Less Than Perfect

March 2, 2018

My couch arm tore and I needed a quick fix. It isn't perfect, but it works. Come see the easy repair.

How To Patch A Sofa

So hello there friends! It's been a while, hasn't it? While I absolutely adore my little home away from home, here on the web, life in the real world has been a little less than perfect lately and that has kept me unplugged. 

It started a few weeks ago when one of my kids was rear ended by a distracted driver at stoplight. While the car is a mess, the kid is fine. Thank goodness. However, we both came home with a little "souvenir" from the emergency room that day and it's had a pretty strong grip on me ever since. 

It's not the flu, but whatever it is has had me in the doctor's office three times over the last two weeks. Add to that mothering other sick people, dealing with the car insurance company and the fact that I am still battling bouts of melancholy and you can understand my lack of posting. 

But I have missed chatting with friends. So today I have decided to share a little less than perfect repair I had to make in the middle of all this chaos. 

Did you notice it in the first photo up top? That mess of a DIY? Can you see it now? 

Floral Cottage Style Couch

How about now? I zoomed in very close. I'm sure you can't miss it and it's driving me crazy! It's one of those princess and the pea home decor imperfections I recently wrote about...except this time instead of rescuing me, it was my prince who got me into this situation. Grrr. 

Patching A Sofa Arm

A few years ago, my sweet husband leaned on the couch arm ~ repeatedly ~ and caused it to tear. I was not happy but with a needle and thread and a little bit of nerve, I repaired it

How To Fix A Torn Sofa

And it stayed all sewn up for a really, really long time. But then it didn't. Recently, the tear reappeared and grew. It was about four times the length of the original rip and the fabric was becoming thin. I was prepared to take care of it with some fusible bonding tape, but the impatient handy husband decided that he wanted to do it his way instead. 

I wasn't thrilled about it, but if he was willing, ok. Except it was not ok. He is the greatest DIY guy in the world, but a seamstress, he is not. He tried to use an iron on patch and the iron stained the material (too hot and gluey) and his stitches were not hidden. At all. 

Even better was his attempt to undo the damage and the phone call I received while I was at the fabric store buying the iron on tape. 

It might be a little worse when you get home. 

How worse? That didn't seem possible when I left. 

Well, I tried to remove the patch and now there's a vertical rip and some of the fabric is missing. You should just make arm covers. Or buy a new couch. 

Now I'm sure the idea of a new couch sounds like a lovely idea to many, but I like this couch. A lot. Floral couches are hard to come by and a new couch means redecorating and I am not a fan of that process. So, I put on my thinking cap and starting fixing the mess that I couldn't even bring myself to photograph. 

Use your imagination. It was that bad. 

The wood was showing on the arm, fabric was missing, there was glue and stains from the iron and I was initially at a loss. At first, I thought about sacrificing one of my pillows to make a patch, but then I remembered the couch's corner kick pleats. Like this one:

Sofa Corner Kick Pleat

I cut out one from the back. It's up against a wall and will never be missed. The only unfortunate part of this was that I didn't have a choice of pattern, I had to make what I had work. I lined it up as best I could. 

Next, I used my staple gun to anchor it in place right up against the piping. Then I grabbed some quilt batting I had and fiber fill that I used for an angel craft and stuffed that arm full again. Lastly, I folded the edges under, pulled tight and used the iron on tape that I used to make my skirted chair, to secure the patch in place...ironing with a rag over the fabric so as not to stain it. Again. 

Up close, it gives me hives. 

Patching A Sofa Arm

However from certain angles it looks ok...if I squint. 

Patching A Sofa Arm

But from across the room, I can barely notice it. 

Floral Cottage Style Couch

I guess that's the benefit of less than perfect eyes. 

Now if the cold and the car were just that easy to fix.

Of course, I'm hoping for better results with both. 

What's less than perfect in your world?

More posts like this? 

Decorating Differences Between Couples
He Said, She Said Decorating

How To Decorate
Using Subtraction To Decorate

84 comments:

  1. I think these less than perfect eyes of mine think you did a great job at repairing the couch! Just drape a small throw cover over it and you'll never know!

