Happy fall, y’all!
Okay, so it’s not fall yet, but it’s almost September (close enough, right?). As a former educator, back to school time conjures up plenty of sights, sounds, and smells (fresh crayons and stacks of Post-its, anyone?). I am a sucker for school/office supplies. Remember that line from You’ve Got Mail, when Tom Hanks’ character types, “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils” to Meg Ryan’s character? Love. it. Especially a bouquet of yellow Ticonderoga pencils!
Confession: I actually hate writing with #2 wooden pencils. I just love looking at them. Have you ever noticed that brand new sharpened pencils are like daisies? They arrange themselves in their container (if you have enough to look like an actual flower arrangement). But I digress….
Anyway, once school is back in session, fall seems to be just around the corner. I am totally one of those people who breaks out the fall decor on the inside of my house on Labor Day weekend. The outside decor goes up on the first official day of autumn so at least the neighbors don’t think I’m too crazy.
For some reason (despite the ridiculously hot weather we are having), it feels like it should be fall (maybe because I am wishing for cooler weather). Don’t get me wrong. I love summer. But there is something wonderful about autumn. And pumpkins. And crisp leaves. And cool evenings. And hot cider. And baked apples. And pumpkins. And hooded sweatshirts. And football games. And sweaters. And pumpkins. Did I mention pumpkins?
Speaking of pumpkins, to satisfy my ridiculously early craving for fall this year, I made this pincushion:
I followed the Fiskars tutorial (from http://www2.fiskars.com/Sewing-Quilting/Projects/For-the-Home/Organization/Sewn-Pumpkin-Pincushion#.UhjPE2RBKHc). I first saw this project when I purchased some sewing supplies from Jo-Ann’s and immediately googled it when I got home to investigate further.
Okay, I mostly followed the tutorial, but made a key modification: Instead of sewing the leaf inside out, reversing it, and stitching closed, I actually sewed it by hand right-side out. Yes, this meant that the rough edges are exposed, but this makes the leaf look a bit more realistic. If you look closely at pumpkin leaves, they aren’t “perfect” along the edge either (no, my leaf is not shaped like an authentic pumpkin leaf–my fabric cutting skills aren’t that impeccable just yet). Plus, it also allowed me to pull the thread taut in such a manner that it made my leaf curl, giving it more dimensionality and character, I think. Like a leaf that is starting to shrivel up just a wee bit.
Check out the tutorial if you are an “autumnut” like I am–very cute, very fun, fairly simple. My pumpkin is not quite as segmented as the tutorial’s, though, which was a bit disappointing. The directions said to make sure you stuffed your pincushion with enough filler to make it plump, but I think I must have overstuffed (overachiever that I am) because each time I pulled the embroidery thread around the sections tighter to make the sections plump out, my thread would break (and I wasn’t using cheap thread!). I suppose I could undo my stitching and take some stuffing out to see if it improves things, but I’m reluctant to destroy it. At any rate, it’s good enough for the first pincushion I’ve ever made and is cute enough to be a fall decoration. Apparently, it is also tempting as a cat toy, as I saw one of our sneaky littles pawing at it a couple of days ago. That gives me an idea for another tidbit, though: cat toys…maybe filled with catnip instead of loose threads? Meow.