Friday, September 2, 2011

Feeling Fallish (with Fallish tutorial!)

Kids are back to school (albeit two days late courtesy of Irene. I shouldn't complain ~ we had it easy compared to most.) A little crispness to the air. Waiting to wear my new sweaters. Yup, feeling fallish. So, over the weekend, Irene's weekend, I made up a little something something for fall.

A Fallish Mug Rug! Want to make it? Here's what you need:

strips of orange/fall colored fabric scraps, 8-9" long, various widths 1-2"
a small piece of green for the stem, about 1"x2"
batting, background and backing 10" square (again, mine were scraps)
binding fabric (I ain't gonna lie ~  this is a scrap, too. Some binding left over from another project. Figure about one length of fabric, 2 1/2" wide.)

We're going to do a bit of paper foundation piecing.
First, find a pattern. (Or, if you've got mad drawing skills, draw yourself a pumpkin!) Me, not so much. Instead, in google images I looked for "pumpkin outline" and got to this page:

See the "This one" and the box? That's the one I used. I was looking for a pretty simple shape, with not a lot of details. (If you go to google images, it's still there, just not in the exact same position) Click on that one, or whichever one you choose, and enlarge the pattern. Mine ended up about 8"x8" with the stem. Print that guy out.
Flip your pattern over, and trace the outline of the pumpkin on the other side. This is going to be the line we cut on.

Now, we start sewing down strips. We're going to be sewing right through the fabric onto the paper. To make it easier to remove the paper later, reduce your stitch length. On my machine, I went down to a 1.5. Grab your pattern, right side up. Place your first strip on the paper. It doesn't have to be perfectly straight (unless that makes you crazy. In that case, make it straight!) I don't pin it. You can if you'd like. Or a little bit of glue stick on the wrong side of the first strip to anchor it also works. Take your second strip and align the straight edges. Sew, using a 1/4 inch seam.
Press or finger press seam open. Continue to add strips until right side is covered. Then, add strips to left side (flip pattern so that the stem is now on the bottom, so you can continue to use your 1/4 inch foot, if you have one) until the pumpkin is completely covered.
It's going to look something like the above picture. Flip your pattern to the back side. With a ruler, draw a line about a 1/4 inch above the top of the pumpkin, on the stem. This will be where we attach the stem.
Using the drawn line on the back of the pattern, cut out your pumpkin, including the 1/4" stem. It should look something like this:

Flip your pumpkin to the backside again to remove the paper. I fold the paper on the seam line, give it a little score with my finger nail, and gently tear it away. Just don't tug too hard where your lines of stitching begin and end.

Trim the stem fabric to your liking, being sure to add a quarter inch to the length for the seam allowance, and add to the pumpkin.
Give your pumpkin a good pressing!

Next, make your quilt sandwich. Backing fabric wrong side up, batting, background fabric (black in my mug rug) right side up. I used a little spray baste to keep them from shifting. Place pumpkin onto quilt sandwich. You can pin, if you'd like. Again, I spray basted. (Yes, I love my spray basting!)

I did some simple straight line, in the ditch quilting to hold this together. Then, at the suggestion of a friend (thanks, Samm!) I tried the blanket stitch on my machine to outline the pumpkin. Not as scary as I thought. Definitely will practice it again.

Trim your quilt sandwich to size, add your binding, and now you're feeling fallish, too!

While I had all my Halloween/fall fabric out, I made up a little table runner, too!

Super simple ~ sewn in strips. The cat/ghost fabric was all one fat quarter. I just sliced it up, along with 2 fat eights of spider web fabric. Hope you enjoy the projects! Let me know if you make one!