Friday, June 28, 2013

Smashing Pumpkins and Aiming For Accuracy

No, I did not gather you all here today to talk about taking a field trip to a pumpkin patch with a pumpkin catapult set up so you can teach your kids science while reinacting that "Modern Family" episode from a year or so ago. But how awesome would I be if I arranged such an outing? I know. Pretty flipping awesome.

I gathered you here today to show you how cute my new version of Pick Me! is turning out. Admit it, a few of you saw this pile of fabrics,
read that I saw pumpkins in them, and thought I had been having a few too many pumpkin flavored martinis. I guess it is a thing, but ew. Anyway, I'm back today to prove to you that I was not crazy. Or prove that I am, depending on your opinion of the cuteness shown below.
I'm in love with them. Bring on fall. No really, please, bring on fall on this last day of school, but I digress.

And another. Love.
As I am revamping and revising this pattern, it is proving to me that it isn't all over for any pattern until the fat pumpkin is smashed to smithereens. I am quite hopeful that this updated cover and streamlined rewrite - it was my third pattern ever, after all, so I've got a formula now and I want this to fit it - will give it new life. And if not, I have a really cool new version of it to hang in my living room and it will maybe inspire me to finally allow my husband to throw another Oktoberfest party.

Here's how the pumpkins looked before I cut them out. I love this design because there is no set strip width, and truly, the more widths, the merrier.

And that way you really can't screw it up. I'm always thinking of you, hotties.
As I was applying the (dreaded and frustrating, yet ultimately the best fusible for the job) Mistyfuse to the back of the strip sets, I was already thinking ahead to the thread I should choose for the machine appliqueing. I really thought a trip to the LQS was going to have to be in order, which was going to slow me down, which as much as I love a trip to the LQS was going to irritate me, when much to my joy I found this spool of variegated (plus four more exactly like it that I won on YLI's FB page last fall) which is stunningly perfect.

There may have been a happy dance.

I mean come on! That could not be more perfect! (The variegated, I mean. The thread protruding from the seam in the upper right center proves my imperfectionism in "thread pokey debridement" before posting photos.)
I'm a big fan of things working out unexpectedly fantastically in the sewing room. This may or may not be because it is a rarity.

No stems, vines, leaves, or embellishments yet, but I had forgotten how quick this pattern is to put together. This whole thing, minus cutting, took me about 2 hours.

"Pick Me!" I'm cute!
 Today was a banner day in the studio because for the first time in over three years, I was in it before 6am. I know many of you probably get your sewing in before work on a regular basis, so to you this is no great accomplishment, but let's just leave it at for me, this is noteworthy. And why, pray tell, was I up so early? Well, because I am Mom of the Year, and not only did I throw a rocking seventh bday party for nineteen Kindergarten-aged girls on Wednesday, but I also had to deal with the consequences of renting a Bouncy House (aka "The Moon Landing" at my crazy history daughter's history themed party) during a week where we have had approximately 4 hours where it hasn't rained, and wherein my husband has worked late and gone in early every day. So between drying the thing out (HA! I tried! Truly!) and finding a time when he could help me get it in the car, this morning at 5am was it. I wish I had a video of the two of us dragging/pushing the 150 pound rolled up rubber thing through the wet grass in the rain this morning. As the pusher, I fell flat on my face several times, which was a lovely way to fully wake up. My children were snug in bed. They are lucky to be cute.

Anyway, after that fun, and being fully alert after an early breakfast of mouthfuls of grass, I figured a little time sewing would put me right, and it sort of did. I whipped up my first "Aiming For Accuracy" challenge block.

Here it is from the back. As you know, I am doing this challenge in hopes that I truly can match points if necessary, so I am trying to be serious about it and actually read the lessons and tips. One thing Michelle of Quilting Gallery suggests for better accuracy is pressing seams open. 

The block from the back, with seams pressed open.
 My first thought was "WHA? I'm a quilter. I press to the dark. Or the light, if I am not paying attention." But being the open minded and out of the box good student that I am, I gave it a try.
I have to admit I am kind of loving how cute and crisp it looks from the back.

 The other tip I had to use, because I learned this morning that my accuracy troubles might well stem more from my cutting than my piecing, was to use "a tonne" of pins to help ease your pieces together if you have one that is slightly too big. I do know this tip, but I had to mention it again here because the way Michelle spells ton is far too adorable and yet sophisticated all at once. I am guessing it is a Canadian thing. :)

This makes it look way wonkier than it is, but yeah, I need to work on my cutting accuracy for sure.

 I did do pretty well with the points, though.

Not loving that some of my snowmen are necessarily sideways, but maybe they are just tired.
I like that she had us add the sashing strip to the block as soon as we were done with sewing it. One less thing for me to lose. 

Yep, that is Greta's pink petal for her Daisy vest. Ten bucks says it is there all summer and ironed on the night before her first meeting in September.
 So there you have it. My mojo is back, I'm sewing my face off, and it is 11:30 am on the very last half day of school. Can I keep it up through the summer crazy? Please root for me! I'm going to need it!


carla said...

Hi!!!! Love your pumpkins!!!! Your quilt block looks perfect and I love the fabrics!!!! Thanks for the fun!!!1

Robin said...

I thought we were heading to a concert!! (Smashing Pumpkins:)

Love it when the perfect thread and fabric come together!!

Now, where can I get a Pumpkin martini??

Kelli Fannin Quilts said...

Root root! :) Wow, you were up early grazing for grass. I vote for next time renting the thing from a company that will deliver and pick up! I love love the brighter pumpkins and your points are fantastic!! That is going to be one cute Christmas throw.

Debbie said...

Hoot Hoot! Thanks for the giggles while reading your post. Tonnes of cute photos and those are awfully sharp points there!!

Margaret P. said...

Looking very Christmasy! And a nice job on matching those points too!

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Mojo's back! Love those smashing pumpkins. I took a look at pumpkin martinis, and decided the Ghost-tini was the best one......

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Oh, around here we call those Bourbon Street "Points" !!!


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