Monday, September 1, 2014

Jacquie's Up-Cycle Nation: Pumpkin Make-Do

Sharing an oldie but seasonal goody this week.  I am out traveling the Wild West this week but will back in the home saddle for fresh up-cycles next week!  In the meantime, stitch up some fall pumpkin make-dos!
Up-cycling and primitive crafts go hand in hand as early folk artists created from what was available. Waste was not an option.  Pioneering women "made do" with what they had. Up-cycling employs the same "waste not, want not" principles.
 Today, thrift stores are loaded with cast offs in luxurious fabrics just begging for an up-cycle.  100% wool jackets are often the unintentional victims of laundry mishaps and can be scooped up for pennies at second hand shops!  This Talbots wool jacket set me back 50 cents.
Rewash and dry the fabric to be sure it's clean before starting.  Double the fabric and then fold in half.  Using the fold as the pumpkin center, cut out a circle or oval shape.  Use a template or go freehand for whimsical shape.

Perfection is not the goal here.  After all, pumpkins are imperfect shapes in nature.

Pin, right sides together and stitch 3/8 inch around.  Leave 2 inches open for turning.  This will be the pumpkin top.

Clip curves and turn right side out.  Firmly stuff the bottom of the pumpkin but leave the top 1/4 inch loose.
Now have fun with the face! 
To stay in the primitive tradition use found items, vintage buttons, and old trims.
Secure the facial features with slip stitching.  Let the thread show in random, uneven stitches for a whimsical look.
Run a gathering stitch through the opening and pull tight around the wooden stem.  To avoid glue, I drilled a hole through the driftwood to allow my needle to secure the stem directly to the fabric. 
Top with scrap fabric torn from an old shirt or use an eye-catching remnant.  Tie a bow around the stem.

These faces and shapes are so easy and fun, I found myself diving into my fabric stash for more orange wool!
It doesn't take long to create your own patch of "locally grown" pumpkins!

Jacquie Wheeler
Hand of Bela Peck