Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair:Finishing the chair.

After posting all those articles on my chair, I am reaching the end of the project. The seat cushion is the only thing left to do before I loaded it up in the car and brought it home. The original cushion was gone except for the cover when I picked it up from past owner. The cover did have some feathers clinging to the inside cover. Alaine and I discussed that we should stuff the new cushion with down feathers. She was thinking that one feather pillow would fill the cushion. So off I went looking for a feather pillow and I found that stores like Target, Kmart, and Shopko had pillows with a foam cord and feathers surrounding it. The pillows were more expensive than a down feather comforter which was discounted after Christmas last year. I brought I queen size comforter to fill the cushion.

A ticking cover was the first thing that I made to stuff the comforter in. The comforter filled out the cover nicely giving the cushion a firm and cosy feeling.

The one side of the cushion used the Orono Redwood fabric with a Jacobean leafy print on it and the garnet colored velour fabric was used to finish it off. The top and bottom seams had the gold and garnet colored cording sew into it. This is the same cording I used on the arms. I left a opening large enough to squeeze the cushion into it and then finished hand sewed it together.

The pictures below show what the chair looked like before
and after all the work was done.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair: Working on the Outside Arms & Back

The inside arms and back now look great and it is time to move on to the outside arms, wings and back. The outside arms are the next area to work on. Like the inside wings and arms, the wings and arms section need to be sewn together. I made some cording in the same fabric as the wings and arms for a little decoration. The cording as sewed in between the wing and arm pieces. Just like the inside arm, the fabric is first line up horizontally along the arm caps edge with pins.

The picture to the left shows I attach a thin piece of cardboard along the edge. I temporary tack it in place and check that there are no gaps and I have a nice sharp edge before stapling it in place. I did the same thing on the inside arm. The fabric is pulled down and tacked to the bottom and back of the chair. The fabric toward the front arm was pinned and blind stitched into place. The picture below shows the arms with T-pins and tacks holding it in place before permanently fastening it. After permanently attaching it to the frame, the excess fabric was cut off with a sharp scissor along the finished wood edge.

I did the same for the right outside arm and wing side. The outside back is next; here I attached some thin layer of polyester filling over the back to cover the staples and fabric layer. I staples this in place by putting back half the polyester layer then stapling it and covering it over with the section I pulled back. Finally the outside back fabric is centered, tacked and pulled into place at the top and bottom before stapling it. The sides were tucked under, pinned and blind stitched before the extra fabric at the top was trimmed along the finished wood edge.

To finish the chair frame the bottom is was cover with a matching color denim for the dust cover and blind stitched in place. Most people prefer to staple the dust cover but I like how it looks when I hand stitch it. I know no one but I will turn the chair over to look at it but it still manners to me. The last thing last was to glue the gimp over the cut edges along the finished wood.

The chair not finish yet the seat cushion needs to be made and that is for another post.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Part III Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair: Putting on the Good Stuff

The first thing to do on the inside arms was to pad the arm cap with a thin layer of cotton batting and staple it in place. The cotton batting is split in half about 1/4-inch from the edge and then staple. The top half of the cotton is place over the staple. The fabric was layered over the cotton and tacked in place. Once the fabric was lined up with the tacks, I stapled it permanently and cut the fabric around the stained wood. I had problems cutting the fabric close to the finished wood. First, I used a razor blade and found the fabric pulled back from the edge showing some of the muslin and polyester filling. Alaine, my teacher, suggested using a good pair of scissors would work much better and edges did show less when using the scissors.

The wing part of the chair is above the arm cap and everything below is the arm section. Each of these section is a separate cut piece. I cut all the arm pieces from the garnet colored velour fabric. I brought this wonderful cording to sew between the inside arm and wing pieces. The cording also wraps around the inside and outside of the arm cap.

