Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Dining room chairs

After much time, and a few mis steps, my dining room chairs are finally finished!
I had this crazy idea to paint my own upholstery fabric and found a wonderful family based upholstery company to join me on this wild ride. 
First we had to agree on a fabric. Ineeded it to be an organic fabric that would take the dye. They needed it to be upholstery weight.  We agreed on this plain weave cotton and the order was placed. There was no looking back!
I received the bolt and started experimenting with the circles. My teacher, Jane Dunnewold suggested using "Dynaflo" and this worked really well. Once I got the hang of applying it with paintbrushes, the colours blended well, and I was able to apply and blend the tones creating brights, darks, and shadows. 

Once the circles were done, I was pleased with the results but found the whole effect was a bit static. Again after a little mentoring from Jane, she agreed that a wavy line might be fun and dynamic and suggested I use a pressurized pen with an air compressor to shoot out the dye. 
Why not?  I had no idea what she was talking about!
Off to the craft store to find out what this meant, bought the tools, filled the pen with black Dynaflo dye and I was off to the races. (After I figured out which end the dye flew out of). This too, was a long learning curve. I had to learn how to regulate the flow, with the speed of my hand movement as well as how far away from the fabric my hand had to be, and the angle....this was a bit like free motion stitchery,except with two more variables to contend with. 
Next time you see a spray painted mural on a building, be impressed! It is very difficult to do well. 


It was a lot of fun to do the spray painting although it took a while to get the hang of it, and there was lots of spilt dye along the way. And yet I still felt they were not completely done. 
I thought if there was absolutely no stitching on the fabric, they really wouldn't be me. The kind upholstery team allowed me to take the pieces home again after they were cut, and I added some bold hand stitching with 6 ply embroidery floss and big eyed needles. 
And finally I was satisfied!
Returning the work to the upholsterer, they did a fabulous job turning my paintings into chairs, and now I can't wait to have you over for dinner and let you try one out!
Just let me scotch guard them first!


Many thanks go out to the team at Vogel Upholstering for being so patient with me and my slow learning curve, and doing such a fabulous job in the end!




20 comments:

  1. Great pattern. It really suits the chairs!

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    1. Thanks Gunnel, I am glad you think the painting works well with the style of the chairs.

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  2. ADORE the way these turned out! Good for you. Now I just wish I was on the way there for dinner! Miss you guys. XXXX

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    1. Thanks so much Jane. Couldn't have done it without your help. Can't wait for you to come up to the northern hinterland !

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm

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  4. These chairs are are absolutely wonderful, Daniela! And your information about how you went about it is really fascinating. You should write them up for Quilting Arts or another magazine - I think a lot of people would be interested in trying this! Are you going to continue to use the airbrush for other projects?

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    1. Thanks Cathy. Not sure if quilting arts would be interested because they are not technically quilts but maybe House and Home?

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  5. Daniela, your chairs are fantastic! I absolutely love the combination of the circles with the airbrushed lines and the stitching. These chairs are a work of art. It was great to learn how you went about it. I was wondering about airbrush for a long time, as I read that Susan Shie was using it. I think it could also work quite well with Procion MX.

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    1. Thanks Shulamit. Using the airbrush was definitely a steep learning curve and I don't have complete control over it yet but it was a lot of fun to try.

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  6. This is fabulous!
    Mindy
    PS. Can you take a close up shot of the stitching?

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    1. Will do! Thanks for asking Mindy.

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  7. How many chairs are there?

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    1. There are 10 chairs and each one is completely different.

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  8. Daniela,
    Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the close ups of the stitching as well as how you developed the painting. Never thought of using an airbrush.

    I assume you have a large place to work in especially with all the large pieces for the spray painting and the airbrush.
    I agree with Cathy, that this would be great to write up for a quilt magazine or even one on DYI decorating.

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  9. Oops. That was supposed to be DIY, Do it Yourself decorating magazine.
    (Darn iPad:)

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    1. Thanks Diane. I used the dining room table that the chairs are now encircling. When I began the project, I worked from the bolt, slowly rolling and unrolling, and re rolling as the paint was cured. But later I worked on the fabric after it had been cut into the pattern piece and I found this a bit more manageable and that is the way I would proceed if I were to ever try this again.

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