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I love all things sewing!  It's all about the creative journey.  All my blog posts are letters to my sewing alter-ego - Lola!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Adventures in Tuffeteering

 Dear Lola,

Sewing continues to take me places I never imagined.  Today’s sewing adventure landed me squarely in the world of Tuffeteering.  Haven’t you ever heard of the magical world of Tuffeteering?  It’s a pleasant place and you can find yourself transported there by Sharyn Cole, a fabulous educator at ThimblePleasures who teaches a class in tuffet making.   Sharyn’s positive, upbeat attitude makes learning fun!  She loves what she does and it totally shows - as you can see from her photo below!  I just adore her!

Don’t you know what a tuffet is?  It’s a mushroom shaped seat made famous by none other than Little Miss Muffet of nursery rhyme fame.  After my experience today, I believe that no home should be without at least one!

Two weeks ago during session one of the Tuffet Making Class, we learned how to sew strips of fabric on to muslin backed wedge-shaped strips.  After completing one wedge using this easy flip and sew technique, we were sent home to return today with our completed tuffet covers.  Each student had both unique fabrics and plans for their finished tuffets – we couldn’t wait to reconvene to see each other’s results.

After only a few missteps on my own, I finished my cover with happy results (see the photo below).  I actually enjoyed the process much more than I ever imagined.  Just knowing that I would have a pretty swanky piece of furniture to show at the end of the project was enough to keep my eyes on the finish line.  Sewing the strips together was kind of therapeutic and once I got a little rhythm going, it really didn’t take too long.  The flip and sew procedure was new to me and took some concentration to master, but in the final analysis isn’t too complicated.

After the wedges are sewn together, a small drawstring is attached to the bottom of the fabric circle to pull the fullness around the tuffet.  We were instructed to come to the class today with our finished cover, a 6-inch square of fabric for the covered button center and an 18-inch square of fabric for the underneath of the tuffet.  I had previously purchased the class kit, which included my batting, foam and plywood.  Sharyn graciously allows the class to use her power tools and let me tell you – they are serious power tools that involve an air generator and safety goggles! 

It was so exciting to arrive and see everyone’s finished covers.  Each one was a shining example of creativity and hard work.  The fabric strips had been transformed!  There were examples of whimsical, elegant and sublime!  The atmosphere inside the classroom was a little like Santa’s workshop.  All the little elves were more than enthusiastic to get started!

We hit the ground running, with only 3 hours of class time and 6 tuffets to finish, we had to be serious about getting it all done.  We did things today I never imagined I would experience.  We cut our foam using electric kitchen knives – yep, you know the Hamilton Beach type that Dad used back in the day to carve the Thanksgiving Turkey!  We used a spray adhesive to affix the foam to the plywood, mastered a high-powered staple gun to adhere our upholstery batting and we hammered bolt holders into the plywood.  We covered buttons, stretched fabric, poked holes and affixed wooden feet. 

The energy in the room was giddy with possibilities.  Some of us (mostly me) were nervous around the power tools while others were brave and dove right in with gusto!  We worked in teams, stayed focused and kept our rhythm.  I would have never guessed it possible – but we did it!  By our 5:00 deadline, the world was a much more tuffety place and no one was injured!

To my complete and utter joy - I have actually created and completed my very first piece of furniture!  I am still in shock over the fact that I created this very tangible proof of my ability to follow directions, do my best and finish the job!  I am now the proud owner of a tuffet.  I can sit on it, stand on it, or better yet  - share it with someone who looks simply adorable sitting on it!

Hugs and stitches,
Sew Sleepless