Once the two-piece were sewed together, I lined the cording along the cap's edge. I used t-pins to hold the fabric in place before lifting the arm fabric over the cap to secure it in place with staples. The picture below shows how I pinned the fabric in place. On the seat you can also see the gimp braid I will be using to cover the fabric raw edge next to the stained wood.

Now that the center line is securely in place, it is the usually tucking, cutting, before tacking the piece in place. This time I will be tacking the bottom arm fabric to the seat frame not the arm. Doing this keeps object from slipping in between the inside & outside arm fabric and gives the chair a smoother look with fewer gaps. I did the same thing when attaching the back bottom to the frame. The back section of the arm and wing were also tack to the back wood supports f achieving the same results. The last thing I did was stapling everything in place.

Here is a picture showing how not to do the back. I had to pull tacks out of the arm and pull the fabric to the back support.

The inside chair is now done and the outside arms except some trimming and gluing the gimp on. The chair's back, cushion and dust cover are what is left to do.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Part II Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair: Putting on the Good Stuff

Now it is time to work on the inside back with that beautiful Orono Redwood fabric with a Jacobean leafy print on it. Using the old inside back fabric as a pattern, I cut the fabric large enough to cover the back. I prefer to mark the center of the fabric at the top, bottom, left, and right sides. The chair is marked in the same places. Then fabric is centered on the back of the chair and a tack is placed at each mark. Once that is done, check to see if the fabric is long and wide, enough cover the back. If the fabric is a little short sew on a scrap piece of fabric, this will be used as a pull. The pull will not be seen but it will make it easier to put the piece on. After it is lined up, I start tacking from the center to the side arms on the bottom and top of the piece. After much pulling, tacking, cutting, and folding, the fabric around the frame and the back is smoothly in place, can I consider the job done. The first picture shows the tacking and the other the finished back.

The two inside arms are next to be done but there is a lot more to described so I will leave it to the next posting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Preparing for Winter

These last two months I have been winterizing my house which usually involves a very long "TO DO LIST".

1. Remove all the wooden screens, clean windows put in the wood storm windows and caulk them all in with removable silicone. Done mid-October
2. Clean three-season porch window and cover inside and outside with plastic. Outside: done mid-October. Inside: Not Done.
3. Clean up flower garden: Pretty much done if it snows tomorrow no big deal.
4. Clean up vegetable garden: Done except cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, and beets. Brussels sprouts are the last to harvest; I do it around Thanksgiving.
5. Roll up and store fencing around the vegetable garden: Done late-October except the garden with the beets.
6. Clean shed so I can put yard furniture in it. Done 11/2/2010
7. Put front porch cushions up in the attic. Done 11/2/2010.
8. Clean gutters: Done mid-October but after the big wind storm the white pine needle fill the gutter up again. Hopefully, I will get it done tonight.
9. Put in a fan in the bathroom: I have cut and installed the roof vent. Partly installed the fan in the bathroom ceiling: Waiting for the electrician to do the wiring before permanently caulking it in.
10. Clean inside windows and putting caulk cording around the windows. Not Done
11. Check for gaps between where sliding and fountain meet. Last winter I found large gaps where the sliding corners came together over the fountain. I had moisture condensing in those areas in the house. I found approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between them and could push the foam straw up about 2 to 3 inch up the sliding on the north side. Done
12. Clean bird feeder and put heater in birdbath: Not done.

I got most of the list done, so I no longer feel rushed and worry that I will not finish before the snow come.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair: Putting on the Good Stuff

