Autumn is a favorite time of the year for many sewers as fabrics abound that capture the beauty of nature by using the riotous colors of fall. Colorful leaves, bright orange pumpkins, yellow gourds, ornamental grasses and mosses, gathered acorns and pinecones and fuzzy brown cattails can and do evoke vivid, colorful scenes for our senses that any sewer can emulate with imaginative uses of fabric.
Here are a few fall sewing projects to consider:
Leaf shaped placemats – whatever the leaf shape made of fabric cut outs - pointed maple leaf shapes or of elongated ovals or oak leaf lobed, the placemats will always look charming especially if made of a variety of colorful autumn prints. For each placemat cut two of each shape and one of thin cotton batting. Stack right sides together, sew in a 1/4 inch seam leaving an opening for turning. Press and hand stitch opening closed. Machine or hand stitch leaf ‘veins’ as a way to keep the layers together.
Scrappy pumpkin hot pads – strip stitch together several orange prints, then using a pumpkin shaped template cut out one. Cut out a second pumpkin shape from a solid color, sew right sides together with cotton batting, leaving an opening for turning. Turn, press, topstitch near the edges and stitch curved lines to make pumpkin ribbed sections. Add a brown felt or fabric stem shape and green felt leaf shape.
A moss lined basket of fabric pumpkins – made of burlap, velvet or printed cotton, a basket of various sized fabric pumpkins makes a lovely table centerpiece. Cut out the desired size circle anywhere from approx. 12 to 24 inches in diameter. With a sturdy needle (a long upholstery type needle is best) and embroidery floss run a gathering stitch around the outer edge of the circle, gather tightly leaving room to stuff lightly with fiberfill for a softly gathered look or stuff firmly then crisscross wind floss around to make the pumpkin sections. Pull tightly closed and embellish to add stem and leaf.
A felt or fabric garland made of owls, acorns, pumpkins and leaf shapes looks great to hang on the mantel or in a window. Templates for the various shapes can be found in clip art or use large cookie cutters. Sew or glue the shapes onto coarse jute rope for a rustic look.
An easy fall home décor wall hanging can be made by securing fabric in an embroidery hoop, glue on a brown or tan felt tree trunk, then glue or sew on buttons in the many glorious colors of autumn to act as ‘leaves’ on the top of the tree. Have some buttons cascading down to mimic falling leaves.
Felt or fabric leaves fall wreath. Cut out enough leaf shapes to glue onto and partially cover a twig or grapevine wreath, leaving several inches unadorned on one side. Add a pretty coordinating ribbon. A foam core wreath can be used as well – just wrap the foam wreath first with wide ribbon or fabric strips.
Fall table runner made of burlap or coarse linen with appliqued felt leaves. Cut the fabric for the length of the table plus additional for overhang. Generally 16 inches wide is a finished table runner width however can be any width desired. Serge or narrowly hem the edges. Cut out various leaf shapes from felt or fabric scraps. Fuse or machine sew the various leaf shapes down the center of the burlap.
As we gradually shift from sweltering summer heat into the subtle cool freshness of approaching autumn air we become increasingly aware of how pleasant shades of amber orange, tawny russet, intense burgundy, cooling greys and infinite shades of tans to browns evoke the harvest season time. Nature’s color palette of fall seems to remind us of how bountiful and profoundly reflective the season can be.
Sew happy, sew inspired.