Thursday, March 21, 2013

Boxed cushion tutorial

As you have seen if you are a follower on my blog or my friend on Facebook, I went dumpster diving and rescued a bench perfect for my country porch.  It had great bones but needed some spiffing up.  In this tutorial I will tell you how I made the seat cushion.

1. Measure the seat, length and width.  Mine is 24 x 70 inches.  I searched for a 4 inch thick piece of foam and found it at JoAnn's.  Best part it was marked at 50% off and i had a coupon for another 15% on top of that so it was a win.  This was the most expensive thing for this makeover.  They cut the foam to fit for me in the store.  I also purchased a heavy duty metal zipper that was as long as i could find it for the back opening.

2.  I wanted to cover the cushion with canvas.  This is how i figured out how much fabric i would need.
     For the width:
  • 24 x 2 for top and bottom
  • 4 x 2 for sides
  • .5 x 2 for seam (the fabric would wrap around the front of cushion so i only needed a seam in the back)
  • this meant that i would need a piece of fabric 57 inches wide
     For the length
  • 70 inches for length of cushion
  • 2 x 2 for ends (there is a seam in the middle so it will make both ends 4 inches wide)
  • .5 x 2 for seams
  • this meant that I would need a piece of fabric 75 inches long

     I went to Home Depot and bought the painters tarp that came closest to being the correct amount of fabric that I needed.  Took it home and washed and dried it on the hottest settings to shrink it all that it would so when I washed it later, it would still fit the cushion.

3.  Cut the fabric to size 57 x 75 inches.
4.  Sew the long edge together using 1/2 inch seam.
5.  Press seam open.  (at this point you have a big tube of fabric.
6.  On inside of tube, pin zipper with right side of zipper towards the seam allowance, and with your zipper foot, stitch the zipper in place.  Down one side and up the other.  You will have to unzip the zipper a bit to get started and then zip it back up for the first side then zip it down again to complete the installation.  Once you have completed this you need to open up the seam where the zipper is.  This is where a seam ripper or some really sharp little scissors come in handy.
7.  Next step is to lay the piece flat and fold in half, right sides together, with the zipper on one side and the folded edge on the other.  Unzip the zipper a bit so you can use it once the seams are sewn.  Pin the edges together on either end of the tube and sew them together with a 1/2 inch seam.  Press all your seams open.
8.  Now we have to make the boxed corners.  It is easiest on the back corners so lets do them first.  Fold the corners into a point with the seams from both sides lined up and pin them.  Since the cushion is 4 inches thick, you will need a 4 inch corner, 2 inches above and below the seam.  I measured 2 inches down on the folded edges and marked.  Once that was marked i measured to make sure that the seam was 4 inches long and sewed the seam.  Then trim the extra off the seam and press open.  I did both of the back corners first then headed to the front where there is only one seam.  Being as careful as possible not to twist my tube at all i folded and marked the front corners to match the back, sewed, trimmed and pressed them also.
9.  Next you turn the cover right side out and put the cushion is.  This takes a bit of muscling since the cushion is so large but once it is in and the zipper is closed you will see it is worth the effort.

There was a little extra so I made a couple of small throw pillows.  I really like this one.

Don't forget to check out the tutorial on making the cushions for the back of the bench with the great fabric from Online Fabric Store.

Great pillow tutorial

I just love the way my pillows turned out so I decided to let you all in on the process.  The luckiest part to my pillows is winning the Spring Project gift card from Online Fabric Store.  I love the fabric I got and the way my project turned out.  Here is a glimpse my upcycled porch bench and its beautiful pillows.

The pillows I am going to talk about now are the three giant ones in the back.  The ones with the great floral print.

These pillows were made with 24 in square pillow forms.  This is a simple way to make a really sturdy pillow but it does use bit more fabric than others to complete.  Here is a supply list for one pillow this size but don't forget, there are different makes of pillow forms, some are puffy and some are flat so I recommend measuring your own form before cutting fabric.  After I took a good look and measured my forms I realized they were not really puffy so I decided to make the pillow a bit smaller so it would look puffier.

2 - 25 inch squares of floral fabric for pillow front
2 - 27 inch squares solid fabric for pillow back
1 - 24 inch pillow form
1 inch paint tape sewing machine
thread of choice

The rest is a snap.
  1. Sew the two floral pieces together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around.
  2. Trim seam at corners so you can get a good corner when you turn them right side out.
  3. Carefully cut a slit in the middle of one of the sewn together squares and turn the square right side out thru the slit and press all seams and corners well
  4. Now follow steps 1 - 3 with the back pieces of fabric
  5. Tape around the edge of the front of the floral square with the painters tape.  This will mark a 1 inch seam for you.  This was a life saver.
  6. Pin the floral square centered in the solid square and make sure the slits are on the inside.  I am not a perfectionist on this part so i just eyeballed it.  If you want you can do the math and measure.
  7. Sew along the inside tape edge on three sides.  leave the fourth side for inserting your pillow.  You can see how this will give you two sharp loose edges all the way around the pillow.
  8. Stuff your pillow form in and sew the cover closed on your machine.  You will need to really push the form up inside the cover and try to pin it back and then pin, pin, pin the two sides together before sewing along the inside edge of the painters tape.
Front of pillow
Back of pillow

I am so thrilled that Online Fabric Store chose me and my Spring Project.  My family is fighting over who gets to stretch out on the bench.

There will be a followup tutorial for the La Sonrisa stenciled pillow soon.
The afghan pattern is from FaveCrafts.  It was really fun to make.
Don't forget to visit  BluebonnetSmile and Bluebonnet Smile's ETSY shop for an eclectic collection of goods to make you heart sing.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Your Trash, My Treasure

Not lots has been happening at La Sonrisa over the winter months.  We planted a garden that the grasshoppers ate after we fertilized with something that had molasses in it.  Then we replanted, and it is not doing great but it is not eaten.  We have not had much rain, again.  Our small rain barrels are dry and the large one is draining fast.  Best thing is we finally got rid of a bunch of the JUNK that the previous owner left behind when we bought our place in the country.  

No I'm wrong, best thing is what we rescued when we made one of our runs to the city dump.  Check this out.....

I am almost done with my upgrades.  The project included, paint, foam, fabric, zippers, and time.  But guess what, it is the most fun I have had in a really long time.  Following are a few pictures from the process.  Paint, sewing, stuffing, fluffing, crochet......One more project to finish and it is all done.  Then I will post the results and how I did it.

Soon it will all be together.  A few more stitches, a little more stuffing, a little travel to the country and .......

Saturday, July 7, 2012

So once again it is July, the temperatures are in the upper 90's, at least, and the entire family is coming to hang with us at La Sonrisa. We have been watering the yard so it is not just brown stickers. The garden is, well, there. We borrowed a camper trailer, with airconditioning and additional beds. Now, if we could get it to rain in the next week, get fish to bite at the pond, and the grasshoppers to leave, we would be good.

At least we have pictures of animals on the game camera and the horse trough spa is warming up.

Next post - pictures of the chaos!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sometimes we just lose control

I cannot tell you what happened or when you can see if you have been here before, I totally lost my background and header. I cannot figure out where it went or how to get it back so i am just working from here. Soon you will see new pictures of what is happening at La Sonrisa if I can get my mojo back.