A crispness has settled in the air and the leaves have begun to fall. This surely means autumn is in full swing. The season is ripe with opportunities for sewing on chilly, overcast days. Plus, there are so many wonderful projects to quilt for our homes, as gifts for our loved ones, and for ourselves.
Lynette Jensen was inspired by autumn when she designed Pumpkin Blossom, a darling quilt that functions as a table topper or a wall quilt available with the Thimbleberries Project of the Month.
Here she is to talk about her inspiration and to share a great tip for keeping hand blanket stitches in place:
It’s always fun to be able to pull out favorite quilted accessories for each season of the year. Autumn is truly my favorite and pumpkins are one of my preferred motifs. They have been my whole life.
As a child I remember how eager I was to have the pumpkins in my mom and grandmother’s gardens turn bright orange. Early in the growing season, the vines have pretty blossoms that become pumpkins. As a child, I was always fascinated by the whole process.
We have really black soil here in Minnesota, and even then, I knew I was seeing a magical color combination when I would spot the ripe pumpkins in the garden. They’d reveal themselves after the first frost of the season would kill the foliage that had hidden the pumpkins as they grew.
Besides providing some yummy treats, pumpkins are so much fun to use for decorations, both inside and out. Pumpkin Blossom is a charmer of a project, both to make and to use.
This little wall quilt has some fun design elements that make it pretty special. The inner square that features the pumpkin and blossom appliqué has an interesting shape that is form by contrasting triangles. These same triangles are repeated, but in reverse in one of the inner borders. The technique for make the triangles is fool proof and so easy, you’ll love it.
Fusible web is used to make the appliqué process less intimidating. So often, quilters feel like appliqué makes a project too difficult or requires too much precision. Using fusible web takes all those concerns away.
On the project pictured, I used a hand blanket stitch because I really enjoy that kind of handwork. There are so many wonderful machines that can nicely replicate the hand blanket stitch. Or the appliques can be stitched on with a decorative machine stitch for a different look.
Over time and use, hand blanket stitches “roll off” the edges of the appliqué shape, usually toward the center of the shape. This is caused by the tension created during the stitching process.
To prevent this from happening, take an extra tiny tacking stitch to anchor your stitching. Do this often when going around outer curves, corners, and points. When the curves are tight, as in small circles, take a tiny tacking stitch on every other stitch.
Try it and I’m sure you’ll be pleased to finally have a way to keep your blanket stitch on the edges of the appliqués where they belong.
Table toppers and wall quilts are fun and festive projects to ring in a new season. Plus, it’s nice to have a break in between larger more complicated quilt projects. If you want to work on the Pumpkin Blossom quilt, and other quilts designed by Lynette Jensen, you’ll find them in the Thimbleberries Project of the Month Club.