How to Piece or Join Fabric When Tufting

When researching how to piece the fabric when tufting an oversized cushion, I thought there must be some secret way to sew the pieces together so the fabric would be wide enough.

I went to several furniture stores and could never find where the fabric was pieced, and assumed they used some type of extra wide decorator fabric. After still more research, I finally found the solution and it has nothing to do with a sewing machine!

The secret is hidden in the folds!

The solution came from several tutorials that featured the traditional sewn method, like this one used by Laurie Medford at the Rowley design blog (which is an excellent source for MANY upholstery and window decor tutorials).

I like “easy,” and because I was using screws and washers for my tufting project, I had to go in my own direction for the piecing and was very happy with the results. (I can’t even find the pieced portion on mine.)  Once I knew the folds were the secret, I figured out what to do.

Ultimately the piecing occurs by overlapping two rows of tufts, trimming away the excess, and hiding the cut portions in the diagonal folds.
How to piece fabric when tufting

How you overlap is up to you, but I did it this way, best shown by photos:

ddottotop16

For the overlap sections I did not take out the old screws, I just attached the new layer using a new screw and washer (i.e., an additional screw and washer in the same hole as the first layer. There’s enough room in the tuft holes to accommodate the double hardware.)

Continue as before, skipping the offset row, screw in the next aligned row, then go back to the offset creating the diamonds etc. as described in this post.

Before screwing in the last overlap row, trim away the bulk of leftover fabric leaving a small selvage, like this:

 

Next, carefully snip from the salvage edge straight into the holes of both rows at 90 degree angles. Stop about a half inch from the washer (IF you can get that close without accidentally snipping any other layers).

ddottotop18 ddottotop19

 

Trim away excess, leaving enough to fold under.

ddottotop20And fold under:

ddottotop22

If you haven’t trimmed enough away, fold out and CAREFULLY trim excess into the tufting hole.
ddottotop21

Any extra fabric in the hole will be hidden with a button later.

ddottotop23

THEN…stand back and marvel about the awesomeness you just accomplished!!!

(But don’t marvel too long, you’ll still have to finish up the sides and make buttons for the top.)

2 comments

  • Khadija

    I came over from Hometalk. This is a really lovely project. Thanks for sharing it. I have been dying to do some tufting too. You make it look so easy. 🙂

    • EmDirr

      I can’t say the tufting was easy, but not necessarily hard either…just a little scary, lol.
      Do some reading and give it a whirl…the best advice was to be patient 🙂
      THANK YOU for visiting and for commenting!