We are TwoLuLa! Welcome to our journey of creative discovery!




Monday, October 7, 2013

The Making of a Tuffet

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet...



Here is my very first hand made tuffet! I say "very first" not because I have others to show you, but because I want to make more. In fact the material for tuffet number 2 has been sitting in a nice pile on my piano bench (which should be a pretty good indication that not a lot of piano playing nor tuffet sewing has been happening lately).  Anyway I absolutely love how this tuffet came out!


The idea to make a tuffet came from a local quilt store, Pennington Quilt Works here in New Jersey.  They had a tuffet on display as a class sample.  It appealed to me very much but unfortunately class registration was full both times I tried to register. I put my name on the waiting list, hoping the instructor would give another class. Finally one day the phone rang...tuffet class here I come!  
'


My two college age daughters  had just gotten their first apartment.  I decided to make the tuffet for them.  Olivia came with me to select the fabric at Olde City Quilts in Burlington, NJ.  We knew we wanted to use batiks, but its such an amazing  store we made quite a time of it browsing absolutely everything.  Lots of oohs and ahhhs!  And then we wandered into the Bernina sewing machine section... we tried out the machines...there she was...I fell in love...she had been traded up for a more advanced model and was just there waiting for me.  We were the perfect match.  We took her home. 
(Now I do not usually make such expensive on the spot purchases but this was different. I was getting increasingly frustrated with the thread tangles and other problems with my existing machine and I knew I could pay her off with the money I would be earning tutoring and subbing at the high school. Believe me I had quite an internal conversation with myself before saying  "Wrap her up!")


The tuffet uses 2 inch wide fabric strips so a jelly roll was perfect. The pattern consists of 8 wedges.  Each wedge consists of 8 strips of fabric pieced onto a foundation wedge. The sewing lines are drawn onto the foundation piece before starting. After that the process was really quite straight forward and repetitive.

Foundation wedge and fabric strips ready to get started.



The first two strips were pinned right sides together on the foundation , stitched along the drawn sewing line, pressed open and the piece on the right was trimmed to 1/4 in beyond the next sewing line.




The process was repeated with the next strip (dark blue).




And with the next strip and so on, and so on, and so on...



Until the wedge was completed!



I repeated the process to create 7 more wedges.  Then came the fun part of laying them all out and playing with colors and patterns to decide on their placement in the tuffet. 











Once the layout was decided upon the wedges had to be sewn together.  This grew increasingly challenging as pieces were added because I was sewing through more and more layers of fabric.  Thank goodness for Liesel (thats what I named my new machine)! After the wedges were sewn together I zigzagged over a cord just inside the outer perimeter to gather the edges under.  Ta da!




 The tuffet class was in two parts.  At the first class the instructor showed us how to sew the strips together to make the wedges and explained how we would sew the completed wedges together at home. We brought the completed fabric cover back for the second class where we assembled the tuffet. My daughter Eva joined me for this.

Here she is glueing the upholstery foam on top of the  plywood base and covering the foam with a thick layer of batting. 



After that the tuffet cover was put on and secured to the base with staples. We added a finished fabric circle to the underside of the tuffet to cover the wood.  Finally some wooden legs were screwed on and...  A tuffet!





One of my Miss Muffets enjoying her tuffet!


Happy Creating,

Cynthia

29 comments:

  1. I love this! You could really start a business making these... my girls would love them! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Meredith! I've thought about it. Just have to make tuffet number 2 on my own and see how it goes. You are inspiring me to clean up my sewing space!

      Delete
  2. Beautiful! I love the colorful fabrics you used! Wonderful work!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so cute! I've pinned it for later inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just gorgeous. I totally want one! I've featured it at this week's party. Stop by & grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking to the Craftastic Monday party at Sew Can Do!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have created such a lovely piece! I really like your fabric choices too. Great combination!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your photos of the process. I am starting a tuffet. I was so unsure of the foundation piecing that I made a test unit with "throw away" fabrics. I used 2 inch strips and it seems to me that is is better than the jelly rolls because the outside edge of the strip lines up with previous seam lines. I think I will cut my 2.5 jelly roll strips down before I begin. Any thoughts on that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry that I have not responded to you yet. I have been away from blogging for awhile. Did you make your tuffet?

