Monday, October 10, 2016

Pincushion Tuffet ~~ Tutorial and Finish!

At a recent quilt show I saw a sweet tuffet pincushion pattern and kit. I didn't want to spend that amount of money on a fun, but unnecessary, item. So when I got home I asked Richard to cut a circle from a piece of scrap wood. The nut cut three! He decided that since I couldn't tell him exactly how big I wanted, he would give me choices. 

Since I made my own pattern, of sorts, and made a different type of tuffet, I thought I'd share my process and reasoning. Know, however, that mostly I wanted to make something quick and easy and just see if I could figure it out on my own.

I started out by gathering the materials that I thought I'd need. It turns out I used a few more items. I started with a fat quarter, the wooden circle, a ruler, staple gun, quilt batting, foam, needle and thread, and a pencil. I added a glue gun and glue, and (these I forgot to put in the picture) the antique thread spools that I used as legs.

 I used the wooden circle to measure the foam and the batting. I cut the foam to the exact size of the wooden circle. Because I used scrap batting, I cut the outer edges of the batting pieces to match the circle and allowed the center sections to pile one on another. I also piled in the cut off pieces so that the batting would be higher (or thicker) in the center of the tuffet. 

To measure the fabric, I used the wooden circle as a measuring tool by placing it in the center and measuring three inches from the outer edge of the circle, then marking about every two or three inches.  I decided that I needed about three inches extra to cover the wooden square, foam, and batting by stacking all of it on the fabric and folding it around the stack. It was just a guess but it worked perfectly.

I used dark colored thread so you could see it against the fabric. This seam ends up on the bottom of the tuffet and doesn't show, so I left the dark thread.  When I got to the end of the fabric, I was running out of thread, but knowing I'd gather it eventually, I simply allowed it to stay gathered. 

The next step is to stack the batting on the foam and flip it over and into the fabric. Tuck it all in and check that it's relatively smooth. 

Add the wooden circle on top of the foam and pull the thread so that the fabric gathers up around the wooden circle. Pull it tight and tie it off, then cut the thread and tuck the pieces into the fabric.

The moment I dropped in the first staple, I cut the thread. Darn! I carefully put three more staples in, then tied more thread to the broken one and resewed the fabric. At this point I decided that I needed to hot glue the fabric in place. It was impossible to trust that thread.  

Although I originally planned to use small nails to hold the wooden thread spools, I had a hot glue gun that was ready to go. Naturally I took the easy route and glued those babies down. 

The tuffet sides are a bit looser than I had hoped but it's okay.

In the end, I really like this pincushion. I used the middle size wooden circle, so that means I can make a bigger one and a smaller one. I've decided that I'm going to try something a little different for the next on, maybe make it more fitted on the sides. I also bought only four small thread spools, so I'll have to find something else to act as feet. 

What are you thinking? I'm curious what you think about the tuffet, of course, but I'd also like to know about my tutorial. Are the instructions clear and easy to understand? Do the photos clarify the instructions and help with understanding? Please feel free to give feedback--positive or negative, it doesn't matter. Much more important to me is that I improve pattern/instruction writing.

Happy Quilting!


Tammy Stack said...

nice pincushion! I really love the threadspool legs!

jenclair said...

The spools for legs are too cute, Mary! I have so many pincushions. They are supposed to have different pins and needles in each one, but when I'm sewing, I mix them all up again, using the nearest in proximity. Every once in a while, I separate them again, but I know what will happen eventually.

Kaja said...

I too think your little threadspool legs (we say cotton reels) are brilliant. Although I haven't tried to make a pincushion (lacking a handy Richard) the steps look pretty clear to me and I would be confident to try following your instructions.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

This is adorbs!!! And you saved yourself $50 for the kit!