Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Punkin' Tutorial

We made these cute, easy punkins' at retreat this past weekend and I wanted to share with you. Our wonderful Retreat Mum, Kerrie, brought the instructions for these, but I don't know where she got it. You'll need fabric, at least 7 x 14, and twigs, twine and leaves. I used real leaves here, but silk would probably last longer. You can use raffia, twine or decorative cording - they all look great! You also need a glue gun or some kind of tough glue.

Cut your fabric 7 x 14. Any dimension that is rectangular will work, and different proportions will make different shaped punkins. This measurement makes a punkin' about the size of a grapefruit. Fold it over right sides together and sew up the short side:
Press the seam out - any old which way. Then you need to do a bit of handwork. With a doubled thread, fold over one edge just once about 1/4 inch and make a long running stitch all the way around.
Gather it up as tight as it will go, but DO NOT cut off the thread. You'll have a puckery little belly button:
Turn it inside out and stitch the puckers closed, as sloppy as you want! NOW you can knot it and clip it off.
Do the same gathering stitch to the other side, again DO NOT cut your thread. Stuff your punkin' as firm or soft as you like. BTW - if you've stuffed things before and not liked the "lumpy" look, tear off that stuffing in wispy little bits instead of grabbing a handful. When it's as firm as you like, pull up that thread into another pucker, knot it off and clip the thread.
I think it takes something less than a yard of cording, and here's where you wrap it around the punkin' in equal divisions. Put the first strand directly on the seam (for camouflage) and wrap it around, tying it in the center. Do the same for 2 or 3 more divisions, whatever look you like. When you've done all the wrapping and tying, you have this:
Finally the fun part!! Pick a good stem and glue it down into the opening. If you want, you can twist pipe cleaners or florists wire around something skinny like a paintbrush and glue those in next to the stem.
Overlap the leaves, gluing each one as you go. Suddenly, VIOLA!
You have a punkin! Check my previous post for a group shot - all the different fabrics looked great! And a big basket of these will decorate clear thru Thanksgiving - and make great gifts. Have fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Retreat Time!!

Retreat is always the high point of my year - 4 days of self-indulgent quilty behavior and chocolate! What else could you want? I always have a blast, make new friends and spend too much at my favorite quilt store. Plus I get to enjoy cool, foggy coastal weather and get away from the heat of our little inland valley -- bliss!!
So for a quick report before I scurry back to the real world office that awaits me, here's what we all did as a Take'nMake project:

Thes pumpkins were so adorable!! I'll try to get it together and do a tute on them - too easy, too fun and waaaay too cute!! I didn't work on any one big project this time, I worked on a bunch of little ones. Remember the FSQS? I made a cute flowery applique quilt for my partner in Oz, and have wanted to make another one for myself ever since. So - here was my chance! I had a ball playing with the placement:
I even scrounged bright scraps from other retreaters so I have scraps of memories in there too! I have more to show, but I have to hustle off to the Outside world now -- and my bags aren't even unpacked yet! ***sigh***
Thanks for stopping by!
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sewing Again

You have to love quilt shows - there's definitely something magic that just gets the mojo turnin'. Sure enough, I finally, finally got something moving in the sewing room! This will be a re-make of a Fons and Porter design that I made several years ago and promptly lost to my daughter. (Oh thanks Mom! I love it!) Huh? Wait....oh dear. I've promised myself over and over that I'd make another one for me but of course then couldn't find the pattern again. This afternoon I made a concerted effort, went thru 4 towers of magazines and finally found it. Why don't we ever look in the last place first? How come it's ALWAYS in the last place? LOL -- so without further to-do, let me introduce the new-born witch sisters Hetta and Gracie, and two of their playmates; nameless spirits at this point:
Geeeesh.......never thought 2 blocks would make me feel so accomplished.
I promised you more of Judy Mathieson, and here ya go. I love this quilt, the lowly 9-patch with applique. I know there's one in me somewhere, I drool over every one I see. This one is beautiful. I snapped the first picture from 20 or 25 feet away, (so the flash wouldn't wipe it out), then checked it out in the camera. I enlarged it and when I did I noticed something odd.

Peculiar. Weird, even. So I ran up to look closer..... (you can click on it)

It's all dogs!!!

None of those flowers are flowers, they're all fussy cut dogs, every last one! It's brilliant! While I stared in amazement I could hear Judy giggling - she says "I love watching people find that!" Oh man, I bet! I had to hang around and watch a few folks find it too -- what fun! Just proves again what I've always thought. The woman is a genius.
It's off to bed for me - cross your fingers that this go-sew swing hangs on for awhile. Maybe long enough to clean up my mess?? LOL!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Eating Crow

Well -- by now you're familiar with the whole sorry tale of the Civil War battle that raged in Northern CA a few weeks back and resulted in a quilt known as The Rebel. This past weekend was the annual Falling Leaves Quilt Show in Lakeport, CA. and The Rebel comes home a decorated war veteran. Third place!!!
I was shocked - you should have seen the rest of the entries in that category! They were awesome! So, Humble Crow Pie it is, and I guess I have to be nicer to my rebel vet now. ROFLOL!!
The featured quilter this weekend was Judy Mathieson, a wonderful sweet and mad talented lady from not too far away. Her quilts are jaw dropping!
Oh my gosh -- scary beautiful.
It really does glow....

Oh my. What eye candy. She had another one hanging that you would never have guess was hers - I'll show you that one later. Two days hanging around all this eye candy was enough to even get me off my lost-mojo fanny, and I started cleaning up my sewing room. See, I haven't sewn a thing since finishing The Rebel but I have dumped stuff in there. Erk. Now I have a little more than a week to get it together and get ready for retreat, so I better get on it.
No change on the home front. It's getting sad, lonely and scary being here with him down the hall. Thank you SO MUCH for keeping us in your prayers and good thoughts. I'm hanging tough and keeping faith and trying to remember that Life has to keep on moving...... if I could just channel that into the sewing room!
Thanks for stopping by!
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