Tis the season to be gathering pumpkins! While I am not a fan of Halloween, I have a great appreciation for Pumpkin Pie, cute scarecrows, autumn leaves that crunch underneath my shoes, sweaters, and big showy Chrysanthemums.
This year we didn't plant pumpkins. But my Sister lives in Small Town America with a yard nearly as big as a football field, thus plenty of space for a large garden. Brother-in-law grew up on a farm, so he produces a great yield with his tomatoes, beans, strawberries, okra, and pumpkins. Last week I got a tour of everything, including The Great Pumpkin Patch. They've got plenty for decorating outdoors, more for pies, and will have enough for their grandchildren to come over and pick out what they want.
My pumpkins come from the sewing room. If you are like me and don't want to pay by-the-pound prices for the orange globes, follow this tutorial I've prepared and decorate your home with clever abandon in just a matter of minutes.
Collect fabrics in oranges, browns, and even something unexpected, like this variegated piece DL gave me from her trip to Ghana last year. Cut the fabric into circles about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. (You can make larger pumpkins later, after you understand how this works)
With needle and thread, knot your thread and make a quick running stitch all around each circle, about 1/4 inch from the raw edge.
Thread color does not matter for this step.
Gently pull up the thread a little and then fill the inside with poly fiberfill. Fill it well, but not too firmly.
Pull up that gathering stitch you made all around the edges and knot it off so that it looks like this.
Now your thread color does matter. Choose an embroidery floss that is complimentary to your fabric color. I switched to a needle with a much larger eye and threaded all 6 strands through it. Definitely make a good knot at the end of the thread.
Insert your needle through the area on your pumpkin where you pulled up your gathering stitch and knotted it tight. Poke the needle with the embroidery floss all the way through the pumpkin (from top to bottom) and then wrap the thread on the outside of the pumpkin, forming the indentation you see above. Insert your needle in the top of the pumpkin again and repeat this step so that your pumpkin begins to look like this (below). I make about 5 indentations -- plenty for a pumpkin of this size.
For the leaves and stem, you will need some twine and 2 different scraps of green fabric. Cut the green fabric about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. You will need 2 of these strips for each pumpkin. Also cut your twine to about 14 inches long.
Lay the twine down first, then your darker green strip on top of that, and the lighter green strip on top of it all.
Make a knot with the twine so that the greens are held together.
With your smaller needle and thread (preferably thread in green or brown), hand-sew the "leaves" and twine stem to the top of the pumpkin. After sewing this down, knot and cut the thread. Then tie the twine into a bow; trim the ends to the length you want.
Here are my pumpkins. I made 12 in less than 2 hours. Turn on your favorite radio station (K-Love, perhaps?) or a teaching podcast (try Dr. Charles Stanley) to really benefit from the time spent in your sewing room.
Admittedly these pumpkins are not edible, but you can always buy cans of pumpkin pie filling at the grocery store.