Halloween and the Art Institute

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I can’t believe it, but I finished my daughters Halloween costume way early! I don’t think I’ve ever made her a costume for Halloween in all 8 years. But not long ago I pinned some costume ideas on Pinterest and she really loved these bird wings.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I followed the general idea on both this website and this website (this second link for the headpiece as well). I didn’t worry about making each wing a perfect 1/4 circle. I measured the length of her arm and the length down her back. I cut a rectangle that size and then just eyeballed a curved line between the two.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I want her to be able to put the costume on by herself for her school party, so I used some sparkly black elastic about 3/4″ thick that I found at JoAnns for the arm holds. It’s not too tight for her and there is nothing for her to tie (or really, for her teacher to tie).

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the headpiece, I followed the general instructions here. (But again, I didn’t make it tie, just sized it to her head.) The ribbon is Renaissance Ribbons by Anna Maria Horner. I’ve had them forever! Happy to finally use them.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The wings at headpiece use a variety of fabrics (handpicked by my daughter) and wool felt. I love wool felt, it is such good quality compared to craft felt from big box craft stores. It comes in so handy for craft projects. One of my sponsors even carries some in her shop – Fabric Spark!

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My daughter love, love, loves it. **I know I generally ask you not to Pin pictures with my kids on Pinterest, but feel free to Pin any of these Halloween costume photos.** Now to finish my son’s costume. He has a much simpler request – a skeleton.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Not quilting related, but my kids had off school Thursday and Friday so we decided to have a little fun in Chicago. We took a day trip Friday to the Art Institute. I had my kids bring sketchpads and colored pencils, and they spent the day finding their favorite artwork and recreating it themselves.

Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This is such a fun way for kids to experience art museums. It makes them really look at the artwork and not just walk on by, bored after a couple rooms. It doesn’t matter AT ALL if they are artistically gifted. It makes them notice details in the paintings that they would have missed otherwise. The staff in each room allowed them to sit on the floor if benches weren’t around. I think the only time in the past we were not allowed to do this was in special exhibit areas (too crowded).

Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

We are so spoiled to have all these awesome works of art practically in our backyard. The fact that we can drive 45 minutes and then spend our day surrounded by Monet and Picasso and Matisse…just incredibly lucky. I knew my daughter would have fun (we’ve done this before), but this is the first time I’ve brought my 5 year old – very active – son. He LOVED it. He wanted to draw everything he saw. He was so calm and concentrated so hard, he did not want to leave at the end of our time there.

Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I definitely recommend checking out the Art Institute, even with young kids, if you are ever in Chicago. We only made it through 3 sections – Impressionism, Modern American Art 1900-1950 and Modern Art (3rd floor in the modern wing) so we will be back to explore more soon.



  1. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Your daughter’s costume is absolutely adorable! You can tell by how she modeled it for the pics that she just loves it. What a great idea to have the kids bring their sketch pads to the art museum. They are very lucky that you are their mom!

  2. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Wonderful job on the costume. Those wings are awesome. I always love to see kids getting to take advantage of art museums. Nicely done, mom.

  3. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Amazing costume! What a great combination of colors!!!
    Greetings, Rike

  4. Reply

    Karen @ Badlandsquilts

    October 13, 2014

    The costume turned about fabulous…what a special memories your daughter will have of your creation!

  5. Reply

    Sharon Lichter

    October 13, 2014

    Your daughter’s bird wings are such an innovative idea.
    The Art Institute is a fantastic place to get lost in. We have moved away from the Chicago area and this is one of the places I miss very much.

  6. Reply

    Cathy Lohwater

    October 13, 2014

    I am blown away by the wings. They are simply gorgeous. Your daughter is a lucky girl!

  7. Reply

    Lori C.

    October 13, 2014

    Your daughter looks so happy with her wings! They’re really cool! And I bet they’ll keep her nice and warm too.

  8. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Your daughter will be the star of her classroom with those colorful wings!

  9. Reply

    Josie McRazie

    October 13, 2014

    Ok I love the wings… but I want to see the kids art!! I love how their little imaginations work!!! We are about 3 1/2 hours away from Chicago and its been a few years since we were able to visit! Are you close to Dubuque, IA?? Our kids LOVED the Mississippi Museum up there!! So many things to see!!

  10. Reply

    Susan the farm quilter

    October 13, 2014

    Wonderful costume with one very happy young lady modeling it! Your idea on a trip to the museum is fabulously brilliant!! You are very lucky to have such resources in your backyard. There are a few museums within an 80 mile drive, but if I want good, big ones, I have to drive over 200 miles to see it. Sketch pads…awesome and who knows what talents you are encouraging with this!!!

  11. Reply

    Judith Oswald

    October 13, 2014

    I am going to “borrow” you idea for the museum visit —over Christmas break with grandchildren! Neat way to encourage children to really visit a museum.

  12. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    This will be one of those costumes that you can keep (and use) for a long, long time. Years and years ago I made an M & M bag costume for a 18 yr. old gal visiting us at Halloween from another country. That costume has been worn over and over throughout the years. Your wings are that kind of thing. Really terrific!