After tying spring, laying batting and covering all of it with muslin, I can finally start covering the chair with the good fabric. The chair was originally covered with a black mohair and had a floral pattern mohair on the inside back and one side of the seat cushion. The fabrics I picked out to cover the chair was from Barrow Industries a garnet colored velour for everything except the inside back and one side of the seat cushion. The velour fabric on the inside back was called Orono Redwood with a Jacobean leafy print on it.
I cut out the nosing and decking. Nosing is the fabric that shows in the front of the chair between the arms and under the cushion. The decking is a piece of fabric which never shows since it is always covered by the cushion. In the picture below, you can see where they are sewed together. I was very luckily that Alaine (my teacher) had an extra piece of fabric to use for the decking that complements the nosing.
The decking and nosing are sewed together and the seam is place just in front of the arms. The seam is pinned to the seat. The piece is then backed stitched in place along the seam line. Sewing the piece to the seat keeps the nosing stable and in place. I tacked the nosing in place except for the fabric above the shell carving about the leg. This area the fabric has several tucks in it and each side the tucking must match the other. It takes time and patience to match it.

Next, I tucked the decking along the seat to determine where to cutting the fabric, so it would lay smoothly around the arm supports and back frame. The outside arm picture show you where I needed to make my "Y" cuts in the decking before I pull the fabric between the arm and seat. When I put the muslin on the arm, I tacked the muslin to the seat. Therefore, I needed to pull the tacks out before I pulled the fabric through the arm and seat opening. Then I started pulling and smoothing the fabric before tacking it in. Below is the picture of the finished seat.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair: Inside arms

In between working on the seat and back. I found time to wrap webbing around the inside arms. This adds stability and strengthens the arms for the new layers that will be added to it.

A foam layer was added next, I cut two-piece for each side. One piece was for the arm (armrest height to the seat) and the wing section (area above armrest. This was stapled into place and trimmed to size. Cotton was use to fill in the gaps/dents where the two pieces meet. The cotton batting was the last layer to cover the arms and wings. The cotton batting was also wrapped beyond the blue foam and covered the wooden arm post in front.

As show for the seat and back muslin is used to hold all the layers together and makes a smooth surface to put the upholstery fabric over. After all this work, preparing the surface I finally can start putting on the good stuff. I am saving that for the next time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair: Inside arms, back and seat

As stated in previous post I will be showing you how I built the inside arms, back and seat for the upholstery fabric. The next step in putting together my chair was to build up the padding on it before covering it with fabric. Faux horsehair was attached to the back; giving the chair better support and another layer between the cotton padding and the springs. The horsehair was stapled to chair's frame left and right sides so it would not slip out of place. Cotton batting was used to cover the back following with a layer of muslin. The muslin was temporary tack in place to allow me to make any alteration before stapling it into place.

Once the muslin covered the back, I could concentrate working on the seat. The springs were covered with burlap followed by bonded polyester. The polyester layer was sewed to the burlap and springs. The brown tube covering part of the seat's edge is call an edge roll, the edge roll is attached along the edge to left and right arm by sewing it in place. The roll help keeps the cushion from pushing forward on the chair. Again, all of this is covered in cotton batting this include the wood section below the edge roll followed with muslin fabric.

Before I could tack the muslin in place, I sew the fabric along the back of the edge roll. Once I completed the sewing it in place, the fabric was stretched, tacked, and stapled in place. This is where I should end today, next posting will show how to finish the inside arms for the upholstery fabric.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reupholstering the Antique Winged Chair: Tying Back and Seat Springs

In the blog named the “Anatomy of a Chair” I showed how I took apart my winged chair. It took just a month to tear it apart in the three hour classes held once a week at the technical college. Then I took the chair home over the holidays to clean it up so it would be ready for the next classes. Due to problems at the technique college; the upholstery classes were being discontinued for the winter semester but I am now taking private classes with my teacher, Elaine Barr. I spent approximately 8 working hours every Saturday from January to early April working on the chair. After the last April class I spent another month and half still finishing it off on a Tuesday night for 3 hours.

