Project thanksgiving favors

i LOVE hosting…parties, showers, holidays…LOVE! so two years ago for thanksgiving we hosted and i thought it would be fun to have a little favor for all our guests ๐Ÿ™‚ i decided on making something out of material because i really really wanted to learn how to use my new sewing machine and i figured what better way than to have a deadline.

i actually found a pattern online, can’t remember where but hopefully i can explain enough with photos. i also didn’t take photos of some steps so i’ll have to explain some of them, oops! there will be tips along the way and the full instructions at the bottom…hope you enjoy! i certainly love pulling out my little pumpkins each year.

the simplest and most tedious part of this craft is cutting all the material! i wanted lots of different types of colors so that the pumpkins would each be unique so i bought fat quarters instead of yards so i would have just enough and not a bunch of extra material. many times people ask me how i have time for all this stuff. jared and i like watching movies and tv shows, but i am not the kind of person that can just sit and watch something, i have to be doing something else…so i cut or sew or paint or any number of things i’m hoping to share on here at some point! i never have time to just dedicate to crafting.

these are the stems and leaves. the leaf pattern you can make yourself by drawing onto a piece of cardboard and then using that to cut the fabric. or you can probably find a good leaf from google images if you can’t draw. and then the stems are just made out of little squares that i hand sewed together into aย cylinder. the idea that i had found did hand sewing on the leaf too to give it veins but i didn’t want to spend the time and i think they look cute as is.

Full Instructions:

1. cut long skinny ovals (like the above photo) out of fabric. cut 8 per pumpkin you’d like to make. make sure that the way the fabric stretches is the long way not the short way.

2. cut squares out of brown felt for the stems and leaf shapes from green felt for the leaves. hand sew the stem together and add veins in the leaves if desired.

3. with the sewing machine sew two of the pieces of fabric together on the inside side, making sure to leave the excess thread long on both ends (you will use these later). i also used two colors/designs of fabric so make sure to alternate if you are doing the same. continue this until you have four pieces sewn together. then repeat the process with the other four pieces, make sure for each that you keep the tips close together so that they aren’t mismatched. on either side sew in the stem and the leaf as well.

4. now you have two pieces, each with four ovals sewn together and one of the sides has a leaf and stem. sew them together on one side, and then most of the way on the other side, leaving room to turn it inside out. i found that leaving the hole on the bottom of the pumpkin made it easier to hide my hand stitching and i also made sure it didn’t go all the way to the tip of either end so that the bottom and top are completely closed (my first couple didn’t look so great so i learned this the hard way).

5. before you turn it right side in, take all the loose thread pieces and tie the top ones to the bottom ones, this will help to keep the pumpkin in more of a pumpkin shape than a circle. i really should have taken a photo of this because it’s hard to explain, but just play around with it, you’ll figure it out ๐Ÿ™‚

6. turn pumpkin right side in and get super duper excited because it looks awesome!

7. fill with stuffing – i thought about filling some with potpourri or something spicy but didn’t…

8. hand sew the fill hole closed and you’re done!!

here’s what my table looked like with all the place settings. i love how they turned out!

mostly everyone loved the pumpkins, but then there’s always the fact that we live in the real world. for me that means i have brothers, and they threw the pumpkins at each other all evening…le sigh
enjoy! and happy thanksgiving!

Winneweer, Holland – ’09

holland…or the netherlands…discovering my roots! i’m half dutch and still have some relatives over here so we went to visit ๐Ÿ™‚

here are some excerpts from my travel journal:

one phrase to sum up this leg of our journey – lost in translation

we took the train from berlin to gronigen where we accidently got off a stop too early. we called tante dicky [my great aunt] but i guess she only gave me her home phone number so we started fast walking to the next station 2km away. when we got there, we found her and oom henk a little worried. i guess they had called us over the p.a… embarrassing! We drove to winneweer from there, settled into our room which was their finished attic and rested. in the afternoon they took us on a drive. we went to the harbor and saw a couple ‘tall boats’ that were coming from around the world for a festival. we also drove through EVERY village along the way to check out their churches and surrounding buildings. the next day, we saw the farm where my opa met my oma [grandpa and grandma], where my opa went to school and where he went to church. we also got to meet my second cousin and got to (were forced to) sit in his big rig (it’s kind of a big deal so we just went along for the ride, ha!) we also took a bike ride around the beautiful little town and saw a graveyard where some of the family is buried. tante dicky makes homemade liquor and so we enjoyed that while trying to figure out why there are two names for the country. they must have explained it 3 times and we still can’t figure it out. that, along with some other explanations, were definitely lost in translation. but that’s the beauty of traveling and adventuring. you can’t always figure out what’s going on, but you enjoy the ride!

btw, the picture below is straight, but the buildings and roads are so old that they are sinking!

my aunt and uncle’s house, isn’t it beautiful!! i LOVE LOVE their backyard but have to keep reminding myself that this was in the middle of summer so i’m sure i wouldn’t love it in the middle of winter ๐Ÿ™‚