Saturday, November 21, 2015

Linen cushions are finally, finally done!


The cushion project for DD#2 is finally done. Cushion number one went perfectly, taking no extra time and falling into place like a snowflake on Christmas. Cushion number two: let's just say it was a friggin' nightmare. It took me five passes around the last boxing edge to get it finished. I've since calmed down, and the cushions are ready to be delivered on Thanksgiving. Here's the low-down.


DD wanted two cushions to fill the window seat of her bay window in the family room, 110 inches wide and 17 inches deep. On her own, she purchased the fabric and asked if I could make them. The fabric was a linen drapery fabric with a large repeat. Her purchase was done without my input. The linen was too light, IMO and would there be enough with the huge match? As far as the match, I made it with a six inch square piece to spare. Talk about close! But it matches nicely, on the covers and the boxing. Since the linen was too light, IMO, but was perfect for her room, IHO, I backed it all with fusible tricot interfacing, better.  For the insides I used the high density foam, thank you Joann's, and wrapped it with poly batting. The batting was loosely stitched together around the core and then was good to go.

I made miles of piping, 23 yards to be exact and too much but you just never know, and I used the technique for making bias found in the tutorial tab. The plan was to stitch the piping to one "cover" and then stitch the boxing to it following the previous stitching. That worked well and the first cushion came out perfectly.  The second cushion, not so much.

It took me five passes around the final boxing seam before I was finished. I sewed the boxing to the top and then took a couple days off to go to work. Then I stitched the remaining boxing seam to the bottom or so I thought. I am using my Kenmore and you can't see the spool from the front of the machine. I sewed the first four inches beautifully. Little did I know that the spool was empty after that. Remember in seventh grade Home Ec class they told you to look at your edge, not the needle? Well I did and thne stitched the entire boxing to the bottom with no thread, Pass Number One. OK, take a day off, start again with a full bobbin and spool of thread. It's going well. I got all the way around and about 12 inches from the end realized I had ALL THIS EXTRA fabric bunching up  at the end, GAhhhhhh. The boxed corners didn't match up from top to bottom either, Am I losing it? I am just shoving this away.

Another weekend and I rip out all the previous stitching that should have finished the cushion. Try again. This time I was really careful, lining up my corners nicely and spreading out any ease. Looked good and I decided I would baste it first just to be sure. I baste stitched all around  and all look wonderful. We are now into Pass Number Three. Let's finish this baby! I grab the cushion cover and start sewing.  I am excited to be done. and wha.....I restitched the OTHER boxing seam which was just fine, Pass Number Four. Can you hear my primal scream? Ok, here's comes Pass Number Five and I am going to get it right this time and I did! The Sewing Gremlins definitely took up residence in my sewing room for this project. Is not any project for someone else, whether we love them or not, doomed to major frustration? Sometimes I think so. But it is now done, and I am sipping my glass of wine as I write here.

Below you can see the two cushions. Because they are so long I couldn't get them all in the pic or close enough for detail. They are the same size and match nicely despite some sort of optical illusion going on.


I will be bringing the two cushions to New Hampshire and will  place them in their new home on the window seat in the way wide bay window. In the end, I think they will look nice and DD will appreciate my efforts. I am just glad it's done.

Hanging over the couch and visible in a few pics is the tapestry for my next project. I can't wait! I will be working on a much needed new bag for winter. Reading Marie Kondo's organizing book conned me into chucking nearly every bag I own. They didn't  "spark joy" in me. My next project will be making a bag that "sparks joy" in my heart. Better not have any gremlins.....................Bunny

21 comments:

  1. WHAT A LABOR OF LOVE Bunny!, and they are beautiful too. Would you believe that I have this lady's single window seat cushion to cover (had it about 3 month now) and have been scared to touch it. I told her I would make a muslin (trial run) first because I have never done this before. Maybe I'll give it a try before Christmas.

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    1. My suggestions would be to pin, then baste the boxing on, carefully lining up the corners. I've made cushions before and never had this misallignment thing happen. Making them is pretty straightforward other than that. Making and stitching in the miles of welting is the most time consuming. The other thing I learned the hard way, from a long ago project, get zippers that are long enough to go from halfway up the short side of the boxing, all the way around the back, and halfway up the other short side. It makes it a lot easier to get the cushion inside. You can do it, Faye!

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  2. Oh I feel for you - those big cushions are, well, way more work than people realise. For all the reasons you mentioned!
    Great job, you're a super Mom. I hope you get off lightly for Thanksgiving!

