Quilted Calavera

This month’s DIY project comes courtesy of Dakota Darling, artist and Crafty Goddess in Dallas, TX.  You can meet her and view her work at Dallas’ Hotrods and Heels Festival on May 16th.  www.hotrodsandheels.com

Quilted Calavera

The word calavera is Spanish for “skull” and can refer to things associated with the Mexican celebration of the Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

The calavera fabric used for this project was found at JoAnn’s and is only one of many available.


¼ yd. Dia De Los Muertos fabric with at least 2 inch skulls as part of the design

¼ yd. black cotton fabric for backing

¼ yd. quilt batting


2 colors of embroidery thread to match the fabric

Sewing needle

Straight pins

Black jewelry beads


To make:

·         Cut around the calavera leaving at least ¾ of an inch around the design.

·         Use that as a template to cut out 2 pieces of the black cotton fabric and 1 piece of the quilt batting the same size and shape.

·         Stack 1 piece of black cotton fabric, then the quilt batting, then the calavera (with the right side showing). Pin these three layers together around the edge with the straight pins.

Calavera fabric


Black cotton fabric

Quilt batting




·         Using the sewing needle, quilt around the eyes of the calavera adding a bead as often as you’d like. You could completely cover the eyes with beads, if you really wanted to!

·         **Don’t worry about the back of your work. It will be covered up by the second piece of black cotton fabric!

·         Remove the pins from the stack and add the second piece of black cotton fabric OVER the calavera.  Pin this in place. You will have black cotton on the front and the back of the piece at this point.

·         Using either a sewing machine or your needle and thread, sew around the outside edge of the piece. MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE AN OPENING TO TURN THE PIECE RIGHT SIDE OUT!

·         Turn the piece right side out.

·         Using your sewing needle and a contrasting color of embroidery thread (I used red), whip stitch around the outer edge folding in the opening you left to turn the piece.

·         VOILA!! You now have a quilted calavera!


I added a magnet to the back of this with hot glue, but you could add a grommet and make it a key chain, or you could make it a “patch” by sewing it onto a bag or purse.


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