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    1. Thanks so much, Linda! I am looking for the perfect throw right now. If he was willing to spring for a new couch, I’m sure I could squeeze that out of him! 😉 Happy weekend!

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  2. I think that you did great. It will save the rest of the fabric from more damage and I am guessing that you are the only one that will really notice it. And you could artfully drape a pretty throw over the arm when it bugs you. Or the queen is coming to visit. Or some decorating magazine is coming for a photo shoot. Hope you are getting over your crud.

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    1. Thanks Lorri. It was the best I could do...but yes, a new throw would definitely help. In the meantime, my husband's arm is usually resting there, blocking the badness!

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  3. Really nice to see your name and post in my mail . . .
    Oh dear, bet the “bump” happened because of someone sitting at a stop light and texting??

    Looks like the “patch up” turned out just fine. . .
    Isn’t it Grand when things work out!

    Now we have to get you and the sick ones feeling tip top again.
    Feel better my friend!

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    1. Yup...two teenage girls, no one admitted to texting, but they said they were distracted and they didn't see the light turn red. Bam. I am angry but super happy that none of them were injured. I really hope that those young ladies learned their lesson...And thanks Lynne!

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  4. So much less than perfect here at out cottage, Kim! The repair is a good one and will allow you many more years of use with that sweet couch.

    Hope you’re on the mend. Grace to you, friend.

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    1. Thanks Deanna! And thanks for the well wishes!

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  5. This looks pretty good to me Kim. I think that was a great idea to use some of the fabric from the back kick plate. It looks great I could hardly see the rip in the before picture. I get how it bugs you. That kind of stuff bugs me too. I know it is there. So bravo girlfriend you did a great repair job.
    Happy Friday.
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! It was the best I could do under the circumstances. The rip was really bad. The wood was actually showing. I keep telling him not to lean on it, but you can't teach an old dog new tricks!! 😉

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  6. Wow, you have had quite an eventful month. I hope you and your couch will be on the mend very soon.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! I hope so, too.

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  7. I own a floral couch similar to yours that I love. Thanks for sharing your story! I may need to use that DIY info someday. And I didn't even see the patch till the close-up at the end of your post. Good job saving the couch! Barb in MN

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    1. Thanks so much, Barb! I was really perplexed when I saw the tear and super sad. This is the best I could do, but like you, I love my couch and wasn't going down without a fight!! Thanks so much for the comment and I hope you and your lovely floral sofa never need my trick!

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  8. You're so good! I never would have even thought of that but I sure will remember in the future. I despise furniture shopping but would have been out the door looking for a new couch. Just think of all the money you've saved. :)

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    1. Thanks Stacey! I am happy-ish with the way it turned out. I have a feeling I'm headed towards a new couch in the future, but I really do love this one and am going to try to hold on to it for as long as I can. But...with the money I saved, I'm definitely going to buy a new fun throw! 😉

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  9. Even after reading the article I still had a hard time finding the edges of the patch. You did a great job blending it in. The "randomness" of the floral pattern works in your favor. Reminds me of when someone is singing a song and they miss a note and they are sooooooooo sure everyone heard it when in fact everyone was busy enjoying the song and didn't even notice.

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    1. My kids are singers, Audra and they are always saying that…oh I bombed that note…and we’re like what?? It was perfect. I am glad that you, an artist yourself, thinks my patch looks great, because to me, it's way off key! 😉 Maybe it’s not as bad as I think…

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  10. Things are always less than perfect around our place. Couches are ridiculously expensive and if you can get a few more years out of it you have done a benefit to yourself and the world. Every time we dispose of one I wonder how long it will remain there. Wonderful that you have repaired and it looks great to me.

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    1. Thanks Angela! I know, the prices of sofas are outrageous. This one was not cheap and that was over 10 years ago, as it was custom fabric, etc. I don't really want to go through that process again or that expense. As far as the world goes, I am very lucky, I have over 10 nieces and nephews who have homes to furnish and have been so grateful for everything I send their way. I can definitely see this piece finding a good home...just not yet!!