  13. Reply

    diana alexander

    October 13, 2014

    What an amazing job you did! She will have the best costume! Warning! You’ll have to top this each year going forward…HA! Well don!

    • Reply

      diana alexander

      October 13, 2014

      *done…not don 🙂

  14. Reply

    Lisa D.

    October 13, 2014

    Your daughter’s costume is absolutely incredible. What a beautiful set of wings and headpiece! I love it and wish my daughter was younger so I could make her one!

  15. Reply

    Marcia R

    October 13, 2014

    Adorable costume! And the Art Institute is my favorite art museum!

  16. Reply

    Anne Burden

    October 13, 2014

    Fun and interesting post. Enjoyed reading both sections.

  17. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    oh wow Faith!!! that costume looks amazing! You win mom of the year award!!! And what a great idea to have your kids bring pad and crayons to art institute, I might have to try that with my kids soon 🙂

  18. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Faith, these are amazing!! I want to make the exact same thing for my daughter now! Love them so much!

  19. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Very cute costume. How do the wings stay attached on the back of her shirt?

    • Reply


      October 13, 2014

      Hi Lauren! I sewed 2 loops of elastic on the top middle of the wings (where they connect). She just slips her arms inside those. Then I measured where her thumbs hit the top of the wings (with arms out from her sides) and sewed 2 little elastic loops there for her thumbs.

  20. Reply

    Anne Beier

    October 13, 2014

    This is great. Don’t have little ones anymore.

  21. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    What a wonderful way to get your children interested in art!! Good for you!

  22. Reply

    Terri Wangstrom

    October 13, 2014

    I did the same thing with my 7 year old daughter over 20 years ago – she got a sketch pad at the Rodin Museum in Paris and she drew a statue with no arms in the back of the garden. Fast forward 10 years, and we were back at that same museum and when we walked by that statue, she stopped and said – I remember coming here. She didn’t remember why, but all of a sudden the memories came flooding back.
    Laying down memories with two senses really makes it stick.

  23. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    What a great mom you are, and I don’t mean just the marvelous costume you created for your daughter.

  24. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Totally amazing costume, Faith and your daughter is adorable!!!!!! Also, I love the idea of taking children to the art museum. Great post!

  25. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Adorable! And as a retired 3/4 teacher, thanks for thinking about a teacher trying to get 20 students ready for the Halloween costume parade–always tempting to get a sub that day but would never do that to anyone! Sketchbooks at the art museum–brilliant!

  26. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    awesome costume! can’t wait to see the skeleton one! ;p

  27. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Gorgeous wings! Wow what a great mom.

  28. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Amazing job, I love it!

  29. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Wow! What a gorgeous costume! Your trip to the museum sounds so fun. Such a great idea for the kids to do 🙂

  30. Reply

    Toni Pearce

    October 13, 2014

    You did an amazing job on her costume and you can tell she loves it!

  31. Reply

    Jane Franks

    October 13, 2014

    That is so wonderful that you are taking your kids to the art museum! They will remember it all their lives. My husband is a professional artist,and we have taught kids for many years. When we lived in California we took them to the Huntington Library and LA County Art Museum. When I grew up in the Boston area, we went to all those museums and I naturally gravitate to art museums wherever I am. You are right — it is so awesome to be that near to the great art of the ages. I live a long ways from it now, and miss it, but I’m so glad I went when I did live near, . . . and I will again!! It is one of the main things that motivates me to move back . . . and one day soon we will!! Thank you for inspiring others to incorporate great art in their lives. Blessings!

  32. Reply


    October 13, 2014

    Your art museum idea is genius! Love the pictures your kids did too!

  33. Reply

    Dana Henry

    October 13, 2014

    You have out done yourself Faith! Great job on the costume, just love the wings and the colorful feathers.

  34. Reply


    October 14, 2014

    I want a costume like that for me now! I understand why she loves it.
    So many parents won’t take their kids to art galleries and museums, fearing they will get bored. I love how you prove them wrong.

  35. Reply


    October 14, 2014

    Well, if there’s a costume contest, those wings are a prize winner for sure!

  36. Reply


    October 14, 2014

    Well done on the wings. They’re beautiful — I bet even us grownups would love to have that costume.

  37. Reply

    Jill Daniels

    October 15, 2014

    Can you tell me what kind of fabric you used for the feathers? I want to get started for my grand-daughter in the next few days.


    • Reply


      October 15, 2014

      Hi Jill! For the wings, I used a mix of wool left and quilting cotton. For the headpiece, I used wool felt.

  38. Reply

    Jo Ann Moulds

    October 16, 2014

    Costume is great. Loved the idea of taking the children to the AI. Thank you for sharing their art work. Great stuff.

  39. Reply

    Laura @ Prairie Sewn Studios

    October 16, 2014

    Love the costume, that is absolutely gorgeous!

  40. Reply


    October 17, 2014

    The costume is absolutely amazing!

  41. Reply

    Jennifer Fullerton

    October 20, 2014

    I loved the art institute. I visited on Thursday while I was in Chicago for work. There is a really incredible textile exhibit of weavings that left me feeling so inspired!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.