Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Whine & Dyin'? No. Wine & Dine!

Those barstool covers are completed! My past posts to document my learning and struggles could be construed as whining. I must admit these covers challenged me but I was determined they would not defeat me. It was do or die! Now they will be best used to "Wine and Dine" instead.

In my most recent post on the topic, I dismissed a final short seam between the back and seat as trivial but was leery about the task of attaching all 30 feet of Velcro®. Pleasant surprise! The Velcro® went on like a dream. I upped my needle size from 80/12 to 90/14 and lengthened my stitch size from 2.5 mm to 3.0 mm and the thick Velcro® tape whizzed under my pressure foot. I must admit, though, that discarding 30 feet of the loop side of Velcro® was agonizing for a saver like me. Surely it could be used for something else. The stools themselves have the loopy side permanently affixed on the underside of the seats, so the covers only needed the soft side.

On the other hand, that "trivial" short seam I previously referenced was deceiving. In addition to the short straight section, it had a curved section, and a curved section that mated to a straight section after a Y-junction. Whew! The two left red arrows matched up, the two top and bottom yellow arrows matched up, and the two right red arrows matched up. It took me several tries before I recognized the Y-seam for what it was. I had to lift out the needle and re-insert it, much like turning the corning when attaching the binding to a quilt. Once I figured out the Y-seam incognito, there were no mishaps and nothing needed to be un-sewn. Yay!

I am so glad – so very glad – I kept half the original cover intact because I referred to it a zillion times I think. That short straight portion of the seam... ? It is at the far left of the photo with the snippet of Velcro® tab hanging from it. It creates a kind of pocket tab that inserts between the stool back and stool seat to fasten underneath at the rear of the seat.

I did have one area I considered ripping out. On the first seat I constructed, I pressed the seam open between the gusset and the seat top, then topstitched on both sides, shown by the upper red arrow. I later decided the seam would be stronger pressed to one side, shown by the lower red arrow. This approach also halved the amount of top stitching and replicated the original. I left it this way on one seat rather than risk tearing a hole in the fabric trying to remove it. I probably should not have even pointed it out. Consider it my signature custom flag and precautionary measure to avoid angering the gods.

If you are wondering where I got those cute arrows, they are a set of straight pins I bought several years ago, sold by Fons and Porter. A container has way more than I need, but they do come in handy for marking pressing directions (and for illustrating blog posts). Besides, the tins holding the four styles of arrowhead pins for left, right, up, and down are so darn adorable with their quilt block motif and square viewing window, I could not pass them up.

I took extra precautions to assure I placed the Velcro® in the right position to wrap just the right amount beneath the seat of the stool and mate with the loopy side of the Velcro®. I used the original cover as a pressing guide to know how much to fold up. I hope, hope, hope, hope, hope they fit! It is kind of like making clothes for a distant grandchild, but at least this should be a bit simpler since the stools are not a growing, moving target.

I think I have worked my way through just about every chair style in my house to illustrate these covers at their various stages of completion. Here is my best candidate, although the flaps hanging down have not been tucked up and fastened with Velcro® to the seat underside. My daughter-in-law is really good with keeping in touch, so when she sends me a photo of the covers on the intended barstools, I will publish an update to this post.

For those of you interested in my home decor forays outside the quilting world, here is a summary list of the posts about my progress and my lessons learned with these barstool covers. My intention is for this post to be my final one on the topic. I plan to mail the covers off ASAP.

September 30, 2015 Barstool Covers
October 7, 2015 Barstools vs. Blankies
January 20, 2016 Prototype Barstool Cover
January 27, 2016 Barstools, Whirligigs, Distractions
February 2, 2016 Whine & Dyin'? No. Wine and Dine!

Oh, and by the way, after all my forays in several fabric stores in Northern and Southern California, I finally have plenty of fabric left over. Matching pillows, any one?

UPDATE (2/6/16)
I mailed the covers Wednesday 2/3,  they arrived Friday 2/5, and they were put on the barstools Saturday 2/6. My daughter-in-law texted me, "First one fits like a glove!" Then a bit later I got the text, "They all fit perfectly!! No lie!" 

Aah... what a relief. Here is a front view...

and a rear view...

Here is one last photo of all five in place around the round end of the "apostrophe" kitchen island. I think Carrie picked out great fabric to go with the countertop. I am so glad that "All's well that ends well."


  1. Yeah!!! I can't wait to receive them and put them on our bar stools! I'll be sure to send pics right away. I'm so excited - they are going to help transform our kitchen! Any advice for stain protecting the fabric?

    Oh, and a pillow or two for the nearby couch certainly would not be scoffed at;-)

    1. Honestly, the stain prevention that works best for me is to throw a towel over it when predictably messy food items are around... spaghetti sauce, hot fudge, grape juice, toddlers with cherry lollipops or chocolate kisses. I have had pieces of furniture and the rug professionally coated with stain repellant in the living room. It works great for the occasional spill (or most notable recent incident, massive dog barf) but the everyday wear and tear from random dirt accumulation, not so much. That kind of creeps up on you, stain repellant or not. I think I have enough left over fabric for replacements that you are allowed two disasters.