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  • Londa

Hassock Gift Sewing – Updated Full Tutorial

Now that I have completed TWO of these great HASSOCKS (Bolster, Tuffet – whatever you care to call them)as gifts for my dear adult children, I feel there are some details of the construction and design process which, in addition to the pattern I (kinda of) used, Auntie’s Two “A New Take on a Tuffett”, that will prove helpful.  BTW – I sell these great dense foam forms on my website (small:  14″ hi x 12″ diameter) or Large as I utilitzed:  (18″ tall x 15″ diameter).  They are definitely firm enough for seating as well as putting your feet up on.

Strip quilted hassocks


Warning:  If you are not a quilter who enjoys doing the same small thing over and over and over (That’s ME!), then do NOT follow the directions as I did for the aqua hassock, but rather more likely follow what I did for my son’s Star Wars version – creating panels of various sizes – and even with varying techniques.

Firm Foam Bolster + Patternading

Step 1.  Making the Strips or Panels

The directions call for cutting strips AND batting 2.5″ wide.  Then, you center the batting on the wrong side of the strip, fold each long edge in to meet at the center, then fold in half lengthwise and straight stitch down the folded edges.  With one reading, I knew that with ‘turn of the cloth’, that the batting did not need to be the same width, so I cut my batting strips 1.75″ wide.  I’m glad I stopped cutting strips, because from the queen sized batting called for, I sure did NOT need it all cut up! (And I still have some left over!)  The making of all those strips (which end up .75″ wide) drove me nuts.  For number of fabrics, yardage needed, etc., consult the pattern.  I am grateful for the pattern though because without it, I certainly would NOT have come up with this on my own.  One might think that ‘padding’ the fabric with the batting would not be necessary, but I definitely feel it gave the pieces – regardless of width – the extra ‘OOMPH’ they needed for the ultimate good look.

sections of quilting for hassock covers

For the Star Wars Hassock, I based my strip pieces on what I thought looked good.  For one thing, I could not cut the strips of the storm trooper or the star wars fabric crossgrain, as their design went the lengthwise of the fabric.  I cut each of the panels a healthy 1″ wider than the finished width I desired, and the batting the width of the finished desired panel.  Then I folded the fabric around the batting edges and straight stitched along each folded edge.  The red print strips were made more like the pattern directed.  They came into the design because my DS sent me a text of the curtains he added to his apartment – the same maroon red.    I love what the red did for it  -as they say, “Made it ‘Pop’.

The other advise I would give is to cut the strips or panels 2” longer than the height of the hassock form.  I didn’t, and that led to some patching to get the needed length.  The different grains and fabrics – and ‘handling’ – just made them all turn out different lengths.  But then, I readily admit that I am NOT a quilter – it’s very very hard for me to do the same thing twice, let alone over and over and get the same results!

Step 2.  Design of the Panels

I designed by working in sections – which was suggested in the pattern as well.  I would create groups, then join them, and did the math to see if then I’d end up with the  needed length to go AROUND the hassock form.  It could certainly be just a random design.  Another idea:  This would be a great Men’s Tie project! I would advise leaving them put together, and alternate the ‘up’ and down’ of the ties.  I just may have to do that!  

Step 3.  Joining the Panels

Whatever width you decide on and make them, the panels need to be joined.  The pattern called for zigzagging them together, which is what I did.  I used a regular zig zag, with settings as I snapped a photo of on my Brother Quattro.  Whoops – you can’t see the width, but it was 5.5.  Length of 4.0.  Do what you think looks good, and holds the strips together firmly.  If you look closely at the right side of the maroon red strip at the left below, you’ll see that it is not straight stitched on that folded side.  That is what you’ll have if you follow the directions – each strip will have straight stitching on only 1 side.  With the technique I used on the Star Wars black strips, there was straight stitching down both sides of the panel.  I’d aim for a zig zag width that would just encompass the straight stitching of each panel.  But, that’s more detail than I generally aim for in projects like this……  Again, I am NOT a quilter!

zig zag panels together

Step 4.  Evening out the panel height.

As already stated (admitted), my panels definitely varied in length!  I did so some ‘bossing around’ of those strips and sections with some good steam as well.  It’s amazing how much I could ‘grow’ them in length with some good steam!  However, in places, I did have to ‘patch’ some length in – hence my advice to cut each panel 2″ longer than needed.  In case you experience the same ‘challenge’, here’s a photo of what I had.  HOWEVER, I can tell you from dong this TWO times, that the total width you end up with (or height – what goes up and down along the hassock form), only needs to be 1/2″ (.5″) taller than the form!  With a straight edge and marker in hand ( I always grab my favorite Chakoner!) , it was easy to straighten them out.  You can see that the Storm Trooper (Is Darth Vader a Storm Trooper??), really played out importantly here – to get 3 of them per panel.

strip sections of hassock cover
straightening up the hassock panels

Step 5.  ‘Fit’ the Cover to the Hassock

I really imagine that every one will have to do this – make the cover a bit longer than needed, then pull it tightly around the form and pin marking the final joining point.  Every fabric will just have its own amount of ‘give’ I think.   Once marking, removing from form, and zigzagging it together as marked, it became obvious to me that I needed to reinforce some of the cut edges of the strip joinings.  After doing that, I also stitched with a small stitch length (2.0) 1/8″ from each of the edges

Fitting cover to hassock form