Wednesday, 3 December 2014

How to make a Suffolk Puff

Hello. Did anyone see the gorgeous sunset last night? I spotted it looking out over the rooftops, from my bedroom window. Boots on, coat on, off to the churchyard for some pics. I like to play around with the flash, sometimes it works really well at picking out objects close by, and sometimes not. It depends on how much natural light there is. Love how it picks out the red berries. 
Silhouettes of the bare trees against the moody sky.

Love how the flash picks out the railings. It was still quite light at this point.

Love how the lush green leaves add even more colour to the red sunset. 
I like to try and frame the picture to draw the eye deeper into it. Looking for overhanging branches or strategically placed bushes.

Talking of pictures, I mentioned that someone wanted to use one of mine in a publication. I am happy to allow that, and it's nice that I was asked, rather than it just be taken. One of my photo's was used as a cover for a community brochure in Lincolnshire. Another was used in advertising material by someone in the USA who was coming to London to give a presentation at the London Palladium. He wanted a photo of the venue without any advertising boards on the front. I happened to be passing when there wasn't a show on and got the picture. Here is a link to Bed Times, my picture of a bed spring gate is at the top. From what I can remember I was in Derbyshire when I took it. 
What was I doing last night at sewing class? Making Suffolk Puffs. I don't know why they are called that, I think the common name is yoyo's. These are for embellishing the cushion cover I am making from a mans shirt. Still need some more. 

There is a gadget you can buy to help you make them. A circle of plastic which sits inside another circle and sandwiches the fabric between the two. They clip together and have holes around the edge that you sew through. Last week I borrowed one from a class mate, but she didn't bring it this week so I carried on making them without it. It's quite simple. Probably most of you know how to do this.

Cut a circle twice the size of the puff. Fold a single hem around the outside. I didn't bother to iron it, just folded as I was sewing. Basically you sew a line of small tacking stitches around the outside, and when you get back to the beginning you pull the thread tight, gathering the fabric into a puff with the raw edge on the inside. Then you finish off with a button.

I've just watched a video which demonstrates this, but the lady didn't make a hem, she sewed round the raw edge and pulled it in. I think this way is a bit messy and if you were going to wash the piece afterwards the raw edge would fray.

Here is another video which shows the hem method, and how to make square puffs.

If you go onto yoootooob and search Suffolk Puffs there are lots of ideas on what to do with them. Happy stitching. The sun is out and I am off outside. Got to dig up the last of my spuds. Hope all is good where you are. Toodle pip.


  1. Your pictures are lovely today....especially like the one with the white fence railing.

  2. An amazing sunset,the first shot looks as though the sky is on fire!
    Jane x

  3. Your pictures are amazing! I would never have known to use the flash for those effects. Thank you!
    I learned to make those circle puffs as a teenager. My goal was to make a quilt but I got sidetracked. You can string them together to make the body and limbs of a doll or string them together and form into a circle for a wreath. They are so much fun to play with and a great use of fabric. Even ugly fabric looks good like this.

  4. How to make a Suffolk Puff - chase one up a hill!

  5. The sunset was lovely, I took some photos too. When I saw your title how to make a Suffolk puff, I thought easy, chase it up a steep hill, I think my brain is beginning to melt :) I bought a device to make heart shaped puffs a few years ago and still haven't used it, must dig it out

  6. I read the header as "How to make a Suffolk Punch" and I thought it was going to be about making a stuffed horse! Possibly I should wear glasses when reading, but honestly, I think I'm having more fun this way ;)

  7. I made Suffolk puffs from my deceased uncle's underpants/shirts/pyjamas and put them onto a cushion I made. Yours look very good. Natalie

  8. I was just reading about making a small quilt with the squares cut from old clothes of a deceased loved one as a memory. We also stopped by our local Hospice to make a donation two days ago and saw that a volunteer is running a workshop so that bereaved people can make a small, simple teddy bear from old clothing, I thought that was a lovely idea and would be very comforting. Even the little Suffolk Punches could be added to an existing cushion as a remembrance couldn't they?

  9. Lovely photos as usual Ilona. Than you for explaining about the Suffolk punches. I've seen them, but mistakenly thought they had something inside them - dim me! Andrina

    1. You can place a circle of quilt batting inside, before drawing your stitches up.

    2. Hello Ilona, i recently found a box of these, in 3 different sizes. Not sure what I was going to make, but I was drawing round an old CD to get my circles. looking forward to seeing what you make.

  10. Hi ilona, I like the look of your suffolk puffs! They are something I have never seen before but look quite fun to make. I have been following your blog for a couple of years and I have finally got round to starting my own. I blog about crafting, baking and anything creative using bits and bobs I find.
    It's good that they credited you for the picture, sometimes people seem to be a bit sneaky.

  11. And there was me thinking that it was going to be a recipe post involving pastry. Duh! x

  12. Glorious sunset photos and particularly liked the last one of the old church and churchyard-very moody.Shades of the Merrily Watkins series by author Phil Rickman which I am a fan of.It amazes me that you live in environs so richly steeped in history and beauty,you are fortunate!Soooo I too thought that the Suffolk Puff had something to do with sheep and maybe even grooming them to have a coif for a special event(smile)I'm always learning from you, thanks.All these ideas to make use of when I'm done stripping wallpaper etc.Regards, Destemona


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