October's Pincushion

The October pincushion for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 is finished!  I had so much fun working on this one!  

I'm not into most Halloween decor.  It's far too ghoulish and doesn't do much for me.  When I was thinking about what to do for October's pincushion, I knew I wanted to do something with pumpkins, but knew the pincushion would need something else to make it come to life.  So as the season progressed, I kept pondering it in the back of my mind.   As I was putting out my tiny collection of black cats a couple of weeks ago, it came to me that my pincushion pumpkin patch needed a black cat on it!  We always had black cats at home when I was growing up, and my Halloween decorations consist primarily of pumpkins and black cats!  With that, I was off and running! 

This is the block I started with.  I really do love working with batik fabrics, especially if the pattern isn't too large or overwhelming.  They blend so nicely into the background.  I chose a darker, mostly brown, palette with touches of warm greens reminiscent of autumn.   I knew that orange pumpkins would really come to life on this block! 

The view from the top.

The first thing I did was to make the pumpkins out of some orange/yellow silk with wool stuffing and lobes created by tying with some Wildflowers variegated pearl cotton from Caron.  For stems, I used DMC memory thread.  I love the old fashioned look they have. 

The black cat was knitted from a pattern in The Knitted Farmyard, a book I used years ago when I taught my kids to knit. This book was originally published in German and the translation means that the knitted items don't quite look like the photos in the book, but they still come out very cute.  The kids knitted lots of chickens and ducks while they were learning, while I made some of the more complicated critters from the book.  When I was thinking about how to do the cat for this pincushion, I remembered the kittens I had made from this book and went searching for our copy.  I modified the directions a little to suit my needs for this pincushion.  I used some Harrisville Designs Black Shetland fingering weight yarn for the cat and stuffed him with some dark grey wool I had so it wouldn't show through so much.  The green eyes were embroidered with DMC cotton embroidery floss. 

I knew that I also wanted to bring another dimensional element into this pincushion, so I created a cornstalk using DMC memory thread and created needle woven leaves up the stem.  

Along one seam, I stitched a buttonhole/feather variation to mimic the stubble of a newly harvested corn field and scattered more leaves along it as well as a beaded ear or corn.  Then using a large eyed yarn needle, I pulled the cornstalk through and anchored it down.

This seam got a stitch that I had copied into my seam inspiration book from somewhere.  It has a nice autumn feel to it and provides a nice foundation seam under the pumpkin patch! 

Along another seam, I embroidered a flowing pumpkin vine with buttonhole stitch leaves in a variegated perle cotton ~ this one I believe is from Valdani.  Then I added some yellow/orange beads with stitching to mimic tiny pumpkins.  

The pumpkin vines were curled and I added some stumpwork silk leaves to them.  There are 5 leaves on this pincushion and I was astonished at how long they took (over 8 hours!), but the effect was well worth it!  

The seam visible here was another from my inspiration book and is one I copied off an antique crazy quilt. 

From the top you can see the last seam, which is simply feather stitching with some nice big Czech glass leaf beads added.   

The bottom has my usual signature!  The back side of the stitching is signed as well.

Here's my Black Cat running through the Pumpkin Patch!


Around the yard, the leaves are changing with the season.  The Spindle Bush is looking particularly lovely right now as the bright pink pods have split open into little bishop cap shapes and let their bright orange fruits dangle out!  It is just spectacular! 

Family Dinner Night
We had a nice family dinner on Saturday.  Just missing Stephen and David who both had to work.  For our family dinner, we had apple sauce, apple dumplings and salad with apples, pecans and blue cheese, all with apples from our tree!  For the rest of the meal, we had a Mediterranean theme going with tomato bruschetta, rosemary roasted potatoes, and Provincial chicken cooked with white wine, parsley and lots of garlic!  Yummy!   It's always so wonderful to have my kids around the table!  It's one of the things that makes me happier than just about anything else!  

Jessie spent the weekend so that I could teach her how to can and she did a fabulous job learning how to can applesauce from the amazingly sweet apples that came from the tree in our yard!  A couple weeks ago, we make pie filling with them.  We have one more 1/2 bushel of apples to process and they will get turned into apple butter!  We've also extracted lots of juice from the peels and cores that we'll use to make some apple jelly.  Right now it's in the freezer until we have more time to work on it.  

What a blessing this weekend was! Filled with stitching, preserving food (which is one of life's immensely satisfying things!) and time with family!  Life doesn't get much better than this!  


I'm not much for Halloween decorating either, but I would definitely put out this little sweetie. Your black cat is adorable!
Cathy said…
Oh my, that is the Grandest Pincushion Ever! The Covergirl of Pincushions! Worthy of the Pumpkin Smithsonian and Pincushion Hall of Fame!!!! I adore it! You are the Goddess of Pincushions! I've probably said that before, but I've about run out of superlatives. I'll just go back to my corner now and drool....
Thoeria said…
That is....WOW!Absolutely amazing!
What a wonderful post!

I am so impressed with this pincushion of yours! You did a lovely, fantastic job! It is truly a work of art!

Then you had a delicious sounding dinner with your family. You taught canning and everything in that dept. sounds yummy. I don't know how to can. Haven't met anyone here in s.e. FL who does it either. We do not have cool places to store all the goodies like northerners.

Have a wonderful week ~ FlowerLady
Shirlee Fassell said…
Great pincushion! The family around the table with a wonderful meal is divine!
welltraveled said…
This is my favorite pincushion Beautiful and so is your family
Thanks so much for sharing! Your pincushion is absolutely adorable. I really appreciate you sharing a bit of your creative process. I've never considered implementing 3D elements into my projects.
Susan Elliott said…
Glorious!!!! What is not to love! The entire post is a treat for the senses. Your cat amongst the pumpkins is inspired. So glad to see you having so much fun. And to have your family gathered around one table eating of the bounty of your own hands...well, it just doesn't get any better than that.

You're amazing.
Leslie said…
While this is not one of my top ten pincushions of all time (I'm not crazy about Halloween decor either), it is incredibly inventive and well executed. The silk pumpkins are my favorite element, along with the stumpwork leaves. Amazing work, as always.
Jean C. said…
Hopped over from Allie's In Stitches. Great blog! Love your Halloween pin cushion it's soo cute. As I've been making applesauce also with apples from our tree's just thought I would mention that we make apple crisp with the applesauce too. Nothing beats it in the winter time. Add a bit of whipped topping and away you go. You have a lovely family.
As I'm not a Crazy Quilter.... yet! I must say checking out the blogs from the blog hop I'm very inspired.
Unknown said…
Wow Lisa that one is drop dead gorgeous!! What are you doing with all of those Pincushions?
Unknown said…
I hope this goes thru this time. LOVE your pincushions! This one is my favorite - LOVE those pumpkins. What are you going to do with all of these pincushions?

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