Friday, October 10, 2008

Tutorial: Simple Patchwork Pumpkins (and a Giveaway!)

I really love pumpkins and when the Halloween season comes along I squeak like an over excited toddler when ever I see a pumpkin patch. Each year I have been here (did I mention it is 5 now!) I have insisted on carving pumpkins. When we were little no one celebrated Halloween in the UK - in fact if someone did ring your doorbell you didn't answer it for fear of having eggs thrown at you or something horrible like that. So the discovery of dressing up, stupid amounts of candy, tacky decorations (our front lawn was so nearly decorated in polystyrene tombstones last year - until I realized ... at the check out ... tombstones in hand ... that it might lead to divorce) and of course - pumpkins!!

Last year I made some life sized patchwork pumpkins.
They were very luxurious and really quite beautiful. I used recycled silk ties and lovely thick upholstery cord to tie around the pumpkins. However lovely they were - and they were certainly big - they deemed to be totally impractical for selling on Etsy due to postage costs!

Here is my tutorial for making your own simple patchwork pumpkin. My version this year is much smaller - but the tutorial will help you make any sized pumpkin - it is up to you. Remember that pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes - so if you think your sewing is too dodgy or your stuffing is too lumpy - it won't matter in the least - throw caution to the wind and dive on in!!

Simple Patchwork Pumpkin
You will need:
- colorful fabric- yellows, gold, oranges
- thread for sewing
- some sort of stuffing - I tend to use Poly-fil
- selection of yarn, thread, cord - NOTE: you will need 12 x the length of your template
- felt for leaf (optional)

1. Make your template. Your template can be any size - as long as it is this sort of eye shape - it will work.

2. Cut out the template out 6 times from different fabrics. This is a great way to use up all those small pieces of fabric you have lying around - sew pieces together to make patchwork strips ...... and then cut out the templates. Each section of the pumpkin can be as plain or as 'patchworked' as you like.

3. Sew the shapes - one by one - together to make a ball. Remember you need 6 pieces sewn together make a pumpkin. Leave part of the last seam open - this will allow you to turn the pumpkin right side out. Turn your pumpkin right side out and stuff. Sew shut the open seam.

4. Now you need to cut your yarn/thread that will wrap around the pumpkin. You will need 12 x the length of your template. My template here was 5 inches long so I cut 60" of mixed yarns. I chose to use 4 strands of yarn - a dark green, light green, yellow and a cream. There are so many things you could use to add decorative detail here - ribbons, sequins, lace etc - just experiment!

5. Tie your yarns around your pumpkin (I twisted my yarns together as I went.) Make sure the yarn is tightly squeezing the ball - this will help give the 'pumpkin' shape. You will find that knotting the yarn at each 'junction' will help it stay in place.
Make sure you make a nice strong knot at the top of the pumpkin.
6. Once you have tied the yarn around your pumpkin - you will want to make a stalk. Select one strand of yarn and use it to wrap around the other strands. I used a simple slip knot which I repeated (keeping it nice and tight) until I didn't have any yarn left and a little stalk was left at the top of the pumpkin.
Tie a knot at each end of each yarn strand and trim to your desired length.

You can add a little leaf to your pumpkin if you wish. I cut a pumpkin leaf from green felt and tied the leaf to the stalk of the pumpkin.

So what to do with my little pumpkins. Well this little pumpkin is just the perfect size for a pincushion ...... and if you would like to win this little pumpkin pincushion - all you have to do is leave a comment on my blog (remember to leave an e-mail address so I can find you) before midnight (EST) on October 23rd!

UPDATE: Pumpkin was won by Donna from Cottage Days & Journeys. Number was selected by the Truly Random Number Generator!

141 comments:

April said...

Oh that is so adorable! I would love to win it please!

April xx

Email address is on my blog page!

Leah said...

Dash it - I thought I was first!!

As I'm always throwing my pins around this would come in really handy!!

Such an easy tutorial to follow, so I think if I don't win your giveaway I'll make my own!!

Sarah said...

Very cool! I love the colors!

Sue Cahill said...

I love the pumpkin and the tutorial is well done, I want to make a little pumpkin patch of my own this weekend. I would love to win of course. Thanks for the chance.
Sue Cahill (sbonetsue at yahoo dot com)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting the how-to's! I can't wait to make these!
Christine

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

What a fabulous tutorial! The pincushion looks so cute. Love the life sized ones you made - using silk ties was most inspired!

bunzi said...

it's so pretty. i need to get a sewing machine. :D i like it!

Meg said...

I LOVE this idea.

I hope to make some soon.


onourwayonline.com

meg @ onourwayonline (dot) com

hetty said...

Oh, this is great! I have always wanted to make some pumpkins. Thanks for the tutorial.

Trish said...

