I am attempting to distract myself with work.
The OH announced he has booked a holiday without me in September, so I am keeping busy with work and trying to forget that it is at least eleven years since I had a holiday. I have not had much experience of holidays; if someone is taking a holiday in a pub every night there is no money left for anyone else to go anywhere. There was money when the mortgage was paid off. We went to Rome and I took notebooks with me expecting to interview someone for a magazine. I really don’t have the concept of holidays. Christmas is a festival of work for women, in my opinion.
So, I am keeping busy. I have just had another do with my intestines, so the busyness is confined to stuff I can do sitting down, for a while. The S&H and his bride and children inherited a green leather Chesterfield sofa from my mother. Last autumn the bride decided the sofa she had had since she graduated had had it. Having sat on it, I am able to confirm her opinion. So I offered to buy a new sofa for Christmas and they found a very good one, leather, just about half price in a sale. It is very nice and very large but not green like the other sofa. It is light tan. It lives in a large lounge but you can still tell that the two sofas are very different colours. One is dark green, one is light tan.
I thought perhaps that leather cushions in a mixture of colours might marry the two, so I am going to make them. I had bought from a shopping channel sale ten six inch square leather pieces in varying colours but had been thinking about it for a long time. Then the OH announced (more announcements) that despite his armchair having been renovated about five years ago and the cushion re-stuffed a couple of years ago that his seat, much like some politician’s, was becoming uncomfortable and that he required new padding. There is a place in the next town that provides safety foam stuffing and has a suction machine that can shrink it and pop it in so that the end result is tighter than (please provide your own simile here, thank you.)
However when we examined the cushion, the fabric underneath was split, rendering the cushion unstuffable. The OH was in favour of duct tape but I cut a piece from strong woven curtain leftovers and machine sewed it right round the edge on to the leather turnings.
The cushion, repaired, was taken and stuffed tighter than a turkey (you can have that one for free), so that now the OH complains he is sitting on a mound.
Well, just as long as he’s happy…..
Encouraged, I got my leather scraps from the loft and the box I use for doll shoes and got started cutting. As the existing squares are six inches the rest would have to be too, as I believe my machine might be good for straight lines in leather with the correct needle and thread but I have doubts about any fancy pattern with strange corners. Strange corners are the bugbear of patchwork, in my opinion. Moreover, a six inch square is quite a large piece to find in scraps. To get enough I have had to utilise some leather skins inherited from my father. Like everything he did, these are extremely substantial; I anticipate problems machine sewing leather of varying thicknesses together any way.
So one way and another, square patches it is.
I thought that on two sofas you really need two cushions per sofa. At present the DIL has twenty-four inch square cushion pads without covers. They do look quite big, so I have settled on eighteen inch cushions, which require nine patches per side, eighteen per cushion, thirty-six per pair, seventy two per set.
Yesterday and last night I cut sixty two six inch squares and marvelled at how easy it is, even with a squared cutting board, a six inch quilting ruler and a sharp rotary cutter, to deviate from an exact square.
I have done that bit but may need to cut surrounding strips to make up the full size, once the turnings are allowed for, and the zip. Of course, the cushions will not need washing but in time they may suffer from flatness, or even hollows, and I can’t see anyone else unpicking them to get at the cushion pads.
There is another problem that makes me feel now is the time to do it. Though, to be fair now is often the time to do anything, if you want it done.
I am suffering from creeping veganism. I am already piscatorial, by this, in the absence of a swimming pool, I mean that I eat fish. For a month I have replaced my marine collagen capsules with vegan collagen capsules. What I have got for this is painfully splitting skin. So I am on the edge of a dilemma anyway. Should I have qualms about using the left overs from the fishing industry to bolster my ageing carapace?
I was brought up by a Boy’s Own Paper reading father, weaned on The adventures of a five guinea watch and tales of derring do in Darkest Africa (or the Pole, or the Equator, anywhere other than Sheffield), all of which featured guns and some poor livestock getting shot. Throughout my childhood there was a shotgun in the hall cupboard. My father thought leather was wonderful. On the floor we had Bertie Adams, a real poor dead leopard with a green felt fringe and a stuffed head. I loved Bertie Adams and was upset when my father put him in the window of his retirement antique shop and even more upset when he sold him, regarding him as family. (Bertie Adams, that is. Once a dealer….my mother had been warned not to stand around in a bath towel in the winter when she was a bit pasty just in case she was mistaken for a statue and sold to the highest bidder. Opinions were mooted that this would not happen once she opened her mouth, other opinions asked when she had ever closed it. Wit in families can be quite cutting edge.)
This therefore is the time to embrace the leather before I start feeling very sorry for long gone cows or have to have a funeral and bury the three piece suite in the garden.
I’ll let you know how I get on.