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!

Best Friends Quiltalong

For the past few weeks I have been participating in the Best Friends Quiltalong with the Fat Quarter Shop. It is a series of 6″ foundation paper pieced blocks that come together into a lovely quilt. I am sewing with my friend Haley of Happiness in the Making. We decided to make fraternal twin quilts out of blossom fabric and the coordinating confetti cottons solid. She is making hers in gray while I am making mine in navy.

We started with Log Cabin blocks for week 1.

Week 2 was Economy Blocks. If you haven’t made economy blocks by foundation paper piecing, you are missing out on a real treat. They come out perfectly!!

Week 3 was the Pineapple Block. I had never made this type of block before and I really enjoyed the process and the end result.

For this last week of the quiltalong, we are all making the courthouse steps blocks. While these are similar to the log cabin, they make a different end result.

For this week’s blocks and process, please visit the Jolly Jabber, Fat Quarter Shop’s blog. You can find all of the details for the quiltalong there as well as kits to make your own quilt.

Snowflake Quilt

Each year I like to use the Kona Cotton Color of the Year as a background for a quilt. I have sadly fallen a few years behind and am working to get caught up. Ever since I saw Modern Handcraft’s Snowflake Quilt pattern, I knew this was the quilt for my 2019 COTY Splash.

I had been planning on using a plain white for the snowflake until I remembered I had previously cut some Zen Chic Modern Background Paper for a different project that I have since abandoned. (Can anyone else relate to this????) As luck would have it, the squares were the exact sizes I needed and I only had to trim down a few to make them work for this pattern! It was serendipitous.

I found the process of making this quilt incredibly therapeutic and enjoyable. Nicole is SO good at making thoughtful patterns and amazing diagrams. It was a real treat to make a quilt from such a wonderfully written pattern.

I decided to quilt this on my Bernina B 475QE in a 1 1/2″ grid. I do almost all of my quilting at home and very rarely send quilts out to be quilted. I love using my Bernina. The stitches are even, despite not having the Bernina Stitch Regulator. You cannot beat the stitch quality of a Bernina.

I bound the quilt using the same Kona Splash thinking it would be a good way to not distract from or add to the quilt. I am so pleased with how this quilt turned out. It is such a fun quilt that can bridge the gap between Christmas quilts and spring quilts.