The first thing I did in was to stretch and tack a single piece of webbing on the on the back of the chair. Then I removed the back springs attached to the old webbing but left the strings still in place. The springs were centered in place on the new backing. Now, I traced where each spring would be place on the webbing with a marker. Once this was finished the old twine could be removed from the springs. The springs were attached to the new webbing with what I would refer to as a giant stapler. The stapler must be centered over springs to ensure the staples wrap around them and needs to be stapled in each quarter section. I tried this on the back but I had some of the ends sticking straight out and needed to bend them over. Springs may also be sewed on instead. I did sew on the seat springs and liked the finished product much better. Now that the springs are attached it time to start tying the springs together and attaching them to the chair frame. I tied the springs horizontally and vertically to the back chair’s frame. To finish it off, the springs are covered with burlap.

The seat springs are very similar but instead of using a single piece of webbing, webbing strips are used and they are weaved together to add strength. The springs that came with the chair were sewed into a cloth covering and they were in bad shape. So after a discussion with Elaine, we decide the better route would be to order 16 new springs and hand tie them into the seat frame. While waiting for the springs order to be delivered, I went back to working on the inside back of the chair. I placed some faux horsehair over the burlap and springs and then cover it with cotton batting. After the cotton batting is smooth out, it is covered with muslin. The muslin is first temporary tacked in place so if there is a need to straighten or pull the fabric tighter it can be easily done before it is permanently stapled. It is a lot easier to remove tacks then it is staples.

The seat springs came in the next week and it took me nearly the eight hours to sewing the springs in place and to tie them to the seat’s frame. Before the day ended, I did get the springs covered with burlap. Tying springs are hard on the hands but if you take the time to make sure they are tight, your seat will slay firm for a long time.

Next time the inside arms, back and seat are prepared for putting on the upholstery fabric.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Sister's Wedding

Debbie and Randall were married at noon on 10/19/2010 at the Viroqua County Courthouse. The wedding party was small Renee (Randall's sister), Ramon (Randall's Dad), Mom and I. Renee and I were the witnesses for the couple. Sorry, I do not remember the judge's name who married them. After the ceremony we, took pictures on the courthouse steps and left for lunch at the Viking Inn in downtown Viroqua.

When we finished celebrating at the restaurant, we meet back at Newlyweds' house. Debbie set a very pretty table with carrot cake and an apple & cranberry pie.

Congratulation, Debbie and Randall!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finished Painting the Wall

Well, I am done painting the house exterior for this year. The one wall I have been working on since August is done. I am using Benjamin Moore paint colors: clapboard = Brookline beige, window trim = Tarrytown green and the window = Hodley red.

The red line running along the side of the house is my property line but there is a 20 foot grass alley running between the neighbor's property and mine. The reason why I marked it is I am taking a 6 week landscaping course at MATC and the instructor's assignment was to draw out my current landscape on graph paper. It was easier to mark the lines with paint and then start measuring it out. Only I did not buy enough paint to mark all the lines so I ended up tying string up to each corner stake to outline the property.

Now back to the house, next year I plan on staining the deck in the colors matching the front porch except the white will become Brookline beige. The next wall to be stripped will be the wall with the electric meter on it. The sooner I can stop sitting on the roof and trying to keep my balance while removing paint the better. I worn out two pairs of sweatpants and ended up with a roof burn on my rear end this year but the finished job was worth it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Arts & Crafts Chair is finished

I found this chair for free on Craig's List and finished reupholstering it yesterday. See post "A Free Craig's List Find" for the before picture. I removed the velvet sit covering, old padding and webbing from the chair. New webbing was weaved and tacked into place. New foam padding was put on next; I staple the foam along the bottom to keep it in place. The foam was then covered with a thin layer of polyester filling.

I made leather cording to wrap around the leather seat covering and the next step was the staple down the cording around the seat cushion. After doing all of the above I could finally start putting the leather over the cushion. To ensure I evenly spaced the tacks I put down paint's tape and marked one inch spaces around the chair. The leather was stretch and temporarily tacked in place.

The project was finished off with decorative tacks and here it is.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gardening will be ending soon.