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    1. We are at the lovely stage of our children having larger homes and loving to entertain. I am off the hook!

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  3. Beth KauffmanNovember 22, 2015 at 7:29 AM
    Hi, Bunny - just finished a cushion cover for a friend, an awful experience, and I haven't even wrestled the foam cushion back into the covering yet. For that, I will need my husband and my daughter, as the cushion is 33 x 42. Big and flat it is and it just wants to fold up. All the patron saints of sewists will be called upon to assist. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Beth K.

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    1. This comment was copy and pasted from an older post. Somehow Blogger now has my gremlins and they are wreaking havoc this morning with comment posting. Thanks for posting, Beth, and hope you didn't mind my moving your comment.

      On tough cushions I wrap them in garbage bags and they slip right in. I cut the bag open before I do this. Then after, the bag slips right out. HTHs.

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  4. Bunny, Beautiful job on these cushions! I'm sure your daughter is going to love them. And your tip about basting is, I think, a needed step for making box cushions. I don't know what on earth happens but I've had frustrating sewing days working on box cushions too, when I didn't baste. ..And I'm straining to see your tapestry fabric! I too have a winter purse on my sewing list, and I'll be using tapestry fabric. Not exactly sure of the name, I was glad to hear you refer to it as "tapestry" (I thought that's what we used to call it ; ). Linda S.

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    1. It's definitely a home dec tapestry look, IMO. This morning it will go in the washer and dryer. I do that to all the home dec fabrics I use in non home dec sewing. I've yet to have a fail with that. It's important to serge the raw edges. I always cut a swatch, measure and throw in with regular laundry first to see what will happen. In this case the swatch came out much softer and more "needle ready". I think doing this opens up a whole world of fabric for garment and bag sewing. The designs in home dec are wonderful and make great jackets and bags.

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  5. Oh Dear, Bunny! I feel for ya', Honey...what a labor of love!!!

    They turned out beautifully & may I suggest that you or your daughter get some heavy duty Scotch Guard & spray them prior to use? It will keep them nice so much longer. I spray all my Vera Bradley quilted fabric items these days.

    I look forward to seeing your new *bag lady* project! ;-)

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    1. Great idea, Rett. I did prewash the fabric so any protections is gone.

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  6. Oh my! The cushions look wonderful, and I admit to a wee sigh of relief that I'm not the only one with times like that in my sewing. Especially someone whose skills I admire so much!

    I've read that Marie Kondo book also, and it inspired me to get rid of quite of bit of stuff. More to go, and I need to attack my sewing room. THAT will be difficult! But rooms are looking lighter, and certainly easier to keep clean as I removed unneeded/unloved items.

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  7. The cushions are beautiful! I love the garbage bag idea. My sister gave me fabric and cording for a seat cushion, buying it herself without my input. Of course there wasn't enough fabric or cording, I had to buy more and splice the cording. What a pain, but it was a fairly small project.

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    1. It took me hours to cut the pieces so that I could get a match. DD asked if there was enough left for draperies. Seriously?

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  8. Golly, I thought those sewing gremlins were living at my house alone! Can't tell you how much comfort I take knowing I'm not the only one. How many tries it has taken me to get the winter coat lining for my DIL to hang properly? Unknown #

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  9. Your daughter is so lucky to be receiving these beautiful cushions. I am sure she will appreciate the love and effort put into them. I am amazed at how professional they look. Gorgeous! You always do such amazing work, Bunny. Yes, sometimes sewing gremlins pay me a visit now and then too!

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  10. Bunny, Suffice to say, you are an absolute trooper and they turned out beautifully.
    Only one glass of wine......I would have downed a few for sure!
    Phew. Enjoy thanksgiving and the hugs and compliments from your DD.

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  11. They look great. I have a piece of foam wrapped in fabric sitting on my goose box waiting for this. I've been scared to start and it's been sitting there out of sight or of mind until now. Should I give it a go?

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  12. Wonderful job. I sympathize with you about the hours of cutting and matching. I just finished recovering my outdoor furniture cushions and laughed at how much piping had to be made. Your daughter is a lucky girl. Enjoy Thanksgiving.

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  13. I completely understand your frustration as I have had similar experiences with sewing frustrations just in the past week! You prevailed though and they look AWESOME !!! Wish me luck to do half as well with my Gremlins. The cushions are beautiful. So beautiful.

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  14. Gah! Been there and done that! But I LOVE her fabric choice! As always, Bunny, beautifully done.

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