Fall Pumpkins Mini Quilts with fabric inspiration and ideas
Happy Friday quilty friends! With 2 weeks before Thanksgiving here in the US I wanted to share a couple of Fall inspired mini quilts. I made both of these fun quilts for my sweet friend Linda who lives in Florida. We are part of a little online quilting bee we lovingly call The Instabee Quilters. We often make blocks and swap them to create fun group quilts as well as monthly block swaps and themed secret sister swaps a few times a year. I was SO excited to get Linda’s name for our Fall themed secret sister swap this year. She has been such a great friend and really supported me after my surgery. Often checking on me and sharing advice and tips along the way. I truly am blessed to call her one of my favorite people ever!!
I could go on and on about Linda and what a great friend she is but most of you are here to learn more about the fun mini quilts. Linda’s son and daughter in law are expecting a baby girl soon and so I wanted to make her something to symbolize her 3 little pumpkins. I also wanted something else that she could display during the Fall season that wasn’t specifically Halloween or Thanksgiving. Thanks to our swap mama I knew that Linda loves to decorate for Fall and uses varying shades of orange, gray and mint/teal as her color palette. I started digging in my scraps bins and grabbed a pen and paper. I had the idea to make mini quilt or wall hanging and use a variation of a log cabin block for the pumpkins.
Every piece of fabric you see came from my scrap bins and my fabric stash but I will link up a bunch of options if you’re interested in recreating a similar look for yourself. I don’t have a pattern for this mini but if anyone is interested in more info get in touch with me and I’ll try to send you some details and measurements.
Let’s look at each of the pumpkins for some fabric ideas. Starting in the top left with the aqua/mint pumpkin.
I wanted a variety of prints starting with the lightest color in the center working my way out. Speaking in terms of tone and value in color, I wanted to stick with different values of each color. Simply put, value is the lightness or darkness of any color or hue. It is achieved by adding white or black to the chosen color. So for the aqua/mint pumpkin I stuck with similar tones in varying values. Meaning lighter and darker versions of the same color. The chart above gives you some good fabric options based on this principle that are similar to the fabrics I used.
Let’s move on to the medium orange pumpkin in the top right. Again I wanted to stick with the same idea as the aqua/mint pumpkin using different values of the same color. In this case a medium orange. For some reason I didn’t have nearly as many prints in my orange scrap bin but I have been making a concerted effort to remedy this as of late 🙂
Take a look at the chart above for some great medium orange prints that could be used for a similar themed project. I actually found a couple of the exact same prints I used. The Lori Holt Autumn Text print is SO fun!
Moving down to the bottom left there is a darker orange or rust colored pumpkin. When I was looking for fabric ideas to share with you I was so surprised to find so many great options. This was another color that I didn’t really have a ton of in my stash. A couple of the prints I used have been hanging out in my scrap bins for quite a while 😉
The gray pumpkin in the bottom right corner is just a bit different. I have TONS of gray in my fabric stash and scrap bins but you would be shocked to see how different the tone and value are in each print. Without being too strict about it I aimed to use a similar tone of gray and vary the values again. It’s not exact but overall I still think the gray pumpkin is pretty cute.
You can check out a bunch of really great options in the graphic above. I have to say Cotton + Steel has done some of my very favorite gray prints!
I used the graphic above to share some prints that are similar to what I used in the rest of the mini quilt. The background is a really light white on white dots. I used Kona Silver and Kumquat for the HSTs and and scraps from the pumpkins for the corners. None of this was planned. I approached it all with a let’s see how it goes kind of attitude and in the end I’m pretty happy with it. I paper pieced the HSTs which is my favorite method to use when I can. Yes it can take a bit more time and effort but the precision and accuracy is worth it to me.
I used a Sevenberry floral print for the back which worked perfectly. I can’t find the exact print online but I linked 2 very similar options above. I hand quilted various details around the mini quilt and machine bound it with an orange gingham print I used in the pumpkin in the top right corner.
This is the second little quilt I made for Linda as part of our swap. I planned it as a table runner but it could also be hung on the wall. This was the 3 little pumpkins idea I had to celebrate Linda’s soon to be 3 grandbabies. I didn’t have a pattern for this one either. I started by paper piecing the flying geese you see in the center of each pumpkin.
I believe the flying geese finished at 2″ x 4″ but if you’re interested in more info I’ll pull out my notes and have Linda measure exactly.
I added some different prints to either side and then “snowballed” the corner to make it a pumpkin shape.
Lastly I created a stem for each pumpkin and added background fabric on either side so I could center it in the middle of each pumpkin. I also added background between each pumpkin and on the top of bottom of all of them. I linked a bunch of black and white prints below that are similar to what I used in the flying geese in the center of each pumpkin. Any of the orange and gray prints I linked above could also be used in this mini as well.
The background is Kona white. The stems are Kona Cappuccino and the binding is Kona black.
I used an orange and white diagonal plaid by Kimberbell for the backing. I machine quilted this mini/table runner in a crosshatch pattern. I was actually able to use the fabric as my guide and avoid marking any quilting lines. Win win in my book! I attached the binding to the back of the project with my machine and then used big stitch hand quilting to attach it to the front. This is my favorite method and I use it 90% of the time.
They actually have a bunch of great Cotton + Steel prints on sale right now if you wanted to stock up like I did 😉
The photo above shows the rest of the items I included in the swap package. The diagonal seam tape is from Cluck Cluck Sew and I love it!!! The mustard color print is one I created myself and printed at home with my pigment ink printer on watercolor paper. The towels and hot mitts are from Home Goods and matched my theme package perfectly. Like me Linda is a dog lover so I couldn’t resist throwing in the Thoughts of Dog 2020 desk calendar. Now I’m regretting not ordering one for myself 😉
Linda and her hubby have been doing some home DIYs and was happy to have new towels and hot mitts that match her kitchen. I was over the moon to hear she was happy with my mini quilt, table runner and the other goodies and that she can display them during the entire fall season. Our secret sister swaps are SO much fun. I thoroughly enjoy being sneaky and gathering little goodies to share with my package.
Anyway, I hope this was fun and helpful. It is a bit time consuming to put together all the fabric ideas but I love seeing other quilters do it so I thought I would share too. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like more detailed info about either the mini quilt or the table runner. Happy Fall!!