Friday, January 24, 2014

The triumph of imagination over intelligence

The other day I was looking for a pair of shoes I hadn’t thought of in five years and stumbled on a huge stack of fabric yardage that I hadn’t thought of in eleven years. 

By stack I mean a Kansas wheat silo tall column.  

only fabric inside
Wow, I thought this good fabric could help me reinvent my house.  When I say re-invent, I don’t mean it would turn my house into a thoroughbred horse but it would help my abode look almost as elegant and promising.
Dimly I remember that I had the very same thought when I stashed the fabric in this attic closet for safekeeping as if the huns were paying a visit to East Hampton to take it away from me.
I'm coming for the fabric
I chose a large roll of black and white plaid seersucker and decided to slipcover my yard sale one-and-a-half chair.  Do I know how to sew a slipcover?  Sort of if sort of means I’ve never done it but I saw some pictures in a book written in 1964 and put out by The Singer Sewing Machine company titled “How To Make A Slipcover.”

This is the place where I use the word counterintuitive which means something is exactly the opposite of what your good sense is telling you because as I read through this little book, no more than a pamphlet, I find that you have to pin everything on the furniture inside out and when you sew it inside out you also have to include something called piping that is made ahead of time out of yet another gazillion yards of fabric (cut on the bias and stitched together to make a mile or two of this piping.) When you invert the finished product this piping is acting as a sturdy border around every seam.
you need about a mile of piping
 The next thing I learn about making a slipcover is that even if you only have a 12 inch footstool to cover it takes a gazillion yards to cut the pattern especially if the fabric also has a pattern and has to be matched.  
fabric matching at a very high level (not mine)
This is the point in the project where my left brain is saying “Perhaps on your first try you should choose a solid color because matching the pattern on a curved back chair might be a tad beyond your ability.” My right brain is picturing a garden with everything in bloom and lots of ceramic lawn mushrooms sheltering bunnies and squirrels.  My right brain is seeing childlike happiness.

Really, need I continue with this post?  Will Jesus turn my ten yards of plaid seersucker into a well-fitting pattern-matched slipcover with perfect piping all around the way he turned water into superb wine at the wedding feast at Cana? What do you think?  What Oscar Wilde said about marriage can apply to this project: the triumph of imagination over intelligence. 


  1. Anticipating your next post . . .

  2. Please continue writing. I'll continue reading and chuckling!

  3. Had the same experience with my mom and a sofa when I was a kid, except we built the sofa first. For future reference, you can add Sofa Construction to the long list of things best left to professionals.

    1. The best left to professionals rule should be stuck to my refrigerator.