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  11. I'm with Barb in MN. You had to show me the patch. Aren't those kick pleats the best!
    And thanks for the reminder why I don't go to ERs unless I'm in danger of dying! Glad you and all the kids are okay.

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    1. Oh my gosh, Nancy, the ER was the worst. They were lovely people, but ick...

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  12. Wow! You did a great job! It looks perfect to me! I love floral furniture too. My mom had a beautiful floral sofa years ago and I wish she still had it. It was so pretty in pictures too. Hope you and your daughter are doing better. Such a scary experience. Take your Vitamin C and get lots of rest. By the way, I love that glass hurricane candle holder with the berries inside. At least I think it's berries. Whatever they are, they're pretty! And red! I love that!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I'm so glad people can't really notice the patch! It screams at me...but I will get used to it for sure. And I do love the sofa pattern so I'm willing to put up with it. For now!! 😉

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  13. I didn't notice it at all until it was pointed out. Great job! I have a sofa & love seat in the same fabric & never give of it. So many colors I enjoy in it. Sorry for the bad start to 2018 you've had.

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    1. Thanks Mary...hoping we can only go up from here!

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  14. you are simply amazing! it's beautiful! and I'm sorry to say this but I couldn't see what you were talking about. :) well. until you literally pointed it out. I read your other post. and "even if I was wearing a tulle dress with Timberland work boots" reached right out and grabbed me. the few years that we lived in Northern Minnesota came back and hit me like a ton of bricks. that's how we looked in a prom dress. or any dress for that matter. even the summers only lasted a few hours and it was sometime in mid July!
    and we often wore jeans under our dresses at school. it got ridiculously cold there in winter.
    but as you described your always feeling cold in this post it sounded rather familiar to me.
    have you had your thyroid checked? I mean thoroughly checked?
    that's often a very important sign. Mine was taken out due to cancer. but it turned out that I had also had Hashimoto's Disease well before that. which I apparently still have. it apparently never goes away actually. it's a type of auto immune disease. if you have it you will have it even without the thyroid. and ice cold hands are a sign of it in your thyroid. and the lack of out-side part of your eyebrows is another strange symptom. Bob used to love it when I would reach over and put my hand on his forehead or the back of his neck in summer because my hands were always cold!
    "cold hands warm heart" I would always laughingly say. little did I know I had it even back then.
    and I weighed about 105 pounds always. it was the last thing I would have thought of.
    unless you've already checked on it ... it might be worth checking now.
    I hope you get well soon dearest bean. and take care of YOU! xo

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    1. Hi Tammy! Thanks for the tip...and yes, I have been checked more times than I can count. Every time I walk into a doctor's office, they want to check me. And I laughed at your cold hands warm heart comment...we say that all the time!!

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  15. It might be a little worse when you get home.

    How worse? That didn't seem possible when I left.

    LOL your stories just crack me up sometimes :)

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    1. Thanks Deb! He does keep me laughing...even if some of those chuckles come at a price. 😉

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  16. Oh man! You really have had some rough times! Hope that's the end of that craziness!
    I think the couch looks great. No one but you would ever notice. I think you did a great job!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mari! I just wish I could ditch this cold.

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  17. Hi, Kim. Glad to hear from you again. Have you ever seen one of those puzzles on fb, where you're supposed to find something different or "off" from the mass? Well, your chair repair could be one. I honestly couldn't figure out what was wrong, till you actually explained it. Good job, I'd say. Now, get enough rest to rid yourself of that creeping cold crud :D

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    1. You just made me feel so great...I can really see that patch, but if you can't that's awesome! I'm hoping it becomes less noticeable in time. And thanks for the well wishes. I am still fighting this thing...ugh.

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  18. I'm so sorry to read about the accident. So glad you're both okay.

    I seriously didn't notice the area you fixed. I kept scrolling back and forth assuming I was missing something!!

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    1. Thanks Brandi!! I'm so glad you can't see it! I hope that soon I won't notice it either!

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  19. Well it turned out perfect as far as I can tell. I like a bit of mixing it up.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm starting to feel better about it... 😊

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  20. I'm feeling really bad about the smash up, and the insurance crap. What a headache. The melancholy---you got me Baby.

