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…

Test Your Knowledge of Sewing History

Vintage Sewing Machine

Good Morning, Class.  It’s Monday–and I hope you have been studying… it’s time for a  POP QUIZ!

Vintage Sewing Machine

Sewing History Quiz

1.   Hand sewing is:

A.  Nearly 50,000 years old.

B.  Over 20,000 years old.

C. Something to be avoided at all costs.



The world’s first sewing machine patent was granted to British Inventor, Thomas Saint in 1790.



Frenchman, Barthelemy Thimonnier invented the first functional chain stitch sewing machine in 1830.



Elias Howe was the first American to patent a sewing machine that used a thread from two sources.



Isaac Singer was the first to mass produce a sewing machine that could sew faster than a seamstress.



Elias Howe had great lawyers.  He earned nearly two million dollars from 1854-1867 from patent infringements on his sewing machine.


7.  By the year 1900, how many sewing machines were being produced all over the world?

A.  100,000 machines

B.  30,000 machines

C.  2 million machines



The Zig-Zag sewing machine was invented by Bernina in 1951.



The rotary cutter was invented in Japan in the 1950s-nearly one hundred years after the first sewing machine.

10.  TRUE or FALSE

Quilting is a multibillion dollar industry in the US.


Vintage Sewing Machine

Sewing History Quiz–ANSWER KEY

1.  B.   Hand sewing is over 20,000 years old.  Archeologists believe that during the last ice age, man stitched fur, hides and bark together using sinew for thread and bones for needles.

2.  TRUE.  Englishman, Thomas Saint was granted the first patent related to a sewing machine.  His patent was for a device to stitch leather and never progressed beyond the patent-model stage.

3.  TRUE.  Frenchman, Bartheelemy Thimonnier invented the first functional sewing machine.  His sewing machine used one thread and formed a chain-stitch.  He was nearly killed by a mob of enraged tailors who feared unemployment.

4.  TRUE.  Massachussets farmer, Elias Howe patented his two-thread lock stitch sewing machine in 1846, but he was unable to find an American manufacturer to produce it for him.

5.  TRUE.  In 1851, Isaac Singer produced the first functional sewing machine that was mass-produced.  His company dominated the market for nearly 100 years.

6.  TRUE.  Elias Howe was lawsuit happy.  He sued everyone in the sewing machine industry and amassed great wealth ( 2 million dollars).  During the Civil War, he used his entire fortune to equip and underwrite a Union Army infantry regiment.

7.  C.  Nearly 2 million sewing machines were manufactured all over the world by the 1900s.

8.  FALSE.  The Zig zag sewing machine was patented by Helen Blanchard of Portland, Maine in 1873.  Miss Blanchard held 28 sewing machine related patents.

9.  FALSE.  The rotary cutter was invented by the Japanese company, Olfa in 1979.  The rotary cutter revolutionized quilting by making cutting quick and accurate.

10.  TRUE.  The quilting industry in the US alone is a multi-billion dollar industry.   (and readers of The Inbox Jaunt know it is much much bigger world-wide!)


No more quizzes for a while.  Tomorrow, is Tuesday Tutorial–so put away your notebooks and open up your sketchbooks!