This is too cute!! I've just finished a strawberry pincushion and it kinda sorta looks like a strawberry! :O) So, I'm trying this one tonight!!! Woo Hoo! Thanks for the great tutorial. And don't worry, if I win yours, I won't try to pass it off as mine. No one in my family would believe me!! ;)

Pat said...

OMGosh how cute! I will have to try this. Thanks.

elaine said...

Love the little pumpkin! I'm going to try to make one also.
Elaine R
emrosser@shaw.ca

annemarie said...

What a marvelous pincushion - love your tutorial. Hope I am the lucky winner!! Thanks. Anne a.haun@abcglobal.net

driftwood said...

great tutorial, pumpkins are such lovely things!

Susan said...

What a great pumpkin and tutorial. thanks, you did a great job...
Please add my name to your pot.
thanks
Susan.
susan.molnar@att.net
www.susansews.blogspot.com

Esther said...

I love the little pumpkins, just wish I could sew!! I am going to make some little knitted pumpkins for hallowe'en :oP My e-mail is hetty24tigger@yahoo.com for the giveawat. many thanks!

Chandler said...

That pumpkin is adorable! I certainly would ot object to winning it. :D

Ragnvaeig said...

What a lovely idea! I might have to try making these as gifts.

PG said...

Oh lovely, (I am rubbish at working out patterns, how clever of you). I might try this, I could do with a new pincushion and I need to get sewing again...your big ones from last year are simply lovely.

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi,

Your pumpkins are great! I have the perfect spot for one in my studio! LOL
Thanks for sharing your tutorial with all of us.

Hugs,
Norma

Trudy said...

I love that pumpkin PC! Please enter my name in the contest.
Thanks!

Heather said...

so cute! I'd love to win

thanks for sharing your ideas.

Janie said...

Oh I need a new PC bad, this one would be wonderful

Janie in MO
Email on my blog

Rachel said...

The pumpkins are so very cute. I'm going to try this...when I get some 'free' time. Thanks for sharing your pattern. In the meantime, I'd LURVE to be entered in your draw.
Rachel

Kellie said...

Rachael I can't wait to have a go at these thanks for the tutorial!!!

Alison Boon said...

Sew good you're able to sew again. Love the pumpkins.

Liz said...

Love the Pumpkin !!
Please enter me in your giveaway, it would look great next to my ghost :-)
Liz

Donna said...

What a great tutorial! Please enter me in your generous giveaway too! You can post a comment on my blog to get in touch with me.

Iowa Sunshine said...

Wow! Your pumpkins out of ties are SO wonderful! I absolutely love them! Thank you for the great tutorial. I may just be able to do it. =) Thank you also for the giveaway. I never win but i love to leave comments on peoples creativity anyway! BIG HUGS

ariyana9501 said...

That is so awesome! I wish I was that good! Thanks for the contest! I'd love to win the pumpkin!

reb said...

That is so cute.

rebbi511 at peoplepc.com

Tonya said...

That is so cute. Enter me too!

Skiffywife said...

Wow, loved the directions. You are really talented.

davedana@aye.net

jenny said...

wow this is realy cute i love to win this thanks

Sandy said...

this is adorable

sophiecat said...

What a sweet little pumpkin; I'd love to win it.

Tricia said...

I have that same pumpkin in a large pattern. I bought it at a yard sale several years ago. I would love this one to go with my sewing things. Thanks for the give away.

Jenn S. said...

Nice pincushion. You are so creative. I would love to win it.

Viv said...

I'd love to win this in time for Halloween...

Think about it said...

i want to win, that looks neat

Judy said...

So very cute! Love to win!

judy7885atgmaildotcom

Carolyn said...

well..... if that isn't the cutest little pumpkin ever!! I want one!!!

Carolyn
thebarberbunch.blogspot.com

dana said...

What a great idea to use old ties as the fabric for your wonderful pumpkins. Your tutorial is just great---thank you.
So, you're back in NY now? I hope you're settled and it seems you're back to creating! I hope you have a chance to enjoy some lovely East Coast fall scenery, too!!
Dana

LizzieJane said...

Lovely pattern Rachael, thank you. I hope you are all settled in your new place, I guess one good thing is that they will have some amazing fabric and yarn stores in New York, you will make us all green with envy!
Kathy
x

Deedles said...

What an adorable pincushion. Love it!

redron said...

want to win this

Things Hand Made said...

What a good idea to use silk ties.

tatertot374 said...

Thank you for having this! I would love to win this. Fantastic giveaway! THank you!
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

janetfaye said...

I love your adorable Pumpkin!

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

mogrill said...

So so cute! Your really have a gift!

danosor said...

What a great idea.

okbarbie5 said...

I love your pincushions expecially the ones in the red and pinks! Hope I win one!!

countrygirl3031 said...

Count me in...I love them!

