Pumpkin Table Topper Tutorial


Hello WeAllSew readers, my name is Cherry Guidry from Cherry Blossoms and I am a proud BERNINA Ambassador. I started sewing at age four, have loved creating with fabric all my life, and really enjoy hand embroidery. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the fresh crisp air, apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes, beautiful color, and pumpkins everywhere. So I’ve designed a simple fall project to show you an easy way to do “hand embroidery” by machine with this pumpkin table topper!

I stitched out this pumpkin table topper on the BERNINA 880 with Aurifil threads and Color Weave fabrics by Benartex. You can download a copy of the pattern below in the materials list.


Materials for the Pumpkin Table Topper:

Additional Supplies:

  • 90/14 Topstitch needle
  • Tear-Away Embroidery Stabilizer
  • 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive
  • Spray Starch
  • White quilting thread—#624 Superior Threads Bottom Line
  • Quilting pins
  • Pencil
  • Light Box—Optional
  • Aurifil 12wt thread in the following colors: Med brown #2372, Light brown #2930, Green #5016, Red #2230, Yellow #2145
  • Aurifil 50wt white thread for the bobbin

Step 1: Cut and label all fabrics

White:  14″ x 11½”—embroidery background, (1) 1½” x 18″ strip, sub-cut into (6) 1½” x 3″—pieced border

Gray:  (2) 13½” x 1″—border

Orange:  (1) 3″ x 18″ strip, sub-cut into (7) 3″ x 1½”—pieced border

Green:  (2) 2¼” x width of fabric—binding

Backing & Batting: 16″ x 17″

Step 2: Prepare the background fabric

Print the design layout making sure your printer is set to no scale; tape the two pages together along the dotted lines. It’s a good idea to stabilize the fabric you will be embroidering to keep it nice and flat, so I spray starch and press dry the fabric several times until it is stiff as paper; this also makes it easier to transfer the design onto the fabric.

Place the background fabric, right side up, over the design layout, and using a pencil, transfer the embroidery lines onto the right side of the fabric. A light box is a great option, but you can always use a window.


The starch works great, but it’s not enough, so I like to add a layer of tear-away embroidery stabilizer to the wrong side of the background fabric with a little 505 temporary spray adhesive.


Step 3: Get your machine ready

I’ve tried several needles with Aurifil 12wt thread and have had the best results with the 90/14 Topstich, it has a larger eye and groove to accommodate thicker threads. For the bobbin I like a 50wt thread that coordinates with the background fabric.


On your BERNINA, select the triple straight stitch #6 and set the stitch length to 2.85; embroider the design, changing thread colors as recommended in the design layout. Remember to leave a 3-4″ thread tail at the beginning and end of the stitching to bring the threads to the back of the project and tie a knot to prevent unraveling.


Watch this video for the stitching technique:

Step 4: Making the Pumpkin Table Topper

Trim the embroidered background to 13½” x 11″.

Hand Embroidery by Machine Background

Sew the white and orange 3″ x 1½” strips on the long edge, alternating colors and beginning and ending with orange. Press to the orange.

Hand Embroidery by Machine - Pieced Border

Sew the (2) gray 13½” x 1″ border strips to the top and bottom edges of the embroidered background; press to the gray. Sew the pieced border to the bottom edge of the gray strip; press to the gray.

Hand Embroidery by Machine - Quilt Center

Place the backing fabric, right side down, layer with the 16″ x 17″ cotton batting, top with the quilt, and pin all layers together. If you’d like to achieve the look of trapunto and have the open areas in the embroidered design filled, add a layer of wool batting over the cotton batting.

Using your BSR or Embroidery foot #26 and the white quilting thread, quilt next to all the stitched embroidery lines. Follow with very tight stitching all around the design to make the embroidered design stand out.

Trim the excess batting and backing fabric. Bind with the (2) green 2¼” x width of fabric binding strips and the Walking foot #50.

Hope you enjoy your little pumpkin table topper for many falls to come!

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