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Thread: Dresden Cushion - advice on how to come up with a pattern?

  1. #1
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    Dresden Cushion - advice on how to come up with a pattern?

    My son's preschool has asked if I can make a replacement cover for this cushion (we are woefully behind on our mandatory parent volunteer hours, so I'd like to try to oblige). They haven't given me measurements, but my husband picked it up today and said it's "closer in diameter to a tire than a dinner plate." I've looked for a tutorial online for a similar cushion but haven't had any luck. The current cover isn't removable, so I think I need to start from scratch instead of trying to patch it.

    The top is just a dresden, so it should be easy to make a template from one of the sections on the existing cover and put that together. I'm thinking I'll make a template for the side pieces in the same way and sew the "pointed" part in for each segment, then stitch the sides together. This looks like it was made with a thinner fabric, but I'm going to use quilting fabric because it's what I have and what I'm comfortable using!

    I'd appreciate any thoughts on my plan in general, and ideas on two additional issues in particular:


    1. Ideally I'd like to make it removable so that it can be washed and so it can be fixed instead of replaced if it gets worn again. What would the best way be to go about this? A zipper on the bottom?
    2. Any thoughts on how to replicate the white piping between the segments? I've never seen piping this thin before. I'm thinking about just telling them that it's too much of a PITA and I'm going to do it without the piping.


    TIA!

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  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    My first reaction would be to piece the top, but make about half the side segments from a fabric with some give, such as a high quality fleece (not a minkee type), stretch denim, indestructible 1970's double knit etc. This will make it much easier to fit snugly and take it off and on. The zipper should go in the seam between the side & the bottom. Make it as long as possible. If you just put it in the bottom, even going edge to edge, it will not be a large enough opening to get the cushion form in and out. I would make the bottom canvas or denim.
    Last edited by PaperPrincess; 01-17-2018 at 09:43 AM.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Regarding the piping, I think I would experiment with a narrow satin stitch.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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    Senior Member Faintly Artistic's Avatar
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    There are a Lot of tuffet tutorials online right now. I would think one of those might be just what you are looking for.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-17-2018 at 10:08 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    Regarding the piping, I think I would experiment with a narrow satin stitch.

    Thanks! I don't know why it didn't occur to me that this might just be a decorative stitch on top. I'll see how annoyed I am with it after I get the top pieced and give that a try if I'm feeling ambitious enough

    I definitely was thinking a canvas or maybe even heavy felt for the bottom so that it wears well (no idea what's there now). Do you think it will look strange to use a different type of fabric for the top and the sides?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faintly Artistic View Post
    There are a Lot of tuffet tutorials online right now. I would think one of those might be just what you are looking for.
    Thank you! I did indeed find a ton of tuffet tutorials, but none that have this combination of dresden on top and segments on the side. Everything I found is more like this:

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    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-17-2018 at 10:09 AM.

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    While the piecing was pretty, I think I might do a solid cover and then applique a Dresden plate on top.

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    tuffet came to my mind. They are all the rage right now.
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    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    One thing you may want to consider (and perhaps you know the answe already?) ..... how important is replication, vs. something similar that can serve the purpose? You may want to discuss with the "powers-that-be", before going ahead with the project. For someone who does not sew, they maybe asking for the same, but never thinking about how it could be better with some changes.

    Being in a pre-school setting, I would expect this cushion will see a lot of wear. You may want to consider something more rugged than a quilting cotton for your fabric choices. Perhaps an upholstery assortment?

    Another thought, if going with traditional quilting cottons, what about using a selection of novelty prints. Would be fun for the kids to explore the fabrics, and of course, the I Spy game could be played.
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    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    One thing you may want to consider (and perhaps you know the answe already?) ..... how important is replication, vs. something similar that can serve the purpose? You may want to discuss with the "powers-that-be", before going ahead with the project. For someone who does not sew, they maybe asking for the same, but never thinking about how it could be better with some changes.

    Being in a pre-school setting, I would expect this cushion will see a lot of wear. You may want to consider something more rugged than a quilting cotton for your fabric choices. Perhaps an upholstery assortment?

