Painted Quilt: Pumpkin Harvest

Fall is a busy time of year from all angles. School begins for some, the weather begins to change, migratory birds lift off, and it's the season of various celebrations and observances. 

This week, in my tradition, is the holiday of Sukkot (pronounced soo-COAT), a harvest festival. We build temporary shelters, a little like gazebos, but with branches or plant material for the roof to be able to see the stars, and live in them for a week. Or at least have our meals in them. It's an old festival, probably derived from building shacks out in the fields while the grains were being harvested. It has come to also stand for a reminder of hardship, but it feels more like a connecting or reconnecting with nature. We decorate with fruits, grains, vegetables and flowers.

When I was young I heard the word "ingathering" in regards to this holiday. I'm thinking about that word again, perhaps for a future piece. I like the word "gather." And the thought of bringing people and plants and animals together.

This year, I wanted to add a new decoration to the walls I had painted long ago with my daughter. A painted quilt, I thought, that could withstand the weather. I would attach the pieced top to canvas.

Pumpkin Harvest
17"w x 22"h (43.2 cm x 56 cm)
fabric paint on cotton, canvas; machine pieced and hand quilted

I wanted to do gourds or squash. These were my preliminary sources: a photo from my walk up the hill, and a drawing in my journal of some gourds I purchased.

I started with white cotton, 22" x 30", taped to my table, and painted with acrylic fabric paint.

I made a pattern, laid it over the painting and cut out pieces. I sewed the pieces back together for a more dynamic effect. 

I hand quilted for texture and added line.

Here's how it looks in place.

We have a neighbor visiting sometimes.

He thinks this is all for him.