Stuffed Pumpkin

I love pumpkins. Pumpkin anything. Pumpkin everything. Pumpkin this. Pumpkin that. All pumpkin, all the time. Every Fall, it’s an obsession.

It’s only natural, then, that my daily fabric obsession would meet my Autumnal pumpkin obsession and make friends.

A stuffed fabric pumpkin!

Flowers are for Fall, too!

My fabric and pumpkin obsessions are well acquainted.

Many stuffed fabric pumpkins!

Lots of stuffed fabric pumpkins!

Best friends, even. I’veĀ  introduced them to my lesser embroidery obsession.

Many stuffed fabric pumpkins!

This is the detail of the embroidery in the background. It’s a design from Crabapple Hill called Autumn’s Harvest Pumpkin #304.

They all get along swell.

Imaginary obsession play-dates aside, I’ve been busy with Thanksgiving preparation. And by “preparation ” I mean “cleaning”.

We’re having a smallish Thanksgiving, just immediate family. Which will be great, but will still require the dining room table. When you use the dining room table as a work station, work gets interrupted when you need the dining room table for, you know, dining. So the dining room is getting fancied up. And the dining room table is getting cleared. And I’m counting our cranberry sauce cans carefully so that we have enough.

We have much to the thankful for this year. I hope that your Thanksgiving is just as blessed as ours is sure to be.

See you later, in the Christmas season! [Christmas Day is about a month away. Don't PANIC!]

Work In Progress: Stag Runner

Auditioning green fabric for the Stag Table Runner.

Auditioning green fabric for the Stag Table Runner.

Placing red 2.5 inch squares for the Stag Table Runner.

Placing red 2.5 inch squares.

Hydration is important!

Hydration is important! Woman cannot live by coffee alone. (Though, she will admit to trying to live by coffee alone.)

After sewing the little red squares for the Stag Table Runner.

The little red squares are all sewn together for the center of the table runner.

Stag Table Runner Design

This is what the table runner will look like when it is complete.

It will be about 62 inches long and 15 inches wide. (The dining room table is 78 inches long.)

The white stags were originally supposed to be black, but after placing the white paper stencil of the stag on the red squares, I realized that the black was just too dark. The white stags shout Winter to me and really make the dark reds and green seem more alive. They’ll be appliqued in white or off-white fabric.

I haven’t yet picked the fabric for the stags. I’m thinking plain solid muslin, but I also have my eye on some floral fabric in white and pale green. I’m still debating the print idea. We’ll see.

The back… well, I’ve been tossing some ideas around for piecing the back in Autumnal colors. That way, the same runner could be on the table for half of the year. Storage space is small and precious in this house; I just don’t have space for a million different runners. So being able to use one runner for two seasons seems like a good plan. I’d just turn it over to the other side when Winter arrives. Again, we’ll see.

The Easy Friday List, August 24

Friday should be easy. These are items that have made my life a little easier this past week. Maybe they can make your life easier, too.

HP48GX Calculator: I love my calculator. I don’t want to geek out about my calculator but well. I’m going to geek out about my calculator. So if you don’t want to hear all about how Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) kicks algebra’s butt, you need not read further; just skip ahead to the fun and fluffy discussion on the Knifty Knitter loom below. It’s OK. Calculators aren’t terribly interesting to most people.

I find them most interesting, particularly mine. It makes my life easier in so many ways, I’m not sure I can list them all here without putting at least half of you asleep. (The other half are either already asleep or have moved to the Knifty Knitter paragraph below.)

Before I bought it as an engineering student, I feared that I would never get the hang of RPN; I’d heard so many horror stories about fellow students forking over the $350 for the thing and not being able to use it. I feared that I’d use it for 4+ years of college and never touch it again. I feared that it would be obsolete in a few months and I’d have to replace it. I feared that I wouldn’t really need it.

It took me all of ten minutes before I realized that RPN is a brown paper lunch bag filled with time-saving, easy, wondrous, sweet goodies that won’t make you fat. For my calculus classes, it was a Godsend. When I was an engineer and used it daily, it was necessary. For quilting, it’s a small miracle. The calculator can convert units, so figuring out how many yards of fabric I need to buy when I know how many pieces of a certain size in inches is nothing. And I don’t have to remember area equations, since they’re all already in the calculator. I just have to plug in the number and it solves for unknown variables all by itself.

HP48GX Calculator

Here’s an action shot of my calculator (after it turned itself off… D’oh!). Pretty… the calculator, I mean. The fabric, too.

As for obsolescence… well, they stopped making this calculator in 2003 and people are still giving it 5 star reviews on Amazon. You can buy one used for about $150. Considering that I paid about $200 new for mine in 1996 because of a sale and a student discount (I’ve always been thrifty), I’m feeling pretty smug about that investment. Also, the new HP50G sells for around $100 right now (though I think it’s on sale). Seriously.

I won’t get into the stack; we’d be here all day. (I’m serious. The stack is the thing I love most about it. So don’t get me started. You’ve been warned.)

All in all, this wonderful piece of computing power has been making my life easier for 16 years. I love it. I’d cry lots if anything ever happened to it. Knock on wood.

Knifty Knitter: There are an awful lot of people who hate these looms. I don’t know why. I love them.

I can’t knit. Using the traditional two knitting stick things (needles?), I can’t knit. I’ve tried. And I hate it. Back when the knitting craze first began I wanted to knit so much. For the first time in my life, my normally-able hands just couldn’t pick it up. Frustration? Check. Anger? Check. An unreasonable desire to smash an isle full of pretty knitting stick thingies and assorted knitting accoutrements into toothpicks? CHECK!

Hard feelings? Check. Alas.

I mean, I can crochet. But it doesn’t carry the same panache as knitting these days. It’s not cool. I don’t worry about being cool (obviously) and I never have. But I do like to keep in touch with the latest craft crazes. Crafters are my people. You gotta keep up with your peeps, yes?

Enter the Knifty Knitter!

The Knifty Knitter at fig+fence HQ.

The yarn is “Ocean” by Lion.

I can knit! And I don’t have to tell anyone that I did it on a loom. (Except, you know, I just told all of you.) Everyone can assume that I am using those god-awful pointy knitting stick thingies I still despise and wish into a million little smashed pieces. Ahem.

If you get one of these looms, I highly advise buying a book of patterns to go with it. It will simplify your life. Alternatively, you can watch YouTube videos. There are tons.