3-Step DIY – Covering Outdoor Cushions

When I showed you pictures of my Sunflower Yellow Farmhouse Porch, some of you requested a tutorial for covering old cushions with new fabric.  Once you get everything cut out, it doesn’t seem to take that long.

Covering Porch Cushions

With four rockers and two metal chairs, I set up an assembly-line type of situation.

Step 1: The Cut-Out

Cut away your old covers and examine the filler condition.  Replace with new pads, if necessary.  My pads are only about three years old and not directly exposed to the elements, so they’re still in decent shape.

Place your cushion fillers over the new fabric and cut around them 1/2-inch from the edge.  For a 1-inch deep pad, add another 1/4 inch to your measured cuts around the edge.  For a 2-inch pad, add 3/4 of an inch to the measured cuts.  Cut two for each pad.

Cutting Cushion Square

Cut strips along the grain 1-1/2 inches wide, at least 36 inches long – 72 inches is better.

Strips for Ties

If you’re adding covered cording to your cushions, cut strips on the bias.

Step 2: The Prep

Cover your cording by following this tutorial.

For the ties, fold each edge toward the center.

Folding Strips for Ties

Fold again along the center line and stitch alongside the edge.  Clip the strips into 36-inch sections.

Stitching Strips for Ties

My outdoor fabric wasn’t prone to ravel, so I didn’t have to secure the edges.  If your fabric ravels easily, serge or zig-zag along the edges of each cushion square.

Step 3: The Construction

Using a zipper foot, stitch the cording around a pillow front or back.  Begin your stitching on any side, but leave 1-1/2 inch of the beginning cording loose from the cushion cover.

When you come around the fourth side of the pillow piece, stop stitching just before reaching the end so you can prepare your cording joint.

Cushion Construction

Clip your remaining cording to 2 inches beyond the beginning end of the cording.  Snip open any stitching on the loose cording piece and snip the extra cording away.

Cording Joint

 It should end flush with the beginning cording end.

Cording Joint

Fold the extra fabric flap on the diagonal like this.

Cording Joint

Tuck the beginning end of the cording inside the flap.

Cording Joint

Smooth the layers evenly and stitch.

Cording Joint

See how nice it looks?

Nice Cording Joint

Place the corded square over another cut square and stitch together, following the seam stitches from sewing the cording to the first side.

Cushion Construction

If your cushion follows a certain shape, begin stitching on the side that will be at the back edge of a seat cushion or the bottom edge of a back cushion.  Begin stitching 2 or 3 inches before the first corner.

Cushion Construction

Stitch around the following three sides of the pillow. End your stitching 2 to 3 inches after coming around the 4th corner.

Cushion Construction

Carefully snip each corner.

Cushion Construction

Invert your cushion cover, push out each corner well, and insert your cushion.

Cushion Construction

Here’s the easiest way to do that.

Cushion Construction

After tucking the cushion inside smoothly from corner to corner, fold the unstitched flap to the inside and pin behind the cording seam.

Cushion Construction

The fold needs to overlap the cording stitch line so it’ll be caught in your closing seam.  See how it overlaps the seam from the back side?

Cushion Construction

It’s time to stitch in the ditch – just on the part that’s pinned.

Cushion Construction

Sometimes a tissue box helps elevate the cushion just to the right height.  Ha!

Sewing Helpers

Fold your tie strip in half and stitch inside each corner you want to locate a tie.

Attaching Ties

Stitch forward and backward over the same place 3 or 4 times.

Attaching Ties

Knot the ends if your fabric ravels.

Attaching Ties

Mission accomplished!  Enjoy your new cushions.  🙂

New Porch Cushions

Grab a book and some sweet tea.  Head outside for a sittin’ spell!

Is your porch ready for sittin’?  What’s your struggle these days?  Is it time?  Is it too cold?  Or, are you already enjoying your porch?

Blessings~

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Let Us Do More Than Hunt Easter Eggs Today

Happy Easter!  What are your plans for this afternoon?  An Easter egg hunt?  A family picnic?

