Window to My World

My abuela had a saying for these situations: “Pica y se extiende.” Loosely translated, this means, the situation just gets worse. Simply put, “It’s complicated”–and will become even more so.

Last October, the runner between my stove and sink was looking a little rough. I was hosting Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t it be nice to spruce up the kitchen a little? Vowing to keep costs reasonable, I found a cute runner for under $75 at Lowe’s.


Nice, isn’t it? Yeah, here’s where it got complicated. A lovely feature of my center-hall colonial kitchen is the bay window. Years ago, I made a window seat using 3″ craft foam, and then sewed a cover with piping and one of those super-long upholstery zippers. While it lasted, the window seat was nice. But things get stained, somehow, in a kitchen. Or discolored. Or covered in that sticky, greasy film. At some point, I got rid of it. Now the bare bay window seemed, well, bare. Unfinished. Drab. Not in keeping, somehow, with the cute new runner mere feet away.

Wouldn’t it be nice to do something about that window? Luckily, JoAnn had selected Waverly prints on clearance, and I purchased two coordinating prints for 70% off. One print matched the rug almost perfectly. Remembering this tutorial from one of my Pinterest boards, I enlisted my guy to help. With spray adhesive, we glued a mattress pad in two layers on a piece of 1/2″ plywood cut into the shape of the window sill.


Here’s my “assistant” trimming the foam to fit with an electric knife–just as you’d trim craft foam. And the mattress pad really was cheaper! To add a little softness, we wrapped the foam in batting before stapling the fabric to the plywood.


The rug, cushion, and table coordinate well, don’t you think? Except the window seat still needed…something.

Pillows, of course! After more than two decades of sewing pillow covers, I learned something new. You always add a seam allowance, right? If your pillow form is 16″ square, you cut a 17″ square of fabric for the front of the cover, to allow a 1/2″ seam allowance. Well, stop doing that! Your pillows will look plumper and fuller with no seam allowance. So, for each 16″ envelope pillow cover, I cut a 16″ square for the front, and two 14″ x 16″ rectangles for the back. Here’s an easy envelope pillow cover tutorial, for quick reference.

And as you can see, this pillow corner technique from Nancy Zieman is a bit of simple genius from an old pro. My pillow corners are perfect. Yay!


Now I had a lovely new rug, AND a perfectly-accessorized window seat. We won’t talk about the pattern repeat on those two pillows with the crown-and-french-writing print. (“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery,” to quote our Jane.)

Unfortunately, my table now seemed too plain. Bad news: the pattern repeat on the two crown pillows meant I had a narrower piece of fabric left over. Good news: the length (two yards) remained intact. It was just the right size for a runner. With a table runner tutorial, and two small tassels from my stash to dress it up, I was in business.


Here is a detail of the wrong side of my completed table runner.

And, finally, the finished look: rug, window seat, and runner, with a detail of the pillows. Abuela was right: “Pica y se extiende.” With a pretty kitchen to show for my efforts, I can’t complain.



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