quilting a chair


posted by on homely, quilts, thrifted


Spying six fully upholstered dining chairs on the footpath around the corner set me to imagining quilted chairs – some cheerful with scrappy patchwork, maybe some dresden plates, doilies?  Oh – I’d talked myself into a right state of excitement – Christmas presents, birthday presents – and all using hard rubbish and fabrics from the stash.

After putting away the groceries, I meandered back around the corner – alas, the chairs were now in the driveway, along with a gathering of local matrons creating pottery in the garage.  They eyed me suspiciously.  I smiled, called out good morning, and kept walking. Bum!

However, I could not bear to give up the idea.  You know how it is, you have a whole day of chores and all those things you should be doing planned, but instead you find yourself tootling around the side streets looking for an appropriate chair to quilt.  (Auntie Cate is definitely rolling her eyes at this point :-)

Ha!  Found it.  Not quite what I’d originally planned – but beggars can’t be choosers.  This one had clearly been sitting on the footpath a while … weeds had grown around it’s feet and I literally had to rip it out!  Nevertheless, it’s wonderfully sturdy and in awesome condition.

Can you see the embossed design – it’s an acropolis!  In vinyl!  Kind of cute really.  I removed the covers carefully so I can reuse them.  I’m thinking a super sturdy tote, lined in a plain linen with lots of pockets – perfect for op shopping.  And very apt in the current clime don’t you think!  A repurposed bag – with Greek heritage – for thrifty secondhand shopping.  hee! hee! hee!

And to counteract the dampness, ’cause it has been raining quite a bit lately, I took it all apart, turned on the heating (there you go, crappy weather in October comes in handy), and propped up the pieces of chair over the air vents to dry out.

I used an old blanket from the stash as the foundation.  Added a pair of blocks I stitched yesterday and then lots of scraps – from all the pieces that have been building up on the table over the last few weeks.  Immensely satisfying.  My goodness, how I do love patchwork.

By the time the patchwork was done, the chair pieces were nice and dry.  Time for the staple gun.  Kerplunk, kerplunk.   And I reused the original back – worked a treat and reminds us of the chair’s heritage!

There was a wee bit of a disaster.  I had the chair, with it’s pretty new back, sitting in the garden to greet Abby when she arrived home from school.  Then I added the foamy seat – tested out how much more patchwork I needed to add.  Made a flurry of prairie points – tested how many more needed to make it all the way around the seat.  Then I left it there.

Mmhm!  Corner chunk now missing.  Gee Abby – did you eat the corner off the chair?  I don’t remember doing it and there’s no green fuzz in my teeth.  Or could it be that rotten Sweetpea’s fault!  Grrrrrr!  I confess, I CURSED her.  Several times.  There may have been repeated references to her status as a girl dog.  With adjectives ranging from the hemorrhagic to that vulgar word we tell our children to never use.  Man was I pissed.

However, equilibrium was eventually restored and the hole was filled with a wad of woolen batting.

[ 'scuse the funny photo - it was almost dark ]

Almost done.  I’ve stapled the prairie points onto the sides, but there’s foam over the wood at the front and stapling the prairie points into this looks totally daft (I did it, and then had to pull all the staples out again).  So tomorrow I shall add a thin runner of white glue.   And then I have a nice piece of pinky red braid (ripped off a red corduroy skirt) to glue across the top of the prairie points to finish it off.

I did think it would be lovely for my study desk in the bedroom – but Julian feels it is just too full on for that.  So it will be my sewing chair instead.  It will look right at home in the sewing shed – mind you, it could easily become camouflaged and then lost.

I’m pleased with it – it’s very jolly.  The blanket foundation works a treat – really sturdy and gives it a beautifully smooth, thick finish.  And the prairie points – I was a bit nervous that they would look a bit much – but I don’t think they do – I rather love them! – very fond of prairie points I am – unbelievably quick and simple to make and add such zing.

But I do want some of those fully upholstered dining chairs.  I want to do a linen one with dresden plate pieces.  Mmmm …. maybe they only took them back off the footpath because of the visiting potters?  Maybe tomorrow they’ll be back on the footpath?  Fingers crossed.

ooh!  And I’ve made the pledge to buy nothing new in October – and nothing new has been bought – not even for this chair.  Jolly good.



  1. Mummy dearest
  2. Penny from UK
  3. Fran
  4. Auntie Cate
  5. Susan

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