    I feel the attachment to the floral sofa. I had mine for 15 years. My kids said it looked like it belonged in a funeral home, but I loved it. One day when we were laying down an area rug in the bright sunlight, I realized how badly it had faded in spots and was generally gone.

    In spite of your love with said sofa, and its tears, you can pick out any sort of pattern or color at a reupholster shop. I did that with several pieces that had really good structure. And if you are looking for a totally new piece in a store, you can also choose fabric. Forget the "off the floor" stuff. Days gone by.

    Good luck...but know you did a good job.

    Jane x

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    1. You're so right, Jane and I have been contemplating a replacement. There are a lot of pretty options out there. This one was a semi-custom number. I was able to pick the fabric and piping and pillow patterns, I just don't know if I'm up for that process again. Plus, my husband keeps saying that when this one goes he wants a sectional or something in leather...neither of which is my first choice. So I am hanging tight for as long as possible, if you know what I mean! 😉

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  21. Your repair work turned out great and you were so brave to tackle it. You've inspired me not to be daunted by upholstery repair! Our furniture is SO old and I just cannot come to grips with purchasing new stuff.
    Hope you are feeling better, Spring will be here soon and that will help us all!
    Jemma

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    1. Thanks! I feel the same way, Jemma. I am just not up for furniture shopping and all that goes with it right now!

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  22. Kim, I really hope you are feeling better. What a time you are having with everything happening. BUT, for the good news, even after you carefully pointed it out, I couldn't tell what was wrong with the couch. You did a great job. I had my own scare yesterday. Today is hubby's birthday. He turns 80 years old. No that is not a misprint!! Of course, I knew this, but he received a card from a friend and there was a huge 8 -0 on the front. When I saw that I just burst into tears. Enjoy all the little things in life, it goes way too fast! I am not far behind!!..Happy Saturday my sweet friend and I wouldn't want to replace that beautiful couch either..xxoJudy

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    1. Happy Birthday to your husband, Judy! Wow, 80! Those decade markers are shocking, aren't they? And it does go by so fast. When my mom passed, we brought out all the old photos and things that happened 40 years ago are still fresh in my mind...where did the time go? How did I get to this number so quickly? Sometimes, I want to go back, just for a bit...I hope you had a wonderful celebration and he had a great day! xoxo

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  23. Oh, Kim.I'm glad neither of you were hurt in the accident and sorry you haven't been feeling well. Being physically ill when your emotions are tangled up is a rough combination. I must admit you made me laugh with the couch story though. I looked and looked and could not see the patch until AFTER you pointed it out. I understand how it could stick in your mind though. Today I asked my husband if he had moved our space heater because it was further away from the plant sitting behind it. I reminded him that I've had three weeks to notice everything about the sun room as I sit in my recliner, waiting for my cast to come off. We both laughed when I jokingly told him I knew how many tiles were on the floor.
    I hope today there is something that makes you laugh and those little things continue for you.

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    1. Thanks so much. It has made me smile that so many people were unable to find the mess! I guess my repair is better than I thought. I have been thinking about you and your foot. I am assuming that the surgery went well. I am glad that you are home, recovering. I am sorry that you are confined to the chair, but sounds as if you will be good as new for the warm weather’s arrival. And the tile count comment did make me chuckle. Been there...😊

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  24. There's lots of imperfections in my home. Where to begin...
    Brenda

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    1. Sounds like my place, Brenda! Trust me…

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  25. You do realize that we would not have noticed this AT ALL had you not pointed it out. I get it. I tend to be like that too. Like the fact that the rug in my kids room always seems to be a bit off. Every single time! I think your chair looks great and so will everyone else. Now take a rest, put your feet up and forgetaboutit!!

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    1. Thanks Mary!! I am slowly learning to accept it...or ignore it is probably a better description!

