Nothing says “autumn” quite like pumpkins! And now, you can celebrate the fall harvest by smocking this classic Sew Beautiful pumpkin smocking plate designed by Angela Pullen Atherton. Pumpkin Patch made its first appearance in our July/August 2001 issue of the magazine, and the design was so popular that we brought it back for our “Flashbacks” column in the September/October 2007 edition. Now, we’ve brought this seasonal plate back once more so you can smock it on a garment for your little pun’kin — or use it to make a festive basket liner to fill with miniature candy pumpkins. For those of you who prefer machine embroidery, we also have a digited design available to download on our free machine embroidery designs page.
Follow the instructions below to stitch this advanced picture smocking plate.
- #8 crewel or #7 long darner needle
- DMC Six-Strand Cotton Embroidery Floss:
- top border
- #3772- very dk desert sand
- bottom border
- #729 – md old gold (gold leaves)
- #817 – very dk coral red (blended with #720 for red leaves)
- #720 – dk orange spice (blended with #817 for red leaves)
- #722 – lt orange spice (blended with #721 for orange leaves)
- #721 – md orange spice (blended with #722 for orange leaves)
- #433 – md brown (acorn tops, leaf veins and French knots)
- #738 – very lt tan (acorn bottoms)
- #900 – dk burnt orange
- #720 – dk orange spice
- #524 – very lt fern green
- color to match fabric
- top border
Preparation and Smocking
NOTE: For light- to mid-weight fabrics, smock according to graph; for heavier fabrics, add stitches if needed to correct distortion of design. Due to the thickness of pleats in heavier fabrics like corduroy, this design stitches out wide, creating distorted pumpkins; add extra stitches to bottom of pumpkins to compensate.
1. Pleat 10 rows; smock eight. Top and bottom rows are holding rows; they will not be smocked and are not shown on graph. Design as shown covers 160 pleats.
2. Backsmock Rows 2 – 8 with two strands fl oss to match fabric. Backsmock with cables or stem stitch.
3. Work all smocking with four strands floss unless otherwise noted.
4. Begin on Row 1 with #3772 (very dk desert sand) . Cable across row, beginning with down cable over two center pleats. Add three-cable sets above cable row, skipping two pleats between sets; center so that an up cable is worked over two center pleats.
5. Using #900 (dk burnt orange), begin middle pumpkin 13 pleats to left of center valley at darkened cable on Row 5. Cable two starting with an up cable. “Park” needle on back to keep thread out of the way. Thread a second needle with four strands of #720 (dk orange spice); cable four starting with an up cable. Pick up previous color, orange, and cable two. Switch to second color, tangerine, and cable five, then two orange, two tangerine, two orange and two tangerine. Do not carry floss more than 1/2-inch without taking a small tacking stitch on back. Pay attention to frequent color changes on graph and complete center pumpkin.
6. Work two side pumpkins, again, paying close attention to color changes, and starting at darkened cables. Left pumpkin begins on Row 5, 44 pleats to left of center valley. Right pumpkin begins on Row 5, 22 pleats to right of center valley.
7. Work lower border, beginning each motif at darkened cable on Row 8. Leaves 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 are two floss colors blended together; refer to fl oss list. Pay close attention to color changes on acorns.
8. Add vines and green lazy daisy leaves, using two strands #524 (very lt fern green). Refer to graph and adjust vines to fit between tops of pumpkins and upper border, and between bottoms of pumpkins and lower border.
9. With two strands #433 (md brown), add leaf veins on bottom border and tiny French knots at acorn bottoms.
Want more fall-inspired sewing projects? Check out these fun ideas:
Be sure to shop digital magazine issues of Sew Beautiful and Australian Smocking & Embroidery for much more sewing and smocking inspiration. Each issue is filled with projects, tips and more.
New to smocking, or want to take your smocking skills to the next level? Don’t miss these video resources: