Patchwork foot stool

I finished knitting the Thanksgiving scarf, and while I ponder the terrors of trying to graft 1×1 ribbing to turn it into a cowl, I moved on to a small sewing project that was less intimidating.


I recently bought a small square foot stool to go with my new bedroom chair.  It didn’t match, but it was inexpensive, which was my main criteria.  I need to be able to put my feet up as I sit reading and knitting.

I rummaged through the box of upholstery scraps I used to make the family room pouf and made a simple patchwork slipcover.

I then ransacked the garage in a futile search for my staple gun before giving up and buying a new one.  Maybe it was left behind in the move?  Did I lend it to my sister?

My corner folding and stapling could use some work, but overall it was a success.  I just need to get some dark brown spray paint for the legs.



It is kid and dog approved anyway.




We have a marvelous store in Portland named Scrap.  People donate all sorts of left overs and recyclables and art supplies and random weirdness like barrels of bottle caps, and then other people like me come and buy them.

I tend to stick to the more fibery sections – fabric, yarn, thread.  I get lots of zippers there for almost nothing.  My sister, who does a lot with collage, finds all sorts of cards and frames and things to glue together.

On a couple of trips I’ve done some deep diving into the upholstery samples carts.  Seriously, giant carts piled high with squares and rectangles and whole sample books of sturdy, gorgeous fabric.  I brought home bags of it.

And then stared at it, because what was it going to be?  Why did I buy so much of it?  Where was all this supposed to be stored?!

I haven’t fully answered the last question, but I at some point I started sewing pieces together without a clear goal in mind.



While I was playing with it, the situation got worse because my sister gave me a big box of the stuff.

And then we moved, and our enormous sectional couch didn’t fit in the new family room, and the smaller furniture didn’t give us quite enough sprawled seating, so I sewed a lot of the segments I’d made together and created an ottoman sized pouf.


I stuffed it with everything I could find.  Bags of sewing waste, old pillows, ratty t-shirts and sweaters we were throwing away, the remnants of stuffed animals that our dog eviscerated.  It actually sat in the corner of the family room for a couple months, and every time we had something soft to throw away, we stuffed it in.  The dog on occasion dived in and pulled stuffing out, and then we’d gather up all the fluff and back in it went.

The thing weighs a ton.  The next one is not going to be nearly as big!  It devoured stuffing and asked for more.  But we finally got enough in there, and I was able to sew the opening closed, and now we have this big, soft, slightly lumpy pouf to put our feet and our kids on, and I’m declaring it a success.  (At least until the seams fail.  I’ll use more than 1/4″ seams next time – I didn’t realize how much this thing was going to be dragged from room to room by the kids.)


It is a rectangle about 25″ x 20″ and about 14″ high when no one is sitting on it.  The sides are a little bulgy, and it seems like it will pack down and have to have more stuffing added, but for a first try, it turned out well.  Next time I’ll use a zipper so that stuffing can go in more easily.

I have enough fabric to make 30 of these things, so I still need to come up with more plans for it all, but this made a useful start.


This will, I hope, be one of the last pictures of projects on this awful carpet.  New floors go in next week!



Scraps of rich loveliness

My sister, who is crafty but prefers paint and paper and glue to sewing machines and yarn, gave me a box of fabric scraps that she has had for a while.  She moved here – really here, to my basement – a year ago, driving from the Gulf Coast in an old sedan packed to the roof with boxes of crafting supplies.  She pulled these fabric bits out for me to do something, anything, with.

Upholstery scraps

They are fabulous!  Canvases and taffetas and velvets.  The smallest are ~2 1/2″ x 4″ and the largest are maybe 6″ x 6″.  I sorted out the neutral toned pieces, which is most of them, and I’ve been making improv blocks and then piecing those together.

Upholstery scraps

The photos do not do the contrasting textures justice.

Upholstery improv blocks

I’m a little stuck now, though, because I can’t decide where to go with them from here.  I thought maybe a rug, or a runner.  Maybe pillow covers?  It doesn’t really fit my house decor, but I love it so much that I may have to change a room somewhere to go with it.  Inspiration will come to me.