Pumpkin Pincushion Tutorial for Riley Blake

I am very excited to be an instructor for the Cutting Corners College for Riley Blake Designs! Today I am showing you how to make a Pumpkin Pincushion. I know its hard to think about fall and Halloween when its 103 degrees outside, but fall will be here before you know it. I am using the Costume Clubhouse collection from Sheriberry. I just love the colors and the adorable designs on the fabric.

I could not decide which fabric to use, so I decided to make three pumpkins. They are quick and easy to make and you will have your own pumpkin patch in no time at all.

Heres what you need to make your pumpkins:

1 rectangle of fabric 4 inches by 7 inches

1 rectangle of fabric 5 inches by 8 inches

1 rectangle of fabric 6 inches by 9 inches


heavy duty thread or hand quilting thread

scraps of fabric for stems

1 cup of sand, Poly Pellets or styrofoam beads

floral wire


embroidery floss

fabric glue or a hot glue gun

basic sewing supplies: thread, needle, pins, ruler, marking pencil, scissors, rotary cutter, cutting  mat and bias tape maker (optional)

As you are cutting the rectangles from your fabric, pay attention to the design. On my largest and smallest pumpkin, the fabric was directional and I wanted to take advantage of the design, so I fussy cut my rectangle. (Fussy cut refers to cutting the fabric in a location that takes advantage of the pattern on the fabric). The long side of the rectangle should go left to right.

Fold under the top long edge of each rectangle 1/4 inch and press to the wrong side.

Fold your rectangle in half, right sides together with the folded edge at the top. Sew along the side edge and bottom edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Make sure to secure your stitches at the starting and ending point by backstitching.

Make a boxed bottom by matching the side seam with the bottom seam on one side and the fold with the bottom seam on the other side. (I try to match up my seams by poking a pin from the center of the side seam and come out in the middle of the bottom seam). If you haven’t made a boxed bottom before, start with the largest pumpkin. Its the easiest one to do. Measure 3/8 inch in from the point and draw a line with your marking pen. Pin in place and then sew on the marked line. Repeat for the other side. Cut off the point leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat for the other two pumpkins.

Turn the fabric right side out. Don’t worry if your side and bottom seams don’t line up perfectly.

Using your needle and thread, sew 1/4 inch gathering stitches in the folded edge  of your pumpkin. Leave a tail on each end so it’s easy to pull up your stitches.

Put 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sand or the Poly Pellets in the bottom of each of your pumpkins to give you a solid bottom. Stuff fiberfill on top of the sand and fill until your pumpkins are well stuffed. Pull up your gathering stitches, leaving a hole at the top big enough for the tip of your finger. Tie the ends securely in a couple of knots. Trim your threads and give your pumpkins a little squeeze to miz the sand in with the fiberfill. If you have fiberfill sticking out of the hole at the top, push it in with the tip of your small scissors.

Now its time to make your pumpkins more life-like. Cut a strand of embroidery floss about 36 inches long for the small pumpkin and 48 inches long for the biggest pumpkin. Find the center of your strand, place it over the opening of your pumpkin and wrap the floss around the pumpkin like you would tie a ribbon on a package. Keep wrapping and twisting the two ends on the bottom and top of the pumpkin, until your pumpkin has eight sections. Make sure to pull your embroidery floss taunt to give the pumpkin some “poof”. Tie your ends of the embroidery floss in a knot and cut the loose ends. Adjust the floss around your pumpkin until the seams are covered and you have six equal sections. Repeat for the other pumpkins.

For the stems, I took a piece of fabric, put it though my bias tape maker, and wrapped it around a piece of  fabric covered florist wire. I then stitched close to the edge on my sewing machine. If you don’t have a bias tape maker, you can cover the wire with a piece of folded fabric.  A cinnamon stick or twig also works.

I took another short piece of floral wire, wrapped it around a chopstick (or pencil) and made a curly Q. Insert these into the top of your pumpkins and secure with a drop of fabric glue or hot glue.

Here’s my finished pumpkins!





Speak Your Mind