Monday, September 11, 2017

Pattern: Primitive Wool Pumpkin

Inspired by the change of season and motivated by a need to bust my stash, here's a little wool pumpkin for you.

Buy your wool at the local quilt shop or use blanketing, wool felt, or reused wool coats or slacks.

This is a great projects for bringing a little Halloween/ harvest magic into your home. Mid-October is when you want to start buying gourds; buy them earlier and you risk them rotting or molding right on your table or porch. Especially, if you get an Indian summer heat wave between now and Halloween.

What you need:

wool pumpkin templates
9x12 piece of orange wool
fat eighth piece of contrasting wool fabric for base and stalk
scraps of wool for petals, nose, eyes, and mouth
2 buttons
stranded cotton embroidery floss - in autumn colors
embroidery needle
3" doll making needle

If you use polyester fill, the pumpkin will have almost no weight and may not sit solidly. Try stuffing VERY well or use a wool, kapok, or cotton stuffing.

Trace and cut six of the pumpkin wedges. Match two of the curved sides together and hand stitch about 1/8" (4mm) from the edge using a 2 strand length of matching embroidery floss. 

Sew two more pairs together and then sew the pairs together until you have just one opening in the ball shape. 

Stitch from where the points meet toward the center of the opening about an inch and a half. Tie off. Stitch from the other end of the ball where the points meet on the other side and stitch toward the center about an inch and a half. This leaves an opening in the center of the last seam for turning and stuffing.

Turn the ball right side out and stuff well. Ladder (invisible) stitch the opening closed.

Wrap a 6 strand length of coordinating floss around the ball about 5 times. Cut this piece off, double knot the end, and thread a long doll-making needle. 

Bring the floss through the hole where the points meet on one side and through to the other place where the points meet in the other side. Wrap the floss along one seam and insert the needle in the same place as the first time.

Keep wrapping the pumpkin along the seams and knot and tie off when done.



Trace and cut one stalk piece from the wool. Cut another in reverse. 

Stitch right sides together using a 2 strand length of floss, leaving the flat bottom open. Clip the inner curves and turn right side out. Stuff well, leaving the last inch unstuffed. Sew a gather stitch around the opening close to the stuffing, trim off any excess fabric leaving at least 3/8" of fabric, pull to gather and stuff the gather into the stalk. 

Stitch the stalk to the center of the top of the pumpkin. If you like, bend the stalk a little and tack it to look curled.


Cut out two eyes, one nose, and a mouth from contrasting wool scraps. 

Sew one button in the center of each eye and set aside. Make 5 french knots along the mouth and set aside.

Position the nose in the middle of a wedge and slightly higher than lower. Whipstitch into place using a 3 strand length of floss.

Position the eyes on either side of the nose and attach in the same way. Place the mouth below the nose and sew the same way.


Cut two base circles and stitch right sides together using a 1/4" (7mm) seam allowance. Leave about 2 inches open for turning and stuffing.

Turn the base right side out. Stuff well. Stitch closed using a ladder stitch.

Use a 6 strand length of floss to embroider a feather stitch and french knots to cover the seam.

Cut 3 petals from contrasting wool and another 3 petals from another contrasting color. Whipstitch to the top of the base.


Position the pumpkin onto the center of the base. Use small taking stitches around the base of the pumpkin to attach it to the base.  

Now you can get in the autumn mood with your very own pumpkin decoration! Make several and line them up along a windowsill.

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