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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidered Pumpkins: Homage to a Squash

 

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Well, here we are! October 31st: Halloween!

To bid farewell to October and herald in November, I thought I’d pay short homage to that ubiquitous winter squash that shows up absolutely everywhere this time of year:

The Pumpkin.

Here in the States, the pumpkin is often (but not always) associated with sweet things – like pastries and dessert (the pumpkin pie, the pumpkin roll, the pumpkin cake, the pumpkin muffin, the pumpkin scone, the pumpkin mousse, the pumpkin brownie (!)…) or sweet drinks (the unfathomable pumpkin spice latte or the more unfathomable pumpkin spice milkshake or the still more unfathomable pumpkin spice cocoa) or cloyingly sweet smelling candles and the like.

Rarely do we appreciate it as a savory and healthy addition to a good meal in its more natural state as squash.

But sometimes we do!

Pumpkins, whether you like them or not as a food item, are iconic here in the autumn. But they aren’t just regulated to Halloween jack-o-lanterns (which was my first childhood exposure to pumpkins). They’re a part of autumn decor all the way up to Thanksgiving at the end of November, at which time they magically disappear in one fell swoop and are replaced by Christmas trees and lights and snowflakes and Santa Clause and creepy elves and peppermint flavored everything.

More and more, the transition between pumpkin and peppermint is happening earlier and earlier – almost to the point that, by the time the kids are sorting their Halloween candy and coercing a Tootsie-Roll-for-Anything-Else Trade Agreement, the jack-o-lantern is replaced by a ho-ho-hoing Santa on the front porch.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! There’s still time to stitch a pumpkin or two!

Pumpkins in Embroidery

And to that end, I thought I’d share some pumpkin embroidery capers from over the years here on Needle ‘n Thread.

I’m actually surprised at how often the pumpkin has shown up on my blog.

First, there was a cameo appearance in the project pictured above. This was a set of pillowcases with an opposite theme. I embroidered a black pillowcase with sleeping faces and a white pillowcase with wide-awake faces, with a smattering of characters among the faces: the jack-o-lantern, the clown, the pirate, Santa Clause, and so forth.

That was such a fun project! You can read all about it here, with tips on how to create your own.

Pumpkins in Embroidery

Festive Fall was a more decorative (and mature) design involving The Pumpkin – and other autumn icons, like colorful leaves and wheat from the earlier harvest.

You can find the designs and stitch suggestions for Festive Fall here.

This design is usually available in my shop on a set of ready-to-stitch flour sack towels, but this year, we have had to forego production of those due to a shortage of space. When we move into our new workshop, production will recommence.

Pumpkins in Embroidery

On the principle that everyone needs a miniature pumpkin – clocking in around 1/4″ in size – in their embroidery repertoire, I have a tutorial here for embroidering a wee pumpkin in less than 5 minutes.

Pumpkins in Embroidery

And on the further principle that everyone needs a little bling with their pumpkin, I also have a tutorial here for embroidering a beaded pumpkin.

Pumpkins in Embroidery

For those who Really like pumpkins a lot, there’s this tutorial for a basket full of pumpkins.

The initial purpose of that tutorial was to demonstrate stitching a basket using a woven filling. The woven basket looks ok.

My pumpkins, on the other hand, look like they have some sort of lumpy pumpkin growth disorder. On the bright side, I’ve heard that ugly pumpkins are actually the most popular pumpkins at pumpkin stands. I’m pretty sure I worked these bullion-knot pumpkins up with that very principle in mind.

So that’s my homage to the humble pumpkin – that round orange squash with the extraordinary power to compel people to wear flannel. What’s not to love?

Coming Up!

It’s a very busy week for me and Anna here at the studio!! On Friday, we will be launching the final Stitch Snippet kit for 2022. Yay! I’ll preview that for you on Wednesday and tell you all about the project.

And while we’re preparing for that, we’re moving small bits of the studio to our new space.

Just a reminder: I’m so grateful for everyone’s enthusiasm over our new space, but please remember that we are not opening a public shop. We’re moving our studio and workshop into a larger space that will more efficiently accommodate what we already do, in a better work environment.

Future development into a more public space that can accommodate classes or pop-up occasional retail events will happen according to a carefully considered plan.

Thank you to all who have reached out asking! I will definitely keep you informed!

 
 

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(2) Comments

  1. Fun fact – many of those pumpkin spice beverages have no pumpkin at all. The “pumpkin spice” refers to the spice mix usually used for pumpkin pies. Myself – I’m ambivilent, too often not enough spice flavor is used for my taste.

    You’ve made some adorable pumpkins over the years. And when you mentioned the ones in the basket being lumpy, my first thought was those expensive heirloom pumpkins. And speaking of heirloom, Fun Fact #2 – pumpkins come in other colors & shapes than orange – green, white, blue-gray, orange and green stripes, nearly red, tall and thin, short and fat, lumpy, smooth…

    I think you should have a contest – the number of people who walk into your new location the first year thinking it’s a retail needlework shop. People who read here know better, as do (probably) many of the local people. I’m thinking needleworkers who are traveling and do a search for “needlework shops near me” and stop by.

    Finally, Fun Fact #3 – every time I typed “pumpkin” in this comment, I typed “pumpking” first.

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