Friday, September 25, 2020

 It's been a crazy year of Covid!  Fortunately, working for myself  has caused no changes in the way I work each day.  No masks needed here!  That's great since the masks are miserable to wear even during a quick shopping visit.  I can't imagine having to wear one all day long.  

So far this year my aunt and mom passed away then I had major surgery.  Physical Therapy took all summer.  I designed two new fabric lines for Benartex and now I am preparing to help a friend at a retreat.  

I have been working on small applique projects using the new Winter Wool flannels since last fall but all of the above issues slowed me down.  I am happy to say I am close to releasing some of them.  All of the projects are small and easy to complete with minimal supplies.

This is a little pumpkin table mat or candle mat.  It uses a fat quarter as the background so each mat is under 18" long.  I have small tables everywhere and love to put little mats on them.  The pumpkin in the center above is made with hand-dyed wool from Weeks Dye Works.  It makes a great centerpiece. The free pumpkin directions are below.  I will post this pattern on my website in a few days.

Here is the mat in full.  

I am repeating the post below for fabric pumpkins from a few years ago.

This is my Pumpkin Patch pattern from 1996 that Keepsake Quilting carried for years.  There have been many pumpkins out there similar but here is the directions for original painted pumpkin!  You can also make them from any cotton fabric, chenille, burlap, wool or felt.


1. Cut a rectangle from batting, say 9" x 18" wide. Too big? try 6" x 14".
2. Fold in half and sew the two short ends together, one seam in the back.
3. Hand-gather one open end with string, floss, pearl cotton or linen thread, pull tight and knot several times.
4. Turn inside out and stuff with poly-fil until firm, but not too firm.
5. Hand-gather the top and knot several times.
6. Using a long doll needle (say 8") and a long piece of the thread you used in #3, go in and out from the center top to the center bottom to pull the center in tight. Knot again.
7. Then proceed to go top to bottom around the outside of the pumpkin to create the veins, pulling tight each time.
8. Knot the thread each time on the center top which will be covered by the stem later.
9. Mix orange paint with water, coffee or tea and slop it on using your hands (pre-manicure not post). It washes off your hands eventually and I would remove your rings first!

*** Using coffee or tea makes the colors separate once dried and gives a wonderful aged look.  Make different sized pumpkins from cotton batting, muslin, or chenille and paint each one a different shade of orange.  Mix colors- it's fun!  My husband went into the woods and cut old gnarly grapevine for me to use as stems.  He cut them about 2"-3" and I hot glued them to the center top, covering the knots.  It makes a wonderful fall decoration and costs so little for so many, a small package of batting, a bottle of paint, some stuffing.   

Happy Fall!