Checkered Pumpkin Tutorial

At one time or another, I had purchased a box of fabric at an auction. When I got it home, I was surprised and pleased to discover quite a few pre-cut 4-inch squares in the bottom of the box. At the time I wasn’t sure what I would do with them, but with fall craft shows just around the corner, I dug through the box and pulled out all the squares that I thought would work for fall. I considered, arranged and stitched until I came up with a seasonal design. Checkered pumpkins.

Things You Will Need:

Fabric scraps ( Live on the edge and choose colors that are completely unexpected.)
Sewing machine
Hand-sewing needle and thread
Black crochet thread
Long soft-sculpture needle
Stick from your yard
Silk fall leaves
Hot glue gun

Yep, my fabric choices may surprise you.

Using an even amount of two different fabric designs, I arranged 28 squares in a 4 x 7 grid.

I sewed the squares together using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

After the seams on the back were opened and pressed flat, I folded the checkered fabric in half with the short ends together and the right side on the inside. I then sewed the short ends together. This created a tube.

Without turning the tube right side out, I sewed a running stitch around one open end and gathered the end closed.

The checkered bag was turned right side out and stuffed.

A running stitch was used around the open end to gather bag closed. I did leave a hole about the size of my thumb t0 insert a stem in.

Black crochet thread and a long soft-sculpture needle were used to make the pumpkin spines.

Thread approximately 2 yards of the black thread onto the long needle and knot the end. Insert the needle down through the thumb hole of the pumpkin and out the gathered center of the bottom. Bring the thread up along the side of the pumpkin to create an indented spine. Repeat until you have made six evenly spaced indented spines around the surface of the pumpkin. Finish with a knot on the bottom of the pumpkin.

Head out to your yard and find a stick about the same thickness as your thumb. Break or cut it to measure about 5 inches long. Burrow you finger into the thumb hole and down into the stuffing. Squirt hot glue into the hole. Insert half the length of the stick into the well.

Tie a couple strands of raffia around the stem, and hot glue silk fall leaves to the base of the stem.

My Freecycle Experience

Yes, I am an obsessed junking junky. I have local freecycle posts delivered to my email, but I had never taken advantage of the free offers until last week. The posting that changed it all was for a free “surger”. Yep, that’s how they spelled it. I have always wanted a serger. I have a mini Singer serger, but it really doesn’t cut it. It works like, and gives the same results you would expect of a toy.

After an email to the owner clarifying it was indeed a sewing “serger”, I said I wanted it. We set up a time to meet and she gave me the address.

The house belonged to the lady’s father-in-law. He had been in a nursing home for several years and the house had been closed and uncared for…WITH ALL THE STUFF STILL IN IT! They were going through things they wanted to keep, giving stuff away and trashing what was left. Their ultimate goal was to get the house ready to be sold at auction.

I’m not a wimp when it comes to my junking adventures, but I have to admit that I had a few pausing moments. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

She showed me the serger. I was very excited…until I noticed there was no foot pedal or power cord. This started the hunt for these necessary items. The woman and I dug through boxes, under furniture, and inside closets and drawers. Everywhere I stuck my hand had mouse poop, shredded something, or both. Eewww! The house had no electricity. It was dark, dirty and hot. The dark only made sticking my hands into the shadows even more of an adventure.

We never found the pedal or cord, but I took the serger anyway. I’ll give it a few months. If I can’t find a match, I can find the trash as easily as she could have. So, this could have been considered a bust, but I did manage to find a few other junking treasures. I brought home two headboards, a box of thread and a few other crafting odds and ends. The headboards will be used to make benches. I also snagged a tripod for my son’s camera.

All in all, I figure the junking adventure was a success. I may not have gotten what I intended, but in actually going, I did score some great things.

Note to self: Keep wet wipes and hand sanitizer in the car at all times. (shiver)

Completed Living Room Projects and a Tutorial

I’m Baaaaack!

I unexpectedly had guests for a week. It was an anniversary surprise from my husband. He brilliantly fessed up before they came, as he couldn’t figure out how to prepare the house by himself. I love surprises, but not if I am going to be embarrassed by a dirty house.

Among the chaos, I was still able to get a few things accomplished.

I last posted about my new love seat, and all the changes that needed to take place in my living room. I managed to complete a few before my company arrived.



I recovered the footstool with a custom-made cover. If you’re interested in doing the same, the tutorial can be found here.

Rocker cushion-before

Rocker cushion-after

This is the new cushion cover for the rocker. It was attached using the same method as the footstool. The cushion comes out of the rocker, and the cover was stapled on the bottom of the cushion’s frame.

Door curtain-before

Door curtain-after

The new curtain was made using a length of faux suede I had picked up at a yard sale. I made small hems on each side and the bottom, and sewed a casing in the top. It seriously took no time at all.

Fabric Pumpkin Lights-Tutorial


I posted these lights a couple of weeks ago. This was the project with Koolaid dyed fabric.

My tutorial has just been published. You can find it here.

The New Love Seat

My anniversary is coming up, and my husband and I decided to buy a new love seat for our living room. It has been over 20 years since we purchased brand-new furniture and I was holding out until the kids were grown.

I would have liked to get a new couch as well, but my husband had purchased one at an auction a few months ago and he wasn’t ready to part with it. It is in very good shape, but unfortunately it is very outdated. He loves the recliners in it. Recliners were not something I was ever fond of, but I figure after 25 years of marriage I would let him have that victory for a little bit longer. I do have my eye on the matching couch to my love seat though.

We tried to find a love seat that matched the blue color of the couch, but it seems this outdated couch also has outdated upholstery. We decided to go with a color that matched the beige dots that were in the fabric of the old couch. We purchased a beige tweed love seat. It’s beautiful!

I was a little disturbed at the size and the color when we got it home. It seems very oversized compared to the couch and the rest of the room, well…, the styles are very different. I have to make it work!


We live in an old farm house and the living room is not very big. The furniture is placed in an “Up against the wall. Your under arrest.” sort of placement, and then some. The love seat floats in front of a player piano that nobody plays. The room would seem less cluttered and have more room if the piano was gone, but I don’t see that happening.



I am in the process of decluttering and eliminating a few patterns and colors that have crept into the room over time. We’ve gotten into sort of a rut. I’ve also started digging through my stash of fabrics for colors that would blend the love seat and couch together. Most of the Americana accents need to go. The cushion on a rocker needs a more neutral color and pattern, and the pillows need new covers and a little more fluff. I have always said you can never have too many pillows, but now I think maybe you can. LOL, I will need to get rid of some.

My craft room/office is off the living room. The doorway has no door, so I have a blue patterned curtain hanging from a tension rod. The curtain is a necessity to hide my craft supplies from view, and it also helps to keep the “bought” air in the living room. Remember, I said it is a farm house. It has lots of quirks. The curtain choice was a “make-do” with what I had, and was never intended to be permanent. I found a nice tan, faux suede in my stash. I think…I hope…I know it will work beautifully.

Then, of course, there are my piles of craft projects in process. Well, that is an easy fix. (sigh) I just need to be more organized. (Okay, that needs another sigh.)

I couldn’t bring myself to show photos of all areas of the living room. My pride won’t allow you too see how bad it has gotten, although I bet you can see my dust. My hope is that the new photos of the completed project(s) will redeem myself.

Stay tuned…