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.


quilting a chair

14 thoughts on “quilting a chair

  • October 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    OMG I am amazed at the chair- how will Santa manage 6?
    What is up with Julians sense of adventure?

    dare you check out around the corner?

  • October 11, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    That is so neat! It would brighten any room.

  • October 12, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Oh Lily- what a perfect sewing chair! I just love your patchwork- it is so happy! I have to say that I am struck with your ability to find hard rubbish! I live in California, and people just don’t leave these things lying around! Oh well, our loss.

  • October 12, 2011 at 1:54 am

    How wonderful! What a perfect chair for your sewing room, or any room come to that! There’s a rather swish hotel and restaurant near here that has patchwork chairs in it’s dining room which I have always admired. They’re done in brightly coloured velvets and brocades with quite a lot of black velvet thrown into the mix. I’m quite inspired by your efforts, I just have to find a suitable chair which is probably easier said than done around here.

  • October 12, 2011 at 2:33 am

    The chair was cool to begin with, but you really gave it the wow factor!
    You turned another man’s junk into your wonderful piece of treasure – good on you!
    Enjoy it, and perhaps you may want to give it a bell or little light beacon so you can find it in your sewing room? ;-)

  • October 12, 2011 at 9:57 am

    You are amazing!!!!

  • October 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I don’t think I have ever seen a patchwork chair! You are truly a trend setter and I think it looks great, you are the Patchwork Professor!!! and I didn’t roll my eyes once, I confess I laughed and shook my head a little.

  • October 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I simply LOVE that chair. I’m quite partial to a patchwork couch too. There’s a cafe near where I used to live that has a few patchwork couches and armchairs. They are so very, very awesome.

  • October 13, 2011 at 12:39 am

    This is so beyond cool! I would’ve never thought of quilting a chair. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. And I’ve certainly never seen such a cheery little chair – that’s for sure. Lily – you’re so inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us!!

  • October 13, 2011 at 7:27 am

    What can I say apart from that chair is amazing. I love it. I have often thought about covering my sofa in patchwork. Seeing your chair might just urge me to do it.

  • October 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Lily, You are Wickedly Creative and inspiring. I wish I had your imagination and energy – just amazing.

  • October 15, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I LOVE what you did with this chair! So creative! You’re inspiring me to FINALLY do something with the chairs that I’ve been ignoring in my and my mother’s garage for YEARS!

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