Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Chair - An Update

This summer I told you all of my big plan to embroider fabric for a slipcover for a chair I picked up at a junk shop. I've made some progress although not as much as I would like. Things have been busy with markets, sheep, puppies, and workshops. 

As with anything I design, there are always changes along the way. My original plan was to decorate the circles and ovals with stitches similar to my Circles Sampler Pillow Project shown below. (Purchase info at end of post.)

Once I got stitching, mostly at the Farmers Market, I was less than enthusiastic with the results of decorating the ovals with lots of colors. I kind of lost interest in the project because I wasn't happy with how it was looking. There was something about the bright colors that I didn't think I was liking for covering the chair. 

I did like how the dark embroidered outlines around the printed circles were looking. 

My friend Liz had recommended a decorating book to me called A Living Space by Kit Kemp. Kit is a British design and hotel owner. She also has a line of furniture at Anthropologie. (Love this chair!) I ordered the book and have spent hours pouring over it. Gorgeous decorating and ideas. It was just the thing I needed to re-inspire The Chair Project

I liked a machine embroidered fabric I saw on a pair of chairs. You can see it on the photo below. 

Here is a detail of the fabric. (An aside - notice the wool felted fabric that Kit uses for upholstery. To die for except not for our farmhouse and all the cats.)

Enter my call from the county courthouse! A few weeks ago, I spent 5 hours in one place - jury duty. Knitting needles were not allowed according to the voice recording but nothing was said about sewing needles. I put together my supplies. The guard took my kids scissors - not sure why. They were blunt point and couldn't hurt a fly.

Armed with my new inspiration, I stitched for 5 hours at Jury Duty. It isn't often that I am stuck in the same place for that long with no distractions. 

I'm happy with the progress - I free-stitched with dark brown lines around the ovals and the circles making a wonky undulating design. And then I spilled coffee on it at the Farmers Market. Ugh. Not too bad - look close - you can barely see it. I will keep working on it and wash it when I am done. 

Not sure what I am going to do with the circles and ovals. My plan right now is to remove the bright colored bits of stitching. Then I'm not sure where I will go with the design. Hope you are enjoying the progress photos - even if they are spread out over time. 

A kit and a PDF Download for the Circles Sampler are available on my website. Links below:
Circles Sampler Kit - $46.00 - includes pure linen fabric, chenille needle, and all wool thread
Circles Sampler Pillow Pattern PDF - $13.00


Florence said...


Lovely design for the chair! Very pretty. Being creative myself, I love vibrant colours. I haven't done embrodidered in quite a few years. I used to cross stitch quite a bit and I have a lovely bell pull that I would love to do. You are inspiring me to get my fabric and floss out!

Auntie Shan said...

Real-ly. Don't you just hate it when "Security"-People take away harmless stuff..? Seriously. If anyone was determined to do something *nasty*, PAPER-CLIPS or STAPLES could do more damage! And don't get me started on "paper-cuts"!

Meanwhile, next time, bring a little dental-floss container. You know, the ones that have a teeny built-in "fish-scale"-blade... [Ans at the very least, you'll have clean teeth when you smile for your mug shot after garrotting the RENT-A-"RED-SHIRT" for being annoying!] - Anyhoo, it should work with embroidery thread. The cut might not be as clean as scissors, but you can fix that later.


Lines of Beauty said...


I loved reading about your creative process and it makes total sense seeing how we are always changing,morphing,re-balancing and craving the new!

By the way- we are so enjoying your little boy kitty. What a little dear heart he is.

And you too.

Anonymous said...

It is always nice to hear that professionals go through the same sort of process with their projects that the rest of us do - love and excitement, loss of interest, total change of plans. Thanks for giving us a sneak peak.

Kristin Is Now Writing Over on Substack

Hi All! A quick note to let you all know that I'm now writing a Newsletter over on Substack: Kristin Nicholas' Colorful Newsletter f...