Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial

One of our most popular Back to School designs was this adorable Bunch of Apples design.  The design has a little bit of fill stitch, but is mostly a raggy stitch and pretty quick to stitch out.  You can use 1 fabric, 2 different fabrics, or 9 different fabrics as I did in the example below. 

Bunch of Apples - All Things Applique

I decided to create another "bunch" design...this time Pumpkins!  I am also considering bunches of footballs, ornaments, hearts, etc.  It is a great design to use up all kinds of small pieces of scrap fabric...or to really showcase one fabric that you LOVE! 

I thought it might be helpful to detail by pictures how I stitch this design.  So here goes...

First up is the instruction sheet:

Bunch of Pumpkins - ATA - Instructions

(As an aside, did you know that every design you purchase from All Things Applique comes with a detailed instruction sheet similar to this one?  I hope the instructions help!)

The first step is to pick your fabrics.  I start by cutting small squares.  (Note: For the 5X7 design, each pumpkin is 1.25" x 1.4" so these are small pieces of fabric.)  Then I play with the squares to arrange them however I like.  I think I spent as much time arranging as I did stitching! Ha!  But truly...I think this design looks good no matter how you arrange your fabric. 

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial - All Things Applique

The first step in this design is the pumpkin stems. Simply hoop your item...make sure it is centered...thread your brown or green thread and stitch the first color.

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial - All Things Applique-002

One quick note...

I set the design to stitch as follows:
Top Row: Left to Right
Middle Row: Right to Left
Bottom Row: Left to Right

This order prevents a big jump stitch from the top right pumpkin to the middle left pumpkin. The design snakes down to create the smallest jump stitches possible.

The next step is the Placement Stitch. I like to place a large sheet of flannel or felt down that covers the entire hoop for this step. See below.

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial - All Things Applique-001

Now you are ready to stitch color 2. Note, all placement stitches will stitch in one color without stopping.

Once your placement stitch is in place...

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial - All Things Applique-003\

It is time to stitch the tackdown stitch for all 9 pumpkins. You have a couple of choices here. You can lay one fabric down at a time and add the next fabric at each color stop on the machine. Or, you can lay all 9 fabrics down at once and then just go through the 9 tackdown stitches without having to remove your hoop or lay down any fabric in between stops. See below for an example.

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial - All Things Applique-004

If you choose the latter, you will need to make sure that your scrap fabrics pieces do not overlap at all or the tackdown stitches might grab the wrong fabric. Either way is fine...just do what is most comfortable for you!

After all of the tackdown stitches are complete, you are ready for the final step...the redwork/detail stitches. These will all stitch in one step. Again, the order snakes down the row is left to right, middle row is right to left, and bottom row is left to right.

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial - All Things Applique-005

Once all stitching is done, remove your item from the hoop and carefully trim away the excess fabric and enjoy your beautiful work!

Bunch of Pumpkins Tutorial - All Things Applique.psd

What other "bunch" designs would you like to see?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


This past weekend was cool and felt like fall was just around the corner.

And today it is muggy and mid 80's. are such a tease! 

We decorated anyway this weekend and despite the warm temps we are enjoying our new fall decor.  The boys were really excited to help and most of the decorations are kid friendly.

Pumpkins to replace the candles on the mantle candlesticks...

Wooden pumpkins on the dining room table...

We have several ghost and bat pillows in the living far the boys' favorite!  My little one walks around the house with a ghost in front of his face saying "ooooooooooooooooooh"  I wonder where he got that idea? :)

A new spider wreath I made for the front door.  I wrapped orange yarn around a straw wreath, added some black ribbon, and a big felt spider I found at Michaels. 

My mother-in-law (Mimi) was in town this past week and she did a fun fall craft with the boys.  They made pumpkins out of circus peanut candy and gum drops.  Then they filled up the truck with their "harvest"! I love it! And the report from Mimi is that the boys had a blast making the pumpkins too!

My husband has been taking the boys on lots of hikes lately and they always come home with pockets full of acorns and pinecones too! I love having them out on the table for decoration.  And the boys love playing with them and counting them and they are a great reminder of a fun day spent with daddy in the woods.

We planted our fall mums a couple of weekends ago...and they are very loved and thoroughly watered.

And finally...I made the boys some new felt toys/cookies to play with!  I love working with my embroidery machine but love it even more when I get to make something for my boys that they enjoy!

So there you have it...a peek at our Halloween decor.  Nothing very all fits in one Tupperware box...but having it up is making our new house feel more like home! 

Have you decorated for fall yet?