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Home > Craft Topics > Projects > Puff Patchwork
All projects are FREE, however, donations towards the upkeep of Walkabout Crafts are much appreciated. Please click below to make a donation..The puff effect of this type of patchwork makes it ideal for creating warm rugs for the floor or luxurious bed quilts. The padded result is achieved by combining individual envelopes of fabric, each filled with wadding. These are then stitched together and backed with a firm, plain fabric.
Materials and equipment
Cottons and cotton mixes are ideal for puff patchwork; these are the best fabrics for quilts as they are washable. If you are making a mat. try towelling - this provides extra surface padding and a warm feel.
Colour and texture play an important part in this type of patchwork, so experiment with different combinations of fabrics for unusual effects. For example, to achieve a muted look, try a sheer translucent fabric on top, with a colourful filling inside. You could also use colour to change the design - try using squares in two contrasting plain fabrics for a chequerboard effect, or mix and match several different coloured squares or rectangles.
The backing fabric should be compatible with the patchwork fabrics and should be firm and resilient as well, especially when you are making a mat. When finishing off the puff patchwork, the outer edge of this fabric could be brought over to the top side and used as a border. Alternatively, the edges could be bound with ready made bias binding, available from haberdashery departments. You could even make the binding yourself: to do this, cut bias strips of fabric and fold in the edges using a special binder maker, or simply press the edges using the tip of a hot iron.
Work with a filling you are familiar with - shredded wadding gives a soft, light result, but old, clean nylon tights or scraps of fabric could be used instead as well as other commercially available fillings. Make sure that the filling is washable.
Match the sewing threads to the fabric. If in doubt, use one of the new all purpose threads which are suitable for any type of fabric.
Scissors must have sharp blades for cutting out the squares accurately. Alternatively, use a rotary cutter with a metal rule for speed and accuracy. If you prefer, make up a card template for the puffs and mark round this on the wrong side of the fabric, using a soft pencil or tailors chalk.
Making a square puff patch
1. Cut a 9cm fabric square for the base and a 12cm square for the top. Mark the centre of each side. Place top to base with wrong sides together, matching corners and centres; pin.
2. On each side of the top, fold the excess fabric on either side of the centre into two woven pleats as shown in the diagram. Pin in place.
3. Stitch round three sides 6mm from outer edges. Fill puff, using just enough filling to give a gently rounded surface. Pleat fourth side and stitch across to close.
4. To join the puffs, place together with the rounded tops facing; then pin and stitch following the previous stitching line. Open out.
5. Cut the backing fabric to same size as the area of joined puffs, plus twice the width of the border. Tack the puffs centrally to the backing fabric. Fold excess backing in half along each edge, to form the border; pin over previous stitching line. To mitre the corners, unfold one turning and press in the corner point, matching fold lines. Re-fold corner over turned in edges. Pin and stitch border in lace all round the edge of the patchwork.
Towelling bath mat
Combine two deep pastel shades of towelling to make a generously sized bath mat with a soft, warm feel. As towelling can stretch, use plain white cotton fabric as the base for each puff. The finished mat measures 49cm x 73cm
You will need:
60cm of 90cm wide deep pink towelling
60 cm of 90cm wide deep turquoise towelling
1.10m of 90cm wide plain white cotton
piece of firm, plain cotton fabric 49cm x 73cm for backing
1/2 inch wide bias binding in a toning colour
1. Cut out fifty four 9cm squares from white cotton fabric. Cut out twenty seven 12cm squares each from turquoise and pink towelling
2. Prepare each square as shown above: use the white cotton fabric squares for the base for each puff. Join the squares, alternating the colours.
3. Centre the puffs on the plain cotton backing fabric and stitch together all round. Pin and stitch one edge of bias binding to the right side of the backing fabric, joining short edges of binding together to fit. Then bring the binding over the raw edges of the mat on the right side. Pin and neatly slipstitch the remaining edge of binding in place over previous stitches, or machine stitch neatly.
'Project submitted by Kimberley Merchant from Kimberley's Crafts'
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