Monday, November 21, 2016

Pumpkin Quilts

Pumpkin carving in our house is serious business. Everyone sits on the kitchen floor, utensils and bowls in the middle of a pile of newspapers. With the backs of our pumpkins facing each other, the "contest" begins.

Cut off the tops, scoop out and save as many seeds as possible, and then carve out a face. Some of us plan, draw and then cut the eyes, nose and mouth. Some of us have an idea and then start carving. Some of us just free form it. No one can peak - the results are to be a surprise!

Mine is the little one this year - but it still had just as many pumpkin seeds as the larger ones! Once we have cleaned up the area, the seeds are washed, salted and roasted. The warm-from-the-oven seeds are delicious!

Pumpkin quilts have been another recurring theme of mine. Most of my patterns I think up myself, including this one. To add depth to the pumpkins, I cut apart the pumpkin pieces and left a little space between them. They are appliqued with a zigzag stitch.

This quilt has very little quilting lines, mostly because quilting is not my favorite thing to do. I have not mastered free motion quilting yet, instead preferring to use a walking foot.

To work around this fact, I have tried to branch out with the walking foot to try some non-straight lines.

This particular quilt, has some meandering lines, but they are spaced far enough apart that I could mimic a free motion design with a walking foot.

One of my future goals is to learn to free motion quilt in the true sense on the form. A darning foot is on my wishlist for Christmas this year, and I think that will help a lot. What tips do you have for free motion quilting? 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fall Leaves Applique Template

Fall in Wisconsin is a riot of color. Trees are ablaze with all shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. It is the mottle effect that provides the most unique leaves.

While fall signals the coming of winter, I love walking in the woods on a clear, sunny, crisp fall day. Leaves crunching under my feet.

For the past two years, I have actually ridden my bike a lot in the fall months. Probably because it isn't so hot outside. We have also been hiking these past few weekends.

As I biked and hiked this fall, I snapped a few pictures of the colorful trees. I couldn't help but pick up a few of the leaves scattered on the ground.

It's no wonder that fall leaves are one of my favorite subjects for quilts. It seems that every year, I am drawn to the vibrant colors and fabrics of fall.

While applique is my go to, awhile ago I made some patchwork leaves as well.


You can also see my collection of "leaves". The quilt on the right has more rounded leaves, while the one on the left has more pointy leaves. Both were appliqued with a tight zig zag stitch. I even quilted some "leaves" in the border of the first quilt.

To help you celebrate the season, I traced a couple of the leaves to use as an applique template. This link is a PDF of the template for you to download. Enjoy!Maple Leaf Applique Pattern