Perfectly Embroidered Pumpkin

Aug 13, 2020
by Rothney Chase

I love the colors of autumn!  The oranges, golds and browns!  This screams for an embroidered stuffed pumpkin!

This pattern can be found on my website, but the individual designs are also available..

I created the embroidery designs to fit in the popular mid-size hoops because some people don’t own the jumbo hoops, but that shouldn’t eliminate them from creating these beautiful pumpkins.  They are easy to create even though they are not in-the-hoop designs!

A few of us sometimes struggle with “perfect placement”.  Here’s my solution for that.  Print off the paper pumpkin template and tape the 2 pieces together.   Placing the hoop over the template gives you a rough idea as to how long and how wide your embroidery fabric piece should be. 

For my hoop, I needed a piece of fabric about 14 inches wide and a maximum of 42 inches long for the 6 panels of the pumpkin (6 x 7).   You don’t have to embroider all of the pumpkin’s panels!  You might choose to only embroider every second one, which would also look great!

Hoop the fabric and stabilizer centering the height of the hoop over the strip of fabric and keeping the excess fabric to the left of the hoop.  While the first design is stitching, place a piece of opaque heavy plastic over the pumpkin template and trace it with a permanent marker.  A picture of the plastic used appears at the end of this blog.  Cut out this plastic pattern piece.   Write the name of the pattern, the number of required pieces, and 3/8 inch seam on the pattern front.

When the first design has finished stitching, unhoop it and place the plastic pattern over the design.  Decide where you want the design to be situated on the panel.  In order to have the same placement of the design on the following panels, trace a portion of the satin stitching at the top and at the bottom of the embroidery onto the plastic pattern.

Before moving the plastic pattern, trace a portion of the left side of the pattern piece using a dissolvable marking pen.  Don’t cut this design out yet!  This line will help when hooping the fabric for the next design.  The outer hoop should be able to touch the satin stitching of the first design without sabotaging the amount needed for the next design.  With the price of fabric these days, I try to conserve as much fabric as possible!



After the second panel has stitched out, the first panel can be cut out using the plastic pattern, aligning the markings of the satin stitching. 

Follow this sequence until 3 of the panels have been stitched out.

When the second design for the pumpkin panels has stitched out, again, unhoop it and place the plastic pattern over the design.  Decide where you want the design to be situated on the panel.  In order to have the same placement of the design on the subsequent panels, trace a portion of the backstitching at the top and at the bottom of the embroidery onto the plastic pattern.  My labeling of the pattern should have been in the center rather than at the top where it interfers with the traced stitching lines!  My bad!

Mark the opening to turn the pumpkin right-side-out on 2 adjacent panels.  Stay-stitch both sides of this opening 3/8 inch from the edge.  These will be used as guides when ladder stitching this opening closed.

Stitch the panels together in 2 sets of 3 panels using 3/8-inch seams, leaving the stay stitched area open.  Clip curves and press seams open. Nest one set of 3 panels inside the other set of three, right sides together, in order to stitch the last seam all the way around, catching all panels at both ends.

Turn the pumpkin right side out and stuff with polyester stuffing.  Don’t stuff the pumpkin too tight!  We will be squashing it later.

Ladder stitch the opening closed. 

Cut 3 pieces of ribbon long enough to go around the pumpkin plus a double knot.  Temporarily pin the center of the ribbon to the bottom of the pumpkin.  Wrap the ribbon around the pumpkin covering the seams.  Pull the ribbon tight enough to pucker the seams.  Double knot the ribbon on top of the pumpkin.  Repeat this again with the other 2 ribbons. 

Thread a long doll needle with a piece of embroidery floss long enough to go through the center of the pumpkin and back.  Catch all of the ribbons at both the top and bottom of the pumpkin with the floss and pull tight.  Double knot the floss.  The pictures below show the side view of the pumpkin and the difference the addition of floss makes to the height of the pumpkin.  It’s squatter!

For the stem, I cut out two pieces of fabric on the bias, stitched around 3 sides, turned it inside out and stuffed it.  The bottom was then gathered.

I designed a 3-D organza leaf in 2 sizes to go on top of the pumpkin.  The leaves are stitched, rinsed, shaped, and left to dry.  The layers without stems were glued on top of the other 2 layers. 

The stem and the leaves can be stitched or glued on, completing the pumpkin.  Easy!

Below is another pumpkin that I made using the same procedure for marking the panels as above, but with a different design.  I started to put silk leaves on this one!  Another alternative to embroidered organza leaves.

I use the application of the plastic pattern quite often.  It worked great when I wanted to embroider some Christmas stockings.  The picture below shows the plastic template of the stocking pattern I use. 

The black ring of markings was for the placement on the pink stocking.

The paper template under the plastic stocking was used to mark the position of the embroidery for the blue stocking.

The plastic that I use is shown in the picture below.  This has lasted me 10 years and I still have plenty left.  I think I purchased it at Home Depot, but I am old and my memory is fading!

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

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These are so pretty, your instructions make it sound so easy.
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