Monday, September 28, 2015

How to Make a Plush Fabric Pumpkin

"The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale." ~ Cornelia L. Tuthill
Today our windows are open to welcome the slight chill that reminds us that fall is here. Little by little, autumn is easing into our region of the country.

These clever pumpkins are one of my favorite autumnal accents. Emma has already asked if she could display them in her room. Honestly, though, they are so easy to sew, she could probably make a few for herself -- in her choice of pattern and hue.

Plush Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial
1. Although velvet is a classic choice for this project, a cotton duck print gives these gourds vibrant appeal. Spread fabric, right side down, and trace a circle with a fabric pen. (A 10.5-inch dinner plate will yield six circles per half-yard of fabric.) Create varied pumpkin sizes by experimenting with larger and smaller round templates, such as chargers and salad plates.
2. For each pumpkin, cut a circle of fabric. With needle and thread chosen to complement the thickness of the fabric, sew a running stitch around the perimeter of the circle. Pull the threads to softly gather the fabric, and pour dried beans into the opening. I used 1 to 1½ cups of black-eyed peas per pumpkin, which rendered them pleasingly plump. When you are satisfied with the fullness, pull the threads taut and stitch the opening closed. Do not cut the thread.
3. A button stitched to the bottom of the pumpkin gives a softly tufted, natural form. Push the needle through from the gathered top to the bottom. Attach a button, pushing the needle back and forth through the pumpkin with each stitch. Knot and clip the thread at the gathered top.
4. A woody stem from a fresh pumpkin provides the perfect finishing touch, but you can substitute a stem from another gourd or squash, if needed. Coat the base of the stem with hot glue, and firmly press the stem into the gathers on the top to complete the plush pumpkin.
"Oh how we love pumpkin season. You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin ... . We anxiously anticipate it every year." ~Trader Joe’s

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

An Alfresco Autumn Tablescape

When our Southern climate gives us a blessed reprieve from the soaring temperatures of summer, my family knows that we will be dining outside as often as possible. There is nothing more enjoyable at dinnertime than lingering together in the fresh air as daylight fades into evening. Those golden moments are my favorite time of the day.

For this autumn tablescape, a plump fabric pumpkin marks each place setting -- an easy decoration or party favor. (Details in my next post!)

I use these leafy green Majolica Bordallo Pinheiro Cabbage Ceramic Dinner Plates plates most of the year -- topped here with pierced-edge plates from Pier1.

A single orange rose tucked into a glass votive adds a lovely touch to each place setting.

And a cluster of blooms make an easy centerpiece, put on a pedestal in an embossed white soup bowl.

With plenty of texture and vibrant color, this table not only welcomes fall but also the loved ones who gather to dine alfresco on a gorgeous autumn day.

"The days may not be so bright and balmy -- yet the quiet and melancholy that lingers around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell -- some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power." ~ Northern Advocate

Blog Widget by LinkWithin