Something a little different from me this month, with posts about Christmas makes becoming the norm, I thought it would be nice to show off a Halloween make.

I enjoy machine embroidery and I enjoy playing and digitising my own designs as well. I started with a 4 inch square embroidery area machine and soon got very frustrated at the lack of designs for that size hoop. Embroidery machines now have a bigger range of hoop sizes so designs became bigger and leaving the smaller hoop sizes behind, as designers focused more on these larger hoops. Understandably, as you could do more with them. Especially for In-The-Hoop – ITH -designs. Hence, why I like designing in this size hoop.

I am not a great fan of bunting par-say, and the fact that you have endless amounts of string or tape that can tangle up. What could I design that could mean bunting without less tangle?

It was Halloween, so I thought about pumpkins on their stalks. The challenge was fitting the design within the area, and being able to cut around the design with ease. I also had to factor in jump stitches – when the machine moves from the end of one stitch to the beginning of another – as newer machines tend to cut these, older and cheaper model machines do not and the user has to manually do these, adding to the stitch out time.

I knew before working on the design how I wanted them to connect; a toddle through a button hole concept. In this case, a leaf at the top of the stalk, although the leaf joined on a curve, once joined it would form a row of stalks and leafs.


I wanted the pumpkin to have a quilted effect. This took some time getting the shape and the lines correct over the design. I achieved the basic padding with layers and an appliqué technique.





Several test designs later – cannot remember how many as this was made and designed in 2017 – I was happy with it. I then tested it for the stitching and the jump stitches making sure there were very few.

Then it was a case of adding the letters. I made a big mistake here as I set the letter shape area up to that of the H and forgot that the W needed more space. I had to redo all the other letters with the same design area, adding time to the designing of it.

The stitch out time for each pumpkin piece – is about 40 minutes, so not a quick stitch out – once you get the hang of it, the time will go down.

I must confess, once I had my row I was delighted with the way it looked. However, I discovered that it did not have a way of hanging it up. I devised a section to use for the start and finish areas, a straight stalk with leaves.

This was my first really big success in my digitising for the embroidery machine, and for the instructions I have made a how to video with it.

If you are interested in purchasing the design, you can do so from here:

Although this is a machine embroidery file. I am looking at designing a basic one for the sewing machine.