The Tufty Club

The name won’t mean much to you unless you were a child in England in the 1960s. Which I was…

The Tufty Club badge.  Even the typography is lame...

The Tufty Club badge.
Even the typography is lame…

Tufty was a squirrel character who helped to teach children road crossing safety. You joined a club, got a badge, participated in excruciatingly dull and lame activities, but this was the 1960s, don’t forget. We didn’t have much TV, no computers, internet, Playstation, mobile phones or even personal stereos (remember the Walkman?). We read comics and books, played outside and endured long stretches of such hideous boredom that even Tufty started to look interesting…

But I digress. Tufty is what the back of the Isfahan quilt is starting to look, and ‘Tufty’ is forever linked in my mind to the Tufty Club.  Hence the name and the teeny bit of nostalgia. My apologies.

Little soft tufts on the dark blue fleece backing.

Little soft tufts on the dark blue fleece backing.

Small, tidy cross stitch on the quilt front

Small, tidy cross stitch on the quilt front

I decided the best way of doing the tied quilt was to have the neat stitches on the front and the ties on the back. I didn’t like the look of perle cotton or embroidery floss or ribbon ties, I wanted it soft, so I’ve gone for 4 ply tapestry wool. Come in from the back, leaving a tail, do half the cross stitch, back down, leave a loop, back up to the front, finish the cross stitch, back down, leave a tail. The tails and loops should be about an inch long. Cut the loop to form two more tails. Take two tails on each side and do a square knot. Then separate the 4 strands of ply to make a fluffy tuft. Trim off any straggly bits. There you are. I’m still debating cutting the tuft even shorter. The cross stitch on the front is neat and unobtrusive, and the tuft is soft and blends in with the fleece. So, 5 down, only another 155 to go… Oh, and I bought a new needle to do it with, as all my existing darning needles were too blunt to go through fleece, batting and quilt top without needing pliers to pull through. This new one’s  nice and sharp; you still need to wiggle it a fair bit, but it does the trick.

Outside, the sun is back, the wind has dropped, and the plants are beginning to cautiously stand up straight again. The grasshoppers are still wreaking havoc, and I have had to bite the bullet. We’ll be adding a tiny bit of something stronger to the pyrethrum/soapy water mix we use to slow them down. This will be used in a targeted way, on grasshoppers only, so we don’t murder the good bugs too. I want to end up with some flowers and fruit out there… Speaking of which, the passionfruit is perking up, and produced this for my delight and enjoyment yesterday:

The passionflower.  Isn't it ridiculously outlandish?  And this fandango produces such unpromising but delicious fruit.

The passionflower. Isn’t it ridiculously outlandish?
And this fandango produces such unpromising but delicious fruit.

Having sandwiched, pinned and started the tying on Isfahan, I feel I can take it a little easy over the next day or so. But I probably won’t. You know me, can’t leave a project alone

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8 thoughts on “The Tufty Club

  1. I was in the Tufty Club… I may even still have my badge somewhere!!!

  2. tialys says:

    Bless! He’s up there with World Cup Willie and the Puffin Club – all of which I had badges for but they are no more.

  3. I was in the Tufty Club too 🙂 I was also a member of the Chipper Club run by our local newspaper. They published your name on your birthday. It didn’t take much to make us happy then.

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