More Hatboxes and some Fuzzy Reminiscences

Remember when I said that Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia was making a quilt from a Kaffe Fassett book that I had lusted after for some years?  (If not, you can read my original post here ).  Kate’s way ahead of me with her blocks but, then again, she started first and she’s making a quilt whereas I’m late to the party and am only making a wall hanging.

Here’s the version in the book that inspired us.

Hatbox Quilt

All my hatboxes are going to be made in Liberty of London tana lawn with various scraps of other fabric for the ‘wallpaper’ and ‘floor’ in the ‘cubby holes’ which each contain one hatbox.

We pledged to complete three hatboxes every month.

These are my three for February.


I used this gold/yellow tana lawn that I used to make a blouse some time ago although I seem to have quite a lot of it left.  I like the backgrounds here – the duck egg blue is the predominant colour in my bedroom where the finished wallhanging will be displayed.


This was actually the first one I made but it went wrong and I was going to ditch it but, in one of my rare patient and resourceful moments,  managed to peel off the appliqué, re-cut it, re-position it and salvage the block.


I need twelve blocks in total.  Some might not make the final cut.  Although I like the background fabrics in this block – especially the Tilda one with birds – the colours might be too overpowering to work with the others in the wallhanging plus I  set the right hand side of the base of the hatbox a little higher than the others and it’s a bit on the wonk so we’ll see.

Here are all six I’ve completed so far which I’ve displayed on my design wall.  I call it a design wall but, in reality, it’s a flannel sheet draped over a towel rail which the blocks are clinging to in the manner of a set of Fuzzy Felt – how I used to adore my fuzzy felts –  and this is the extent of its displaying capabilities.


Eventually, the layout will be four hatboxes across and three down with sashing and, possibly, a border.  Should be ready around May/June time.

Talk of Fuzzy Felt sent me off down a rabbit hole and I found myself looking at vintage sets.

I know I definitely had this one

and I had one with mostly shapes so you could be a bit freestyle.

I’m pretty sure I had this one


and I think I might have had this one………


………………although that might just be wishful thinking because I loved Noddy  and – look! – they’ve got proper little faces and everything.

I know these were made in England but my non-Brit followers might have had them because, according to Wikipedia, since the creation of Fuzzy Felt in the 1950s, more than 25 million sets have been sold internationally and although Fuzzy-Felt reached its peak in popularity sometime in the mid-1970s, it remains an iconic children’s toy, still enjoyed by children who play with it and parents who nostalgically purchase it.

Don’t think I’m not tempted.

So – which sets did you have?  If it was something like a My Little Pony set or anything else post 1980, don’t tell me as you are too young and I will become depressed.

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  1. #1 by M. L. Kappa on February 27, 2017 - 18:30

    These blocks are simply stunning! 💕💕💕

    • #2 by tialys on February 27, 2017 - 19:46

      Thank you Marina – I’m enjoying making them and they involve skills – like appliqué – I don’t often use so it makes quite a nice change

  2. #3 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 27, 2017 - 18:33

    The hat box panels are looking great – clever you and half way there already 🙂 I used to love fuzzy felt! Seem to recall having the more freestyle sets – although I’ve just googled and don’t recognise anything that’s coming up. Definitely none with faces in our house.

    • #4 by tialys on February 27, 2017 - 19:51

      I think those faces probably peeled off eventually anyway. Still not sure I had any of those – I’ll have to ask my mother although I’m guessing I’ll be on a hiding to nothing there as if I can’t remember I’m sure she won’t be able to. She always says to me when I ask her things like that – ‘I did have four of you, you know’ :/ I suppose I should be lucky she remembers my name then! Bless ‘er.

      • #5 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 28, 2017 - 10:50

        Maybe steer clear of asking your mother 🙂 What ‘number’ were you in in the children line up?

