Friday, February 14, 2014

A Pretty Pillow

I've had this old chair in the studio for some time.  I got it from my mom's house but it once belonged to my grandmother.  She kept it in the bedroom where her treadle sewing machine was stored and used it when she sewed.  When she wasn't sewing, the chair was placed against the wall close to the door.  My aunts and uncles put their bags and luggage on the chair when they visited, and my sisters and I climbed on the chair when we needed to reach for anything higher than out little hands could touch.    

It is now worn and tired looking and, as you can see, the seat is just not safe.  Richard has agree to put a board on the bottom so that if someone does sit, we don't have to worry about a crash.  the board will give a solid seat to the center and stabilize the chair.  I wanted to remove all the old fabric, plastic and stuffing, but he insists that I leave it since I remember it this way. I've agreed, for now.  

Regardless, I've decided to make a new cushion so that I can remove that hideous green attempt.  This cushion will be rather comfy since I'm using this 3 inch thick NU-Foam.

I chose three fabrics from the decorator samples my sister gave me last summer.  Two match fairly closely and the third matches in color, but I'm using it for the gussets so it won't show much.  Although I'll use the pillow for a while, I haven't made one of these and wanted to practice on these cheaper fabrics.

The thing that worried me about the pillow is that it's so boxy and I wanted to figure out how to get sharp square corners.  I started out just sewing the pieces together to form a circle, then sewed an opening closed.  After stuffing the form into the pillowcase, I just tucked the corners in and pinned it in place to make sure I had the correct placement.  A stitch to hold those corners in place, and I was ready to close up the other opening.

I close it up with pins then ran it through the serger.  Of course, I don't like that seam, so I created a French seam using needle and thread.  First I tucked the corners in, and stitched them down as I was sewing.

I added some braiding to tie it down and included a button over the braiding so that the braid won't pull loose as easily.

 These are the two different fabrics.  They have the same print but one piece is a little lighter than the other.  Since they are opposite sides of the pillow, that will show only if someone is looking at the whole pillow.

My grandmother loved that I sewed: I think she would really like this project.  Tomorrow I will wash the wood with some saddle soap to clean it up, then add a little luster with a good polish. Then the chair will have a place of honor in the studio alongside the treadle machine we are refurbishing.  It's come full circle without going very far.

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