Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Patchwork Wing Chair Tonight

It's been awhile since I wrote about the wing chair I'm redoing.  This week marks the first work I've done on it since late last summer.  I had ordered a piece of vintage green chenille on etsy in August to use as a seat cover, but the green was so pale it looked white, so that put the seat on-hold, and I've yet to find another fabric for it that really wows me.  Around the same time, I ordered a pink upholstery trim to use as faux piping along the chair's cushion and/or edges, but when it arrived, it was hot pink/fuschia (one of the few colors I don't like) instead of the pale pink I'd thought I'd bought, so the piping part of the project was put on-hold too.  One of the successful finds for the chair last summer was this vintage green Holly Hobbie fabric I'm using on the outside of the chair's wings. 
A real collector of this treasured character from my childhood would probably know the name of the fabric right away, if fabrics were even named in the 1970s and 1980s, but to me, it's just Holly-Hobbie-Preparing-for-a-Birthday-Party.  The print is so dear:  It depicts Holly Hobbie and friends/family baking a cake, making a list, looking at the cake, sitting beside each other with both a cat and a stack of wrapped presents at their feet, drinking cups of tea together, holding balloons, and washing dishes.  Ahhhhhhhhhh!  I love this material.  It would make the sweetest birthday party tablecloth.  Maybe someday I'll find more and have a go at that. (If any of you are as smitten as I am, a pillowcase made of the same material--but with a pink background--is currently listed on etsy as I write this, and unless someone uses the "Buy It Now" feature before you have a chance to, an eBay search for "Holly Hobbie birthday tea party fabric" tonight will lead you to the same fabric in a gorgeous blue.  I think the blue is the most striking, but the green matches my chair better.)  Like the character whose name I pronounced "Hobbly Hobbly" as a kid, this fabric has stolen my heart. 
I need to do a real patch-job at the top of the wing above since I cut the fabric a bit too short in one spot instead of following the wing's curve properly, but at least with this style, an extra patch will hardly stand out.  :)  The chair's main patchwork (the back-rest section) started to look too cutesy to me last August, and the Old English Sheepdog patch I'd made for it was the one that bothered me most.  Kent of the Spring Bulbs kindly gifted me with a yard or so of Sheepdog fabric last summer, and I've since used it to start both a new patch and the chair's skirt/dust ruffle. 
The new Sheepdog patch is so far a cotton batting-filled dog that I'll sew to another fabric square and then sew and hot-glue into place. 
The space between the chair's arm-rests and skirt/dust ruffle is the same pretty pink roses fabric I used on the mantel wall, "Barefoot Roses" by Tanya Whelan.  I see now that I should have ironed it before adding it to the chair, but I've done stranger things than iron the side of a chair, so I'll add that to today's to-do list.
The skirt/dust ruffle is going to be made of the Sheepdog fabric and sections of an old green check Daffodil tablecloth I found on eBay years ago and have never used.  It's too small and not the right shape for my table, but it was too sweet to pass up--it screamed "Val" with its green gingham and giant appliquéd Daffodils in each of its four corners--and I knew I'd eventually find a project for it.  In 2011, it was the backdrop for the photo I used for Mike's and my wedding announcement photo-card, with our first "married" picture and my bridal bouquet on top. 
This week, it's permanently taken its place along the bottom of this most beloved chair in our home. 
The cut-out flowers along the chair's side and skirt were a late-breaking idea the other night.  I only recently discovered designer Vicky Trainor's lovely blog, "The Linen Garden," and as soon as I saw her projects adorned with floral fabric cuttings, I wanted to cover everything I owned with flowers (even moreso than usual).  This post of hers was the one that wooed me into adding these fabric cut-outs to the chair.  How darling!  Following her beautiful example, I blissfully snipped flowers while watching Marie Antoinette (also gorgeous, probably the prettiest movie I've ever seen) Monday night and have been arranging and rearranging flowers against the chair ever since. 
Almost all the flowers between the Sheepdog panel and green check panel below are only there temporarily as I want to be happy with how they're arranged before I hot-glue them into place.  I'm planning to attach trails of the fabric flowers along all four sides of the chair, and the very first photo at the top of this post shows what the chair actually looks like right now, so I do have quite a bit of work ahead of me here.  It is such happy work, though, and it's been the perfect project to delve back into in this dreary below-zero-temperature January. 


Nellie said...

You have quite an ambitious project underway, Val! It will have special meaning when completed. I've some Holly Hobbie fabric from when the girls were young. I keep saving it to make something for the granddaughter.:)

Deb said...

I love this! What a fun chair! I also have fond memories of Holly Hobby from my childhood. You are doing such a great job on this. Thanks for sharing the pictures and have a wonderful day!

Val said...

Thank you, Nellie and Deb. :) I just knew I was amongst Holly Hobbie fans here. :)

Tabetha Jean said...

Such a clever idea & so much fun to watch you put it together!

Val said...

Thank you, Tabetha. It's a fun project. And the chair itself was only $15, I think--we got it used from a neighbor via craigslist years ago-so it's a good chair to "learn on." :)

Balisha said...

I read this last night and then came back this morning to reread it. I love what you are doing to your chair. It will be fun to watch your progress.We had two wing back chairs.. when I was growing up.Mom and my aunt had an upholstery and drapery business. My mom changed the chairs often to practise...we never knew what was going to be on those chairs.

Amy said...

I love it! Wouldn't this be a nice little side business for recover the occasional chair (although, I could see the struggle in parting with it once it was completed)?

Teresa Schubert said...

what a clever way to transform a chair to a treasure, I love it!
sugar, spice and whatever's nice

Val said...

Balisha, Amy, and Teresa, thank you all so much. :)

Balisha, what fun work your mom and aunt had! My mom reupholstered a wing chair "for real," not in the kind of faux way I'm doing, and she said it was so stressful--that moment when the fabric's off and the chair is just a "naked" frame--but it turned out so well.

Amy, I know! I do think about that. I'd love to do that on the side. I mentioned that in an older post about the chair. It would be SO fun, and yes, so hard to let go of the finished pieces too.

Teresa, thank you. I love it too. :) xox♥