**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**
One of the many things that I remember about my maternal grandparents home was the surinam cherry tree that grew next to their front porch. As a child, I looked forward to visiting and gorging on those sweet-scented gems. The surinam cherry is perfectly described in this post by Junglegirl. It's unique taste and fragrance stays forever ingrained in your senses, making it impossible to forget.
This is my fabric interpretation of those wonderful little orange jewels.
Oh, do I have a childhood story about surinam cherries, but I won't go there. Let's just say that it has something to do with a smooth, round, surinam cherry pit, a little girl, and a nose. (Don't worry, little Sis, I won't tell. Your secret is safe with me. hehehehe!) These cherries have always reminded me of little pumpkins, therefore, it was just a matter of time before they would evolve into these ruched fabric patchwork pumpkins.
To create these, begin by cutting eight 2" x 10" strips of coordinating fabric.
Sew the strips together using a 1/4" seam. Press all seams open.
This will create a flat rectangle of patchwork fabric.
With a pencil, place a mark 1-inch in from the raw edge on each seam intersection on the wrong side of the fabric. Do this on both the top and bottom of the piece.
Using your sewing machine set to it's longest stitch (you can also hand sew and gather like I did on the surinam cherry), stitch in the ditch between the two dots. Backstitch in the beginning of each row of stitching to anchor the thread but leave the ends open for gathering.
Gather each row of stitching until the piece measures 5-1/2-inches from raw edge to raw edge. Bring all threads to the wrong side of the fabric and securely tie off. Trim off excess thread.
Take the piece back to the sewing machine and sew it into a tube by placing right sides together. Again, finish ruching this seam in the same manner as the others.
To close the bottom: Working from the wrong side of the fabric tube, take a running stitch 1-inch in from the raw edge, using the pencil markings as your guide.
Draw thread tightly together and knot off securely. Turn right side out. Stuff with fiberfil.
Finishing touches: Working from the right side, take a running stitch at the top, 1-inch in from the raw edge, again using the pencil markings as your guide. Before tying off, create a stem by taking a 2-1/2" by 6" piece of brown felt, rolling it up tightly starting at the short end. Use a small amount of fabric glue to secure the end of the felt to prevent it from unraveling. Place one side of the stem into the top of the pumpkin, gathering the fabric tightly around it while tucking the raw edges to the inside. Take several stitches to secure the stem to the pumpkin before cutting the thread. To create the leaves, place floral wire between 2 layers of green fabric and secure it together using Heat 'n Bond fusible. Cut leaf shapes around the wire. (You can also substitute store bought leaves if you desire). Wrap the wired leaves securely around the base of the stem, curling the excess wire by wrapping it around a pen or a dowel.
There you have it. A wonderful ruched patchwork pumpkin to celebrate the bounty of the season!
Have a sweet day!