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  26. I think you did a great job on the repair--I'm a stickler for detail and had a hard time finding the imperfection ;) I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's wreck and everything else going on. I'm glad you've been able to unplug as needed and hope you're feeling more like yourself soon. Hugs, Cecilia

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    1. I'm so happy to hear that you couldn't find the repair, Cecilia! I have been obsessing over it. I am not happy with why I have had to unplug, but yes, it has been nice to step away for a bit. I forget that there is life outside the internet!! 😉

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  27. I honestly had to read through the post to see anything off. It is late here & I am tired but I doubt hardly anyone will notice if you don't point it out.

    i gave up on perfect a very long time ago.....it gets in the way of good.

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    1. It's funny, Jenny, when I was studying art in high school and college, I was always told that perfection stifles creativity. And for the most part I believe that. Chips, cracks, crooked floors and slanted ceilings I can deal with, but for some reason, this arm is giving me pause. Oh well, it is what it is, right?

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  28. Genius! Much better than trying to track down the piping fabric to redo the whole arm!

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    1. Thanks Pat! It was the best I could do with what I had. I'm glad you think it works. 😊

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  29. Oh my goodness....when it rains, it pours (or did you get more snow?). I'm so glad your kiddo wasn't hurt. I've held my breath during this flu epidemic, hoping we did not get sick. Well, we had a mild case of an upper-respritory infection, but not the flu!

    Too bad about your sofa. Things like that drive me crazy. I'd probably be looking for a good sturdy fabric, in an accent color, to make arm covers. I'd just be waiting for the patch to explode and spew batting all over the place! Good luck!
    Warm hugs, Carol

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    1. No snow, Carol, although it is in the forecast for this week. Grrr. I don't blame you about the flu...it's a scary one this year. I was not happy about having to go to any office where sick people were hanging out, but it is what it is. And as far as spewing batting goes, I am making my husband sit on the other side of the couch from now on...he can't be trusted!!

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  30. Perfection is overrated, Kim. And it is always the same, the things that drive you crazy are things other people don't even notice. A friend of mine rises above it in the most beautiful way. She uses the same creamy tablecloth for all her entertaining. And every time there is a stain that won't come out she patches a doily over it or embroiders something. That tablecloth just gets crazier and crazier. I love it (but then I think of all the tablecloths I threw away for a tiny stain...).
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. That tablecloth sounds dreamy, Amalia! I had several stained like that and I was all ready to toss them when a girlfriend asked if she could use them for her daughter’s Sweet 16. She put them out and then strategically placed decor and serving pieces over the mess and no one could tell that they were less perfect. They added such an elegant air to the party. I felt guilty that I was going to toss them…never again. Now I have two neat solutions! xo

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  31. Hi Kim, so sorry to hear about the car and you all not feeling well.
    Wow Kim I did not even notice in the photo how you did the fabric repair on the couch. You did a great job and it looks good. Only you and your family know about what happened but I'm sure if someone was visiting they would not even notice that spot on the couch.
    The couch still looks really pretty!
    Hope this week gets better.
    Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie…when it rains, it pours…or so they say! Judging by the comments, I guess I did a better repair job than I thought! I will have to be kinder to myself and my skills and accept that maybe it’s not that bad.

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  32. Hi Kim,
    Sending hugs. Hope everything gets better soon!!
    I think you did a great job on the couch.
    Carla

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    1. Thanks Carla! I am so tired of this cold, but the couch is looking better to me every day!

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  33. Thank God that you and your child are OK!
    As for the couch, it is absolutely perfect, my friend. Men many times want to help and they end up to a disaster. Fortunately, you are a great crafter and you fixed your couch in the best possible way.
    Kisses, my friend.

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    1. Thank you so much, Mia! It was scary...and yes, my handy husband is usually so helpful, my DIY knight in shining armor. Um...not this time!!

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  34. Kim , sorry to hear about your daughter’s accident and your illness . It’s funny how life works. These things occurring after the years long struggle with your Mom’s Parkinson’s and losing her so recently, one has to wonder why things happen when they do. Thank God your daughter and the other car’s occupants are oaky. You have a new angel watching over you. Spring is coming and my wish is that you will be feeling joy again soon.
    Hey this may sound crazy, but what if you picked up a few fine point markers in varying shades of green and pink and you just sort of free hand some matching leaves and flowers to sort of blend it a bit?

    occupants are okay. You have a new angel watching over you. Spring is coming and hopefully you will be feeling joy again soon.
    Hey this may sound crazy but what if you got a few fine point markers in matching greens and pinks and just sort of freehand leaves and flowers on the patch to blend it a bit?

