The Pumpkin Spice quilt, start to finish.

Time to sneak in a blog post that’s not about the ongoing Vintage Linen Classes. What’s not to love about a warm color Fall quilt when it is cold outside!

From a pattern by Karen Walker, owner/designer of Laugh Yourself into Stitches, this is my adaptation and I’m loving it no matter what time of year it might be!

Designed to be 52×64 I added to my quilt and made it 72×90.

After digging through my fabric stash these are the “light/dark” combinations I arranged. Goldens with darks, oranges with darks, you get the picture.

Have you ever used the Magic Eight method of creating half square triangles? Simply genius and fast! If you’re not familiar, do a quick internet search.

There is a method for half square triangle (HST) placement. Position 4 small blocks with the light fabric to the inside and sew them together.

Here’s where I really went rogue. The pattern calls for 2 borders. I stayed with that idea but changed the inner border to be 1 1/2” wide and the outside border 7”.

My next step was to dig through all my old Fall applique quilt patterns looking for pumpkins and gourd motifs.

I also located my template plastic, quickly made templates for all the motifs I thought I might use on the outer border. Pumpkins, a gooseneck gourd, pumpkin stems, leaves and a squash blossom. this was a huge time saver! It’s easier to quickly draw around the outside of a plastic template than it is to trace from a pattern laid out beneath the Heat n Bond Lite. If you study the border you’ll note I ended up using only a few of the leaf motifs.

My “go to” fusible for quilting is Heat n Bond Lite.

If you’ve done much machine applique you will know it usually draws the fabric in a bit. I cut my outer border 1 1/2” larger than necessary to accommodate but I also knew that I needed a “visual” reminder of the desired finished border size. I chalked my guidelines but knowing the chalk lines would not survive all the movement necessary with the machine applique. I chose a yellow thread and a long stitch on my machine. Now I had a semi permanent visual of the parameters of my applique area. I also yellow thread stitched the center line of each of the outer borders. I should also mention that I serged the edges of my borders prior to the applique process. All the movement and handling tends to be rough on the fabric cut edges. This way I didn’t have to constantly trim away fabric fray. When I finished the applique I trimmed each of the borders to size and easily removed the yellow center line thread.

The green vine is a 3/8” wide cut on the bias. Cut with Heat n Bond Lite already fused into the back and is very easy to manipulate into swoops and curves.

To make things easier/quicker I chose only a few different colors of threads for my raw edge machine applique and detail stitching. One each of: green, orange, yellow and tan. Where possible, on each border I appliqued all of the same color at a time. In order to break up the monotony I created all the borders and then appliqued each start to finish one at a time.

See how the tiny satin stitch on the pumpkins adds dimension?

I set up my sewing room television so I could watch/listen binge on some great detective shows while stitching.

Making progress! Only one more outer border to make.

And the quilt top is finished and ready for quilting on the longarm.

When trying to decide about the quilting I realized I had a dilemma…the center really wouldn’t benefit from custom quilting yet the border cried out for it. After a lengthy phone conversation with a quilting friend I decided to do a hand guided panto in the quilt body and custom quilt the outer border. Was the panto in the body a pain to execute? Yes! Was it worth the aggravation? Again, yes!

How darling is this pumpkin edge to edge pattern! Purchased from Urban Elements, it’s titled appropriately Pumpkin Fest and is 9.75” high.

And how perfect is this variegated cone of King Tut by Superior Threads! Color: Pharoah’s Treasure. In the bobbin? Omni color #3043 Barley.

I changed to a brown needle thread to match the border fabric and outlined all of the motifs. Once finished I decided to quilt simple straight lines at 1/2” apart:

The small inner orange border needed something, but what? A simple wavy line added enough interest.

What a fun project!

Do you keep a quilting journal? Mine is invaluable to me! If I had not recorded these facts they would have soon been forgotten. My journal tells me what I did and most often why. I record the pattern designer, my adaptations, the quilt top size before quilting. I make note of the needle and bobbin thread(s) as well the batting I used. You will note I need to make a few updates to my journal because it has yet to show Hobbs 80/20 batting as well as the finished size after binding. I also keep detailed “quilting time” records.

The quilting is finished and while this picture does not show it, the binding is complete. What a wonderful project!

Happy quilting and blessings to all,


20 thoughts on “The Pumpkin Spice quilt, start to finish.

  1. Rhonda, this quilt is fantastic! I love how you shared all of the details. I always enjoy hearing about how other people work and design as I often find something that gives me a fresh perspective and stretches my creativity. I really appreciated what you shared about the applique border as I plan to make my first quilt with an appliqued border and these tips will be invaluable to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful quilt. Karen will be so pleased with all you’ve done and how you’ve made it your own. It’s in the details…and you, as always, do the best with the details. Thanks for sharing, Rhonda.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness. You are a Master Quilter with an amazing talent and imagination to make it all work. Thank you so much for sharing all your expertice and fantastic instructions. You game me ideas to do a border on the quilt you have been teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love it! What a beautiful fall quilt. Adding a basting line on the borders makes perfect sense even for designing hand appliqué borders. Journaling is also a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my! Thank you so much for this inspiration. I have an old project of appliquéd hearts that recently surfaced in my sewing space, and this has given me several ideas to complete it. I’ve been following along with the vintage Facebook class and am in awe of your dedication to your art! Thank you so much for the generous gifts you share. Quilts make the world a warmer place in which to live.


    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful! I love the color scheme! 🙂 ❤ I can't imagine what it would be like to hand-sew applique all those pumpkins and leaves, though. I know, I'm the weird one because my mind wants to see how it can be done without machines.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This quilt is perfect. Even the Quilt Inspector (kitty) is very pleased. I love how you prepared the border with the shrinkage in mind. You are so talented. I appreciate your generosity in so freely sharing your knowledge. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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