Those are great things to do, but Easter is so much more than all of that.  I realize you knew that already.

Psalm 118:24Image Source

Friday, we saw how it really WAS a Good Friday.   And Sunday morning – Easter morning – is even better!

Our faith is based on the fact that the tomb is empty…that Jesus arose and now sits at the right hand of the Father.

This video is filled with songs of worship of our risen Savior.

Let us celebrate Jesus!  He loves you more than you can imagine.

He is Risen!

Blessings for a spectacular Easter~

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Fringed Table Topper DIY

Besides sewing on my porch cushion project (sixteen cushions to re-cover!) over the weekend, I went through my picture file and realized I have way more than one more tutorial for you from the guest room upstairs.

Guest Room Redecorated

I told you in my Farm House Burlap Footstool post that I had only two more projects to share with you.  The first project was this lamp shade with fringe I made with My Own Fringemaker.

Lamp Fringe DIY

Fringed Lamp Shade DIY

This second project was back in the fall – the very first thing I made for this new room – this fringed table topper.

Fringed Table Topper DIY

What was I thinking when I told you there was only one more project to cover?  I still need to show everything I did to create the window treatments!  (That slap you hear?  Palm hitting forehead.)

Flouncy Rod Pocket Panels

Romantic Room with Rod Pocket Panels

OK.  So, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll throw in a tutorial here and there for the panels and the shears behind.

For today, let’s get the table topper under way.  HH loves to pheasant hunt, so I made a Roman shade for a window upstairs before it was broken in the tornado and replaced almost three years ago.

I cut away the mitered border and cut a piece of lining the same size.  The size was about 50 inches square.

Table Topper and Lining Fabric Cuts

Stitch together with right sides together, pulling the lining 1/4-inch beyond the topper fabric edge as you sew the seam along two edges.  On a serger, the cutter will cut away the lining extra.

Stitching Topper to Lining

If using a regular sewing machine, trim away 1/4 inch from two adjacent sides of the square before sewing.

The reason you make the lining piece smaller than the top piece is so that when you invert it and press the edges, the lining will be hidden behind as the top fabric rolls over the edge.

You want to leave a 10-inch opening in one corner as you sew.  After inverting and pressing the seams, press both edges of the opening fabric to the inside.

Opening for Inverting

Top-stitch the fabric and lining close to the edge of the turned-under opening.

Stitching Opening

The final step is the fringe.  Begin at a corner.  Simply lay it over the edge – about a half an inch from the edge – and stitch to the topper.  You could hot-glue it instead, but that doesn’t hold up over time.

Stitching Fringe

At the corners, fold the fringe under to make the turn and continue stitching.  It’s a thick lump, so take it slow.  It’ll mash down as you stitch.

Corner Turn

When you get to the end, fold under and stitch over the fold and the beginning end of the fringe all at the same time.

Finishing End of Fringe

It’s pretty thick, so take it slow.  The skirt beneath is a Tailored Table Skirt like the others I made during the last few months.

Tailored Skirt and Topper

This skirt is made from fabric rather than a table cloth…the same fabric as the fringed pillow with the button tassel.

Table Topper and Tailored Skirt

Toppers are so quick and easy to make – quicker than a pillow since there’s no hand-stitching.

Do you like to use table toppers to change a look quickly?

Blessings~

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The Love List Review – Week Four

Here we are at the final week of reviewing The Love List  by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott.  After looking at two things to do that build love in our marriage each day, each week, and each month, today we’re looking at two things to do every year.

The Love List Book Review - Week Four

#1:  Review Your Top Ten Highlights

For too many of us (me included), our first thought when reviewing the past year (of anything…marriage, work, life) are on the negative side of things.  We seem to gravitate to the if only’s.

According to the Parrott’s, the practice of reviewing highlights will help you (and me) steer clear of negative thinking and set you on a positive path that will reward you with more blessings.  It helps us chart our course for the coming year, which will be #2 on our list today.

It’s nearly impossible to chart a course for the future without first reflecting on what you enjoyed in the past.

