Combine embroidery with silk and wool fabrics to create a cozy pumpkin pillow for your fall decorating.
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Designer: Joan Grenke


  • 14x3" rectangle brown plaid felted wool (basket)
  • 1⁄3 yard tan silk matka, such as raw silk or noil (appliqué foundation, pillow back)
  • Scraps of assorted orange felted wools (pumpkins, berries)
  • 1x4" rectangle brown felted wool (stems)
  • 2x6" rectangle green felted wool (leaves)
  • Tan quilting thread
  • Embroidery floss: brown and tan
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Freezer paper
  • Water-soluble marking pen

Finished pillow: 15-1⁄2x8-1⁄2"

Yardage and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

To make pattern templates, see Make and Use Templates on page 6 of the downloadable PDF under "Download this Project." The patterns are on pages 4 and 5 of this download.

Felted wool (available in many quilt shops) doesn't fray, so there is no need to turn under the edges of the appliqué shapes. Cut edges cleanly, keeping them as smooth as possible.

To felt wool, machine-wash it in a hot-water-wash, cool-rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent; machine-dry on high heat and steam-press.

To use freezer paper for cutting appliqué shapes, complete the following steps.

1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated, leaving 1⁄2" between tracings. Cut out freezer-paper shapes roughly 1⁄4" outside traced lines.

2. Using a hot dry iron, press freezer-paper shapes, shiny side down, onto designated wools. Let cool. Cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines. Peel off freezer paper.

From brown plaid wool, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A

From tan silk matka, cut:

  • 2--16x9" rectangles

From assorted orange wools, cut:

  • 1 each of patterns B–H
  • 39 of Pattern Q

From brown wool, cut:

  • 1 each of patterns I–O

From green wool, cut:

  • 15 of Pattern P

Appliqué and Embellish Pillow Front

1. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, position brown plaid wool A basket about 1-1⁄4" from bottom edge of a tan silk matka 16x9" rectangle. Add orange wool B–H pumpkins and brown wool I–O stems. Baste in place.


2. Using tan quilting thread and a primitive whipstitch, appliqué pieces in place.

3. Referring to photo and using a water-soluble marking pen, draw freehand vines for berries and leaves and the pumpkin section lines. Using three strands of brown floss, stem-stitch vines for berries; using tan floss, stem-stitch vine for leaves and pumpkin section lines.

To stem-stitch, pull your needle up at A (Stem Stitch Diagram), then insert it back into fabric at B, about 3⁄8" away from A. Holding floss out of the way, bring your needle back up at C and pull floss through so it lies flat against fabric. The distances between points A, B, and C should be equal. Pull gently with equal tautness after each stitch. Continue in same manner, holding floss out of the way on same side of stitching every time.


4. Appliqué green wool P leaves and orange wool Q berries as done in Step 2 to finish appliquéing pillow front.

Finish Pillow

1. With right sides together, layer appliquéd pillow front and remaining tan silk matka 16x9" rectangle. Sew together, leaving a 6" opening along bottom edge for turning.

2. Turn right side out. Stuff firmly with fiberfill. Slip-stitch opening closed to complete pillow.

Assemble the Pillow

1. With right sides together, sew the pillow front to the back with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 6" opening along the bottom.

2. Turn the pillow right side out. Stuff with fiberfill. Slip-stitch the opening closed.