      • #6 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 11:53

        No. 1. Although I think that’s probably worse as she has to think further back for her ‘Lynn’ memories 🙂

      • #7 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 28, 2017 - 12:06

        Don’t you remember the first better, because it’s all new? Maybe there were even five of you, but she left number 5 on the bus and doesn’t remember 😉

      • #8 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 12:38

        It wouldn’t surprise me. It’s not as if this is a recent thing. She would have been a young wife when the Cuban missile crisis was going on yet, when I asked her if it had been a really scary time, she said she didn’t remember it! So I suppose asking her to remember details about Fuzzy Felts might be a bit of a stretch.

      • #9 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 28, 2017 - 12:48

        Yep – a bit of a stretch.

  3. #10 by magpiesue on February 27, 2017 - 19:49

    My favorite of this new batch of boxes is the one with the toile background. I’ve learned that every project has to go through it’s adolescent stage where it’s gangly and awkward and you think it won’t turn out well. Keep on keepin’ on, you’ll end up with a set that you like together.

    I remember enjoying my time with felt figures on flannel in school. If we had any at home I think they must have been just the shapes, which I didn’t think were as much fun as people and animals would have been.

    • #11 by tialys on February 27, 2017 - 19:57

      It’s true and there’s always the Parts Department where the ones that don’t quite fit in can go until another day.

      I remember really enjoying playing with these and also, those sets of cubes that had different pictures on each side and you had to turn them around until you found the complete image. I wouldn’t mind but I was about 16 at the time 😉

  4. #12 by claire93 on February 27, 2017 - 20:38

    gorgeous blocks!
    as for fuzzy felt . . . gosh, it’s been décades since I thought of that! Born in 1964, and my sister in 1962, I seem to remember that we had one with animal shapes (probably farm animals) and also a freestyle abstract one.

    • #13 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 10:03

      I’m glad I managed to invoke a bit of fuzzy nostalgia for you Claire. What an amazingly simple idea it was when you think about it but so popular.

  5. #14 by Postcard from Gibraltar on February 27, 2017 - 22:49

    You quilt blocks are looking lovely. I had fuzzy felt as a child. I think it was a farm one. My littlest was given a Christmas one last year – it brought back loads of memories 😊

    • #15 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 09:57

      I hope you let your littlest play with it without interfering too much 😉

  6. #17 by sew2pro on February 28, 2017 - 00:14

    Fuzzy felt is something I wasn’t even aware of: that’s how deprived my childhood must have been!
    The quilt is going to be fab. The blocks are each so individual and what a great way to use up ‘cabbage’. I spotted one of the fabrics as the same in this dress: One of my readers actually lives in the road that features in the print (it’s semi-circular street in Sydenham)

    • #18 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 09:56

      No fuzzy felt! – have you had therapy?
      Ah yes, it’s the hatband in one of them isn’t it but my version is green. I didn’t realise the print represented roads – I think that particular one came in a scrap bag of Liberty fabrics I bought one time.

      • #19 by sew2pro on March 1, 2017 - 00:12

        I’ve seen it in several colourwayss, all lovely, like storybooks. The Madeira cake was lovely by the way and consumed pretty quickly!

  7. #20 by katechiconi on February 28, 2017 - 00:18

    Lovely blocks! I like the gold and pink ones best 🙂 I had a hospital Fuzzy Felt set, dressing figures up as doctors, nurses and patients. Fun with bandages….

    • #21 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 09:52

      I like that one too but it might not go in this wall hanging – I have a feeling I might be getting a bit addicted so there might well be a second hatbox themed project.

      I have seen the ‘vintage’ hospital ones on Ebay – they had little faces like the Noddy ones did.

      • #22 by katechiconi on February 28, 2017 - 12:33

        Yes, exactly! That’s the Hospital Fuzzy Felt set.
        I’m actually beginning to wonder if my hatbox blocks aren’t going to end up in Miz Lizzie; three across by six down is a perfect size for a bunk quilt… On the other hand, I’m feeling the urge to go all colour co-ordinated in her interior, and pink, green, lilac and yellow won’t work…

      • #23 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 12:42

        Decisions, decisions! You could always make another for Miz Lizzie in colours that ‘go’ – now that you can turn them out in a reasonable amount of time, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to make another 18 would it? 😉

      • #24 by katechiconi on February 28, 2017 - 12:45

        Just what I was thinking, and it means I do get to carry on making them, which I enjoy!

