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checked chair


I have been in an upholstery mood lately and I’ve learned I need to take advantage of that sort of mood and get some upholstery done.  Kriste worked on stripping a couple of chairs we had hanging in the stash and I started upholstering this beauty.  One of my regular shoppers at Lucketts sent me pictures of it, asking if I would be interested.  Well, of course!  So, we negotiated a trade.  Jeff’s face was a riot when he saw someone bringing a piece of furniture to our booth instead of away from it.  Especially a chair with grass hanging out of it.  But he didn’t see what I saw.  I saw the gorgeous patina on the wood frame and the old straw and horse hair stuffing.  I knew I could bring this old girl back to life and she would be worth it.


I’ve also been really into checks lately.  I’ve added a blue & white buffalo check to the family room and red & white buffalo check to the guest room.  I cut a piece of smaller-scale checked fabric off of a huge bolt I had and used it as a tablecloth in the dining room.

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 When I shared it, several people commented that it looked “too country” and I know what they mean.  Checks were everywhere in the 1980’s-90’s country along with the geese, bears, stencils, baskets, dried flowers, blue and mauve.  So, I get it if some people shudder at the thought of checks.  To me, though, this check looks very European.  I see checks like this a lot in Swedish decor and I remember checks being used a lot when I lived in Germany.  My dollhouse bed had a red & white checked duvet, in fact.

I spread some of the checked fabric over the chair frame and immediately got excited about it.  I knew I would have to work carefully to keep the checks straight and I knew it was a lot more bold then my usual grain sacks with simple blue stripes and monograms, but my gut told me to go with it.


And I absolutely love it.  I think this fabric on an oversized rolled-arm chair might look 1980’s country, but on this hand-carved antique French-style chair frame it doesn’t at all.



I even took the time to make double-welting trim.  On the bias.  I’m getting fancy!  I hate cutting fabric on the bias (diagonal), because it feels like such a waste, but with a check, you really need to or the pattern looks strange.  Also, it really does lay better and the seams are flatter.  I have loads of this fabric, so I wasn’t as concerned about giving up a couple of yards to make the double-welting properly.


I will be making tutorials on reinforcing a back like this one (when it’s just an open frame) and on making the double-welting as well.


And don’t even ask if this chair is for sale.


It’s very happy right where it is.

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  1. I love checks! Especially in blue and white. They just look happy to me. Summery. Sunny. Picnic-y. I generally only shop for home accessories in the spring and summer because that’s the best time to find my favorite happy colors and patterns. :) I think it turned out great!

  2. Dianne says:

    Fabulous! Don’t listen to anyone moaning about checks, this looks just perfect. Well done :)

    • Lisa Carter says:

      I SO agree! Checks are fabulous and the table doesn’t look too country either. Too bad you aren’t selling that chair…bwah hahahaha!

  3. You do know about making yards of bias from a square of fabric, right? If not, google it. I can help if you don’t find what you need to know about it. I used to wonder about it when you said you did not use bias to make your binding…. of course, too, you once said your readers are nore your mom’s age….well, I am probably more your grandmother’s age… smile…

    • That’s exactly what I thought of! It’s a really great technique, I used it when I was making everything for my grandson’s nursery. Once you try it, you’ll never do it any other way!

  4. Pamela says:

    Love checks. Have some in almost every room. No one would ever call me country. Perfect in this application!

  5. Christina says:

    Thank you for not painting this fabulous chair! The check fabric looks great.

  6. Velia says:

    You have such a gift to envision a look and then create such beautiful items. The fabric looks very nice on the chair with its lovely craving and patina. Two thumbs up from me.

  7. I love the fabric, it doesn’t look to country at all! It still even has a French flare to me. Perfect choice and it fits your style beautifully!

    Way to stick with your gut!

    Lauren | LB Designs

  8. Fabulous job!! I can’t wait until the tutorial for the rest of it. Thank you for sharing today’s post.

  9. Uh, there’s nothing wrong with country!!! And I’d love blue and white checks in my house. It has such a clean look!!

  10. I don’t care what anyone says, that chair is STUNNING. And, if it makes YOUR heart skip a beat, then it was just meant to be.


  11. I absolutely love it!!

  12. Oh my gosh i love that chair….ignore those people, checks are timeless and the blue is beautiful. Someone said very french, its perfect. And there is nothing wrong with country.

  13. Brenda says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!! French country, country, who makes those rules??? Beautiful is beautiful in all languages(and decor…)!

  14. Olivia says:

    Where is that fabric from? i love it! and would love to cover a chair in it for my room

  15. michele says:

    I love it. I would go with YOUR gut any day! Thanks for the daily inspiration.

  16. Absolutely love the check and double welting!! You did a beautiful job.

  17. mzloolue says:

    Red and white checks are used in the Governor’s Mansion in Williamsburg which is definitely as far from cutouts of ducks and grannyfannies as you can get. imo anyway.

  18. Suzanne Luttrell says:

    The country look on this chair doesn’t reminisce country because you have kept the dark finish on
    it, which dresses it up and creates a European look about it that you have to love!
    Country checks were used on oak and pine wood finishes in the 80’s, and very often painted wood.
    I used milk paint back then and it’s still the best finish in paint I ever found!

    I’m on your website and hoping to find the stencils used in your photos.

    Love the fun you post for us!

    Thank you!

  19. LindaSonia says:

    Great great Chair – may I ask what is your staple gun of choice???

  20. Meredith Guess says:

    I’m wanting to recover my DR chairs in this style of checked fabric. Is it poly/cotton blend or just poly? is it the 1inch check or smaller? It’s hard to tell just by your pictures and I’ve tried scrolling through the comments to find my answers but didn’t see anything that might help me. ANY quick tip or answer would be super helpful! Thank you!!

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