A New Year-A Clean Slate

 

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Good Morning, Quilters!

I have been an errant blogger of late, but I haven’t forgotten about YOU!  I have been busy celebrating Christmas and the New Year with family and taking some quiet time to think, plan and organize.

I love the early days of a new year when everything is a blank slate–including the untouched calendar waiting to be filled with activities, goals, lists, hopes and dreams and of course, doodles!

WORD OF THE YEAR

One of the big discussions in the blogosphere at this time of year is the idea of choosing a word for the year-a word that suggests a guiding principle.

In 2015,  I chose the word  focus–a play on my interest in learning more about photography and my need to avoid distractions.

By the end of the year (Squirrel!) I was so harried (Squirrel!) I never chose a word for 2016.  (Perhaps I should have chosen Squirrel!?)

MOTTO FOR 2017

My motto  for 2017 is Make New Friends

I don’t mean it literally–but as a reminder to be open to new ideas and fresh ways of looking at things, exploring new possibilities and avoiding ruts.

Ruby and Roxie, Australian Shepherds

Remember the old Girl Scout song:

Make new friends, but keep the old…

One is silver and the other’s gold!

Ruby and Roxie, Australian Shepherds

MAKING NEW FRIENDS-MY THREAD STASH

One of my frustrations in my sewing room is my thread stash.

I LOVE thread, but finding the right thread is a nightmare and leaves my sewing room looking like a tornado hit!

All of my thread is stored (neatly) in boxes.  However, when I’m auditioning threads, I have to open all the boxes to see my choices–leaving my room a mess!

Threads, Sewing Room

HOW A THREAD NERD LIVES DANGEROUSLY

Last week I had six June Tailor thread racks installed on my sewing room wall.

I know this is not the best way to store thread–light and dust can damage thread.  

However, I have decided to throw caution to the wind and store my threads (on a wall with minimal sun light) in a way that suits the way I work--even if it means I have to replace threads more frequently!

Thread Organization

I spent several happy hours silently organizing my thread.  It was oddly calming and therapeutic…

Thread Organization

This will transform the way I work–a fresh look and a NEW FRIEND!

Isn’t it pretty???

What about YOU?  Do YOU have a motto or word for 2017?

Is there something YOU can look at with fresh eyes?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Signed,

YOUR Friend,

Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

PPS…This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.  If you choose to use it at NO Additional Cost to you, I may receive a little “pin money”.  Thanks for supporting The Inbox Jaunt!

How to Make Velvet Pumpkins

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters, Crafters and Autumn-Lovers!

Several weeks ago, at a family party, we made more than 30 velvet pumpkins.  By putting our heads together, we tried several methods to refine our process.  I think you are going to love these gorgeous table decorations.  They pair well with quilts, make great gifts and are fun to make as a group project.

 

THE SUPPLY LIST

 

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Velvet-Look for velvet with good drape and rich color.  (Or for a different look, try wool?)

We used Silk-Rayon Velvet from Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul, MN.  (Between $25-35/yard)  It is available online from several sources, if YOU have a source you recommend, please leave a link in today’s comments.

You will need a minimum of 1/4 yard–for small pumpkins, up to 2/3 yard for larger pumpkins.  Each piece of fabric will yield multiple pumpkins in a variety of sizes.

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Pumpkin Stems-Last year, after the first frost, we obtained two large bags of pumpkin stems from a local farmer’s field.  Once the pumpkins freeze, the stems are easy to remove.  Check out a local farmer or garden center and ask for their leftover pumpkins.  Also, save pumpkin tops, squash stems or use vines or twigs from your trees.  Be creative!

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

More Supplies

  • Rice-buy in bulk–it takes a lot!
  • Strong thread
  • Large hand-sewing needles
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun/glue
  • Marking pen
  • Variety of round plates, bowls, pizza pans

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

STEP BY STEP

Trace and cut out circles from the velvet.  Nine inch diameter minimum….

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Choose a strong thread…Hand quilting thread, buttonhole twist, or Sulky 12 wt cotton…

Double or triple the thread….If it breaks when you pull it to gather–you have to start over!

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Stitch a long running stitch 1/4 inch from the raw edge.  (Leave a long tail on the knot to pull later.)

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Pull both ends of the running stitch thread to gather the circle of fabric into a pouch.

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori KennedyFill with rice.  We found that filling the pumpkin quite full looked the best.Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Pull the ends of the running stitch as tight as possible and hand tie in a double knot.
Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Stitch the pumpkin closed.

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Choose a pumpkin stem.

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Add hot glue to the pumpkin stem.

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Invert the pumpkin onto the stem (this prevents the hot glue from dripping onto the velvet.)

That’s it!

You have a gorgeous pumpkin!!!

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Once you get started, you will want a rainbow of pumpkins!

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Then pair them with your favorite fall quilt!

Velvet pumpkins tutorial, Lori Kennedy

NOTE-We tried inserting the stem into the pumpkin pouch before gathering and glueing…but we found this method easier and we liked how they looked better too!

The hardest part of these adorable pumpkins is finding the velvet and the stems…once you find a source for these-you can make these quickly and easily.

Have fun and send photos!

Happy Autumn!

Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

Tuesday Tutorial-The Pumpkin Pin Cushion

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialGood Morning, Quilters!

We have a different sort of “Tuesday Tutorial” today…I was waylaid by Halloween and a wonderful tutorial offered at Fiskars for an adorable pumpkin pin cushion.  After making several pumpkins, I made a few changes to make it easier and add a bit more detail.

So today I offer my own version:Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Most of the supplies are things you have right in your sewing room…

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialBegin by cutting 4 inch squares of orange fabric.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialFor each pumpkin you will need eight squares.Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialChoose 4 squares for the bottom and stitch the 4-patch.
Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialPress the seams open.Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialChoose 4 squares for the top of the pumpkin.

This is going to be stitched a little differently…
Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialFor the second seam in the 4 patch, leave an opening.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialThis seam is left open for stuffing the top of the pumpkin.

WHY?

The original pattern recommended leaving an opening in the circle for stuffing the pumpkin, however, it is very difficult to slip stitch this seam neatly (see below)…

We can hide the slipstitching in the center top of the pumpkin with leaves and stem!

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Place the 4-patches, right sides together and trace a circle for stitching.

Vary the diameter of the circle from 4 inches to 7-1/2 inches for a variety of pumpkins.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Stitch the entire circle.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Trim the excess.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Turn right side out and stuff with fiberfill.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Add lavender if you like…(I always do!)

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Slipstitch the top of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialChoose a heavy weight thread like Aurifil cotton 12 wt to create the contours in the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Stitch on the seam lines pulling gently into the center.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

 

Then divide the pumpkin into eight sections.  Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialNow comes the FUN PART!!!

Free motion quilt a few leaves, echo stitching three times around the outer edge.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialCut closely around the leaves, leaving a little stem on the bottom for fastening onto the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Use two or three leaves per pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

Tack the leaves in place.

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialAnother FUN PART…

Go for a walk and find some gnarly sticks and vines (I found a grape vine with dried twisty vines)

Or use a cinnamon stick…

Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialUse a hot glue gun to attach the stems.
Pumpkin Pin Cushion TutorialI promise, you won’t want to stop with two…

Don’t worry…these adorable pumpkins make great table decorations, pin cushions, gifts….

Then we can try them in red…

Next week:  A FREE MOTION quilt Tuesday Tutorial–Promise!

Happy Stitching from my Pumpkin Patch to YOURS!

Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!