This past autumn, I saved the stems from my spent pumpkins and asked several friends to save theirs as well. I've always loved pumpkins at Halloween and as a symbol of Thanksgiving and bountiful harvests. I knew I wanted to hook three-dimensional pumpkins, but I didn't know the "how to" just yet. I put the stems in my garage to dry over the winter.
I found rug hooking websites with great pumpkins that appeared three-dimensional on my computer screen, but I later found them to be flat pillows with fabric on the back. So I decided to repurpose a pattern I had made back in 2005 for quilted fabric pumpkins.
At the 2011 annual Hook-In in Denver, Colorado, I demonstrated "hooked pumpkin making" to an enthusiastic group of hookers. Everyone received written directions and tree branch stems cut from a willow tree in my backyard. My real dried pumpkin stems were in short supply, so tree branch pieces were a logical substitute for real pumpkin stems.
This article is from the September/October 2011 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.