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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tufting 101

I made Zar a couple of leopard skin pillows this morning. Then I decided to go back to tufting a foot stool. If Tessie is going to sit on the sofa at all, she will need a foot rest. I know about that. It's a "being short" thing.

As for the pillows, I simply turned under a hem, sewed two side seams, trimmed the corners. Then I turned them right side out. Then I blind stitched about half way across, shoved a funnel in the hole and poured in some salt.

Here in the desert, low humidity, if you don't have sand, you use salt. It works great and gives the pillows a soft, well used look.

I will probably make more, but for now, that's enough for Zar to be comfortable. Tessie wasn't too happy. Zar immediately grabbed both of them and, sounding like Tessie herself, hissed, "Mine!" That settled that....

Now for the foot stool. I grabbed a toilet tissue tube and cut it down to 1". Then I cut two circles of card to fit the top and bottom.

I used the same fabric as the sofa. Boring, but a good backdrop if I want to make some more patterned pillows.

I cut one piece to fit the bottom and over lap on the sides. One piece is long enough to fit around the outer ring and over lap about a half inch....Make sure that you cut this piece after you have a thin layer of batting on the sides. The last piece is the size of the top +1/2" to 3/4" all around. I cut a band of low loft batting that just fits around the ring and is about 1/8" narrower, top to bottom.

I glued one of the circles of card to one end of the 1" tube. then I covered that with the first circle, cutting V shapes in the excess all around so that there were no overlaps on the sides as I pulled the points up. Then I glued the strip of batting over that, leaving a bit uncovered on the bottom edge.

I then put a hem in one long side and one short side of the long fabric with glue. Starting with the raw short edge, I glued this piece around the tube, matching the hemmed long edge with the bottom edge of the covered end of the tube. This will be a bit narrower looking than the part that is padded. I wanted it to look like there was a toe kick on the bottom.

I then put dots and punctured three spots on the card circle meant for the top. I glued two layers of the batting lightly to that. You don't want to mat it down or squash it.

Over that, I centered the circle of fabric and, holding it together, starting at the back, I put a stitch in the first hole. When I went back through, I moved the needle over a few threads so that it wouldn't just slip back through all of the layers without catching.

Pulling tightly, I repeated the process with the other two holes. If you have difficulty hitting the same hole coming back, stick a pin through from the bottom and then you can guide your needle back by following the pin down through the layers. Make sure that all of the stitches are pulled up tightly and then fasten the thread off with a few knots around previous stitches.

When I am doing more tufting like the back and seat of the couch, I do a series of knots between every second or third tuft. That keeps them from pulling out whilst you are doing the next knots.

When you are satisfied with the tufting that you have done and fastened off, do a basting stitch around the edge of the circle and pull it up. Make sure that the fabric is evenly distributed around the edge and fasten off.

When you are doing a rectangle like the seat of the couch or a curve like the back you can simply pull the fabric to the back and glue it down. The only problem with that is you have to constantly check to see if everything is even and not pulled to tight. Be careful with your clipping in this case. It is very easy for the beginner to over clip and wind up with a cut that shows on the front.

Oh! And if you are working with stripes, always be sure that they match someplace on the piece.... The last step is to put trim on if you so wish.

Zar got to the sofa first this time! Sorry about that, Tessie!

See you tomorrow.


Audra said...

How do you attatch the trim so nice without glue all over?

I know all about dangling feet - I am only 5 feet tall. At least in the 80's I could get away with taller hair! Now I have to add height from the bottom

Caseymini said...

Audra, I use a glue syringe(sp)I think that they are actually to give pets and babies medicine, but they are great for applying glue in a thin line. You can also use a puddle of glue and dip a toothpick into it. to put the line on.

I have, on occasion, in desperation, used a bottle from puffy paint and other fabric paints, washed out and re filled with glue. They have a very fine point.

Norma said...

The tufting looks great, it makes such a difference to the luxurious look. And thanks for the tip about the syringe - I'm definately going to try that!

Nicole said...

Wonderful foot stool, Casey, thanks for showing how to make it! I love leopard skin fabric, also with clothes, but the pillows look great!

Kathi said...

That last photo is delightful! Love the sofa and foot stool! I hope you didn't notice that Tessie's feet are dirty. You might want to have her keep her feet on the floor! LOL
I think you mentioned the syringe before. I use one all the time now. It really helps. :D

Caseymini said...

Kathi, Tessie missed her Saturday night bath this week. Actually, I seldom see her with clean feet. That's just how it is when you don't EVER wear shoes!LOL