Wednesday 29 June 2016

Suffolk puff wonders! .... (yo yo's to some)

Simplicity is not the goal, it is
the by-product of a good idea and
modest expectations .....

Paul Rand.

Suffolk puffs/yo yo's to some around the world, whatever you call them they are a great invention and the vintage ones made from very old and faded fabrics happen to be a favourite of mine.

I have recently bought some that were part of a quilt and the quilt has been taken apart as in some places it was too worn and thread bare.  The bi product of this is that you can get some very old ones. Then you can unpick them from one another and separate them to use.

You can stitch them to things that you make or a sampler as I will be doing or stitch a cluster to a blouse to vintage pimp it or indeed a cushion maybe.  They are so very versatile and beautiful in my humble opinion that even just in a little vintage china bowl on my work table when I was sat unpicking them carefully, so as not to tear the delicate fabric.  As the pretty red and white bowl started to fill I thought to myself .. even that looks
beautiful! I wonder whilst working on these what stories these fabrics could tell if only they could speak ....

Go one step further and unpick the middle where they have been gathered originally to make the suffolk puff and because it has been stitched like this for so very long it does not unravel at all.  Then peel it back to reveal inside the lip of the puff the original colour of the fabric ... it is truly beautiful and then I am going to stitch some to a sampler ...

I pressed them lightly to keep them opened out like you can see in the picture ... They look so lovely.  These a fairly large suffolk puffs but with smaller ones as well they look like flower heads,

I can not wait to create with these, they were part of my design days this week and I am on the finishing touches to start to create a sampler.
The fabric on these is time worn and being that they are cottons have faded beautifully with a softness to  them with such grace and charm.

This one on the left is a soft grey looking colour and is yet to be opened up to reveal the true original colour and beauty.   When I have my tea break this afternoon I will be unpicking this one to see what it looks like.   If I do two a day they soon build up in my bowl and then I can use them as and when.  This particular puff has a little white embroidery square shapes on it so it will be very interesting to see what is what later.

One of the puffs with the most gorgeous white back ground and tiny blue flowers and dots has not faded much, it seems to me, and so I may keep this one whole and pop it on something.  I really do not know yet so that is on a little pile of  decide to open or not ... I do not like to go all  steam ahead and regret it later. It is nice to unpick them from one another and then look at each one individually and closely to decide what you think first, before disturbing the original stitching that is already neatly in place.

I actually think looking at the photo again that I will keep this beauty whole and not peel back the layer ... it is just lovely as it is ... What do you think?  Any comments or suggestions ??

Well that is it for today I must away to my current stitching and I have two puffs with me to unpick today at some point.  I am looking forward to another apple and mint loose tea this afternoon, I have become quite addicted to it.   My husband bought me a large pack of it and also a lemongrass and ginger loose one as well.  They are so pretty when you pop them in a glass infuser.  I have heard that Whittard's do a mint and cucumber and that is on my list to investigate as well.

Just before I go I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU TO Dawn Robson, who was the winner
of the Summer giveaway the other week.  She sent me a beautiful thank you card and some 'soul gifts' as she put it.  I received them in the post on Tuesday.  You fairly made my day Dawn... did not stop smiling ....   I wanted to share it with you all.

I have some lovely readers because I had a gorgeous pack of vintage goodies from Julie who is a regular reader on here too and I did not think to photograph that  and pop it on here.... How silly was I but believe me it was very generous indeed.

Thank you to both of you for your kindness and thought..... xx

Have a fabulous day today everyone and as always Happy Stitching .. X


  1. I use to make Suffolk Puffs as a child, they fascinated me. I makde the from variety of fabrics that I was able to have and cut and sew. Just from a circle of fabric you could get another shape. Have you tried just turning them they other way, carefully pushing the fabric through the hole and still having a Suffolk Puff. Thank you for the mention
    Julie xxxxxx

    1. Good idea.... fits quote for today!

    2. When I was a child I used to have SCISSORS! My mother always said it was a big mistake letting me have them in the first place, but with needle and thread and fabric I played happily, but I could also be destructive and cut the fabric into the tiniest pieces. I was experimenting!

      Did you try turning a Suffolk Puff inside out?
      Julie xxxxxx

  2. Hi Julie

    How facinating! I am going to try that in a moment as I can not wait...
    I love learning new things from you and lots of people who read and comment, it great. It makes the sewing world go round!!

    No thank you for your generous parcel of gorgeous vintage laces and notions. I am very lucky to have some wonderful new friends that I have met on here.

    Have a wonderful day and I am off to try the above with one of my suffolk puffs now.

    Sarah xxxx

  3. I love to read about the careful thought you give to everything. I love Suffolk Puffs and must admit that I prefer that name to the American version. When you say you are going to use them in a sampler, what do you mean. I'm probably being a bit dim! We will all be wanting to try your special tea. I like peppermint and one of my favourites is Russian Caravan Tea, which isn't a herbal tea but has a very distinctive taste that makes me think of campfires!

    1. Hi Dawn

      Well I am not sure yet but I am devising a sampler around some of the suffolk puffs .. so watch this space.

      Ah my herbal teas ... going down very well indeed. Got to get to Whittards for the mint and cucumber. But loving the apple and mint and the lemongrass and ginger ... both scrummy.

      Have a great day.

      Sarah xxxx

  4. Like pretty blue as is.... but love the open out tip Sarah x

    1. Sally

      Me too .. and yes have decided to keep it as it is and not open its fabric petals! Let your work speak for its self and this puff has spoken!

      Sarah xxxx