Hugz,
Michele

mary grace said...

cute! i love fall and pumpkins are starting to peek out of every corner at my house as well :) thanks for the great tutorial -- even if i don't win i might just have to try this one for myself! :)

Debbie said...

so cute!! I am just learning how to sew, so this would be perfect to add to my list of needs :)
rough6@sbcglobal.net

Christy@pipandsqueak said...

So cute!

Paige said...

Thanks for the tutorial - I love the pincushions!

Lara said...

So creative. If I don't win, I will have to make one for myself...

Rebekah said...

this is so cute! Thanks for posting the tutorial :)

M.A. said...

You've created a precious pincushion pumpkin!

toughturtles said...

that would comre in vert handy

Sommer said...

Pick me. I love pumpkins and i need a pincushion

Lisa said...

Absolutely fabulous. What a great way to use up some smaller pieces of fabric and come out with something useful as well.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win this cute pincushion.
-Terra
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

R. Hübner said...

Hi!
Your pumpkins are adorable!! If the contest is on for other countries please count me in!
I'm from Brazil
rafahubner@gmail.com
Thank you

K said...

That's so cute - I'm thrilled to have a pattern and tute to go along with the inpiration pics.

I love pumpkins and deperately need new (and interesting) pincushions, so I really hope I win the giveaway, too. :)

Kat
nightfall@hotmail.com

quiltygal said...

Hi Racheal thanks for your comment on my "new" sewing room it doesnt bother my hubby he has a room out back with his computer in it & hes not much of a tele watcher as for the footy its me that watches it not him hes not sports minded at all!! Im the one that sits up late at night to watch the rugby!! could you please include me in your draw I love pumpkin!!
quiltygal@hotmail.com

Melony at Whimsy Daisy! said...

Good job, and great pumpkin! I love the fabrics you mixed.

kenglish2 said...

Ooooh, that pumpkin would look so cute by my sewing machine!
kathy e

SewMuchFabric said...

I have been making a 'theme' pincushion for every month this year and now I have a 'Great Pumpkin' pattern! Thank you for your wonderful inspiration!

Treasuresofjoy said...

I would love to win that!! I know I could make one but I have other WIP's going on right now!

Anonymous said...

Cuuuute! I'm going to make these with my daughter!

krismarie (at) aol.com

Anonymous said...

Oh this is so cute. I'll have to make some with my daughter.
Jenni
jkim6031 at cinci(.)rr(.)com

castaways said...

These are adorable! Love the fabric!

Loralee said...

I have been crafting for almost 30 years now and do you know I STILL haven't made myself a pin cushion?! Here's hoping...

Loralee said...

..and I won't have a chance of winning if I don't give you my email: loralee13@verizon.net

titicandia said...

Love the little pumpkin! Your blog is beautiful.
Congratulation! kisses from Chile,
Titi

Gardening Mommy said...

So adorable! My favorite season is fall (and it is just too short in my area of the world)! Thanks for the chance to win and the generous tutorial!

Kitty said...

They are simply gorgeous. I'm a big Halloween/pumpkin fan as well.

grrl at supergrrl.com

vboackle said...

so cute.

Nesa said...

I would love to have that pumpkin. I made crocheted pumpkin this year.

Jenny said...

Hey Bunny Girl! What an easy to follow tutorial you've written. I always get caught up and tie myself up in words. Good luck with your giveaway. Hope that you meet lots of lovely folk! Jen

Susan said...

Very cute, cant wait to try it.
Thanks!

dulcet_ambrosia said...

Oh! I love pumpkins too! I love seeing them all jumbled up waiting for someone to take them home...

Deb said...

How very adorable! I would love to be entered to win. Thanks!

periwinkle said...

wow, 84 comments already... I so need a pincushion, at the minute all my pins are stuck on the inside lid of my 20 yr old sewing basket :-o... I love the way the USA dresses everything up for Halloween, I wanted to put up some Halloween decs but was told in no uncertain terms I can't do it until it's actually Halloween!!!
Lisa x

littlelatina said...

super cute

robyn said...

wanted to let you know i featured this tutorial over at craftandfound.com!

Rachel said...

Cute tutorial Rachael! Just to let you know I've picked you for an award! Pop on over to my blog to pick it up. Rx

Anonymous said...

The design is very attractive but I have found polyfill is not a very good filling for pincushions. It seems to attract moisture and rust needles if they are left for more than a few days. Bran is sometimes suggested but I usually use wool fleece. Probably wool yarn scraps would work as well, but not acrylic.

Terri said...

I love it!!! Great giveaway

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

These are so cute! I'll be linking to this project.

Kari said...

Thanks for posting this! Looks wonderful, I'll try it!

Nanna said...

This is adorable! I need a pincushion.

JoAnna said...

So cute! I'm going to try to make these with my girls.

Roseanna Bogley said...

Love, love, love, fall and pumpkins! This is adorable and the tutorial is great!

Karen said...

