When 90’s become 80’s…

it’s PUMPKIN TIME! A cute round pieced pumpkin on a square block, made as a quilt block or huge hot pad for platters or big bowls. Great directions and color diagrams make it easy!

That’s my latest pattern, “Pumpkin Time,” a cute round pumpkin on a square block–easy square block piecing, but four half-square triangles and some color shading make it seem round. Make it as a quilt block on point or as an 8″, 10″ or 12″ huge “platter pad.” They are decorative enough to hang on a loop on the wall, but they double as huge hot pads for platters or big bowls–how perfect for Thanksgiving or any gathering!

Order “Pumpkin Time” for just $2.50 for the next 10 days! Hurry! Click here.

“Pumpkin Time” cc 2024 by LJ Christensen

This one is hanging in the Market Shoppes in downtown Wetumpka, for sale, but it’s first come, first serve, because I’m out of several of the scrap fabrics I used!

Libby’s booth at Market Shoppe, Wetumpka

I haven’t published many patterns in the last few weeks because I’ve been working on some custom quilts. You might enjoy seeing a couple of them. The one below was to go in Market Shoppes, but Shellie Whitfield saw it and bought it before I could put it out. She’s not only the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, but she and her husband own the Big Fish House seen in Tim Burton’s Big Fish movie (filmed in my town, Wetumpka). I used Tim Burton’s “swirlie” patterns on swirly batik and made her house as well as I could:

“Big Fish House” lap quilt by LJ Christensen

Here’s my photo of the actual house, complete with the daffodils she put out as a reference to fields of daffodils in the movie.

Big Fish House, Wetumpka by LJ Christensen

OK, so I didn’t get every detail–the roof isn’t blue, for instance–but their door IS bright yellow, painted by the HGTV team of Erin and Ben Napier when they remodeled the kitchen and entry stairs.

In this close-up, you can see that I used bias tape for the porch and pillars and a button for the door handle.

Big Fish House lap quilt close-up by LJ Christensen

Below is another version I made with smaller squares for a wall hanging that’s for sale in The Kelly art gallery in Wetumpka. It has more of a “Burtonesque” feel with a nightmarish or Halloween theme, black/white squares, and ghosts in the windows.

“Haunted Fish House”

Are you inspired? Would you like to do a house of your own? Go ahead. It takes a little time, but isn’t impossible.

  1. Get graph paper and design the size of your basic squares. I like to start with 1 square = 1″, then I use two across and down for a 2″ finish (2 1/2″ cut). Sometimes small quilts will have to have 1″ finish blocks. Once you get your ratio, it’s not hard. Obviously, you can make rectangles very easily, too. If you have to tape together two pieces of graph paper, it’s OK!
  2. Before you get too far along, decide the size of your quilt. I might do 16″ down x 20 across for a wall hanging, or 42″ across x 54″ for a lap. Sketch basic shapes lightly with a pencil. When you have your shape, keep it simple, but add doors, windows, etc., to make it look right. Angles, when necessary, such as in a roof, can be made with half-square triangles.
  3. Once you get the shapes, use colored pencil or crayons to color them in.
  4. Figuring fabric amounts gets challenging. Look for pieces the same width that could be cut out of one strip. If they add up to over 42″, figure in another strip. Keep adding the inches of each strip needed. Then overestimate. It’s OK to have scraps, but not OK to run out!!
  5. As you design, also think about which pieces could join to make a block so that the quilt can be sewn in sections. I sometimes go back and make a dark black line around those.
  6. The really fun part is shopping for fabric. Look for texture as well as color. There are many choices of brick, wood, tile, and stone prints today. I even found a great background fabric with the clouds over a moon! All I had to do is cut it to place in the right location. Not everything has to be exact; it can just be a hint, like the herringbone tone-on-tone I used for roofing that reminded me of roof tiling.
  7. Just have fun! This shouldn’t be a grind; it should be a challenge, right? If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. Instead, buy MY patterns! HA!

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