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Coming Down With Fall Fever

September 24, 2007

Pupmkinfinal.JPGIf I said I have always liked Fall, well, I'd be lying.  Returning to school always seemed to overshadow any pleasure I may have found in this season.  Now that I'm older and free as a bird, I have decided that Fall is probably my favorite season.  If I had to name the number one reason for this, I would have to say it's due to the rich palette of colors coming from the leaves and other seasonal vegetation.  I combined this adoration of beautiful reds, oranges and yellows with one of my favorite fabrics (Dupioni Silk) in my newest project - a pumpkin.   

I got the idea for this project from Tara's Blog not too long ago on Halloween projects.    I took the pincushion project, but scaled it up quite a bit. For my pumpkin, circle.JPGI used a circle that was roughly 16 inches in diameter - you can use a mixing bowl or any round object (I used a cat toy). You want it to be big enough to get a decent sized pumpkin, but not so big that you can't get an upholstery needle through the middle once it's stuffed. Cut out 2 pieces of orange fabric and sew around the edge using a 1/2" seam allowance, making sure to stop a few inches short to leave an opening for turning.  Once you are finished sewing your circles together, turn the fabric right side out and push all the seams out (so you have a nice circle again).

pumpkinstuffed.JPGNext, stuff your pumpkin to where it is pretty tightly packed, but still kind of fluffy.  I used just a cheap bag of poly filling I had laying around, and I found that it worked better if you kept the filling coming in a constant piece, as opposed to ripping off little pieces and putting them in.  When I worked with smaller pieces, my pumpkin was lumpy (my apologies to all the veteran pillow and toy stuffers out there who know the stuffing-ropes.  If I did this wrong, please note that I am a COMPLETE novice at this).   Once stuffed, you can slip stitch the opening closed. 

pumpkintied.JPGTo make pumpkin sections, grab your longest upholstery needle and a coordinating embroidery floss (for bigger pumpkins, you'll probably need the whole skein of floss). Depending on the size of your pumpkin, select the number of threads you want to use (I used all 6 and doubled them up).  If your pumpkin is on the large size, yarn would even work well.  Tie a nice big knot at the end of the string, find the center of your pumpkin, and put your needle to work.  If you used a pretty big circle, you'll really need to squeeze it flat to get the needle through to the middle of the other side.  Once through, pull the thread tight and bring the needle back to the bottom and back into the center, so that the thread stays on the outside of the pumpkin and creates a ridge.  Do this 5-7 more times (make sure to keep that thread tight), creating 6-8 even sections (depending on size and looks). 

leaffinished.JPGFor my leaf, I did a quick search of the Internet for an image of a pumpkin leaf and used it as a pattern.  I  cut out 2 pieces and sewed them together, leaving an opening at the base to turn it right side out and push the leaf points out.  You could make this step easier by using one layer of green felt, but I'm a sucker for silk so I kept going with it.  To give the leaf more detail, I did a quick blanket stitch around the edge with embroidery floss in a darker shade of green. 


stem.JPGFor the stem, I took a scrap of the green silk I used for the leaf, folded it in half, and sewed a curved line down 2 adjacent sides (see image).  I turned it, stuffed it, ran a quick stitch through the top, and pulled it closed like a drawstring bag (make sure to put a couple knots to hold the hole closed).  

pumpkin curlies.jpgSome floral wire wrapped in floral tape and spiraled around a pen made the little curlies. I stretched the wire out a little and tucked it under one of the section strings at the halfway-point of the wire.  Finally, I hot glued the curly wire and the leaf down into the center of the pumpkin and then hot glued the stem on top of them to hide the knots and unfinished edges.  I added an inexpensive bunch of silk leaves for accent and placed it all on a small table in my living room.

Part of what I like about projects like this is the ability to tweak and modify it to your own whims.  Tara had mentioned making smaller pumpkins and using them as garland, whereas I envisioned a larger version as a center piece.  I may even buy some black felt and make some temporary Jack-O-Lantern eyes and a mouth for Halloween.  If this project inspires your creativity, I want to see!  Post it up on the Fabric.com Sew & Tell Gallery and let us all share in the Fall-time fun!

Happy Stitching!

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1 Comment

I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog. I am always looking for projects like this as it really helps enhance my mood as the time flys by. It is great way to get your mind off of things and my favorite form of stress relief.

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This page contains a single entry by published on September 24, 2007 12:14 PM.

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