Search This Blog

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Next Elephant: a Bleached, Drop Cloth Slipcover Couch

I would call yesterday a very successful day as far as my Getting Things Done system went.  I did about an hour of work on bookkeeping.  By the end of the hour, my speed and ease had picked up quite a bit on the software. (I was entering a lot of transactions and setting up new accounts for each one.)  Then I put that aside and proceeded to the Wednesday duties (cleaning and yarn group).  On a cleaning day, I do deeper cleaning than the daily chores.  Wednesday was a good day to choose because I expected company afterwards.

I ended up canceling the group because so many were out of pocket.  I may postpone any other get-togethers until after school starts.  August is a crazy month for many.  For me (and I have no complaint), my social calendar has become very empty.  I honestly love that, but I have to be careful and make myself get out.  I haven't been secluded, though.  I had a lot of connecting--texts, messages, a phone call and a visit from a friend yesterday. 

Before I tell you about today. . . .

Last year when I was mostly just sitting and reading about ADD/ADHD, I was strongly encouraged to not focus on things that were too hard or unpleasant but find a way to play and be creative.  One of our big needs is to feel successful at something and it needs to be enjoyable.  We can spend all of our energy trying to get our world in order and be miserable in the process.  Learning to play, and even make work like play is a key to success and happiness.

My first creative outlet was the bullet journal.  I had all kinds of fun browsing on Pinterest and setting up my new journal.  Next, I broke through and started a crochet project.  Then I reached another milestone decorating extravagantly for Christmas and doing some other decorator projects.  I sort of went out of control for awhile.  I tend to see something on Pinterest and want to do it, now.  I saw all of these cute pinecone projects.  I needed more pinecones for fall and Christmas anyway.  I was out one day and noticed a bunch of pinecones under some trees lined up behind one of the shopping centers.  So I began collecting bags and bags of pinecones, and did manage to get them baked and ready for projects.  I even bought some craft paint.  All of this is now in my new craft closet. 

Christmas 2016

When I decided to host the yarn and boundaries groups at my house, I realized I wanted another couch for extra seating.  I was going to find a used one and slipcover it with bleached drop cloths for the farmhouse look.  (Ready to sigh now?)  We brought an old couch home, so I am all set, right?

Here is the "before" couch  (very comfortable)

Fabric waiting to be made into slipcovers

So now I have another elephant to eat.  When I got ready to start, I discovered that my old Bernina sewing machine from the 1970s no longer had the accessories.  I had been toying with the idea of buying a new machine with some bells and whistles that the old one does not have.  Jake was supportive of that, and I bought a Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist.  It's a pretty cool machine, but it's something else I'm having to learn to use.  I've learned enough to wind a bobbin, thread it,  and sew straight seams and backward stitches.  

Years ago, I sewed all the time, I mean all the time.  I made most of my own clothes, including lined jackets, fancy dresses, simple block quilts and window coverings.  But I haven't sewn in years except for some simple drapes or curtains.  For a few years, it sounded too overwhelming to try again after being ill for quite a few years, just the mental part of it.  Sewing consists of so many details and different types of tasks (sewing, cutting, ironing, measuring, fitting).  But after giving it a lot of thought, I decided I wanted to try to bring back those skills.  And it's been rather like learning all over again--I can sew a seam just fine, it's putting all of that myriad of details together at one time.

Well, the project has become a bit overwhelming even though I know I can accomplish it if I put the new executive skills I am learning to work.  After getting started, bleaching the drop cloths, cutting out the large pieces, I managed to make a pile of welted cording for the cushions.

Cording for the cushions

I spent quite a few days measuring out the cushions and cutting out pieces to be sewn together.  The couch has two seat cushions and five back cushions.  I sort of hit a wall after that.  I have so many projects started, including knitting a sweater and crocheting the Sophie's Universe blanket, plus bags and bags of collected pinecones, and the rest of the house to decorate, that I felt a need to just stop and reorganize.  (Jake thinks I'm a bit crazy.😊😉)   I spent some time (like maybe three weeks) setting up some different work stations around the house.  My coffee table with big drawers now holds my current yarn projects.  The office is now dedicated to being just an office.  The future craft room now has a temporary table built in for the sewing machine (thank you, Hubby!). 

He cut some plywood and attached it to the wall with brackets.

Jake also built shelves in the closet for craft supplies.  So everything has been ready for me to proceed sewing. . . .

Projects like that is one of the main reasons I felt the need to assign dedicated days. If I was going to get back to that slipcover, I needed to have set times to actually work on it.  I have to get over that big hump of adjusting to new skills and work capabilities.  Slipcovering the couch may be a crazy idea, but I'm determined I'm going to do it.  I plan to do much smaller and easier projects after that--I promise!

So today, being the day planned for sewing, I began by putting in another one hour plus some doing books, did the daily routine, then took some quiet time for a bit.  When something is this big and intimidating, I have to really tiptoe in with baby steps.  I pulled the desk chair into the craft room and sat down.  I decided to take some before pictures first.  I turned on the machine.  I then had to get up and hunt for the cording I had made, which took about 10 minutes searching through the craft closet)  I had already sewn cording to five squares of fabric for the back cushions. So today-- I managed to sew four of the cushions together this afternoon.  The last one has to be ripped out because I sewed one square to the wrong side.  Years ago, I would have had this done in 30 minutes.  I would have loved to have gotten much farther, but I really estimated this was about how much I would get done.

But as I keep plugging away, I am confidant that I will get more proficient.  I will eventually learn how to use all the fun things on the machine (or at least some of them, anyway).  The rhythm I used to do for sewing will return, if not slowly, and I will begin to be back in the groove and actually enjoy this old hobby of mine.  And Jake will actually get to see a finished couch, ha-ha. 

I hope this post encourages you not to give up.  Let's reach for the dreams God has given us!

1 comment:

  1. I may not be the only one with the question...what is bleached drop cloth? I'm interested to see how this project unfolds! Love you!