Quilted Chair Covers

After replacing the worn out and faded covers of the four dining chairs with a nice blue fabric, I came to see that this fresh new look wasn’t going to last. The chair that was used the most has developed tiny holes on the cover, and to fix this, I would have to remove the staples I’ve put in, put on the new piece of fabric and add staples again, and with so many staples already replaced, I was wondering if the board of the chair would be able to hold new staples. I decided to make washable quilted covers that would be tied to the chair legs, at least for the chair with holes in the cover. Of course, I ended up making covers for all four.

To start with, I took a photo of the chair seat with my phone being as parallel to the chair as I could eyeball it, to minimize perspective distortions. I measured the width and length of the chair seat, brought photo into Illustrator and scaled it to match the measurements, by first making sure my units in Illustrator were set to inches. Then, the outline of the chair seat was traced with a pen tool, and from there, it was a matter of coming up with a design for patchwork. For the first cover, the Sunny Geese Loop, I have offset the outline of the chair twice inward, and used that to create the shape of the loop for flying geese (that’s what quilters call the row of stacked up triangles). I found the center of the design and drew straight line from it and extending out of the outline, and then rotate+copy the line all around at 10 degree increments, which gave me the circular grid I needed to create the geese by connecting the intersections between offset outline and straight lines. I did not create individual pattern pieces for this one, but instead I printed out an extra copy of the FPP block pattern and cut the shapes to use as template for cutting fabric. These pieces did not have seam allowance, so when cutting fabric I made sure to give it close to half an inch of allowance all around. For my purposes, I was picking fabric as I went along, instead of planning ahead and cutting fabric before beginning to sew. I enjoy this method, because the creative process doesn’t end up before I even begin to sew, but instead allows me to make creative decisions as I go along. Here are a few different angles of the first cover, named Sunny Geese Loop:

The printable PDF that’s free to use can be downloaded here.

The second cover was designed in a similar way, with a single loop of flying geese and alternating triangles of gray and color that extend to the border. I again picked the fabric as I was sewing, which made it a must to to have previously completed sub-blocks on display to make sure that I pick corresponding fabrics for the outer sub-blocks, so that the sewn together blocks look like a loop of overlapping triangles. I did make a pattern for each individual piece with quarter inch seam allowance, but you’ll notice that the pattern doesn’t include both sides, left and right. That’s because I flipped the page to make the print of the opposite side. Another thing to be careful with was how to cut the fabric: since the sewing is done on a printout that’s reversed (flipped horizontally), cutting the fabric from printout of pieces will need to be done on right side for one half, and on the wrong side for the other half, since the shapes are mirrored. This explanation is probably more confusing than the whole process, but if you start doing it, it will become clear what needs to be done. I wanted to name this piece (why does it even need a darn name?) Sunflower, but my daughter didn’t like that name, so we called it Sunday. This design, similar to what quilters call New York Beauty, will always look like Sun, due to circular center and radiating triangles. Download the printable PDF pattern here.

Finally, the last two, Sunshine and Quattro Stagioni – yes, just like the pizza:

Quattro Stagioni was perhaps the easiest one to make, because it didn’t have the differently shaped triangles that conform to the outline of the chair, but instead all triangles were contained in the circle, thus I needed fewer patterns to cut individual shapes, and so I did cut the fabric before sewing each sub-block this time around. The quilting in the center circle of Sunshine was fun, because I followed the outline of the fabric print, which made for an interesting look. The variety of the fabrics is more limited in these two designs, and I also went with cobalt blue binding strip and ties, to better match the dominant colors. Here are the PDF patterns for Sunshine and Quattro Stagioni.

As always, feel free to drop a comment. Happy sewing!

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