So cute - count me in please.

ktgonyea at gmail.com

momof2gr8kids said...

WHAT A GREAT IDEA THANKS FOR SHARE!!!

eluckstead said...

What a lovely concept, and finished product! I could use a pincushion, too.

masonsgranny59 said...

ty for the easy tutorial!

Rozz said...

Clever pumpkin pin cushion.

MichelleB said...

Adorable! I need to try to make that. Hopefully mine will be as cute as yours!

talia said...

Rachael i LOVE this little pumpkin! I would love to win it so much!!!! My e-mail is on my blog ;)

Thank you for the tutorial as well!
Cheers,
Talia

KSinMT said...

So clever. Thank you for the opportunity to win!! Kathy
kschenckATbresnanDOTnet

Suze said...

Your pumpkins are so cute. I downloaded a pumpkin pattern from somewhere...I can't remember, but I haven't had the chance to make it yet. Maybe if I win one I won't have to...heh, heh.

Molly C. said...

That is just the most adorable little thing! Thank you so much for the tutorial- I will have to make these for my kids teachers for Christmas.

Erre54 said...

grazie grazie
ciao dall'italia
Mrita

Jessilyn82 said...

These are so beautiful! I'd have this on display next to my sewing machine, they're way too cute to hide away in a drawer.

inge said...

it's really adorable!

Apple Valley said...

OOoo, I love Halloween too and also get very excited!

Your pincushion is lovely adn I would love to win it.

If not I will have to try and make one myself!!

amy.cousins@btopenworld.com

sla said...

Cutest thing I have seen in a long time! Love it!
Sher

Sue Farrell said...

I'm totally incompetent with a sewing machine--so the only way I will ever have one of these cute little pumpkins is to win one.

farrell@crosslake.net

bison61 said...

the pumpkin is so cute

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

peachens1962 said...

OMGosh! Too cute. I am going to have to make one of these for my mother-in-law who loves to sew. Thanks!

abasketforyou said...

Just discovered your site and wow , your blog is amazing
would love to win the pumpkin
abasketforyou@aol.com
thanks for all the inspiration
Blessings
Michelle

purplepassion126 said...

So cute. . . and thanks for the do-it-yourself instructions!

Renee G said...

These are darling. I may have to try making these with some fabric I have around here.

rsgrandinetti @ yahoo.com

Deci said...

Really cute, I might just try it. I just bought a new sewing machine and really need a pincushion.

xiviocountry said...

Very cute. I may try to make this as a gift. :)

DMarti2620 said...

I would love to win this!

yellowlabs said...

Very cute! I would love to win this.

Middy said...

You have such a talent and this is really creative! Autumn is absolutely my favorite season and this would be a wonderful thing to have!

lunadelmar said...

I care for my 4 and 5 yr old granddaughters daily. i have been teaching them to sew. I have a ratty old tomatoe pincushion I have had forever. I would love to be able to have this in my sewing box and to be able to use it with my granddaughters. Thank you for a really beautiful craft
lunadelmar_99@yahoo.com

autumnbride7 said...

This is simply adorable!!

blueviolet said...

That is so cute! I love your tutorial; you make it sound so easy to make. But you know mine wouldn't turn out like yours, right?
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

arvard said...

The pumpkins are clever and cool.

kendra22 said...

so cute! thanks for the opp! what a cute idea

Swtlilchick said...

The pin cushion is so cute.I
have always liked pumpkins.It
is so natural.Very crafty.Thanks
for the giveaway

CharlieGurl57@aol.com

klp1965 said...

PLEASE COUNT ME IN ON THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY :)

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am just beginning sewing and knitting and I just adore you and your projects. I have used some off your instructions to make somethings. Thank you for all that you've helped me with. I would love to have this great patchwork pumpkin,(I would think of it as your autograph. I used a few of your patterns to make toys for the kids in the hospital that is near me. They are very glad. My email is priyanka.04@hotmail.com.Thanks again, for everything.

purango said...

Thus pincushion is beautiful. I would love to win it. garrettsambo@aol.com

Sahm Lee said...

Too cute! Thanks for the contest!
airalynn(@)gmail . com

bev said...

That's a great idea. It makes a really cute pincushion. Thanks for having the contest!

donna444444 said...

Thanks for the info.
donna444444@yahoo.com

Samantha P said...

so cute! i love it!

bndraldy said...

Great tutorial! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway!

Carine Calé said...

Dear Rachael,
Your tutorial is wonderful!!!
Thank you very much!!!
I posted a link to it on my blog. Feltro-Aholic.
All the Best!!!!
Carine

Dans Kursu said...

always share the most beautiful place this is
thanx.

Dans Kursu said...

Thanks is always nice to share

Dans Kursu said...

very good cool style thank you.

Marcia_bordados said...

Adorei,vou tentar fazer uma.Abraços

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