Although I’ve lived in my current home for about 5 years, there is still a lot of decorating to do in it. For some reason, the idea of ‘all at once’ decorating has never appealed to me. I’d rather live with bare walls and spaces while I look for just the right piece of art or furniture that speaks to me. I know I need to work on this more diligently, because my son often reports back about “cozy homes” when he visits his friends — gulp.
My formal living room has been the most barren room since we moved in, but recently I’ve created a cozy reading nook in a corner of it by pulling together a soft stuffed rocker, an antique chestnut game table that was stashed in my basement and a wool accent rug that I found at an estate sale. The chestnut table seriously needs refinishing but the wood still requires protection from damp liquids <wine? milk? cider?
water–water –ha– who am I kidding!?!>.
Clearly this cozy corner requires a table topper. So I pulled together scraps of fall-inspired fabrics and cut out (36) 5.5″ squares. I focused on browns, purples, golds, greens and dusky reds. When I was visiting Cindy this summer she gifted me with a bag of scraps that included some wonderful shirting fabrics that helped me stay with the theme while providing a bit of brightness to the proceedings.
While I was cutting the squares, I spied my Creative Grids Dresden ruler and started thinking — how could I use that ruler in a different way? Behold, Garret X. Gobble Jr.:
To create Garret, I used the ruler to I cut out six (6) 3″ half blades in bright colors. I sewed them together to make the tail feathers and rounded the unit out a bit. Next, I found a hexagon template by Darlene Zimmerman and cut out Garret’s fat body and then quickly cut one more brown blade for his head. I used my scissors to shape his head a bit. I found a scrap of red for his wattle and cut it free-hand style.
When I assembled Garret, I realized that bottom of the feathers created too much bulk under the body, so I traced a chalk line from where the body and the feathers met and trimmed them off and attached them with a pin until I was ready to begin the applique. I placed Garret on-point so that he would be the centerpiece of the topper as it drapes over the table. The shirting scrap was a bit too flimsy for applique, so I layered it with a 5.5″ square of muslin to give it a little more body while I hand-stitched Junior in place.
Using my applique needle and pearl cotton thread (size 8) I created a beak, legs and an eye. Shout out to my quilting mentor and her mother and the Girl Scouts –which is where I learned to embroider many, many years ago! My skills are very rusty, but somehow, amazingly, the process is still stored in the back of my brain.
After Garret was complete, it was simple to assemble the rest of the squares. For quilting, I decided on a simple grid in chocolate brown using Gutermann thread and my Bernina walking foot.
The last piece of the cozy corner was a lamp I found at an estate sale at this adorable doll house where, it turns out, a quilter once lived.
Besides the lamp, I also found some quilting supplies and rulers at the sale that I am going to gift to a friend who wants to learn to quilt. I hope the previous owner would be pleased that her tools will help inspire a new enthusiast.
Let’s all ignore the boring paint color behind my cozy corner and the grievous lack of any wall art, but I am very excited about my cozy corner just in time for the fall holidays.
You can download the pattern for Garret X. Gobble Jr. table topper by clicking on the link below:
We’ll also be posting this pattern to FaveQuilts website. Be sure to stop by this site for lots of fall and Thanksgiving inspiration. There are literally hundreds of FREE patterns posted as well as videos, tutorials, helpful tips…everything you need for quilting inspiration!