It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Home again

Before the surgery. Don't you just love
the leg wear? I just couldn't pass it up
Well, my husband's surgery went well and we're home again. They took out a the left side of his thyroid and a node the size of a golf ball! He is really sore inside and out, but he's doing okay. While he was in surgery and while he was sleeping afterwards, I worked on a pumpkin project to share with you. I had already sewn them at home and just did the main part of the project at the hospital. I finished them after we got home again.
Sewing up all the tubes.
This year they are made from two pairs of little girls' leggings. I forgot to take a picture before I cut them up, but they were really cute. The one pair had a little piece of black trim with little pumpkin buttons on it at the bottom outside of the leg. A little rusching on the sides of the trim. Really darling, and I decided to use that as a decorative element on the pumpkins. You'll see it later.

I have made these pumpkins every year for about 15 years now, usually from plain orange T-shirt ribbing, but ribbing is getting harder and harder to find, so now I use whatever is close at hand. And I like the fact that I'm recycling, too!

So, if you are using leggings, the side seams are already sewn. Just cut the legs into lengths that are about 3 inches taller than you want your pumpkins to be. Or if you want smaller pumpkins, like the baby ones, you can cut off the seam and cut them to the size you want. I like to make some tall and thin and some short and fat. All different sizes. You really can't go too wrong. Sew up your seams if you need to.
The bottom of the legs on the little pair with the black trim and pumpkin buttons.
One pumpkin will be taller and one shorter.

Next, take a large needle with heavy button and carpet thread and sew a running stitch around one end of the tube. Pull the ends of the thread up really tight, making sure that the edges of the fabric are not tucked down inside. Wrap the thread around the gathering a few times and tie a good square knot. Cut your threads long. This makes them less likely to come untied. If you use the bottom of the legs, like I did for the ones with the trim, you just run your needle through the hem. Go in on one side of the seam and out on the other side. Pull the threads up tight and tie and good tight square knot.

Turn the tube right side out and stuff it full but soft.  After you stuff it, pull up the top and scrunch it in and wrap the thread around it 2 or 3 times and tie it tight. Cut the threads even with the top of the fabric. This makes them long enough to glue into the stem so they don't show and don't come untied.
All tied up and ready to go. Sorry its a little blurry. I was using my phone camera, which takes
really good pictures if you can stand still. :)

Making pumpkins at the hospital while hubby sleeps.
Next, you need to decide if you are making plain pumpkins or if you are giving them faces. The faces are soft-sculptured. You need a fairly long, large needle and heavy thread. Following the diagram below, put the needle down through the top of the pumpkin and out at the outside end of an eyebrow, leaving a 2" or 3" tail sticking out the top. Pinch what will be the eyebrow and stitch under it back and forth to the edge of the nose. Stitch an exaggerated nose shape and then stitch the other eyebrow. Go back up to the top and out by the stem. Pull the thread up after each eyebrow and the nose so it draws the fabric up to form the features. You make the nose exaggerated so that when you pull it up it isn't too small. Stick yhourniddle into the pumpkin and "grab" a little stuffing and pull it into the nose. Now take your needle back into the pumpkin and out at the edge of the mouth. Make a running stitch down and around and back up, making an oversize mouth shape, then back out the top. Pull the thread up to form the upper lip. You can go back and stitch a lower lip in the same way you did the eyebrows, but I don't think its necessary on the pumpkins. It kind of gives them a cute face without it. Tie the two ends together at the top in a good square knot and clip the threads the length of the top.

Make a pretty good-sized pinch for the eyebrows.

Be sure to exaggerate the mouth.

When you have the face all finished and tied off, its time to cover the stem. You can do this with felt, raffia or jute, as you can see in the following pics. I'll bet you could use torn fabric strips, too. Anyway, cover the stem, being sure to catch and cover all your thread ends. Cut some leaves from felt or fabric and glue them at the base of the stem, glue on some eyes, and there you have it! A cute little pumpkin! I have also made them life-size when I could find the ribbing. They look really cute sitting around the house with their little faces smiling at everyone. 
All different sizes and types. Aren't they cute? The one in the front left is the legging leg bottom, trim and buttons and all.
If you don't want faces on them, take a piece of jute about 2 ft. long and wrap one end around the stem (before covering) and then wrap it down around the pumpkin and back up to the stem. Pull it tight and wrap around the stem again. Repeat this two more times until the pumpkin is divided into six parts, The last time, after you wrap around the stem, tie the two ends together in a square knot and cut the ends off even with the top, then finish the pumpkin the same way.

Well, I think my recycled leggings turned out pretty cute. I hope you will make some of your own out of whatever you can find. And don't be shy......make lots! Give them away! Put one on top of a loaf of pumpkin bread and take it to your neighbors. Just have fun.

I got this little thing in an email from a friend the other day, and it goes like this: Women are angels, and when someone breaks our wing we simply continue to fly...usually on a broomstick. We're flexible like that. Until tomorrow, Gramma G.

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