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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Daybed

My mother and older sister are coming for a visit in a couple of weeks, so I am trying to get some of the projects that have been hanging out, waiting in the wings to get started, done before she gets here.

I just managed to get the daybed cover and the backrest cushion done and here they are:

the cushion in front is a cover from Target, of all places....
If you've looked for upholstery fabric, you know how expensive it is, and I wanted a sturdy wool, partly because wool is a very long-lived fiber (second only to silk) and because, let's face- in the chilly Northwest where I live, wool is cozy.  The problem is, wool upholstery fabric is prohibitively expensive.  So I scrounged around online and found some army blankets.  I ordered French, Israeli, and Italian army blankets.  The French blankets, although used, were beautiful- they are a gorgeous shade of dark taupe and almost have the texture of a very heavy wool crepe. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough fabric in them to cover the daybed, so I'll use them for cushion covers.  The Israeli blankets were uglier than homemade sin-  web pictures showed them as gray, but up close they are bizarre shades of purply-gray, and are mottled with all kinds of colors.  Imagine making blankets out of the fuzz you pull out of the dryer vent and you'll have an approximate idea of what I'm talking about.

Steve wanted me to get brand new army blankets for the cover anyway, which I did- I ordered brand new Italian ones because they were available.  Bad mistake.  They'd been treated with what smelled like paradichlorobenzene, which is the active ingredient in mothballs, and boy! Did they stink!  I left them hung in the garage for a few months to air out- they still smelled bad.  I laundered them in my own machinery- another mistake.  Now both my machines and the laundry room smelled like nasty chemicals.  Finally, one Saturday, Steve took all the blankets down to the laundromat and took care of everything, and I was finally able to get started on the covers.  The Italian blankets had a beige stripe running down either side, which I didn't want in the cover, so I wound up piecing the cover together. 

The filling for the backrest cushion is a king-sized and a full-sized down comforter.  This house just doesn't get cold enough to warrant needing them, and I needed to store them somewhere- space in my linen closet is at a premium, so stuffing them into the cover and using them as filler seemed like a good idea.  That way, if ever I need them, I still have them.  And they were just bulky enough to make a fairly firm cushion.

Steve tried it out, including turning on the lamp, and pretending to read a book.  He deemed it a great reading corner. 

I'm just glad that it's done.

4 comments:

Julia Posey said...

It looks great! I've been looking for wool blankets myself (not needed right now in the record breaking triple digit heat of L.A.). I found some beautiful ones at a local boutique (the name of the blanket maker escapes me...perhaps a Nordic company? beautiful bright colors with interesting designs) and I was devastated by the price tag. Broke my heart. I'm heartened by your find online of used wool blankets. Please share where you got them. Congrats and sorry to hear about the job not working out.

Miriam said...

I am SOOOOO impressed! By (1) the idea of using the comforters to stuff the back cushion, and (2) how beautifully the covers fit! I have tried making cushion covers twice before, and both times they didn't fit nearly tight enough. And did you make your own piping for the edges?! You should go into business!

Paula said...

Julia- thanks! I got them at http://www.rddusa.com/default.aspx but they seem to only have the ugly Israeli blankets and German blankets right now. I think you can find the French ones elsewhere- but I just saw a so-called French one offered as New Olive and it wasn't 100% wool (I don't think). I think you'll have to do what I did which was just search and hunt 'til you find what you're looking for. I think I paid around thirty a piece for the Italian because they were new. Much less for the others. The price per goes up of course, when you consider that the Israelis were of no use....

Miriam- don't be- necessity being the mother of invention and all. And they are way not perfect- maybe someday when I don't have anything better to do (hah!) I'll take the daybed cover apart and fix what I don't like on it. Covers are darn hard to get right! Piping....actually, that's a French seam going around the edge. Pretty clever, huh? I got the idea off the covers for our Kivik chaise lounges from IKEA....not my cleverness, unfortunately. It manages to look both dressy and casual at the same time. Now if only I could effect the same effect for me...

Toni aka irishlas said...

You can sew, too?

This looks great. I tried to learn to sew. I did okay on curtains, but, clothing or cushions-forget it!