Monday, September 14, 2009

Ruched Patchwork Pumpkins

**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!



Rachel said...

wow, extremely cute. I love the stuff that you make! thanks for sharing how!

Sunitha said...

Terrific! I love it and how ingenious you are coming up with such wonderful ideas! Thank you for sharing.

Missy Ann said...

ANOTHER fabulous little project. This has a real shot at getting made by me this fall. It's just so cute!

sweetiepie said...

What a wonderful project and such easy instructions to follow! I may even have some of these show up on my Thanksgiving table this year.

Thanks for sharing.

Geta Grama said...

Hi Arlette,

Thank you for all your great tutorials. You make such beautiful things !

Beverly said...

Yippie...I found a site that might be able to teach me to sew and use my machine!

Kristin said...

Very pretty!

annemarie said...

I love this - do you put any stuffing in it??

kodama said...

felicitaciones pòr tus trabajos son bellisimos, ,los colores que combinas me fascinan, tienes un gusto esquisito, todo es maravilloso

Suze said...

Wow, that's so cute!

Rumi said...

Adorable! How cute to scatter some of these on your table or tuck around other places in your home. Thanks!

Carla said...

Those are really cute! What a great bowl filler. Thanks!

Amy said...

This is too cute, Lettie. Although I've not had much time at the machine around here, I'd love to make one for the simple joy I know it would bring me.

Hope you are having a wonderful day.


Susan @ Blackberry Creek said...

Love your pretty patchwork pumpkins.

Anonymous said...

I heart your clever little projects!

Magia da Inês said...

Olá amiga!
Passei para rever seu cantinho e as novidades.
Gosto muito do seu trabalho.
É muito criativo, lindo e alegre!...
Espero você em:
Um ótimo dia!
Beijinhos carinhosos.
Itabira - Brasil

Encarni said...

Hello! Thank you for all your great tutorials. Encarni from Spain.

Blanket America said...

Oh lovely...they can be beautiful decorative items on corner tables etc.Love the designs and hanks for the easy step wise guidance.I am sure to try my hands on it.

heritage patchwork

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic tutorial! As soon as I saw it, I wanted to make one - badly! I wanted mine to be more "pumpkiny" in shape so I added 4 more segments to make a total of 12 and made each segment 12" long instead of 10 and it turned out beautifully. Now I have a lovely Ruched Pumpkin Pincushion (on a stand so I can see it when I'm sewing) that will give me joy for many years! I only jabbed myself with the needle once! I have put photos up of my pincushion on my blog should anyone wish to see it.

My pumpkin ended up being about 13 cm wide (about 5 1/2")and about 9 cm high (about 3 1/2" high.)