Since my last post but I have been busy. The second surge swept in deeper, stronger and longer and it feels like we are just emerging at the other end. I’ve been back to redeployment; it’s been less emotionally exhausting this time because we knew what was what, but early on before reality took hold we were trying to deploy twice as many people as were available and that was taxing.

I’m still trying to move home – the sale has been agreed after some shenenigans by my buyers and my purchase is proceeding; boxes are appearing – contents are disappearing into them gradually. Fingers crossed for a completion before 31st March.

For some reason in between all this madness, I decided it would be a good time to up-cycle an old carver chair that had been in the loft for at least 7 years. I’m moving to a house built in 1938 and the shape of the chair seems to be of that era. I can see it in a corner of the living room.

I didn’t think to take photo of the chair in it’s original condition – this is after sanding back the dark brown varnish and painting. I did want F&B railings but there wasn’t a 750ml tin of flat emulsion to be had online or anywhere in London so being a pragmatist I went with Valspar which has more blue than I wanted but I can always re-paint at a later date. The seat fabric is the original but looks good with the new colour – but it’s not staying.

A number of years ago I watched a ‘how do they do that’ type programme on TV where two containers were furnished with high street type furniture and fabrics. One was 100% synthetic and the other 100% natural fibres. The synethetic container was ablaze in minutes whereas the natural fibres just would not burn. That stayed with me and gradually the soft furnishings are being upgraded to natural fibres. I replaced the foam seat pad with recycled wool wadding and smoothed that out with cotton wadding all held in place with a calico cover. I didn’t photograph the whole process – the yellow is out and the grey is in.

I suspect since lockdown many more fabric sellers are now on Ebay. I found this lovely wool grey zig-zag design fabric.

The following weekend I covered the seat pad with the new fabric, being careful to not over stretch – wonky zigzags will never be a thing!

So far so good, now to add the piping. I ordered pink and orange velvet. I had convinved myself I wanted to use the orange which would be a good (and on-trend) contrast for the grey/blue/teal colours in the living room but the fabric that arrived was more burnt than bright and didn’t ‘pop’ in the way the pink did – so neon pink it is. I’m pleased with the result.

I could have stopped there but a metre of fabric goes a long way and it would be a shame to waste those off-cuts. I did once again consider using the orange velvet but no, it was still too burnt. Since I was on a roll with the haberdashery section of Ebay, I decided to go all in with some black pom-pom piping. Let me tell you it isn’t wise to mis-match weight and fabric consistency and then top it off with really difficult to manouvre pom-poms. I overcame by patiently hand tacking all the layers together and using the zipper foot to stitch the cushion cover together. I stopped short of including a zip, instead opting for the much easier envelope flap – but I did pattern match the zig-zags.

Not too bad for a very occasional crafter in between the madness of Covid redeployment. Curiously, it may have been the thing that kept me sane.