  8. #25 by Frivolous Monsters on February 28, 2017 - 02:39

    We did have Fuzzy Felt in the 1980s but I don’t remember it being themed.

    • #26 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 09:50

      I’ll bet you’d have loved a Bagpuss one 😉 You would think the earlier ones would have been simple shapes and then evolved into themes later on but it seems to have been the other way round.

  9. #27 by Janice Marriott on February 28, 2017 - 03:33

    ah yes, I know that KF design….I like it a lot. Feminine, but not overly so

    • #28 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 09:47

      Yes, I think it will be just right for a bedroom.

  10. #29 by nanacathy2 on February 28, 2017 - 10:52

    I love your hat boxes, so pretty. I had fuzzy felt too, but goodness knows which one. When I worked in preschool they were very popular with the little ones.

    • #30 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 11:50

      Sometimes the simplest toys are the best aren’t they? Although only up to a certain age group I suppose, especially now with 5 year olds wanting iPads etc. :/

  11. #31 by themateriallady on February 28, 2017 - 11:02

    Hat boxes coming along very well.
    I recall Fuzzy Felt – mine may have been garden themed but it was a long time ago and my memory isn’t great. Definitely no faces though!

    • #32 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 11:49

      Lots of people are having that fuzzy feeling since my post. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve got pictorial evidence – courtesy of Google images – I would have thought that I’d imagined those faces as nobody seems to remember them but me and I’m sure I’m not the oldest kid in town (not quite anyway!)

    • #33 by tialys on February 28, 2017 - 11:49

      Lots of people are having that fuzzy feeling since my post. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve got pictorial evidence – courtesy of Google images – I would have thought that I’d imagined those faces as nobody seems to remember them but me and I’m sure I’m not the oldest kid in town (not quite anyway!)

  12. #34 by poshbirdy on February 28, 2017 - 18:09

    Oh I had ‘Playmates’ too and I loved it! The blocks are gorgeous and if the pink one doesn’t fit in, then you’ll just have to make another quilt afterwards for us all to drool over. PLEASE!!

    • #35 by tialys on March 1, 2017 - 11:12

      I don’t think I’m going to stop at one – I’m enjoying the process too much.

  13. #36 by Fred the Needle on February 28, 2017 - 18:50

    Those fuzzy felt sets were lovely thanks for the memories

  14. #38 by sewchet on February 28, 2017 - 21:41

    I’m ridiculously excited (and impatient!) to see the finished quilt/hanging! Oh yes, fuzzy felt was a major part of our childhood. Do Millenium kids have the imagination to play with it like we used to? Hmm, might be a little too low tech nowadays, although The Boys used to have fuzzy felt when they were younger.

    • #39 by tialys on March 1, 2017 - 11:11

      I think up to about 4 years old, Fuzzy Felt might still be attractive. After that, the lure of the technical becomes too great – my great-niece had an iPad by the time she was 5.
      I’m glad you are enjoying seeing the hatboxes come to fruition. They are fun to make and I’ll probably not stop at one item. Although I have my eye on a ‘fusion’ project for the next big thing so we’ll see.

  15. #40 by jendavismiller on February 28, 2017 - 23:55

    Love the blocks! I think my favorite is the center right, with the big, big flowers. No fuzzy felt for me, must not have been popular in the US? But google showed me a set with figures and changeable outfits which reminded me of paper dolls. The little outfits had a paper “hook” that fit over the figures. Had such fun with them.

    • #41 by tialys on March 1, 2017 - 11:08

      Ooh, yes, I loved paper dolls too. Simple pleasures……

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