

Of course, a simple block is never enough for us, plus we have a really large candy bowl, so we're going to add a border. You can do this, not do it, or just add a large border with a fun halloween print to finish off. It wasn't hard to do ours. XOX

Cut 8 black strips and 8 assorted color strips to about 1-1/2" x 8." We're saying "about" because you don't need to measure 8 inches exactly. Just square off one short end on each strip.

 Now sew them together in pairs, 
pressing the seam toward the black fabric...

 and then sew all the pairs together, again, seam to the black. 

 Now trim the top even, and cut four 1-1/2" strips.

Mad Jack has a fun Halloween checkered border now!

I'm sure you can see how this stitches together now, so just work it along this week, and we hope to have that missing piece on Friday! That should give us enough time to do a little quilting and bind it.

If you haven't already bought candy to reward yourself for stitching a Creepy, Crawly design each day, now would be the time to think about filling that candy bowl! Buying a type of candy that you don't like is a good diet strategy, but not one that we have ever put into practice. Mostly because we love EVERYTHING!

Comment below if you have any questions-- we'll be sure to answer. Or just let us know your favorite candy. We'll be sure to buy it.



  1. love your fabric choices!!! And the designs are awesome!

  2. Great and easy instructions, however if your PC is on one floor and your sewing is on another, hard to follow. Please make a PDF available for all of us who have this and other mobility issues. Thanks for the great designs. I'll be donating one of these to my local school library for a silent auction, putting a sticky note giving San Fran Stitch Company credit as the creator of the project.

    1. Thank you for doing this....

    2. You know you can actually just print it if you hit CTRL-P on your computer.

    3. Thanks "sew" much, Carol - and you're absolutely correct - just CTRL P works!

    4. I learned something new and great today with that little CTRL P trick. I also have an app called PDF995 which is free and I've been using a long, long time or you can buy the ad free one. I'm frugal and use the free one. When I hit the CTRL P, I just choose the PDF995 printer and it prints a PDF to the folder of my chose for later printing on paper if I so choose. Thanks so much for your help and the free designs.

  3. SO Love your creative ideas! Thank you much for a great project. xoxox

  4. thank you for doing this table topper I also would like a PDF

  5. I would love a PDF also to save with my designs to make another 1 at a later date.

  6. Love this topper and the bought Creepy Crawly Countdown. Y'all are so nice to give us freebies and directions on how to do a topper with the freebies. And thank you for the Ctrl-P info to print. I didn't know that one. Learn something new every day. :^)) I usually just click on the open book beside the addy so it takes out the side bars and then copy and paste onto a word document so I can edit it to make it smaller. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you, you are appreciated and your designs loved.

  7. What do you suggest for the corners?

    1. The corners will each have a black square-- look for our next tutorial posting tomorrow! XOX

  8. I would really love this in a PDF format. Saves paper and storage. Thank you once again for a really great design. Will look great when I get my calendar done.

  9. CTRL-P works and then save as "Microsoft Print to PDF" and it will save the page as a PDF