    Another thought, if going with traditional quilting cottons, what about using a selection of novelty prints. Would be fun for the kids to explore the fabrics, and of course, the I Spy game could be played.
    I agree. Does it really matter if its a replication of the cover that is on there now? I think just making a tuffet type cover would be cuter and probably easier. You could either ask them or use my favorite technique of just do it the way that's convenient for you and present it to them as a fait accompli. Sometimes it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission
    Patrice S

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    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    ............ Sometimes it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission
    How true!

    Perhaps it does not need to be a circular throne?
    .......and a big square cushion would do the trick?
    That'd be a lot easier to make removable covers.

    You could even present them with several covers (perhaps quilted?) so it could be removed
    and laundered weekly, or even daily.
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  13. #13
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    I also agree with QuiltE - it probably won't need to be an exact copy. I think I would make the cover sturdier by using a backing fabric and sewing the wedges onto it like foundation piecing, maybe even adding batting. Also agree with using a tougher fabric on the bottom, perhaps vinyl or denim, and put the zipper around the side- at least half way round.

    Love that tuffet...

  14. #14
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    Looking at the center top of worn cover, it appears to have been previously covered with a second fabric. Maybe they really like that design, but I second the motion to use I-Spy type prints.
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    I would unscrew the legs and look to see if another fabric is under it. I do upholstery and I cannot believe you cannot remove the old one. It got on there some way. If you could remove it, press it out and see if it is a full circle. Even putting pleats on the side could help. Because of germs, etc. that is on it, I would certainly remove it. You could cut it up cutting on the one side panel that is almost gone. Just do it and do not worry about it. I would not use wool or vinyl because of allergies. Good luck with it.

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    Thanks all. There aren't any legs, it's just a cushion. I also found a photo of the original (it's from pier 1), and this appears to be the original fabric. I think it's just not very sturdy fabric or very well made, which is why it's shredding all over. It's actually impossible to remove the old "cover" because it's quilted through. If you remove down to the bottom layer of the quilting it's just stuffing.

    The school doesn't want to buy new fabric and frankly, neither do I for a "pro bono" project, so quilting cotton will at least be a lot more durable than what's there now. No way am I going to go buy a bunch of upholstery fabric for something I'm doing for volunteer hours for a preschool program that I already pay way too much for! I agree that novelty prints could be fun...but I don't usually sew with those so don't have any on hand either.

    I actually like the original layout more than the tuffet that I posted, which is why I was trying to recreate it. I think that with a new, fresh fabric the design will look really cute, but maybe I am partial to dresdens!!

    I started on it tonight and i think I have a plan that will work....I'll post photos when it's complete!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    While the piecing was pretty, I think I might do a solid cover and then applique a Dresden plate on top.
    Me, too! You could then do the decorative stitching on the plate.

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    Look online for the longest possible zipper if that is what you are going to use.....maybe one for a child's sleeping bag would do the trick!

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    I would not do the points...just straight edged dresdens, sewn to whatever toy will use for sides and bottom....

  20. #20
    Senior Member Cactus Stitchin's Avatar
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    Have you considered using couching for the piping? Basically it is zig zagging over a heavier yarn or thread to hold it down. You would need to use a fairly tight zig zag to hold up to preschoolers but it would be much easier than piping.

    Edited to add: there are lots of videos out on YouTube for how it is done. Also, depending on the size of thread a couching foot may not be necessary. Easier but not necessarily needed.
    Last edited by Cactus Stitchin; 01-19-2018 at 05:46 AM.

  21. #21
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the Pier One pouf. https://www.pier1.com/old-bengali-pa...av=top&start=1

    I see what you mean about there not being anything under the cover. That's possible. A lot of Pier One's items are made from imported cottons and rayons that are not really good quality. I'm sure that a good quilting cotton will be a lot better than what is on there now. Good luck and be sure and post a picture of the final result for us!
    Patrice S

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    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I have made 3 of the tuffets that Jemholo posted. There are patterns available for purchase. Mine was sewn on a base fabric, somewhat like paper piecing. I don't see why the strips couldn't be cut wider than the pattern shows. Do you have to cover it exactly the same or would something like Jemholo showed be fine?

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