Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Quilt Pattern

Remember the little door knob quilt I made for Valentine’s DayWell today I woke up inspired to make one for Halloween.  I love how it turned out and it takes no time at all.

Here's what you'll need:

Orange fabric:  
 2 ¼” x 2 ¼” squares
 1 ½” x 1 ½” squares
 7" x 7" square for backing

Blue fabric:
 2 ¼” x 2 ¼” squares
 1 ½” x 1 ½” squares
1 – 2 ¼” x 25” strip  for binding (I actually used a small length of binding left over from another project – yes, I’m a scrap hoarder)

Brown fabric:
 1 ½” x 1 ½” square

You'll also need a 7" x 7" square of batting, a scrap of green wool, green perle cotton or embroidery floss, basting adhesive, and 12” twine.

And here's the pattern:

To make the orange/blue half square triangles, place an orange 2 1/4" square on a blue 2 1/4" square with right sides together and edges lined up.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the orange square.  Stitch a scant 1/4" on either side of diagonal line.  Press seams.  Cut on diagonal line and press open towards the blue.  Trim half square triangle to 1 1/2" x 1 1/2".  Makes 2 half square triangles.  Repeat for remaining set of 2 1/4" squares.

Referring to the photo, lay out the 4 half square triangle units, 16 orange 1 1/2" squares, 4 blue 1 1/2" squares and 1 brown 1 1/2" square to form the pumpkin.  Join together half square triangles and squares to form rows.  Join together rows.  Press.  The pumpkin top should measure 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".

Cut a leaf shape from the green wool and pin it to the pumpkin top.  Appliqué the leaf to the pumpkin using green perle cotton and a whip stitch.  Stitch veins on the leaf using a big running stitch.  Stitch the vine using a back stitch.

To make the quilt sandwich, spray basting adhesive to the wrong side of the pumpkin top and with your hands press it to the 7” x 7” square of batting, right side up.  Spray basting adhesive to the wrong side of the orange 7” x 7” backing square and adhere it to the other side of the 7” x 7” batting square.

By the way, this was my first time using spray basting adhesive and I think I’m in love!  But I digress.

If you’d like to quilt the pumpkin by machine or by hand, now would be the time.  Trim the sandwich to 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" and use your favorite method to bind the quilt. 

For the hanging loop I found a length of twine, tied a knot at either end and stitched the knots to the upper back of the quilt.  And voila!  C’est fini!

If you’d like your pumpkin quilt to look a little more Halloweeny, try embellishing it with an appliquéd or embroidered jack-o-lantern face instead of the green leaf.  Either way, happy quilting and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October Walk

It never fails.  I grab Casey and leave the house one way -- tense, frowning down at the ground, mind racing with worries about kids and schedules and to do lists.  45 minutes and 3 miles later I return a different person -- calm, face relaxed, looking up at my surroundings and, above all, grateful.

And because I'm still pleasantly warm and enjoying the slightly intoxicating after effects of a bit of exercise, I'd like to share my favorite things about an October walk.

-  Crisp, fragrant air.

-  Casey kicking up her heels, ears flopping as she chases busy squirrels.

-  The sound of dry leaves crunching underfoot.

-  The brilliant color of reds, rusts, and golds against a backdrop of gray-brown earth and tree trunks.

-  No bugs!  If you've ever walked in a New England forest in the summer, you'll appreciate this one.

-  Casey smiling up at me, wearing a silly orange vest that makes her look like a canine superhero.

-  The bright, airy quality of the forest without its leaves.

-  The feel of a cool breeze on my face.

-  The smell of wood smoke on the air.

-  Knowing that our home will be warm and cozy when I return.

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."  -- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why I Love Fall

We have been enjoying unbelievable weather in New Hampshire.  Day after day of warm sun and sparkling blue skies.  The foliage is at its peak and the air smells sweet and spicy.  Every morning when I drive my son to school I'm amazed and inspired by autumn's spectacular show.  So this morning I grabbed my camera on the way out the door, hoping to capture some of the sights I'm blessed to see each day.  Here are a few...

Fall.  Need I say more?