Dia de los Muertos

Well, it's the Day of the Dead, but it's not supposed to be spooky. I shared these quilts in May for Cinco de Mayo and I had one reader quite upset that I mixed up the holidays. I DIDN'T MIX THEM UP - I know what they each are - I was raised in California and all my classmates were Mexicans. They made sure I had it straight.

This fabulous quilt went to live with a dear friend. I used my favorite English Paper Pieced pentagon pattern to showcase those sugar skull images in the center.

Fiesta Pentagon Wreaths: 40" x 44"

Do you remember my Sugar Skulls from 2020? While the fabrics may not be available in your local quilt shop, you may find something similar online. I love these from Windham called Fiesta. If you click the link under the photo you can see the steps to this Dresden Plate block.

Fiesta Sugar Skull Dresdens

Back to the Sugar Skull wreaths.

I had made one of my Pentagon Wreath blocks using another fussy cut Sugar Skull. Here I am ready to appliqué it to an 11" background square (yes, it will finish to 10-1/2"). I pulled 4 light colored Bedrock fabrics for the background squares, and this is a very pale light blue (hard to tell in the photo). I'm ready to machine stitch it down using my Bernina 1230 and a simple, short zigzag stitch.

Blue Pentagon Wreath block with gray Sugar Skull in center

And I'm ready to get the pink one put together. One fussy cut 2" hexagon and six 2" pink pentagons. The background square is a pale lavender (I used up my light pink in another project).

Beautiful, happy Sugar Skull with her 6 pink pentagons

Let's see the back of these pentagons. Yes, I punch a hole in the center so I can easily remove the papers. And, yes, I do NOT stitch through the papers; I just capture the fabric at the corner folds. This way when the papers are removed, my fabric doesn't flop all over the place.

And here is how they will look once I start stitching them together. Don't you just love all this pink?

Here is the prep for the green ones. Notice how I made a freezer paper window template to make sure I captured the exact image I wanted:

6 green pentagons and window template for the center hexagon Sugar Skull

And the 4th wreath will be yellow. Here are the fabrics I chose. The darker yellow is from Windham's Pop Dots. The background is Bedrock (by Windham).

Yellow parts for the Pentagon Wreath (before cutting)

I put the four blocks together in a rectangular arrangement which I've used many times. This measures about 31" x 31". What do you think?

Cinco de Mayo Sugar Skulls quilt top

I pulled some of the other fabrics and added some borders (as you can see at the top of the page). You have to get creative when you only have small amounts. Who says the top and bottom borders have to match?!

I found borders for the Fiesta Dresden quilt up at the top. They are from the Sweet Wish Collection by Windham. I cut two borders from each of two fabrics because - you guessed it: not enough of one print. But it works! I'm busy piecing fabrics for the back.

Fiesta Dresdens Quilt: 46" x 46"

I have some yellow fabric with chilies on it that I think will be just perfect! Here is the fabric in black that I used to make a Halloween Trick or Treat purse for my adult daughter (when she takes her kids).

Chili peppers are perfect for Cinco de Mayo, right?

I even fussy cut two sugar skulls to make some of my Coffee Mug Rugs. Cute, huh?

Fiesta Sugar Skulls in mug rugs

Don't get too spooky about this Day of the Dead. Just celebrate life and keep on quilting!


  1. The Fiesta Sugar Skulls are perfect for the mug rugs and the small quiltlet. They'd be cute as regular hexagon flower centers, too.


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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com