Sewing Joy (or completing a long-put-off project)

OK, so I am a procrastinator.  This I have know about myself for much of my life: “always put off til tomorrow what you don’t want to do today!”  That is, until I began my professional career and quickly found that research for a meeting 6 days away was almost always moved to the next day.  Then I relied on my back up motto, “Be prepared,” just like the Girl Scouts.  For nearly nine months, I’ve been sitting on some beautiful outdoor Sunbrella fabric, all fourteen yards of it.  I just couldn’t bring myself to cut into its beauty.  Plus, finding the time and space to lay it all out and “measure twice, cut once!”  Whew!  I knew once I got started, it’d be a cinch; one seam and four hems.  I mean, “how hard could it be?”

Making room to measure and cut

Well, this canvas is kinda stiff and awkward, impossible to iron and the weight of it pulls the sewing machine off the table!  After some spontaneous testing of seam types and finishing, I settled on French seams to join the pieces together and clean-finish double hems for the sides.  The shorter ends feature a tunnel casing to hold the poles for securing to the post beams.  The whole thing measures 210″ by 102″.  I was so nervous, I dragged it outside several times and laid it on the concrete, just to be sure.  More like “measure quadruple, cut once,” for me.

Nearly 14 yards of fabric flowing through my trusty old 1020 Bernina

This project took most of the day, with my husband barbecuing lunch and us eating around the work.  Why does it always sound so simple, yet take more time than I consider or allow?

Before the cover, in January

When we bought this vacation home last year, it already had the patio dining structure complete with three wall curtains.  There were instructions and hardware for the top cover, but no fabric.  Maybe they thought it would be too much trouble, too?

Competed patio cover offers shade and instant heat relief

Installing the patio cover with help from Jeff

Another view of the installation and Jeff’s midriff

Now I’m wondering why I waited so long?  It’s going to be great, sitting outside in the hottest temps, but cool under the water-blue canopy!  And what can I make from the yard or so left over?  Pillow covers?  Chaise lounge caddy?  A recent trip to  F & S Fabrics on Pico Boulevard in West L.A., was an outdoor fabric wonderland of possibilities.  New on the decorator scene are plush, velvet-like outdoor fabrics, and silk-like Dupioni influenced weaves, too.  Yes, I even imagined what it would look like in quilts… stay tuned for the next installment.