Like Wrapping A Gift

Back when my studio space was mostly an unfinished shell, we decided to use an Ikea single (twin) size bed as a daybed. For months I had been struggling with just what to put in my space going back and forth between a sleeper sofa and a daybed of some kind. I wanted to avoid anything that took up too much space and most of the traditional daybeds seemed a bit heavy and bulky. As to the aesthetics of the piece, it needed to be a bit on the contemporary side and I wanted it to have interesting legs. The daybed needed to be comfortable for napping or to act as an extra bed should we have more overnight guests than the guest room could accommodate. Since its primary function would be a place for me to rest or read, I was intent on it looking more like a sofa of sorts than a bed.

Below you can see some of the stages it went through in its transition. I’m not finished yet and I have a design question for you at the bottom should you care to share your opinion.

Here you see it upside down, resting on its thin Ikea mattress ( see the 2.5 inch pad underneath the larger frame)

This one has the contemporary legs I was looking for in my design.

Do you remember when I gave you a preview here of the  fabrics I brought back from my Thanksgiving visit to Atlanta?

It would be easy to wrap the bed like a package if you laid it out length-wise like in this picture.

Well, the easy way is rarely found in my vocabulary and I wanted the swirly waves in the design to move in an upward motion when you looked at the piece rather than across. Taking the pattern across would have required the least amount of work, but would have changed the energy of the fabric design so I got out my scissors and sewing machine … disclaimer here, I’m not very experienced with this machine (or any machine) and by no means what you would call a seamstress, but as is my way, I worked it out.

If you look closely you can see the seam where I joined the two pieces, but realistically who’s going to inspect it that closely besides me.  I managed to get the upward motion of the pattern and after laying it out and lots of back and forth measuring and calculations, I set to work making it a more permanent part of the Ikea bed frame.

Armed with John’s staple gun, I went to work stapling it snugly to the frame tucking my corners so tightly that I almost felt as if I were back in the military. I moved back and forth from side to side in an effort to keep things balanced and did my corners (the end pieces) last.

It was important  to me that both corners looked as close to identical in image as I could manage and I was pretty pleased with the results.

This was what it looked like at the end of my efforts. It really was a bit like wrapping a gift. Now remember when I said I that I needed a little help from you? Here is what I’m trying to decide and I would love to hear your thoughts. I have some fabric left that I want to use to make pillows. In keeping with the upward motion of the pattern, I have enough to make four good-sized pillows about 24 x 24 inches, but I want to use another fabric on the backside of each one. These are my choices below … green or orange. Both colors look great with the front facing patterned fabric, but I’m still not sure.

I considered backing all four with same color or mixing it up with two of each. You should know as you are making your decision that I intend to recover a chair in the green fabric and it will likely sit near the end of the daybed. I’m giving my bathroom a finally coat of paint today and then I need to get my pillows done this evening or maybe tomorrow.

John has done such a brilliant job with my bathroom that I can’t wait to show it off. Yesterday, he built a perfect wooden sink stand based my specific design requests. I am so pleased with how he was able to build it just as I described. Plus, I don’t know if you noticed in the pictures above, but there is a dark hardwood floor now that John put down where there used to be a raw builders floor waiting to be finished. I can hear the table saw from the garage where he is working on something … bookshelves I think, since he’s building them for my space and finishing the inside of my closet this week. After that, I’ll be ready to unpack my things and settle in. Please help me out with a suggestion below regarding the color for the back of the pillows and thanks for your interest and help.

It’s Curtains For The New Look – Repurposing A Dream

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My great aunt Wylly was always full of surprises. In addition to being a talented children’s book author and writer, her gift giving, present wrapping skills made every gift she gave a magical experience. Her packages were never wrapped in tidy boxes or perfectly shaped bundles and the ribbon didn’t always match the color of the paper, but inside could be anything. My sister Margaret and I treasured every gift she ever gave us even when we received things we were not sure we would ever use.

Forty years ago when I was nine, I received the pin cushion you see above. Aunt Wylly had taken the time to make it special by embroidering my name on it and adding it to a sewing box stocked with some of the things a young girl just learning to sew might need.

I never became the world’s best seamstress. In fact, it’s generally touch and go as to whether a pattern I’m “trying” to follow will come out as it’s supposed to, but I must say, with a few pins and a bit of imagination I can sometimes surprise myself.

It’s raining here as I work on repurposing some drapes, a duvet, and a bed valance that all were a part of my past life. Along with an old bed frame of John’s, and a few other pieces, I’m creating a dreamy new look for the guest room. John has taken to calling it the oldie worldie room and I think that fits it fairly well except the real oldie bits are being repurposed into a new look that mixes my world with his in a way that I just know is going to be a warm and welcoming place for our guests.

I’m stretching my skills a bit to do some things I’ve never done before and I hope to have it finished before I leave for Georgia in about a week. That said, I need to get back to work now. My new sewing machine has just been plugged in for the first time and I’m ready to give it a go…after I read the directions of course. Do you remember when I wrote about something big that happened because I didn’t read the directions?  Go here to find out.