A Day for Pumpkins

Today will probably be a NSD (No Sewing Day). I have an appointment to get my hair cut fairly early this morning, and then I'll make a stop at JoAnn to pick up some embroidery floss and some tulle I need for the Happy Village. After that, grocery shopping. Not the best day ahead, but sometimes it's good to take a day off from sewing.

There was plenty of sewing yesterday. Being Tuesday, it was the next installment of the Sunflower Sampler from Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt. Two more sections were filled in yesterday.

Lori suggested pebbles for one section, but also suggested this Flower Power motif as an alternative. I've done plenty of pebbling on different quilts, and this being a practice piece, I wanted to try something different. Here's my practice try:

Okay, so that was fairly straight forward, and so I proceeded to fill it in on my sampler.

It left some holes in the design, and I guess that's okay. At one spot, I traveled back and filled in an area with some more petals. While I was sewing along, I noticed my thread was misbehaving. I've had trouble with this top thread all along. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a long-arm quilter used this on a quilt I made several years ago. She complained about it breaking and gave me the spool when she was finished with the quilt. Now I've had ample opportunity to see why.

It's a Signature polyester thread, and it has given me nothing but trouble. When this sampler is finished, it's going into the trash. It is a twisted thread and it seems to untwist while you're sewing. I'd say there might be something wrong with the needle, but other threads have performed just fine with the same needle. And look at this right where I'm stitching...so exasperating.

I have some birds nests on the back of the piece. Fortunately, it's only practice, and it looks fine on the front. This will be one of those pieces that causes me to smack the hands of anyone who dares to lift it up to look at the back. Consider yourself warned.

Moving on, I used her Dizzy Daisy motif for the second section. Here's my practice piece:

Okay, and here's how it looks on the sampler.

When I had that finished, I worked long and hard on the Hocuspocusville piece. As I get closer to finishing these blocks, I start giving myself longer to work on them in any given sitting. Now I've filled the hoop and I'm ready to move to the next section. 

It's about 80% finished at this point. I expect to have it finished by the weekend.

Here's where I'll pick up next. There's just this little bit to finish at the bottom, and then a little on the right side.

From there, I thought I might move to the Happy Village, but I'm working with such tiny little pieces that I really want to get the basting glue before I add any more to it. It's taking up a lot of space on my work table, and so I brought the Pumpkin Patch table topper up to my breakfast bar to sandwich it.

This is the fabric I'm using on the back.

And as long as it was sandwiched, I decided to get a start on the quilting. For the pumpkins, I'm using this polyester Isacord 40 weight thread. This was in a set I purchased at a bargain price via Massdrop. I only learned about Massdrop a few months ago, and whoa, there are some good prices. It's easy to spend too much money there when you're saving so much!

Anyway...isn't that a yummy orange? I believe this color is called "Tangerine".

So I'm only working with the orange thread for the moment, and I quilted four pumpkins into the four corners of the center section.

I tried out several options for the bobbin thread, and finally settled on this variegated brown (in no small part because I already had a bobbin wound with this color). This is one of the Coats & Clark Star Mercerized cotton quilting threads. I love the many colors of this thread, and I've had good luck with it.

Here's how that section looks from the back.

I went back and forth about how to quilt the pumpkins, and finally decided to stitch in the ditch around them and then quilt the ribs of the pumpkin.

For now, they look incomplete from the back, but I'll finish them off when I quilt around the leaves and stem with green thread.

Also, I'm quilting pumpkins into the four corners of the larger piece.

And here's how that looks from the back.

Once I have the pumpkins finished, I'll switch off to this green Essentials cotton thread from Connecting Threads.

The green will be used to quilt vines, leaves and stems on the pumpkins. If there's time to sew, that's what I'll be doing today.

For now, it's time for me to get going. I want to get off early enough to stop off for an Egg McMuffin. It's comfort food, you know, and I'm needing me some comfort this morning. Aren't we all?

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, that first thread looks like a nightmare - trash bin for sure. Love all the others you are playing with. Yes, a need for comfort day indeed.

Debbie said...

I love the flower power motif and have used it a lot. I generally do two or three band of the flouncy part and head out to new territory! It fills in so fast.
That poly thread looks like the devil to work with, but isacord does not cause any problem.

Jennifer Evans said...

I also had an Egg McMuffin along with a Dr Pepper for comfort this morning. Your quilting and embroidery are beautiful, as always.

gpc said...

I'm not sure just one day of comfort will be enough. Love the quilting. :)

Janarama said...

When you empty the Baste-It glue, just refill it with Elmer's School Glue. It works just as well and it's also water soluble. I don't know what McD's puts in those Egg McMuffins, but they are so darn good.

Brown Family said...

I hate it when thread shreds and breaks! I know most people hate it, too! I do enjoy using Isacord thread, but I usually use it for machine embroidery! The pumpkin table topper is coming right along!

Dana Gaffney said...

My Juki is very picky about thread and it will untwist thread like that, it's a real pain in the butt, my service person said to check how the thread is wound on the spool, that crisscross style like the connecting thread one works best.

quiltzyx said...

Too bad that thread is so unruly, it's such a great color. Oh well, win some lose some I suppose. If you make a pillow for the catio out of it, no one could ever see the back...
The pumpkins on the topper look terrific!! Your practice has definitely paid off!
Seems we all agree about the magic of the McMuffin. I had one this week too. We had ice cream at lunch yesterday too. I think I may splurge on a Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate on my way into work this morning. Gotta love a gift card!

Shirley said...

I have experienced the same problems with thread untwisting on the longarm, with this thread the problem was solved by skipping the top hook, letting the thread run sideways from the spool instead of being pulled from the top.

Kate said...

Your quilt sampler piece is looking great, those flower motifs turned out beautifully. Looking forward to seeing the finished table topper, you've made a great start on it.

liniecat said...

I'm aiming to finish my HocusPocus for next year now - so much for aiming for this October lol