Tuesday Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect PumpkinGood morning, Quilters!  It is a lovely, crisp and colorful day here in Minnesota.  Hope you are enjoying all the colors of autumn as well!  I was very surprised by the response to the vintage photos of paper-piecing that I posted on Saturday!  See the post HERE.  I was intrigued by the newspaper that was used for the paper piecing in the 1950s quilt my sister found at a garage sale.  However, I was amazed by the number of dedicated paper-piecers who responded!  You left so many comments and links to new techniques, papers, and quilters that I must give this technique another try!  Thank you for your suggestions…I’ll let you know how it goes…

Today, I would like to jump right in with The Perfect Pumpkin.  Pumpkins are always perfect because they are pretty.  They look great on any Halloween quilt, and also on any fall, Thanksgiving, or  harvest quilt you have in mind.  I can imagine them mixed with The Oak Leaf (see tutorial HERE) on any quilt.  Don’t limit yourself to Halloween quilts!

Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, so you don’t need to stitch The Perfect Pumpkin perfectly--make some small, some large, some squat, some tall, just have fun with this pattern!

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

In the sample below, I began with three lines.  The first two lines are 2 inches apart.  The third line is 1/2 inch above the top line. (This is where the stem and leaf will be stitched.)

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

Begin just above the bottom “rail”.  Stitch upward and at a slight angle creating the letter “c”.

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

Now stitch a curved line downward -creating a smaller letter “c”.  Stop here…

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

Stitch up and around to create an oval.  Stop here.

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

From the bottom of the oval, stitch to the right-echoing the bottom of the oval, then begin a curved line–like a backward letter “c”- to the top of the pumpkin.

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

At the top of the pumpkin, stitch a rectangle stem, and if you like, stitch a little curly vine or a leaf…

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

Next, stitch across the top of the pumpkin (under the stem).  Finally, stitch one more “backward letter ‘c'” to complete the pumpkin.

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

Easy as pie!  –though I prefer apple to pumpkin if we’re choosing desserts!

FMQ Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

Doodle first-five minutes–then off to your sewing machine to give this free motion quilt motif a try on your domestic sewing machine –I use a Bernina 820–or on your long arm.

FYI:  For the above tutorial, I used Sulky thread on top, 50 wt Aurifil in the bobbin and Warm and Natural batting.

Tomorrow–I have a few photos of these pumpkins in a quilt–that I’d like to share…

We will be talking about batting on Open Line Friday this week.  Let me know if you have any other questions…

From my pumpkin patch to yours,


PS…All images and tutorials are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt.  You may pin and re-blog with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  Please contact me for any commercial use…

26 thoughts on “Tuesday Tutorial-The Perfect Pumpkin

  1. i look at your work and I my blown away ,i hope that someday that i will be able to do half the work and design . Stay focused and continue to do the beautiful work that you do. patricia

  2. love, love, love your directions and ideas. It gives me hope for my creations!! I CAN do this, Lori. Thanks for sharing your skill and heart. AND, I love Pumpkin Pie esp. if it has a crumbly topping. Bob Evans has a perfect one on their menu!! Roxanna

  3. Thanks for being so generous with your talent. When I see your home page, I really enjoy the Fall colors. I’m a Michigan transplant in Texas and I really miss the colors.

  4. I love reading your blog and especially enjoy the FMQ ideas. I have been practicing and doing FMQ for about a year or better and I love it. You are an inspiration. So glad I found your blog. I grew up in southern Mn but live in Ca now. I miss the fall colors.

  5. HELLO,Your work is amazing! I do not think I will live long enough to get that good!!! I sew on a Bernina 210 and love this machine;sometimes I wonder if my FM would go better if I had a BSR? Probably just need more practice!
    love your blog and stitching inspiration! Linda, a newbie to FM

  6. Even me the beginner can follow this tutorial. Not smooth even stitches yet but this is very encouraging in learning FMQ. Practice, practice, practice as so many FMQuilters have advised. I sew on Baby Lock Ellure Plus. Thank you very much!

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    • Hi Kris,
      When doing free motion quilting, the feed dogs are disengaged and/or the stitch length is set to 0. The stitch length is determined by how fast you move the quilt and your stitch speed. The two are coordinated to get an even stitch and the machine setting for stitch length is not a factor.

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