ScrapHappy March 2022
Today I have two projects — one is finished and one is in progress.
First up, I have the second chair with a seat repaired with paracord.
As I wrote in an earlier post, these were originally caned, and I re-caned them back in the ’80s, but they had developed broken spots. I ordered cane and started re-caning them the traditional way, but the cane just split and snapped, so I had the idea of trying paracord.
For the first chair, I ran out of red and finished with black — I didn’t like the look but I knew it would be covered with a seat cushion. For this second chair, I ordered 100 feet of red paracord in size 325, and that was enough to do a four-strand weave, with some left over. (So technically, that is new material, but since the chairs are about 100 years old, and I am giving them a third life, I think that balances out.)
At that point, I felt like it was strong enough to hold a person, and I did not relish the idea of trying to get more paracord through each hole, so I stopped with four strands instead of the traditional six.
Compared to traditional cane, it was a dream to work with. It was smooth, and I didn’t have to have my hands wet while working with it. I had the happy notion of using a flat wire loom heddle as a giant needle to pull the cane, and that was flexible and easy to thread through the holes in the seat.
It took about 6 hours to do this seat, and the paracord cost about $12, so it was a good way to salvage an old chair.
The second project is a scrappy quilt top. This pattern is called “Block Party,” by Sharon Tucker. It was in American Patchwork and Quilting, in April of 2017. [Correction as of December 2022 — the magazine put a little graphic of “Block Party” on the photo of the quilt — its real name is “String Theory.” ]
I absolutely loved working on it. Previously, when I had a lot of skinny strips, my inclination was to put them together in log cabin blocks. But that meant constantly trying to pick out the right length of strip for each iteration, and constantly pressing and trimming the blocks as they formed. With this pattern, I could just sit and sew long panels of parallel strips, then press them once, and then cut cross-wise into 2 1/2-inch strips.
Sharon used solid fabrics in red and cheddar yellow for her framing squares. I used prints that read as solids from a distance. Right now it is about 60 inches square. I may put borders on it.
I really love this pattern and I can see myself making it in lots of colorways!
ScrapHappy Day is the 15th of each month, when various artists and craftspeople celebrate scraps. It is hosted by Kate and Gun, the first two names listed below. It is always fun to see what these scrapsters are up to!
Kate , Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynn, Lynda,
Claire,Jan, Moira,Sandra, Chris, Alys, Jule,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon,Hayley, Dawn,
Gwen (me!),Bekki,Sue L,Sunny,Kjerstin,
Vera,Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2,Noreen,
Bear,Preeti, Edith, and Viv
Hello, I do like the red in the quilt! It is a happy look. Nice job on the chair also.
Thank you, I was really glad to get the chair done!
the red cord is a great choice for an old chair, gives it a new life, maybe for another 100 years. The quilt is looking good, waiting to see it finished
Thank you! Both projects were fun to do.
As moderator of ScrapHappy, I can rule the paracord as ‘thread’, which has always been allowed as a necessity in order to finish a scrappy project! Love your fun quilt blocks too. If you want to use up more even scraps, how about a piano key border around the outside using slightly longer strips, followed by a narrow red binding? But whatever you end up doing will be a perfect example of scraphappiness!
Thank you for ruling the paracord as acceptable. 🙂 I kind of thought you would allow it.
And that is what I was thinking for the quilt border, longer piano keys — scrappy outside the “solid” red stripes, and red scrappy outside the multicolor stripes. I am glad you have confirmed that idea!
I think it would look great! Glad you agree.
Love the q
My computer is misbehaving! Love the quilt and the chairs.
Thanks! I had fun working on both of them, and I am particularly glad to have an actual finished project. 🙂
What a great way to upgrade the chairs so they are usable again. I wouldn’t have ever thought of paracord (but then again, I wouldn’t attempt to cane a chairseat, either – ha). That is a fun quilt design, and it will be great for scraps!
I had seen some seats on the internet that were made from strips of quilting fabric, squished up and tied around the chair seat — but I just couldn’t part with that much fabric! 🙂
I’m really impressed with both of these projects. I didn’t know paracord was a thing. This is a clever workaround. Long live 100 year old chairs!
The paracord was so easy to work with. I would definitely use it again!
Old chairs are so beautiful and now you can really use them! Love your scrap quilt!
brilliant chair repair. I may have to investigate 😉
Nice repair on the chair!
Love the scrappy quilt – scrappy quilts are my favorite!
That block is soooo much better than a similar one my swap group did! We had 1.5″ blocks between the solid rows, and it was a pill to get them to fit right! I’m saving this idea!
Oh good, I am happy to give you an idea since I get so many from you!
I love this design, it is perfect for my not-so-precise self. 🙂
I love those scrappy blocks. I hope all is well with you 🙂
Hi Janine! Yes, all is fine. I have been busy with moving my parents into assisted living but hope to be back blogging more consistently soon! 🙂
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I didn’t see one for today, but I do like that scrap quilt! Thanks for another idea for using the small pieces and strips. The chair is great!
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Since yours is the second post this month to mention this block, in different ways, I think that’s a sign I’m supposed to add it to my repertoire of scrappy blocks! Yours is lovely. I liked seeing the second chair and hope you will show the cushions on them when you make those. I have 4 chairs I’ve been thinking of recovering, but I wonder if I might use the paracord idea instead. I’m going to give that some thought, and examine the chairs to see if it would work.
Yes, you may certainly consider me to be the voice of the universe giving you a sign! 🙂
As far as the chairs, I cheated and just used regular cushions from a store. But it’s been a year now and the paracord has held up really well! Another idea I saw on Pinterest when I was researching alternatives, was to cut and tie bands of fabric around the wooden part of the seat. Some people interwove them, some just used a lot of bands and squished them together. I thought that idea was so cute, but I couldn’t imagine how I would clean them.