Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The man galloping by on horseback…..

My former mother-in-law had a very quaint saying.

If you were to fret in her presence about something not being perfect she would say with her thick Irish brogue, “Don’t you worry, the Man riding galloping by on horseback will never notice.” edited to add,  I discovered after the original post that I remembered the saying wrong, it should be the man galloping by on horseback will never notice.  I’ve changed the title to reflect the corrected version.

Huh?  What does that mean? What man?  And why is he on horseback?

I suppose in Ireland when she was growing up horses were the preferred mode of transportation.  Quite possibly it was something her mother would say to her, before cars were even invented.

Anyway, it always made me smile and feel a lot better about whatever it was I was fretting about.  And  believe me, as a young wife and mother I would fret about every little thing, trying to be perfect.

I find that this saying has stuck in my head over the years.  And it really has helped me get over my fear of imperfection.

So with that thought, on to my imperfect attempt at covering cushions.



Remember this outdoor fabric I bought Memorial Day weekend? 

You know, the impulsive purchase that wasn’t even on my list?

Well, it rained on Sunday and I couldn’t work outside on any of my real projects.

I decide to pull out the dreaded sewing machine.

It took a while just to find it, buried as it was in a little used closet. Two passes thru the house later, aha! there it is.

Dusted it off.

There was a lot of dust on there…..


I should probably mention right now that I don’t sew.

As a matter of fact, threading the bobbin is a whole day project right there. 

Why is it that a table saw is so much easier to use than a sewing machine?

And dangerous? 

Oh my, I have nightmares that feature my fingers being permanently  sewn together. 

With fabric attached.

Not fun.

I’ll take my table saw over a sewing machine any day.

No contest.

Well, anyway, I gathered up all the courage I could muster and plugged that baby in.

Nervously checked the bobbin,

It’s full.



White thread is my friend.

I don’t change the color.



That would mean having to re-thread the machine.

Something far beyond my limited capabilities.

Enough of that.

I can do this.

I grab the back cushions from the gazebo and bring them inside.  They are very thin, and covered in some god-awful pattern that I have lived with since purchasing the set at an antique show 8 years ago. 


The seat cushions are a vintage avocado green vinyl.

I can live with the vinyl a while longer.

But not the back cushions.

Long story short (yeah, right)

Cut the fabric to fit around the cushion, thankfully it’s striped so it’s easy to line up and cut straight.


And then I cheat by folding it in half to wrap around the cushion, so now I don’t have to sew that side.  Three sides to go.

I make a pocket by sewing down 2 sides.

Insert foam.

Drat, now I have to hand sew?

Not if I can help it.

I hate hand sewing.

So I push the cushion way down in the pocket, and pin it together so it won’t get in my way.

Fold the edges of the opening under.

And sew down the length of it on the machine to close it up.

It worked!



4 more to go.


With no hand-sewing.

Now for the pillows.

I have 3 small throw pillows with a quilted Christmas theme fabric. 

One has been ripped open by my dog, Sandy. 

She loves to chew pillows up.

I never use throw pillows anymore because of her.

And I have a lot of ripped pillows to repurpose too.

Using the same tried and true pocket method I manage to cover the pillows in the contrasting fabric.


At this point I decide to go around the entire pillow with the little seam. Just to be uniform.  Like it was supposed to be that way.

004  005  


A bit of a hiccup when the bobbin goes empty.

Uh oh.

Ok, I got it threaded.  That wasn’t so bad.

Carry on.


Wanna see?







And just to keep it real here…………



There is one cushion missing.

Remember the dog that loves to chew pillows?

Look at her pretending she doesn’t know what I’m talking about….


Like she doesn’t regularly destroy furniture cushions.


See?  Proof!

Well,  Sandy tore one of the outdoor cushions to shreds last summer. 

I still need to get foam to replace it.


Isn't she a cutie?  I love her anyway, despite her appetite for pillows (and couches, and chairs…)

Wonder if the man riding  galloping by on horseback will notice the missing cushion?

Gotta go now, it’s trash day somewhere…..


I’m linking up to those northern skies Looking for a Creative High Party #3   be sure to stop by Melissa’s blog and check it out!


  1. I'm impressed on the sewing. I can't sew either. They turned out great and I see why the vinyl cushions aren't a priority. I think they look good with the new pillows. Love your dog. We have two of them; only one chews regularly.

  2. It turned out great Rose! That was my plan for doing the cushions on my wicker that didn't get gone because the wicker fell apart. Looks so much better then the old fabric.

  3. Rose!
    that turned out great.

    I have a bit o'irish in me too...and my Granny would say

    "If you can't see it from a galloping horse, then it doesn't matter."

    Made me think of Granny---Thanks. I love the avocado green cushions too.
    Looks great!

  4. I love your mil's saying! It really puts things in perspective! Pat's granny agrees!
    I love the fabric, and you did a great job sewing them! Too bad you have a missing cushion, gotta love that sandy! She didn't try to blame it on yoshi? poor girl!
    now, put that sewing machine back in the closet, and get to work on that table saw and work your magic!

  5. Rose you did an awesome job... it looks fabulous.

    Almost makes me want to get my sewing machine out... NOT!!! I used to sew everything for years then I tucked the machine away for safe keeping never to be seen again.

    Love your garage sale finds too.. I am in hardware heaven. I love the bin pulls you really scored on those ones... they are soooo expensive.

    Hope you are having a great week so far.

    Hugs, Deb

  6. Those cushions look great. I think you're way too modest about your sewing abilities. I would have covered the cushions the same way.

  7. You did a great job! Sometimes we just have to jump in there and try and viola it works! Love those colors.

  8. Absolutely gorgeous colors and the sewing job is fab-love the outdoor furniture too!

    ~from another non-sewer ~

  9. Okay that is only the second time in my life I've heard that proverb - the other time was the explanation of the name of a quilt making business except they changed it to pony because they made mini quilts - it was something like running pony quilts - the idea being nobody on a running pony would no whether or not the quilts were perfect. :)

  10. Ahhh non-sewing sister, were we separated at birth. I'm thinking so. I also panic if the thread breaks and I have to rethread the thing. My machine is the simplest thing ever. It basically does a straight or zigzag stitch. I think I need a different zipper foot for the zig zag though. Haven't seen that for years so now I can only do a straight stitch.
    Love your writing. Too funny. Love your sense of style too. Everything looks great and hey the missing pillow makes for a good story. They will love you at parties. :)

  11. Mom! I never knew you could sew! There are so many things I need you to sew for me! Add that to your ever-growing lists... Sandy looks sooooo guilty in that first picture, the one with her halloween collar. Gotta love her. Cushions look great! I don't remember that Weezie saying - I'll have to ask her about that. Love you!

  12. I have the same project to do ~ when? I don't know ... BUT ~ I have a chair without a cushion because the dog ate it too!! LOL... I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I sew quite often and don't think I could make cushions as pretty as yours. Very nice. And I think Sandy looks very remorseful. She's a cutie :-)

    I hope you're having a wonderful week!



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