So I have in mind to do some quilted pumpkins and vines in the four outer corners and also in the center. The pumpkins are easy enough, but I'm such a terrible artist that I was stressing about how to quilt the leaves and the vine. Often, I gain inspiration (and a guide for drawing) by Googling something like "drawings of pumpkin vines" as I did today. I came up with a drawing I liked, which I won't post here because it's copyrighted. And I'm not copying it exactly, but it gave me a place to start.
The pumpkins aren't that hard to draw, but the vines and leaves had me stumped. Then I remembered a video I'd seen from Leah Day that she calls Twisted Tendril. Here's her video:
If you can't see the video, click right here.
The design is appealing, and it occurs to me that leaves aren't really necessary with this. The eye fills in what it expects to see, and so the little loops work just fine as stand-ins for leaves. After watching her do it, I got to work. First, the pumpkins. For the first ones, I was trying to quilt each "lobe" individually, and I didn't like the look of that at all.
It's easier for me to quilt them as a full circle and then fill in the "sections". These were a little better, but too round. I wanted them flattened out a bit.
Here's the third try...a little better, but still more round than I'd like them.
Then, I was kind of excited to try the twisted tendrils, and so I gave that a go. I started with variegated thread, and I was experimenting to see how it would look.
Not bad, but then I switched to a solid dark green at the bottom, and I like that better.
And then I gave that another try on the second round of pumpkins. I ran out of bobbin thread before I could finish the design, however, and so I decided that was my cue to stop.
So it's only practice, but here's how the whole thing looked when I was finished.
I want the echo in the vines to be better...smoother, with less hesitation...and so I'll keep practicing for a bit before committing it to my quilt top. Also, I posted this image on the Sit Down Free Motion Quilters page on Facebook. One woman commented that pumpkins are "organic" and so each one is different. That was good feedback, and I can stop trying to make them all look the same.
After that, I got back to work on the Happy Village. Today clipped some threads and repaired some weird little notched cuts. Then I started trying to add roofs, and I'll tell you, I got kind of lost in this...lost, as in, I can't find my way. For a while, I was wishing I'd never started it. But then I started looking at the pictures in the book, and mine didn't look so different from hers.
Also, I started adding in a few windows and doors, and then it started coming together. And, again, I checked the pictures in the book, and it started making more sense. I think it's going to be okay, even if it won't be the best Happy Village ever created.
I can only work on it in short bursts. My posture is absolutely terrible when I'm doing something like this, and that starts making my neck hurt. Today I'll give it some more time, and I'll work some more on my quilting. If there's time, I'd like to get a start on the next block for the Chicken Buffet quilt.