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan. I really appreciate all the kind words...especially the reminder about the new angel we have. You are so right. You know, I don't think your marker trick sounds crazy. The part that bugs me is the straight line and the way the pattern ends abruptly at the edge. You may be on to something. Thinking cap is firmly on...thanks for the idea!

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  35. First, I hope you feel better soon. I,myself been sick for two weeks now and it is starting to get to me. Going back to doctor Wednesday morning. The older I get, the harder it is to get rid of things. I think you did a marvelous job with the sofa. When I looked at your first three pictures, I could not see what you were referring to. I am glad you are keeping your sofa. It is beautiful! I am also glad the accident only damaged the car. I have been through three young drivers and it never gets easier. Take care of yourself, Kim. xxx

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    1. Maria Elena, I am so sorry to hear that you have been battling this cold, too. It’s two weeks for me now, too and I am at the end of my rope. I do hope that you get some relief soon. Thanks for peeking at the sofa. I’m beginning to feel better about the repair, since it appears that no one has been able to find it easily. Silver lining I suppose!! Feel better!! xoxo

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  36. Great job Kim! The sofa looks great, sorry to hear about all your other worries, hope all is well now!

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    1. Thanks SO much, "Andy". We're all on the mend..including the sofa! xo

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  37. I think I would have probably freaked out pretty good, my friend!! You did an amazing job patching it up - good for you, you are the most creative person I know! Sounds like you have the same darned cold I have - it's been over a MONTH and I can't seem to shake it! I'm so tired of being sick....hope you feel better soon and I'm so glad your daughter was ok - car accidents are so terrifying especially when they involve our children!

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    1. Debbie, you are so nice to me! It really isn't that great looking in person....so I try not to look. And YES, this cold will not quit! It's been weeks, I hope you are better now. Spring...please...soon!

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  38. Sure hope ya'll are feeling back to your normal self real soon! No flu here this season, but I've heard that so many people have suffered a lot from it. I think especially those with children, since the kids bring it home from school. We live a more secluded lifestyle so don't get exposed a lot.

    Your sofa repair looks pretty darned good to me! Good job!! xo
    Sorry about the car too!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Pepper! I am so glad everyone thinks the sofa looks good. Maybe I'm just too close to it! And thanks for the well wishes. I think you are right, that a more secluded lifestyle helps during the cold and flu season. Glad to hear you've been able to avoid it! Thanks for the visit! xo

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  39. So thankful that your daughter was okay in the accident, but how awful to come home with such an ugly bug! The flu has been horrible this year, my daughter had it over Christmas. So thankful that the rest of us managed not to get it! Now about the patch on the couch, wow, you did such an amazing job on that! To take a new piece of fabric to recover it was just what it needed, and you really can't tell the difference unless you just look really hard. I hope you get to feeling better very soon! Hugs!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter had the flu. It really is awful this year. They kept telling us that we didn't have the flu, and I believe them, we never really felt sick, sick, just couldn't breathe....for weeks!! I hope your daughter is completely over it now. I'm so ready for spring and warm weather!

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  40. So glad to hear your daughter is ok but sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Hope you can kick this bug. Take care my friend!

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    1. Thanks Kristi....I'm ready for spring for so many, many reasons!

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  41. Count me in as another reader who couldn't tell what was up with the sofa, and I'm about as OCD as you can get. You got some serious skills girl, and if your hubby wants a leather sectional, I'd say hold on to that pretty sofa for dear life ;).

    Feeling better yet?

    xxx

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    1. So glad you couldn't tell, Doreen. My husband is feeling very vindicated (even if I can still clearly see it..it's that design OCD like you said!). And oh yes, I will patch this sucker and patch and patch before I give in to his sectional!! 😉 Oh...and I was beginning to feel better, then I turned 50 and now I feel lousy again. Although I think that may not have anything to do with the cold. 😜

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