Welcome to "chuff to bits"! My blog about food, crafting, and other wonderful things! Stay tuned to find out what!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Zafu of Enlightenment

I set out today to make a zafu, and a zabuton.  For all you head-scrathers out there (and believe me I know how you feel) a zafu is a round floor pillow used to sit on during meditation.  A zafu lifts your hips above your knees, aligning your pelvis and spine so that your head can rest upon your spine in a straight line.  This means that you can sit for a long time without your back curving painfully, or your head slumping forward.  A zabuton is a larger square pillow or mat, placed below the zafu, that cushions your knees and ankles.  Feel free to google, there are dozens of examples....I'll wait....

Back?  Ok good.

I started with a pattern from this lovely sight HERE, where a wonderful being named Caitlin has posted some easy instructions.  I'm not a sewing genius, and I'm sure I've mentioned my tiny little dressmaker sewing machine before, so you know that if I did it, then it should be no problem for you.

I started with some leftover blue fabric from the wedding.  It's a basic cotton fabric, I read a suggestion to not use a slippery fabric so that you don't slip off the cushion. 

Now, the instructions say that a yard of fabric will make 2 zafus.  So, I cut out two 13.5" circles and a 54" long by 8" wide strip.....hmmm..... last I checked a yard of fabric was 36".....  I cut out two 27" lengths.  I missed the seam allowance when I cut them, so I ended up with a 53" strip.  That's ok right?  The instructions say that there will be extra at the end.... 

Pieces cut out.  Strips being pinned into pleats.

The pleats are marked out.  Every three inches there's a 1 inch pleat.  So measure 3 inches, then 2 seperate inches for the pleat, then 3 inches again..... and so on.

Marks for pleating.

Fold the pleats up, pin them, then IRON them!  Don't skip that step, trust me, just don't.  Then, pin the strip along the outside of your circle.  It's during the pinning that you'll discover that 54" isn't long enough to go around the circle.  My crafting friends advised me of a couple of things you can do to remedy this (assuming you didn't just read my whole post and adjust the length accordingly).  You can re-pin the pleats at a half inch wide instead of an inch, or lengthen the space between pleats.  You could also cut the circles smaller.  Or, you could do what I did....add another chunk of fabric to the long strip.  I think that mine ended up being around 59" long, extra is better than not enough here.

Finally pinned, fed through my tiny sewing machine.
The finished zafu!  Ok, not quite finished, it needs a stuffing.

Deflated zafu.
Now, the traditional stuffing is buckwheat hulls.  I don't have buckwheat hulls.  I thought maybe oatmeal would be a good substitute.  I figured this would be a good point to put a closure on it that would allow me to remove the stuffing if I tried something that didn't work.  So I stole a zipper from a project that just didn't work out, folded the strip ends in, and sewed the zipper on.  Luckily I managed to reopen the zipper from the inside with a finger nail.

Zipper, neatly hidden under a pleat....almost like I planned it that way.
So the oatmeal wasn't quite enough, so I thought birdseed might be an acceptable alternative.  Here it is, full of seed.  A zafu, full of birdseed is VERY heavy.

Zafu being investigated by the dog.
I threw together a zabuton.  (Heh, "threw together")  I sewed two 32" panels of fleece together, and put four 15" by 15" chair pads inside it.  Fleece REALLY sticks to foam chair padding.

Zafu ON a zabuton.
Time to take it for a spin.  Hmmm....turns out that sitting on birdseed is REALLY uncomfortable.  Ok....what now?  I considered keeping it until I could find a more appropriate stuffing, and then I came across a bag full of pillows in our closet.  So naturally I opened one, and stuffed all the stuffing into the zafu.  (Turns out I hate pillow stuffing as much as I hate carpet....ask hubby about that one).  It was still too squishy, so I even stuffed the pillow casing into the centre.  So here's the re-finished zafu: 

He's meditating...about food.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search Results