Vintage Chair Reupholstery

My paternal grandfather was a bit of a pack rat, in the best way. He had multiples of most tools, etc. When he passed away 12 years ago, we all knew it would be a process to clean up his property. My grandmother passed away 16+ years previously and his second wife was planning on moving back into her old house. My husband and I went up to my grandpa’s property with a bunch of my cousins and other family to help clean up and sort through was was going to the dump, to metal recycling, and to be sold at the auction. Enter this chair:

I was SMITTEN by the lines, the sparkly aqua vinyl, everything about it. I just couldn’t let it get thrown away. I had very little sewing skills at the time, but my husband and I kept it and moved it from place to place since it was very sentimental to me.

This chair was made by Douglas Furniture. They had their heyday in the 1960’s, which is when I imagine this chair was purchased. It was in my father’s house growing up. Can you imagine the conversations that happened while someone was sitting on this chair? I’d love to hear them.

Fast forward to a few months ago and my husband and I started plotting what we could do to save this chair. I looked at a few tutorials and dove in. These tutorials were particularly helpful to me to wrap my head around making piping, sewing piping on, what in the heck piping was, which Bernina foot to buy to make piping. You get the jist.

Sewing Bench Piping

How to Reupholster a Chair

Piping: How to Make and Insert Covered Cord

After doing what I considered enough internet research, I purchased my canvas fabric, 1/16″ piping (I wanted a delicate look), Bernina #12 foot, and went for it. My first step was making a template of the seat bottom, making piping, and sewing the piping onto the cushion cover.

There can not be enough pins in existence for a piping project, in my opinion. I am not a pinner, at all, but please use pins! I also find it imperative to cut the piping fabric on the bias. You really do need the stretch to make it around corners.

This is what the Bernina #12 foot looks like. It has a groove built in it to make it a breeze to make piping. Moving the needle position made this a lot easier to manage as well.

This is what my unstuffed cushion cover looked like. I was pretty pleased with myself for making it this far and not completely ruining the project. I ordered 2″ high density foam, cut the foam to the shape I needed, covered it in 2 layers of batting, and then stapled and stapled and stapled the batting down before I did the same thing with my cushion cover.

My husband cleaned up the chrome legs using water and aluminum foil and then he screwed the cushion onto the chair.

We used my grandma’s screwdriver and my heart had all of the feelings.

In order to make the chair back, it was a lot of trial and error. I didn’t take any photos because it was honestly a bit terrifying to McGyver this project. I made a sleeve of 2 layers of batting, then stapled it down before I put on the chair back fabric. I needed to box the corners on the front and back before I added the piping. There was seam ripping and a lot of fear, but eventually it turned out amazingly well.

Is this chair perfect? Absolutely not! It has imperfections galore, but I am so pleased with how well it turned out. I love, love, love having a piece of my grandparents in my home and the beautiful pop of Rifle Paper Co. Canvas doesn’t hurt a bit either!

Dresden Butterflies Floor Pillow

Today is the last day of the Best of Moda Bakeshop Book Pillow Parade and I am excited to be bringing up the rear! We recently finished our basement and made a fun little reading nook under the stairs for our kids. We thought it would be fun to fill it with floor pillows and quilts (we have plenty of those!) to keep it a cozy space for our children to want to pass the time reading.

I chose to make a 24″ pillow using Add It Up and Alma by Alexia Marcella Abegg for Ruby Star Society for a beautiful, fall looking butterfly.

To make this pillow, you will need a copy of the Best of Moda Bake Shop book. In the book you will find the instructions to make my Dresden Butterfly quilt blocks. You will need 2 completed blocks to make this pillow and there are step-by-step instructions detailed in the book.

You will also need:

(2) 12 1/2″ background squares

(2) 17″ x 25″ pillow backing fabric

(1) 2 1/2″ x WOF strip of binding for the pillow backs

scrap batting 25″ square for the pillow front and (2) 18″ x 26″ for the pillow back

For the Pillow Front:

Sew the (2) 12 1/2″ background squares together with the dresden butterfly squares as shown. You will then need to baste this to the batting scrap as desired. For small projects I love spray basting. I quilted mine using Bernina stitch 4 to make this fun serpentine design that reminded me of wind for my butterfly to fly. Trim to 24 1/2″ square.

For the pillow back:

I very much prefer a quilted pillow backing. It adds extra comfort and stability and only a small amount of extra effort.

Baste the (2) 17″ x 25″ pillow backing fabric to the batting scraps, quilt as desired, and then trim to 17″ x 25″.

Press the 2 1/2″ x WOF strip of binding in half, with wrong sides together (just as you would to bind a quilt). Bind one raw 25″ edge on each of the pillow backs that measure 17″ x 25″. You can do this by hand, machine, big stitch, whatever binding you prefer for this project.

For Pillow Assembly:

Place the pillow top right side up and the pillow backs right side down. Align the raw edges of the pillow backs along the top and bottom raw edge of the pillow front. Pin, Pin, Pin and sew all around the edge using a 3/8″ seam. I prefer to use my walking foot for this step to deal with extra bulk. Switch to a zig zag stitch (stitch 2) and zig zag around the raw edge of the inside seam.

Flip the pillow right side out, gently poke out the corners, and give it a good press. Fill with a 26″ pillow form and you have yourself a new, comfy floor pillow.

For those of you that have missed the other pillow tutorials, please check the hashtag #bestofmodabakeshopbook on instagram for the other participants.

Half-Square Triangle Quilt in Create Fabric (free tutorial!)

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for a good way to use up small-ish cuts of fabric in a meaningful way. If you have just (10) fat quarters or (10) 1/4 yard cuts as well as 2 yards of background fabric, I have the quilt for you! This quilt finishes at 60″ x 72″ and is the perfect size for a nice snuggle quilt and it really only requires that much fabric!!!

For this quilt, I used the amazingly saturated and beautiful line of fabric by Riley Blake Designs debut designer Kristy Lea of Quiet Play. She is known for her amazing foundation paper piecing patterns and a love of all things gradient and rainbow. This fabric line is exactly what I would expect her to design, in the best way. Bright. Vibrant. FUN!

I used 10 different prints from Create as well as Blossom Rainbow (C730-Rainbow) for this fun quilt.

To start your quilt, you’ll need to cut out your fabric.

Cut (10) 7″ x width of fabric (WOF) squares of background

From each fat quarter or 1/4 yard, cut (6) 7″ squares

Once your fabric is cut, mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 7″ square of background fabric

Sew 1/4″ away from the center on BOTH sides, then cut down the drawn line to separate the half-square triangles (HSTs).

Press to the print side, then trim each HST to 6 1/2″. I love my Bloc Loc ruler when it comes to trimming HSTs. It saves my sanity every single time.

Arrange the HSTs into vertical rows of 12 triangles, sew the HSTs together into rows, then sew the rows together into a top. It really does feel like magic to make such a useable size quilt from such a small amount of fabric!

I backed this quilt in a Kaleidoscope Riley Blake print in Shamrock. I wanted to deviate from my norm (pink) and I love the vibrant hue of this backing. Kristy smartly designed some stripes that make for a perfect binding. Look for Create to hit your local quilt shop or favorite online shop soon!