Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Fest

As fall harvest comes to an end in most parts of the country, there is lots of bounty!

Our Island Batik Ambassador challenge this month had a theme of Pumpkin Fest.

Throughout this year, Electric Quilt's Heidi Kory has continued to share inspiring ideas. I found several this month that I particularly liked and downloaded the project files (.PJ7) and started to play around. You can find her ideas at the EQ Website Monthly Project Downloads area.

Do you ever try to combine blocks from various .pj7 files?

Here is a quick tutorial on how I combined them.

Open one of the files, or a NEW project file and name it.

Using the top level menus ...
Libraries, Block Library, Import ...
Choose the .pj7 file that the block(s) are in that you'd like.
The blocks in that project file are then displayed in your popup window.
Select a block and 'Add to Sketchbook' for all blocks desired.

Then you can have fun creating a completely new quilt or modifying an existing one in your project file with all of those new blocks.

I started with 4 blocks that were part of two different downloads
- Maple Leaf
- Sunflower
- Pumpkin
- Acorn 1

I modified the sunflower (removed the stem) and Acorn 1 (changed the shape of the stem and added a 'ground effect' at the bottom at the sides.

Some elements seemed to be easy enough to rotary cut, others perhaps a template and others still via paper piecing. In the end I should have done a bit more paper piecing, but it worked out sufficiently.

Island Batik's fabrics came together beautifully, but I had limited quantity of each, so chose to do an interesting glow effect with the background fabrics with the lightest being used in the middle and then they suddenly got darker going towards the outer edges. The ground effect on the very outer edge completes this secondary design.

The intended use is as a table topper, so I tossed the leaves and rotated all blocks so that their 'base' was on the outer edge.

I also chose to put Thermore batting in the middle of it.

The backing is a fall color ombre with golden wheat heads.

I used the Curly Maple pantograph to hand-guide the stitching on this quilt. YLI Pecan Sundae thread on top and A&E Tex 30 Taupe on the bottom.

I've heard repeatedly that Dawn liquid dish soap is what to use when you're concerned about bleeding fabrics. Well, I decided to try washing this quilt right away (I had not pre-washed or treated or pre-tested my fabrics before using them) and drying it in the dryer. Just as a little experiment.

I used maybe a tablespoon or so of Dawn and put it in the washer to soak for a few minutes then let the delicate cycle continue. I then threw it in the dryer for about 20 minutes and wah lah! it looked fantastic.

I sneaked over to my neighbors yard that has these beautiful yellow leaf trees and red burning bushes to capture a few extra photos!

Here is one from my back porch:

and another from the front of my shop.

I hope you enjoyed this peak of Fall in our area and wish you the best at getting your fill of pumpkin this year!  Enjoy!