Autumn Pumpkin

At the beginning of August I realized that the Kansas State Fair was coming up and that this year I was not going to be on vacation while it was on. So I got the bright idea to enter a couple of items. You know, get a little more tatting out there for people to see.  The fair only has one class for tatting and you can only enter one project but they have a couple of other categories that tatting could fit in if you do it right.  

With the fair so close I thought I would take something I've already made for the tatting category.  I looked through the pieces I haven't given away or sold and decided on the Martha doily I did back in February. The rules state the items must be made within the last two years, so it works out okay.

The other category I thought I'd try is the "Holiday Decoration other than Christmas".  This is the same category I entered the spider in a few years ago.  But what to make?  And for what holiday?  No idea just jumped out at me so I made a list of holidays and what was associated with each. Then I searched for patterns that looked interesting or fun.  I decided on Mark Meyer's "Autumn Pumpkin".

"Autumn Pumpkin" by Mark Meyers tatted, using Half Rings
"Autumn Pumpkin" © Mark Meyers 2009
with stem tatted by Wanda Salmans

The entire pumpkin is tatted with one shuttle, no chains.  It's not really hard, just different.  The outside is done first then you fill in the center piece by piece, then add the stem, then the leaf.  I think I started each individual piece at least three times. The start of the pumpkin at the top still doesn't look that good.  When the stem was added per the pattern the rest of the pumpkin puckered a bit so I added one more ring to it.  Now it lays much better.

"Autumn Pumpkin" by Mark Meyers with leaf, tatted in Half Rings
"Autumn Pumpkin" © Mark Meyers 2009
with leaf added tatted by Wanda Salmans

The top part of the pumpkin still looks a little off but with the leaf added it disguises it a bit. Maybe the judges won't notice ***fingers crossed***

Of course, that doesn't mean it was done as an entry.  The category is "holiday decoration" not "tatted applique, finished" so the next step was to decide how to finish it as a decoration.  While at Jo-Ann's the other day (before the actual tatting had begun) I had purchased some brown material with this in mind.  When the pumpkin was done this material was too dark, completely hiding the brown stem.  With time getting short a quick trip to Walmart saved the day.  They don't have nearly the fabric selection as Jo-Ann's but it was the closest place available and did have a something that would work.

Just having a background material wasn't enough - the pumpkin by itself just didn't look like a finished decoration.  So further tatting had to be done.  The day before it had to be taken in I thought it was done, but when looking at the picture I had taken of it there just looked to be something not quite finished about it.

"Autumn Pumpkin" by Mark Meyers, tatted, on background
"Autumn Pumpkin" © Mark Meyers 2009
almost finished tatted by Wanda Salmans

A late night was in order to add a finishing touch.

"Autumn Pumpkin" by Mark Meyers, tatted, ready for the Kansas State Fair 2015
"Autumn Pumpkin" © Mark Meyers 2009
 ready for the State Fair tatted by Wanda Salmans

I think this looks a bit more finished.  I didn't have time to take a picture in better light as a friend offered to take it to the fair with her as she was taking her quilt in, so I let her (with many thanks!)

This category has all types of textile mediums entered and, from what I've seen in previous years, a lot of people put in a lot more thought and time into their entries than I do.  I'm hoping for a ribbon but not really expecting one with all the marvelous competition.  But this will get tatting out there in front of people in a way that isn't a doily or an edging (which I like, by the way, but some people aren't interested in them so much).

I'll be going to the State Fair next week to see how I've done and to check out all the fabulous things people have made.  I'm hoping there are a lot of tatting entries - wouldn't that be cool?

"If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair.  Because five minutes a the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty..'"
Jeff Foxworthy

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