Monday, November 9, 2020

The Great Pumpkin Collage


I finished my first collage quilt this weekend! It was super fun once I got into the rhythm of it. I learned a lot and I'm glad I started small because it can get out of control quickly if you let it. This was my warm up/ practice project because I have plans to make the Laura Heine Snow Globe for Christmas. I know I'm nuts, but I think that's been established for quite some time... 

My friend Janet gave me a cute pumpkin drawing to get me started. She suggests looking online for coloring pages or simple clip art pumpkins and just enlarge to the size you like. Make any adjustments to suit your taste. It's not only a great way to get good outline shape for a pumpkin, but any simple shapes you might need.

After I laid out the pumpkin pieces, I started adding the fussy cut elements (that I had already added fusible to on the back) and it's easy to see how one can get really carried away! It was fun adding little bits and pieces all over the place, but in the end, I decided to add some but not all of the options. for those of you that know me, you won't be surprised that some selvages made it onto the final layout!

Once everything was fused, I was able to layer it and start the grid quilting. I began with a simple beige thread and sewed lines through the center and along the edges to serve as my basting. Then I added randomly spaced lines throughout the quilt in a grid. It was so fun that I decided to add additional color threads. The more the merrier!

Once again, the hard part was knowing when to stop! I could have continued with more thread colors and more quilting but decided to stop when most of the lines were about 1/4 inch apart. I did not mark any of the lines, I just used a walking foot and it's not perfect but it's 'organic' and I like that!

Here it is all quilted and just waiting for the binding. usually go with a dark binding but I didn't want it to stand out too much, so I went with this neutral print. It is a favorite and was already laying on my work surface. See what I mean when I say all of my quilts are mystery quilts, even I don't know what they're going to look like in the end? It's a fun perspective and sounds more professional that 'flying by the seat of your pants'! LOL

As you can see in this photo from the back, it is heavily quilted and could probably stand up on it's own. It is about 16 inches square and I used 3 full bobbins for the quilting alone. I added the binding by machine. I sewed the binding to the front, and then put an invisible thread in the bobbin before stitching the binding down from the back. Because the quilt was small and so stiff from all the quilting, the binding went on like a dream!

I hope you enjoyed the story of my first pumpkin! I'm no expert at collage by any means but if you want to try it, here are some resources for you to check out.

Note: you will use much more fusible and pattern ease than you realize. I was shocked at how much fusible I went through for this tiny project. (probably more than a yard!)



  1. Thank you for the tutorial.. boy would I like to try that! Looks like a lot of fun!

  2. Wow, that turned out beautifully, Diane. I’ve been so focused on sewing for Christmas that autumn sewing has totally gotten skipped this year. So I’m totally enjoying your project!!

  3. I am so inspired to try this! Your pumpkin collage is just perfect for a mini to hang on a door in lay on a table this season. I want to try this too!

  4. It's a great collage - just terrific. I love your background, with the selvages - that's fun.

  5. I love it Diane !! What a beautiful mini !!

  6. Beautiful! Thanks for describing your process, it sounds like the kind of fun I would like to try.

  7. Diane, this is just fantastic! I have a question . . . did you pick the template for your pumpkin separate from the leaves and embellishments? I did click on the link for clip art (I use clip art for templates all the time), and I saw several cute pumpkins, and even some with leaves, but nothing as cute as what you've put together! Aaaah...I read more carefully; fussy cut! Love it. I think you're in good shape to tackle the snow globe, which at first glance appears incredibly ambitious, but after seeing the detail you've worked out for your pumpkin, I think it'll come together pretty easily for you!! Thanks for sharing! : )

  8. I love the plaids! I've also been carried away with a Laura Heine pattern, the Fox. I fussy cut so many flowers, ended up using about half of them, and now stick the leftovers here and there on other small projects. I've also used coloring books as applique patterns when my GD was all about dinosaurs. It's thrifty option. Thanks for a bit of motivation, as if I needed another squirrel!

  9. Love it! It turned out so cute! Having quilted a couple client LH collage quilts, I appreciate the work that goes into these.

  10. What a great finish! I love anything autumn and this can be used from
    September through Thanksgiving. It looks like a fun project.

  11. It's awesome Diane. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy Hollidays

  12. What a fun fall project. Thanks for the idea. I've never tried that method. I may give it a go.

  13. Your mixture of background fabrics with some selvage enhancement fits right in with your primitive style pumpkin. I'll have to look up the snow globe one. I've seen a number of Laura Heine patterns I'd love to try, but I think I'd need to take a class to accomplish one. It's an intriguing technique.

  14. This is super cute! Love all the details, including the little bit of selvage.:)


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