Friday, January 30, 2015

Trees falling, expletives sounding.....


 Learning is sometimes a slow and painful process. And what did we do without the internet? I can google whatever I am working on and get a blog or a video of someone who has done what I am doing and can provide the instruction I need. Unfortunately they cannot give me the practice nor the experience. I expect that by the 4th chair, I will have this relatively simple upholstering thing down pat, and I won't have made such a mess in the process.

The back of the chair started out empty. If the chairs had been covered when I got them, I would have used the fabric I removed as the pattern for the new cover. As it was, I had to make a pattern by tracing around the inside of the back of the chair onto some plain brown paper. Then I traced the pattern plus two inches all around onto the fabric I am using to put the picture in the frame (the fabric you see on the back side of the chair). A layer of cotton batting on the inside, without stapling, added some substance to the fabric, and a couple of strips of webbing stapled to the frame added support. I traced the same pattern onto the foam without adding a couple of inches and then had to cut it - no easy feat. (You see the foam roll to the right of the chair above.)

Researching further, I saw that you could buy a foam saw ($300) or use an electric knife, which I was fortunate enough to find at a thrift store. It is still not easy, but easier than trying to use scissors or an exacto type knife.

Next you spray the foam (go outside) with spray adhesive and wrap some cotton or other batting of your choice around the foam. This allows the fabric to lay nicer on the cushion and softens the edges of the foam. 

Inserting the foam and stapling the final fabric around it was the most difficult part of the process thus far. Here come the expletives! As you can see, there are some rough spots around the edges. Since this photo was taken, staples had to be removed, staples didn't grab...over and over and over again.

In the aftermath, staples were all over the floor. Foam pieces were all over the floor, fabric is all over the dining room table, tools and fabric and foam are all over the everyday eating area table.

Happy that no one else was in the house, which brings us to the title of this post: If a tree falls in the forest, (Sorry, couldn't resist) but no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? I am fairly certain it does. And I am not proud of my solitary outbursts. 

Resolved: Just as you do when making a dress or whatever, cut all the fabric and the foam and the batting and the webbing first, before starting to put it on the chair. That way all the fabric, foam, batting, and web mess is done. I am so impulsive.
I want to see it done NOW! I hope I am learning patience.
Next post will show the finished chair, much different than above (I hope). 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Taking on the Chairs

Quite a while ago I posted a chair on Facebook, four of which I purchased from Tina at our final sale, when Just A Second was still in our little building on North Main Street. We turned the keys over to the state of Illinois on December 12. The state took the building for the widening of North Main Street (Hwy 2).


So with the sorting and packing and moving, the chairs have sat in storage awaiting some free time - post Thanksgiving, post wedding reception for youngest daughter Faith and her husband David, post Christmas, post New Year's Day until this week. (That somewhat explains the long interval between posts.)


I asked John to bring one chair home from storage, so I can get started.


First I painted the frame white with Annie Sloan paint - pure white. Then I made a pattern of the back opening so I could cut the four fabric pieces for the chair backs.

The fabric on the seat at left is actually more grey than photo shows. That will go on chair front and seat. It has a nubby, sort of rough linen look and feel.

Below is the patterned back. It is a pale grey and pure white toile.

Since I don't have my shop work space, all is being done in our eating/family room area. It will drive me crazy more than it will bother John to have this "mess" around for as much time it is going to take to do four chairs.


This is going to be quite a process for me, and more than I have done previously to get items ready to sell. Hope I don't try your patience, as I post the step by step process.  Stay tuned.