Upholstered Rocking Chair – A Joint Venture

Stef Robinson was the well deserved winner of the Beale Cup at this year’s AGM. We asked her to tell us more about her super project.

Image shows a handmade wooden rocking chair with a drop-in seat upholstered with handwoven red and white fabric.
Finished rocking chair with upholstered seat in handwoven fabric.

Last year I asked Marjorie Waye, who organises our spinning and knitting group in Amersham, whether she did any teaching on her many looms. She said yes, and so I started a course over the winter months, first on a beautiful table-top loom and then on a floor loom. One of my favourite things to do was choosing wool from Marjorie’s well-stocked shelves. Dressing the loom (putting on the warp threads) took lots of concentration, and it was so easy to make mistakes in the order of threading! Marjorie’s lovely tea breaks helped to make up for the frustrations.

My husband is a keen woodworker and had followed many of Paul Sellers’ online tutorials of furniture making. When he was thinking of making an upholstered rocking chair from an old church bench I thought it would be lovely to have joint project – he making the wooden chair and I weaving the fabric for the upholstery.

I looked through Anne Dixon’s handweaver’s pattern book and found an M and W Threading 22: 2/2 Twill that felt appropriate for a chair cover.
Mercerised 8/2 Cotton provided a strong material that was nice to work with. It proved especially useful that it did not mind me retracing my steps a few times!
In the end there was enough material for me to make a waistcoat too.

Now Fiona, another member of our Monday evening group, is doing a course with Marjorie, and we are very impressed with the results.

Stef Robinson

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