Tuffets, a footstool or low seat, have captured the imagination of quilters, crafters and sewists for several years now. One of the most popular patterns to use is the fusible foundation pattern and instructions from Tuffet Source™. This article shows you step-by-step how to piece a tuffet cover. You will need the Fusible Foundation Pattern from Tuffet Source.
Here is the tuffet I made for myself about three years ago.
Because it gets daily use, it's time to recover it.
How to Piece a Tuffet Cover in Easy Steps
Step 1 – Prepare the Foundations
The first thing to do is fuse the fusible interfacing to muslin. Your pattern will have two panels. Each panel has 4 foundation units. I did mine in two sections, four units at a time.
- Roughly cut around the first four printed foundations.
- Place the printed, fusible interfacing on top of the muslin with the printed side up. The bumpy side is the heat activated fusible material.
- I spray a little water on top and then use an Applique Pressing Sheet to fuse the material in place. Set your iron to polyester.
- Repeat with the remaining set of 4 units.
Step 2 – Cut out the Units
After all the foundations are fused to the muslin, cut them into 8 individual units. The outside line of each unit is indicated by the little scissors icon. Cut on the outside line of each foundation.
You will have a total of 8 foundations.
Step 3 – Prepare Fabric Strips
Next, prepare your fabric. The instructions tell you how to lay out your fabrics from 1 through 8. Choose your fabrics and cut the strips. Lay out the strips as shown in the instructions.
One thing not in the instructions is to number the sections on each foundation unit. Number the sections as shown below.
These numbers correspond to the fabric numbers. In the next step, when you start piecing, you will begin with Fabrics 5 and 4. Piecing is done from the Center Line (shown above) out.
Step 4 – Sew Fabrics 4 and 5
In this demonstration, I am using light blue for Fabrics 1 through 4 and dark blue for Fabrics 5 through 8.
Lay out 1 strip of Fabric 4 with right side up. Place 1 strip of Fabric 5 on top of Fabric 4 with right sides together.
Locate the dotted Center Line.
Line up the Center Line (dotted line) along the top of the stacked Fabrics 5 and 4 as shown below and the two close-ups that follow.
Close-up right side.
Close-up left side.
Pin the fabrics in place. Stitch on the dashed line marked “A”.
Turn the unit over and press towards Fabric 4.
Step 5 – Sew Fabric 3
Turn the unit over so you can see the printed side. A fold template is a piece of template plastic or card stock about 3″ x 12″. Use the cardboard that came with the Add-A-Quarter ruler. I cut the pattern cover and use that.
Place the fold template along the dashed line marked “B”. Notice the “3” above it? This means the next fabric you attach is Fabric 3. Before we can attach the next fabric, we need to trim the previous fabric. In the picture above, the fold template covers the right side of Line B. To the left, Line B curves slightly downward. This curve is called the shoulder.
With the fold template along the right side of Line B, fold the foundation over the fold template. Place the Add-A-Quarter ruler here.
Trim Fabric 4, stopping at the curve. This isn't rocket science so if you aren't precise, it is not a problem.
Open the foundation and place the fold template on Line B on the shoulder side.
Place the Add-A-Quarter ruler on the fold template.
Finish trimming Fabric 4.
Place Fabric 3 on the cutting mat just above the unit. Keep the foundation folded. Remove the fold template now.
Pick up the entire unit and place it on top of Fabric 3. Align the cut edge of Fabric 4 (which you just trimmed) with the top edge of the Fabric 3 strip. Fabric 3 and all the remaining fabrics will need to be curved slightly to line up with the cut edge of the previous fabric.
Open the unit. Pin the fabric in place. Stitch on Line B.
Press towards Fabric 3. Because the fabric is on the bias near the curve, it is easy to press the curve in place.
Step 6 – Fabrics 2 and 1
Repeat Step 5. Trim, piece and press the same way you did for Fabric 3 on Line B.
- Fabric 2 on Line C.
- Fabric 1 on Line D.
Step 7 – Fabrics 6, 7 and 8
Repeat Step 5. Trim, piece and press the same way you did for Fabric 3 on Line B. In these sections, the shoulder is on the right side as you piece.
- Fabric 6 on Line E.
- Fabric 7 on Line F.
- And finally, Fabric 8 on Line G.
Step 8 – Assemble the Cover
You now have 8 pieced units.
- Trim the excess fabric from the units. To do this, trim around the outside line with the scissors icons.
- Place 2 units, right sides together matching the circles along the seam allowance. Stitch together along the seam line. Do this with all 8 units and you will have 4 pairs.
- Continue stitching units together until you have one mushroom shaped piece. At the top, where all 8 pieces come together, you should have enough open space to put your thumb through.