Here’s How:

  • Find a way to keep an easy record of things you enjoy throughout the year.  Journaling comes to mind, which requires discipline.  (Notations on a calendar would be very easy, too.)  After the first “year of reflecting on highlights”, you may find yourself motivated to continue.

Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads,  hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.  (Simone Signoret)

Dr. Leslie tells of a gift she received from Dr. Les early in their marriage.  It was a scrapbook of every movie ticket, concert program, or some type of memento from every date they had in their seven years of dating.  He wrote a note by each item that told at least one special thing he remembered about that date.  Wow, right?!?!  THAT’s the way to knock a girl’s socks off!

  • Decide what constitutes a highlight.  Travel, visits from guests, date nights, family events?  I say yes, yes, yes, and yes!  🙂
  • Make the review a memorable tradition.  (I see family nights with our kids – and their future families – as part of this tradition, to gather with popcorn, video, fun tablescapes (of course!), or anything else to make it fun and filled with anticipation.  What a fun Thanksgiving or New Year’s tradition that would be!
  • Use photos and video if you can.
  • Enjoy the process.

#2:  Chart Your Course for the Coming Year

Setting your course for the coming year isn’t easy.  It requires work and initiative, asking that you take responsibility for the condition of your marriage.  It requires discipline and sacrifice to actively steer your marriage toward “heaven on earth”.

Don’t wait for someday.  Without charting your course, someday will never come.

Here’s How:

  • Ask for divine guidance.  Yes, God is the best Planner  and Director of all!
  • Consider what matters most.  What things have you built together that you prize the most?  What do you prize about your partner?  (See Prioritize First and Schedule Without Stress.)
  • Write a mission statement and revise it yearly.  A statement of purpose serves as your compass.

Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan.  But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships.  (Harriet Lerner)

  • Consider what you’d like to change.  More romance, fewer quarrels?  This serves as a springboard for setting goals that improve your marriage over the next twelve months.
  • Set specific goals.  Goals serve as your road map as you achieve your purpose step by step.
  • Understand the power of making resolutions together.  Couples who make their resolutions together for the good of their marriage are far more likely to make their resolutions last than those making resolutions on their own.  Why?  You each have a built-in support system…each other.
  • Awaken your can-do  attitude.  One little negative remark by your spouse can ruin your attitude.  Guard your words.
  • Trust God.  Rather than seeking clarity, seek God and trust Him to keep your marriage on track.

So, tell me.  What constitutes a highlight in your marriage?  A date night?  A trip?  What?

Blessings~

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The Love List Review – Week Three

With four categories of things we should add to our love “to-do” list, we began the first week with two things we should do daily  and followed the next week with things we should do weekly.

The Love List - Week Three

Today, it’s time to consider two things to do monthly.

#1:  Rid yourselves of harmful residue   (Huh?)

Do you sometimes keep quiet about something that bugs the stew out of you?  Does it rear its ugly head in your thoughts as you spend time with your spouse, destroying your intimacy?

According to Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, that’s residue.  At least once a month, we should clean out our closets.

How?

  • Come to terms with unfinished business that needs closure.  Ask your spouse what unfinished business is weighing them down.
  • Discuss any feelings of loneliness.  Knock down those walls of feeling neglected by your mate’s busy schedule or whatever keeps you apart.  Disclosing loneliness seems risky, but even in marriage, we can build walls that need to be dealt with.
  • Talk about money.  Money can cause a lot of tension in marriage, so discuss philosophies for handling money, proper spending and saving, and plan for the future.
  • Talk about your emotional needs.  Marriage can be wonderfully fulfilling, but no one can fill your soul as perfectly and completely as God does.  Although, we still want to cultivate as close a bond with our spouse as possible.  Discuss any areas of emotional deficit you’ve experienced over the last month.
  • Talk about your anger.  Experiencing anger isn’t wrong.  The wrong comes in when we handle it the wrong way.  Working through anger issues toward resolution and forgiveness is the best solution for any marriage relationship.

#2:  Fire up passion in the bedroom

These authors aren’t saying to fire up the passion only once a month.  They’re saying that, with intentional effort and attention in this area once every thirty days, the flames of passion can burn strong on all the other days. 

