Finally, dining booth cushions

We love our dining booth but haven’t been utilitizing this booth as we should because–no cushions!  I knew I could sew them up, but just wasn’t sure how I wanted to attach them without creating damage to the wood underneath. So I’ve been doing a lot of Pinterest surfing and Googled for photos or tutorials for ideas.  I also was looking for the right fabric, and just didn’t see what I thought would work.  I went ahead and ordered the solid foam and it’s been sitting in the bedroom since January.

Finally, things came together a couple weeks ago. I also had a deadline as company is coming for the 4th of July weekend and I didn’t want anyone to sit on these hard benches. I usually slide a throw on the bench to give us a little bit of softness to sit on.  I found my fabric at Hobby Lobby. It must have been a new batch because I just don’t think I’d seen this before. Their discounted price was right, plus an additional 30% off, for a whopping $11 a yard. Quite a bargain for this textured chenille-feel upholstery fabric. It came in a dark grey and this light grey. I didn’t want the space to be a dark corner, so I got the lighter grey and it coordinates well with the table’s galvanized silver color metal top.

I decided to velcro the cushions to the wood. That way nothing is drilled into the wood and the velcro can, I think, be removed in the future without damaging the wood. If there is any, it should be an easy fix.  I found industrial strength velcro on Amazon and ordered that as well months ago.  I had not seen anyone use this idea, but it made sense for me to do it this way. I velcroed down 2″ from the top of the finished back cushions, and centered it the length of the seat cushions, plus I velcroed vertically the entry end of each cushion.

I also decided NOT to install a zipper on the cushions.  I won’t be removing these covers and I will just spot clean them. I Scotchguarded them to repel any spills and blot up easily. I just slipstitched closed the long seam on the back where I pushed the foam through. And by pushing, I mean wrangling. I came across an idea in one of the Sailrite.com tutorials I found after the fact, showing how to use a special “silk” wrap they use to slide foam in, then pull the silk wrap out, if the cushions are going to get wet and need to drain and dry (as in boats). Otherwise, it appears  you could just leave it around the foam inside the cover.

This is the tutorial I finally found that is absolutely fantastic for anyone. Look at ALL the tutorials as there are lots of tips and tricks.  They make cushions for boats, and also any other kind of seating and window coverings, as well as some other things, like Christmas stockings.  The tutorials are very easy to watch and most tutorials have a voice over with instructions and some have the steps written out so you can copy them to have by your side.  I just used my Ipad.  They also sell all the tools and products needed to make what they are providing instructions for, down to the professional sewing machine.  I totally learned how to make boxed corners, and I’ve been sewing since the 70’s.  I had never found anyone explain how to do it and show how to do it that made sense to me.  So I recommend Sailrite.com.

http://www.sailrite.com/

This is the tutorial I followed for these cushions (no boxing strips, just the top and base pieces) with a waterfall top edge and boxed corners. The genius is in  the measurements for each, foam and fabric,  so follow those instructions to the letter so the fabric fits tight around the foam:

http://www.sailrite.com/How-To-Make-a-Quick-and-Easy-Box-Cushion-Video

I gave myself plenty of time to work on these, so I did not feel rushed. I only worked on one cushion a day, whether it took two hours or 4 hours didn’t matter.  I make mistakes when rushed and I didn’t want to have to do over and waste fabric, or rip out seams.  I also used a stronger thread which is rated for Outdoor use.  I had my Ipad near me with the tutorials so I could just follow step by step and replay what I needed to.

I am happy with how these turned out, and once you price made to order, you can happily know how much money you saved doing it yourself.  I ordered foam (2″ deep for the backs, and 3″ for the seats) industrial velcro, and outdoor thread off Amazon for $150. The fabric from Hobby Lobby, 9 yards for $100 (such a bargain).  There was leftover foam once I cut out the sizes I needed, so I didn’t use it all for this project. I also had some leftover fabric, maybe a yard.

I will probably tuft the back cushions to soften their look. It’s easy to do and I have everything I need to do that.

Next up, making some Roman shades for my sewing room using Sailrite.com tutorials and supplies.

