Monday, 18 June 2007

The Crafter's Way 15

I write a weekly craft column for a local newspaper. Each week I share it with bloggers

Crafters have used Suffolk Puffs or Yo-Yo’s forever. Our thrifty grandmothers made these small circles of fabric from scraps then joined them edge-to-edge to create panels for quilts. The patchwork top was often backed with colourful fabric which showed through the gaps created by the puffs.

Fabric choice can alter the look of your finished puff. Cottons and cotton mixes are readily available, easy for a beginner to use and result in a puff that has a good crisp shape. Softer fabrics will result in a Suffolk Puff that has more drape. They look fabulous on a shawl.

Making a Suffolk Puff is quick and simple. Use a circular template; place the template on the wrong side of the fabric. Make sure that the grain of the fabric runs from top to bottom. Trace the circle, remove the template then cut out the shape. Turn under a small hem. You can iron this in place, I usually fingerpress as I go. Thread your needle with a matching thread. Sew even running stitches around the circle. Pull up the thread, gathering the circle into a puff.

Here are some websites that have some free patterns for you to download:

Soft toys;


Yo-Yo Doll;

Christmas wreath;

If you’d like to add to your fabric stash visit They have a list of independent patchwork and needlecraft shops from all over Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

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