Last Saturdays was the first of three nights where we had frost. The weatherman was warning us all week that we would be getting frost on October 2, so I took the time in the morning hours to start tearing down my garden. This allows the dew to dry before I starting working on the house. Friday was the big push to get as much done as possible. I picked all 13 tomato vines and removing them all by 7:00 PM that evening. The one remaining cucumber vine and zucchini plant were removed. Five of six eggplants were picked; the remaining one was covered. I left all the green pepper plant in the ground, they were also covered. I had been so busy that I just left the coverings in place until I got home from work Thursday evening. I now have about 50 lbs of tomatoes sitting on a table in the basement.

I just finished cleaning up the area on my first day of vacation because I hired an electrician to update the wiring. He will be putting 220 in the house and fixing the back porch light which has never worked since I owned the place. I also need more outlets in the kitchen. He will also be adding an outdoor outlet near the grill so I will no long need to run an extension cord out the window to use the rotisserie. Here is a before picture of the area. It is bit embarrassing to show this mess.

I moved the mess into my craft room until the electrician and I are done working in the area. I did do some sorting while I moved it and now have a growing pile for the Salvation Army. The east and the unfinished section along the south wall will be water proofed and repainted this winter. When I finish working on the wall I brought shelving to put some order to it.

This weekend I will pull the sweet pepper plants. Emptying and putting all hanging baskets into storage. Washing all the windows and replacing the screens with the storm window. The weather this Saturday will be in the upper 70's and they are forecasting 80 on Sunday but it will not last long. So it is time to winterize the place.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Progress on Painting the House

I did get most of the wall done over my vacation. The only thing which was not completed is the window. I started working on Sunday, September 26, by sanding the house with the oscillating sander. Monday, I sanded all the area which the oscillating sander could not reach with a detail sander and/or hand sanding it. On Tuesday, I could finally started priming the bare wood with an oil primer and let it dry until the next day.

Wednesday, I pulled out the caulk and got to work caulking all the cracks on the primed wood. There is a wall area which can only be reached on the north side of the three-season porch roof. The only way to work on this section is to lay down on the roof and try to work in an 8 inch space between the bardgeboard and the roof. The photo below shows just how hard it was.

I made the decision not to use the heat gun in that area since the chances of badly burning myself or the house was pretty good. So I only scraped and sanded as much paint off as I could. This area was primed using an acyclic primer instead of the oil. I primed this area on Wednesday because I want to let the oil primer dry first before I apply the acrylic primer because the edges would overlapped.

Finally on Thursday I could apply the first coat color on the house but before I could start I need to finish caulking the area on the north side of the roof. The caulk only required 1 hour curing before it could be painted. So I caulked that section first and painted it last. This allowed the caulking to cure 4 hours before it was painted. The second coat was applied on Friday. I am waiting to take a picture until I finish fixing the rotten window sill.

Saturday, I took the day off and visited my mother in Gays Mills. We stop by the Viroqua Farmer Market to see my sister, Debbie, and her soon to be husband, Randall, selling their produce. There is a large community of Amish around Viroqua and several families sell at the market too. Almost every time I visit this farmer market I buy one their beautiful baskets. After farmer market, Mom and I stopped at my sister's house and helped them unpack the van and truck. Once they finished, Randall was nice enough to pull out his table saw and make the cuts needed to replace my sill. I only have a miter and circular saw and the cuts could only be done on a table saw. He did a great job for me. Thanks again, Randall.

Sunday, I spend several hours working on putting in the front sill section. Earlier in the week I applied a wood harder and an epoxy to it. I wish I would not have applied the epoxy until I was ready to install the sill because I chived most of it off. The front piece would not line up even with the window until I removed almost all of it. Once I got everything aliened I mixed up more epoxy filled in the areas again. Put glue on the wood section and the replacement sill then clamped the sill front to window frame before the epoxy harden. Screwed the sill in placed and remove the excess epoxy. Later this week I will sand it, prime, caulk and paint it. I do have a wooden storm window the paint but I can finish painting that in the basement.