Friday, July 25, 2014

Quilter vs Slipcover, Part 2

I should have known this wasn't going to go well because every time I measured something the number 13 kept coming up. I should have just put all my stuff up and just went back downstairs and climbed back into bed. It didn't matter that it was a bright shiny sunny day. The darn "13" was a big warning and I ignored it.

Today I decided to start on the cushion for the chair, at least to cut all the fabric out and to get the zipper done. Remember I'm a quilter. Ever the word "zipper" makes me kind of feel sick, but I've actually made clothes way back when so I gulped and thought "Go ahead girl, you can do this."  It would really be a big help if the books I'm using would have had a good editor. I'd volunteer! Used to do that in a previous life. Not sure how they got published to be honest. (Not true, I know how that happens. But, good golly, they've left out so much information. Sigh.) Anyway, onward. Managed to measure (Here are those 13s that shouldn't be there. I mean I would measure a length of fabric and find it to be say 10 inches. Then check it and find it to be 13 inches! This kind of thing happened 3 !!! separate times. Freaky.) and then cut out the side panels for the cushion. Involves some crawling around on the floor, which Tigger the cat loves. Nothing like a cat who loves to rub on your scissors while you're cutting. He likes to live dangerously - only 9 lives right? Me, I'm worried about his paws and maybe his nose!

Now to the zipper. For this I have zipper chain, which I need to cut to length and then attach the pull and stop. My instructions consist of saying: cut to length needed, slide pull on and attach stop at bottom. Should be easy. Sure.
This is what zipper chain separated looks like and the pull. Now imagine trying to put that pull on the end of the chain. Just slide it on - easy as pie right? An hour later I felt like poking my eyes out! I even resorted to looking at Youtube videos to no avail. They all use plastic zippers. Not the same product folks.
I understood the problem - the darn teeth would not mesh in the pull and the more frustrated I became the harder it got to do it. A little zen was needed. Deep breathing and looking straight down into the top of the zipper and praying a lot . . . . and it finally caught.
I quickly put pins in both ends so the pull would not come off  and then gently ran it up and down the zipper to make sure the teeth would mesh well. Then I installed the metal stop at the bottom. Next time (if I ever take on this kind of project again) I will probably buy plastic chain despite the fact that I dislike plastic zippers intently. They appear much easier to work with.
I think I'll stop for today while I'm ahead. Too many 13s for my blood. The quilter in me is spooked! I need to fumigate my quilting space to get rid of them and then I think I'll go read some good quilting magazine before I tackle the full cushion, which is next.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quilting vs Slipcovers

Do you know what happens when you put your house on the market? It means that there is no way that you can possibly sew because you must keep you're house as neat as pin. Secondly, when you finally sell, you're scrambling to pack everything or get it ready for the movers. And then I watch as they wrap up my very dear to me sewing cabinet and TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN! I almost screamed. No, the sewing machine was not inside, but still, there were some notions stored in there. Aargh.

But I don't really want to talk about the move. It really went mostly smoothly. It just takes forever to find stuff again - I don't care how carefully I think I marked it. And I thought I my first project would be, of course, a quilting one, but no it's something completely different.

Our living room furniture is looking a bit haggard, lots actually. Yet we like it. It's comfy. New stuff is expensive and we're retired now. So I found a great website while searching out how to make slipcovers, www.newtoto,com, which I recommend greatly for upholstery-type fabric. Great prices and they offer free swatches.

I had a book on how to do this, but it is not really clear. I'm going to try to do the chair first, and I'll document my progress here. You may see me crying - I'm a quilter remember. Here goes: First order of business ordered 10 yards of fabric and then went to local fabric shop for rest of supplies - 10 yds. of cording for welting, 2 yds. of zipper chain and stop sets, and thread. I already had pins. Shocking what it takes just for the chair. And, yes, the fabric cost was low enough, under $10/yd! I said it was good.

1. First order of business, make the welting. Gulp, gotta cut into this fabric and make 10 yards of bias. Book wants me to cut individual strips, but I would rather do it the quilting way with continuous bias strips. I'm a renegade already.

Tigger thinks he's a big help in holding down the fabric.
Cutting those strips took forever. But I'd rather have 10 yards continuous bias than have to sew together lots of little strips. The quilter way was the way to do it.
This is my pile of cord (tiny isn't it?), and fabric. All I have to do is sew them together. It's a matter of getting my brain and fingers to work together and praying that my machine and the thread will work for that amount of time too. I have a good machine (fingers crossed that nothing awful has happened to it in the move - this is the shake down cruise so to speak), and the thread is brand new. Let's go.
This is what it looks like without my fingers getting in the way. Use a zipper foot to get close to the cording. Not too difficult, just need to get into a rhythm.
 Machine held out and so did I! Only had to wind one bobbin too, major miracle. Nice pile of welting to use on the chair. Close- up is below.
I even have extra bias strip if I need to make more welting, but I will need to buy more cording. First major hurdle completed.  Now on to the cushion. Wonder if I'll use my quilting powers there too?