      Delete
  7. Are these step by step instructions yours or is it a published pattern that we can purchase somewhere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here you go John...
      http://tuffetsource.com/tuffet-tool-with-pattern-set/

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the pattern source. Perhaps you should list the pattern at the top of this blog post right beside the quilt shop that offered the class. Although we all love a free and very well done tutorial, its always a good idea to give credit where credit is due...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for your blog. I really wanted to take this class at Pennington Quilt Works, but I moved to Maine before I was able to. I am excited about finding this info and pattern source.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks so much for this post. I saw the tuffets in two quilt shops this weekend but they are an hour away from my home and taking a class is not an option. Before buying an online pattern I wanted to see what I was getting into and you showed me the way. Now I know what I will be doing on the first snow day after Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Question... My wedges are curving themselves inward as I piece. Is this what it is supposed to do or should I be doing something different?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can see the entire process at the Tuffet Source website. It works best to have a partner to help with the assembly to keep everything even. http://www.tuffetsource.com. The curving actually forms the shape of the tuffet so you slip it over the foundation and staple it on the bottom, then cover the center hole with the 3 inch button.
      If you have trouble sewing, make SMALL clip or two at curve and remember to press seams after every strip sewn.

      Delete
  12. Thanks for your post. Tuffets have just arrived in the UK, and like Madalyn above I would love to do a workshop but so far they are only being offered in two shops and both are a long way from me. I've googled the kits and am ready to buy one but just wanted to be sure of what was involved before I took the plunge. Your post has really helped with that.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My aunt and I just signed up to take this class in July at a nearby quilt shop. Thank you for your in-depth post, so we'll know what to expect!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just saw one of these at a quilt store over the weekend and fell in love with it. I was going to sign up for the class, which was $80, which I didn't think unreasonable for everything. I was wrong. The class itself was $80. It was an additional $90 for the tuffet and we would have to purchase the feet, the cording and everything else. I decided I wasn't going to pay almost $300 so came home and looked on Pinterest. Thank you for the awesome direction! Now I can make one and not pay a fortune!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our class was $110 including instruction,tuffet base/kit, the purchased pattern PLUS the interfaced sewing pattern was ironed on to muslin. The Quilt Shop's spouse did the wood work and the rest was ordered individually through various sources to keep it inexpensive for us. I think $55 was our cost for supplies, not including fabric. That is half price from the kit at the Tuffet Source. Frankly, I don't know how she did it for that price even wholesale. It is a very small rural shop, so it's not like she was buying in volume.

      Delete
  15. Great instructions and clear photos. Did I miss the bit where you showed how to attach the button? How do you get this through the base. or does it only go through the batting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wooden base has two holes drilled in the center. After attaching the quilted top, then "sew" the button down through the batting, foam and and base and tie underneath. Then proceed to cover the bottom with fabric.

      Delete
    2. The wooden base has two holes drilled in the center. After attaching the quilted top, then "sew" the button down through the batting, foam and and base and tie underneath. Then proceed to cover the bottom with fabric.

      Delete
  16. how about some help with the finishing? Like getting that button on and finishing the bottom. There is plenty of help with the piecing but no one has any video on how to attach that button and finish the bottom and that is where we need the help most. I'd like to see how you threaded that button on and how you finished the bottom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go to http://tuffetsource.com It shows everything there.

      Delete
  17. How did you manage to fasten the button on?

    ReplyDelete
  18. How did you manage to fasten the button on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go to Tuffet Source.com website. Everything is explained there.There is 2 holes in the wood base center. You run upholstery thread or cord through the button finding, use a huge 9" needle to go through the Tuffet center hole and foam/ batting, then tie it through to the holes drilled in the wood base. This is the next to last step after stapling on the Tuffet cover you just made on the bottom. Finally you cover all the NOT so pretty bottom with a circle of fabric, felt, wool or whatever. Screw in the 4 feet and you can sit on it and eat curds and whey.:>).

      By the way, they are beautiful done in just 4 quarters of color instead of all the strips.I saw one done in velvets and silk, then embroidered like a crazy quilt. There was an ombré colored one, and another one done in half inch strips of Seminole Patchwork made into the 2 inch strips. It was sort of like a bargello look on the Tuffet. The cutest one was all shades of pink calicoes and such, with the off white feet tole painted with many colors and words from Little Miss Muffett written the the larger curved areas of her feet. I asked her if it was for her Grand daughter and she said, " No, I always loved that nursery rhyme and I plan to sit on my Tuffet and eat my cottage cheese in the morning in the sun room. I just hope the spider doesn't demand to share my seat." She said she was 71 years old!

      Delete
  19. Mucho tiempo y apenas lo encuentro. Precioso trabajo y de gran utilidad.. Es una belleza..
    Saludos, mariace

    ReplyDelete