simple is beautiful

Double Welt Cording

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thank you for the nice comments about the chair.  I am going to break down some of the steps to hopefully answer some of your questions.  Many of you commented on the cording so I thought that I would share how it was made.

Before I do, I should probably remind you that I have never done anything like this before.  Up to this point, my upholstery projects were limited to dining chairs and benches.  Because of this, I started with a chair that 1) was found on the side of the road and 2) I used drop cloth for the upholstery.  My thoughts were that if I decided to throw in the towel and kick this thing to the curb, there would be money wasted.

To prepare the drop cloth, I washed it twice soaking it an hour each time.  Drop cloth right out of the package can be very stiff so unless you are using it for a project that requires a stiff fabric, I recommend washing it first.

To make the cording, I first measured how much I would need using the cording itself going around all of areas where cording is needed.  Then I doubled that amount (because it is double cording).  The beauty of drop cloth is that you can cut a tiny cut with scissors, then rip the rest which is much faster and precise than cutting with scissors.

I used this cording and found it at Joanns.

It is recommended that you use a special sewing machine foot to make the cording.  I did not have one and decided to try it without and it worked just fine.  This was also my first time making the cording and it isn't perfect, but will do.

First lay the strip of drop cloth out and place one piece of cording on the strip.  Fold the cording over about half way as shown in the image above.

Next lay the other piece of cording as close as you can next to the wrapped cording.
Then fold the fabric over to cover both rows of cording and stitch down the middle.  You will have to stop and reposition the cording and fabric every 6-8" or so.  Trim away extra fabric after you finish this step.
When you are finished it will look like this on the top. 
Before gluing the cording on, I first pinned it into place on the chair.  To secure the welting to the chair I used a glue gun.
Hopefully this makes sense.  If not, feel free to email me.

The Chair

Friday, June 24, 2011

Does anyone remember this chair?  Not my favorite subject, but just wanted to give you an update.  To be honest, I worked on it for about a day after I posted about it.  Then I did something that makes perfect sense, I started making slip covers for the wingback chairs.  More on that at a later date.  Anyway, this week, in between sanding and priming the table and shelves, I faced my fears and began working on the channel back chair again.

Here she is in all her splendor.  I went with double welt cording for the trim detail instead of braiding.  Apparently 12 year old boys have an opinion on how chairs should look and they can be outspoken about it.  Actually, I think it was a good call.

(my 15 year old started driver's ed this week)

We are off to a sporting event that will take up most of the weekend.  Young mamas who think it gets easier when your babies get older - have I got news for you.  When kids get bigger: 1) they eat more 2) they cost more 3) they do more.  You will find yourself in your house in 10 minute increments throughout the day wondering if you have time to do a load of laundry or prep dinner.  You will realize that you have time for neither.  Later, when you come home everyone will ask you what is for dinner and when their clothes will be clean.  This is not a complaint, just keeping it real.

Happy weekend!  You all are wonderful!

Robin Stubbert

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I recently stumbled upon images from the talented photographer Robin Stubbert.  This kitchen is one of my favorites with all of its lovely modern farmhouse details. 

Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing.  You can see more here.

Your Ektorp Questions Answered

Monday, June 20, 2011

Several of you have asked about the sofa in our living room and I meant to prepare an informative post months ago.  Here is what I can tell you and by the way, no one is paying me in any way (but if IKEA would like to send me a gift card, well that would be OK).

To begin, the Ektorp is $499 with the white slip cover.  Slip covers come in many colors and to my knowledge the only one that is machine washable is the white one.  The others are dry clean only.

Was it hard to assemble?
This is the box that it came in and it was HEAVY.  Thankfully we had a large van to carry it home in otherwise, I'm not sure we could have managed.  The assembly was easy and took less than an hour with the tools that were provided.  One of my blogging friends was happy to learn that you had to assemble it yourself because she couldn't find a sofa that would fit through her bedroom door.

How do you clean it?

For spot cleaning, I use household peroxide.  There are many products on the market that are basically the same thing, but with a pretty label.  Mom has always used this to spot clean linens, etc. and it works.  For major cleaning I followed the cleaning instructions provided:

Removable cover
Machine wash ,hot 140°F (60°C).
To be washed separately.
Do not bleach.
Do not tumble dry.
Iron, high temperature.
Dryclean, normal cycle.
I added oxi-clean to the water because I was afraid that bleach would make it yellow.  I will say that putting the pillow covers back on was easy, but putting the slip cover on was a struggle because it did shrink a little.  I have read before that it is best to remove a slip cover from the dryer while it is still damp so that it will stretch a when you put it back on.  I did this and it was still a struggle.  Do-able, but not easy.

Is it comfortable?

My family and I think it is comfortable.  It is firmer than a normal sofa because there are no springs so I recommend sitting on it in the store first.

Has it held up well?

Yes.  We have had it for a year and use it daily.  So far so good.

Would I buy it again if I had it to do over?

Yes, at the time, it was exactly what we needed - a white sofa that was inexpensive.  I would definitely buy it again.

If you have any more questions, send them my way and I will try my best to answer them.  I hope this helps.

My Small Space Garden

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This isn't necessarily a pretty garden, but hopefully it will be effective.  Over the years, we have tried planting a garden in various areas of the yard.  When it was in the middle of the back yard, the dog stomped through it and the squirrels would grab green tomatoes and climb up the dogwood tree.  I can't tell you how many half eaten green tomatoes I found in the crotch of the dogwood tree last year.  *%@#!!  Anyway, this is yet another attempt at growing tomatoes this year.  We will see....

This potting bench has seen better days, but it has been SOO convenient.  My husband made it years ago and like me, it is a little older/saggier than it used to be, but it still works.

Random bits:

1. Tools -- Martha Stewart avert your ears/eyes.  My tools are rusty.  They are tools not medical equipment.  This is OK.  I keep them handy in my old pottery crock rust and all - easy to grab when I need them.

2. Terra cotta -- When a terra cotta pot breaks, I keep the pieces.  They are perfect for covering the drainage hole when planting new pots.

3. Pea gravel -- When the paper-whites are finished, I shake out the old gravel and save it.  You never know when you will need a little gravel and it sure beats dragging another heavy bag home from the garden store.

4.  The bird house was made by my son when he was a tiny little thing.  He painted it in colors he liked and it makes me happy.

Here we have tomatoes, red bell pepper, and cucumbers.  My plan is to train the cucumbers to grow up the fence.  Again, we will see.  Squirrels, don't make me come out there!

And last, but not least is the stacked herb garden.  I have been seeing a lot of these on pinterest and even a how-to from Martha, but I just stacked mine and tucked dirt in around it.  This year, I am trying artichokes for the first time and Thai basil for my 15 year old who loves to cook anything Thai.  Also, since this picture was taken, I have added chives to the top pot.

The stacked herb garden has been planted for  a couple of weeks now and so far so good.  I'll keep you posted.

 The other day, I fell in love with this water color on Etsy.  I think every gardener needs one....

 and these markers on pinterest could be a fun DIY project for the garden.

If you would like to see more pictures of gardens and potting benches, go here.
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