Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cushy Round Cushion

As I mentioned in my previous post, I tend to make specific things because I want or need them. This time, I wanted to make a round meditation cushion (also called a zafu). I took up meditation at the beginning of the year, doing at least a little almost every day. But I was having a hard time sitting still on my bed, and I realized it was because I needed to be lifted up a bit to be more comfortable.

I started looking for meditation cushion ideas and tutorials on Pinterest. After eventually climbing back out of the Pinterest rabbit hole, I had created a whole board about meditation cushions. I found an interesting tutorial on along with several different versions from different people, including this version on YouTube and this version on Instructables. All of these versions are pretty good, so I'm not going to do my own step-by-step version!

I used some really sturdy cotton upholstery fabric samples from FabMo. They were similar to heavy denim in weight and texture. Each of the samples was about 11 inches wide by 25 inches long. The Buddhamind tutorial said to cut two circles between 11 inches and 13 inches in diameter. Since my samples were only 11 inches wide, I went with 11-inch circles. All of the instructions said to make a strip 59 or 60 inches long for the sides of the cushion, so I sewed three samples together to get a long-enough strip. Then the tutorials provided very exact directions about how to pleat the strip, starting at the 6.5-inch point. I followed the pleating instructions, but when I went to pin the strip to the top circle, I realized that the strip, even pleated, was way too long for my circle! Clearly everyone went with the 13-inch circle and hadn't tried the 11-inch version. For mine, I did some fudging, added extra pleats, and moved a few pleats around until I got something that fit better around the top circle. 

I had actually read all the way through the instructions before starting (you know, the way they tell you to do with recipes and other instructions, but many people don't!). At the end, the instructions casually mentioned that you could put a zipper in the opening where the strip overlapped. I realized that putting in a zipper would be difficult to do once the cushion was sewn together. Instead, I cut out the bottom circle as two separate pieces with a little extra fabric between them, so both pieces were slightly more than semi-circles. I installed a salvaged backpack zipper in the circle so I would have a zipper running across the bottom of the cushion. I sewed that circle to the bottom edge of the pleated strip.

Here is the (not stuffed) cushion bottom showing the zipper.
Bottom view of not-stuffed dark gray and off-white round meditation cushion showing a zipper going across the center of the bottom circle

I stuffed the completed cushion with my kids' (clean) discarded old t-shirts (because of course I still have them!) and t-shirt scraps. Here is the stuffed cushion.

Slanted view of stuffed dark gray and off-white round meditation cushion

Top view of stuffed dark gray and off-white round meditation cushion

It turns out that when the cushion is fully stuffed, the center of the side panel loses its pleats. At least with this fabric, it's not really noticeable that my pleats aren't uniformly spaced. Of course, now that I have mentioned it, the non-uniformity becomes really obvious!

Here are the gratuitous dog pictures for today. That's Lacey (white) and Pinto (brown)

Small white dog next to gray and off-white cushion

Small brown dog and small white dog next to gray and off-white cushion

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