If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bay Window Seat

Does everybody see a bay window in a house and think about lounging there with a book and something to drink?  Does anybody else think it looks like a relaxing place to be?  Well, I certainly have always viewed a bay window in that light and when I married Mike and found the bay window seat in the master bedroom, well, that is what I'm setting out to create. 

The bay window already had some fabulous uses.  First of all, the cabinetry makes a great storage and stash space.  See:

It is a pretty good place to plop stuff-you-don't-know-where-else-to-put.  (Aren't the bonus storage items in the bottom cabinetry really cute?)

When I first moved in here, I began just plopping all the little things I didn't want to give away here until I could find a place for them.  It has continued to be the stashing place for treasures that I cannot yet part with but don't know where their home is yet. 

It is also a fabulous hiding and play space.  See:

When it is used like this it is always full of giggles, wiggles, and whispers.  After these usages I have found multitudes of treasures tucked away down there.  Some such items have been Fisher Price Little People, baskets of photographs, a doll, a toy horse, books, and a plethora of other fun items.

Well, I ran across a beautiful piece of linen fabric that I thought would set off that little space and take me one step closer to the relaxing nook I envisioned.  You can see it plopped atop the cabinetry in a couple of the above photos but the one below really shows the pattern and almost lets you see how beautiful it really is.  Yesterday my mom came over and we (well, mostly she) made a cushion for the seat. 

Don't you just love all the swirls and loops and curls?  It is just a wee step beyond a simple paisley, I guess.  Plus, it is my favorite color!

First, I splurged and got a huge piece of foam at the local fabric and crafts store.  I would advise that you watch for a coupon or some sort of special sale before you invest.  I didn't, and of course the very next week it was advertised to be a sale item and a coupon was in the newspaper.  Just my luck!

Mom brought her electric knife and sliced it up to size.  As you can see, my huge piece of foam was not quite as wide as the window seat is deep and we just pieced it and nobody would even know if I wasn't confessing it here.

Then, while I ran up and down the stairs hauling up the sewing supplies, Mom began cutting bias strips for the piping.  I stitched those strips together to make one long strip and Mom covered the cording to make the piping.  When we began this corded piping stage, we decided that the cording needed to be a bit heftier than the wimpy little cord we had.  So, my brilliant mother landed on the idea of just cutting several lengths and bunching them together within the fabric to form a larger cord.  It turned out fine.

Here is a shot of her beginning to sew the corded piping together.  See the strands of cord knotted together?  She really is a genius isn't she?

While she was doing this, I put a couple of lunch plates together.  (See, I'm not completely useless!)

The next step was to sew the piping to the top and bottom pieces of the cushion cover.  I think Mom thought she was wrestling with a tent at one point because that thing was really a big piece of fabric. 

I think it was when I took this shot that Mom mentioned that she hadn't planned on the paparazzi chronicling her every move for the day.

While she was attaching the corded piping, I cut the strips to form the sides of the cushion.  Again, it had to be a l-o-n-g piece in order to go around that entire cushion.  I think this was the point that I told Mom that for something that looks so simple, this project was really time consuming.  No wonder such a thing is expensive to purchase!  Plus, I guess to add to the expense of buying such a thing, it would have to be a custom creation in order to fit the exact dimensions of the window seat.  I wonder what something like this would cost if done by a 'professional' team?

After a short stretching session, Mom sewed the side strip to the top and bottom pieces to create a sort of envelope.  It seems like at this point one would be home-free to just pop the foam piece in and stitch up the back side.  Well, it didn't turn out as simple as it seemed...  

Then, it was my turn to wrestle the alligator.

The foam tends to stick to the fabric so it doesn't just slide right into the envelope/pillow case created.  I found that I had to squeeze the foam and pull the fabric and place it in the exact spot in which I wanted it to stay to get it all forced down in there.

The most important part is to stick your tongue out and hold your mouth just right!

The last stage is to whip the edges together to enclose it tightly.  This was a bit of a challenge to my old arthritic hands.  However, it wasn't difficult to do - sort of like hemming a dress.  (Mom had already gone home and for obvious reasons I have no photo of this step.)

Finally, I have a beautiful, custom-tailored cushion for my window seat. 

Mike doesn't seem to have the same vision in his head.  He seems to think we need to put a TV in there and the bay window seat will be a place for somebody to sit while watching it.  I'm just really opposed to TVs in the bedroom, though, and am holding out on that one for now. 

I think I really am one step closer to having that niche I always envision when I see a bay window seat.  Now, I think I need a couple of pillows to lean against or even lounge my head back on, a lightweight throw for the times when the weather is cool and one needs to snuggle and I guess I'll have to clean that little table off to hold my drink.  Ah...someday, maybe. 

Until then, it is really a pretty good place to sit and blog.  The view out the window is lovely looking onto the vegetable garden, a little wet-weather creek, and the front yard.  (I had to close the blinds to make the photo, though, because the sun is so bright today.)

Maybe I'll be inspired to start that book I've been procrastinating about...

I think I'm getting closer to a before and after posting for our master bedroom.  Until then, I'll just let some of the granddaughters wave.