 

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My little adopted bundle of energy

Our 15 1/2 year old sweet dog, April,  died in September 2016. I could not decide whether to get another dog, because April had been the picture of good health and we never had an ounce of vet bills with her. You can never be sure of what you are going to get and I am not young enough to have to deal with any doggie health issues or behavior issues.  Someone told me I needed to watch PetFinder.com and see what might show up. So I did.

A couple months later, I saw a couple of potentials listed at a nearby shelter and went for a look.  The first had no interest in me at all when we were outside to get to know each other.  The second did not have a really good photo and so I was pleased to see how cute she was in person, just the right size, and her temperament was suited to me. She always did a flop over on her back to get a tummy rub. She still does.  This was Violet. I adopted her and she has been such a joy.

She is healthy and happy. She had been at the shelter for a month, close to a year in age, and I’ve since fattened her up just a little bit. She loves to go on our long walks around the property which is close to a mile once around. We usually go twice a day as her energy requires it. If she sees something worthy of investigation, she points first, then moves in closer.  She does not bark; when she does, usually at the swallows she is playing with, it is a throaty hound sound. Otherwise, she “huffs” if she sees something that gets her attention.  She is not an attacking watchdog; she will lick you to death instead.

She’s a Jack Russell and a pointer mix (German shorthair?).  She is smaller than April was. She is white with beautiful brindled brown markings and her face is so pretty. Her almond eyes and narrow face, little ears that flop when she bounces around, will melt your heart when she is cuddling up for some attention. When she wants to go outside, she “bounces” in front of me.  She will curl up for naps at the base of my chair when I am working at the computer.  One day I heard a lot of thumps and noise on the stairs up to the upstairs office. She was throwing one of her little play balls down the stairs and chasing after it. This is her new entertainment. Like a bored only child, she devises her own fun. She stays off the furniture, but a stray sock on the floor or forgotten flip flops are open invitations for her to seize and run.  I have to distract her with a yummy treat to retrieve the abused item.

I had to get an area off the back porch/laundry room fenced in for her and she loves to chase the swallows that swoop in to play with her. The rabbits hop by on the outside of the fence and she is quick to chase them off. She searches for stray mudbugs that pop up in the yard.

I have not regretted my decision to adopt her, and she is my sweet companion.

Trying not to be political

I am not a politically active person. I vote. I read. I watch the news. I am most interested in the responses to terrorist activity in the U.S and now also Europe. I was really disheartened to see the Mayor of London respond on Piers Morgan’s show on how hard it is for them to track people coming into their country who are high level threats, because of their funding and lack of resources.

http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/06/06/london-terror-attack-piers-morgan-grills-london-mayor-khan-terrorists-syria

And our public Congressional hearings can be watched live and also replayed out on the internet.  We should all watch those and maybe understand a little better where everyone is coming from.  The public hearings are only a vague description of what has gone on behind the scenes.  The questioning is just worded differently from panel member to panel member. The answers have to be given carefully or not at all in such a public setting, to be answered in closed hearings.  I get that, but also cannot understand why the panel members don’t understand why answers cannot be given in this setting. But they continue to ask and waste time and energy.  Senator McCain was a a real head-scratcher and I see he has now responded on what he was trying to ask, but failed to get his point across in a lucid manner.  He just made no sense. I think I understand what he was trying to get at, but Comey’s answer was not said in a way to make McCain understand.  I was waiting for Comey to say further that Clinton would be pulled back in for investigation if there was any hint the Russians meddled in her campaign, as well. He didn’t say it and McCain could not understand why she was not also being looked at. Maybe she is, but Comey did not say so.  Or maybe she will be as events unfold, but Comey did not say so.  That’s what McCain was waiting for, some recognition she is not out of the picture, and that focus is not just on President Trump.

The hearings with the intelligence heads was very interesting, but again questions asked that even the most uninformed person would say could be a legal nightmare down the road, and still the panel pushed for answers. The reply was they could not reply in that public setting. I totally get it, but why doesn’t the panel?  Reporters would have a field day, and the potential for harming an investigation underway is so obvious if some of those questions were answered in a public hearing.

And to know the Russians have not been shut down and are still operating and meddling, not just in the U.S.,  is most disturbing.  This will turn into a real event. It has already been labeled as bigger than Watergate. That crossed my mind watching these hearings. The potential for political harm is huge.