How?

  • Talk to each other about sex and ask for what you’d like.  Don’t make your spouse guess.
  • Schedule a sex date.  It sounds unromantic, but the anticipation enhances the experience.
  • Guard your time fiercely.  Children at home can hinder alone time with your mate, but be intentional to not let anything interfere.
  • Think ahead.  What will make your time together more enjoyable?  Music playing?  A clean house?  Candles burning?
  • Enjoy the anticipation.  Leaving your spouse a message or sending a text to share your anticipation conjures up expectancy and eagerness.
  • Overcome sexual ignorance.  Yes, even in our world of sex saturation, we still need some education.  Study a good Christian self-help book on the subject.
  • What men need to know about women:  for women, sex is bound up with the emotional and relational aspects of the relationship, so it all begins in our head.  As Kevin Lehman says, “Sex begins in the kitchen.”
  • What women need to know about men:  sex if often their primary way of connecting with us and can stem from an inability to connect in other ways.  If that time is taken away, what then?  Men are geared for instant gratification.  If your man sees you getting ready for a party and wants to delay your arrival to that party, go with it!  Be spontaneous.

Next week will be our final two points to add to our love “to-do” yearly. These two things will prompt us to think intentionally.  Have you enjoyed these three weeks so far?

It’s a spectacular Sunday, so get ready for church!  And, don’t be late – unless….  😉

Blessings~

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Farm House Burlap Footstool DIY

I’m almost finished redecorating the guest room upstairs.  There are three more projects in the room to show you in these next two weeks – two after today.

Guest Room Redecorated

The footstool on the opposite side of the bed needed an entirely different look.

Farm House Burlap Foot Stool DIY

For this second footstool update, I skirted around the task of re-upholstering again (wink).

Foot Stool Skirt DIY

I painted the legs with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White – just like the yellow cushioned foot stool.

Painting Foot Stool Legs

To make a cover, trace around the seat about a half-inch out from the edge.  Measure from the seat to the end of the leg to calculate the skirt height.

Measuring Stool Height

Add 3 inches to the height measurement and cut a strip to that width and a length of at least twice the measurement around the stool.  I had a remnant, so I cut two strips to stitch together end to end.

Skirt Cuts

To secure the loose-weave burlap, straight-stitch the pieces together, then zig-zag the seam allowance.  If you have a serger, you can do it all in one step.

Skirt Seam

Press.

Pressing Seam

Cut your marked cushion circle.

Cutting Cover

Zig-zag or serge around the circle or oval and along both edges of the strip.  No hem is required with burlap.

To prepare the top edge of the skirt, fold (to the under side) the extra 3 inches you added to the measurement.  This acts like a top hem or sorts.

Pressing Top Hem

The flap will be secure when it’s stitched to the oval or circle base.

Measure your base.  (It’s easier to measure when folded in half.)

Measuring Base

Measure your skirt strip.  Subtract the base measurement to see how to figure your pleats.  If your strip is double the base measurement, then you’ll fold a one-inch pleat every four inches.  (So your four-inch span becomes two inches after folding the pleat.)

Setting Pleats

My stitch line is about 3/4″ from the folded edge, but you can make your stitch line wherever you’d like.  Whatever measurement you use, you might want to mark along that line with a row of pins.  Hide any seams under a pleat, if possible.

Skirt Stitch Line

Since the top of the skirt forms an exposed  knife-pleat ruffle, you’ll stitch it a little differently from the usual way – on top of the base.

Sewing Skirt to Base

So, the base edge is under  the ruffle.  The base edge is hidden, so you must lift the ruffle and check your seam allowance as you sew.  You could also mark a line one inch from the base edge before you sew.  That would give you a line to follow with your ruffle edge.

Stitching Skirt

I decided not to mark mine.  You do whatever you’re comfortable with.

The finished product simply drops over the stool.  No upholstery needed.  🙂

Burlap Foot Stool Cover DIY

Do you have footstools to cover?  Isn’t this easier than replacing upholstery?

Blessings~

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