A Cushion to Fall Back On

It started when I saw a wonderful, floppy, thin mattress on a vintage beach chair my old friend Frances Boswell had sewn. (See her delicious blog, Kitchen-Repetoire.com). What a snuggy solution to sprucing up an old, angular chair! She was also knitting a stretchy wool covering to ‘winterize’ it at the time.

A cozy spot in Grosnjan, with cushion, please.
A cozy spot in Grosnjan, with cushion, please.

Then, two summers ago while traveling in Croatia, I kept seeing rugged, welcoming cushions on shady  stone benches.  How simple, rugged and timeless. That represented the official kick-off my obsession with a well placed bench. (See my post Sit for A Spell). The creative wheels in my brain began to turn and the sketches began.

hand sketch 1 of Matbed
First design notes of the cushion in question

The evolving design of the my “day mattress” or MatBed as I’ve lovingly named it, began in taking shape.  A cushion for a bench, chair, couch, or floor.  My MatBed became equal parts Japanese calm, English grandmotherly charm and homey Dutch Gezzelig (“Snug”).

I envision the MatBed as a pleasing Band-aid for a much loved but worn upholstered chair. A new skin for a couch that needs updating & an improved snug quotient.  A fresh shot of color for a sitting area or entryway. One might roll it up for portability to the beach or park or fold it for easy storage.

LOOM MatBed in denim with navy tassels
MatBed in denim with navy tassels

This first iteration I designed and found a seamstress in Sonoma to make.   It is made of high quality Japanese denim and filled with batting. I experimented with adding tassels to the corners, and contrast white “dimples” throughout. I’ve tinkered with the thickness of the batting (stiff enough to hold it’s shape yet yielding and comfy), width (wide enough to cover most chairs) and length (long enough to drape over the top of our chairs and stay put). The MatBeds look best in pairs, as I have layered them atop two chairs in our living room. I like the look of them with one of my own Indonesian Ikat pillows thrown on.

I just like the idea of adding a little extra cushion where some already exists. My next project is making a few MatBeds in canvas, to share.

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