Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall into Perky Pumpkins

Hi everyone:

Here we are in October already and it still feels like summer to me. This could be because the weather was warmer in September than it was in June - and there was a lot less rain too! But, I must accept the fact that the warm weather will soon be cooling and those first few flakes of white stuff (I hesitate to use the "s" word) will start to fall. 

In Calgary we don't get the vibrant colours in our foliage as those in the east do. The leaves do change, but they're usually yellow and brown, not the beautiful reds and oranges that I remember from my childhood. I can, however, enjoy the fall colours in my fabrics. 

This week-end I worked on a kit, Perky Pumpkins, that I purchased from The Quilt Patch a few years back. It's a simple fusible web appliqué pillow project with three pumpkins, but you know me, I had to add a bit to it. Rather than following the instructions and create a pillow, I decided to add a bit more fabric to it and make it into a tablerunner. It's simple to change up a project by just adding a little bit more here and there. Here's how the process went:

Here are the background fabrics for the pillow front - oranges and browns
The bright orange fabric was also included for the pillow backing, but I had other plans for it. More about this later in this post.
Pumpkins and stems fused down 
I liked the fact that the pumpkins were cream fabrics, rather than the usual orange. Of course orange would not have shown up on the orange/brown background fabrics. 

Pumpkins, stems and leaves all fused down
So this would be the finished top (except for stitching down the appliqué, of course), but since I wanted a tablerunner, it needed to be a bit bigger. As I didn't have any more of the kit fabrics, I started rooting through my stash to come up with some border fabrics. I found a nice green that I thought would be a good choice for border #1.
Border #1 attached
I liked the green border and wanted to add another border to make it even larger. So I found some brown fabric.
Brown fabric for border #2
You'll notice that the edges of these fabric strips are pinked - cut with pinking shears, not pink in colour :) This is because these pieces of fabric came from a bag of cut fabric pieces that I bought at Hamels Fabrics. There were several different coordinating fabrics in various sizes and these strips just happened to be wide enough to be border #2. I had to piece them together - yes, they were quite short - but with a mitered seam, you really can't see where they are stitched together. Here's how the pillow tablerunner looked after adding border #2.
Border #2 added
Now remember that piece of orange fabric that was included as the backing in the kit? Well, I thought it would be perfect for border #3, but there was just a small problem. Yup, not enough to go around all sides of the project. Well, not really a problem since I was pleased with the width of the tablerunner and just wanted to make it a bit longer. I decided to add the orange fabric to the sides of the tablerunner only. I then added more of the brown fabric to the sides as well. It looked like this:
Orange and brown side borders added
Well, that's a little different than it was supposed to be! I thought about adding some more little pumpkins in the borders, but decided that I would add some leaf buttons and do some hand embroidery on it to give it a bit more presence. Here's another shot of the top.
Almost ready for the table
I've already cut the backing and batting for the project and will avoid binding by using the pillowcase method to finish it off. Some hand embroidery on the appliqué pieces will keep them in place and then I just need to decide on how to quilt this baby and it'll be ready for the table for Thanksgiving - which is next week-end for us Canadians.

Are you working on any fall or Halloween projects? Leave me a comment or send me an email with photos of your latest creation.

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