The Blue Chair Humbling

Mod Home Ec Upholstery Classes

Upholstery students have come through my studio by the hundreds, not including the online students I’ve had. What I realized yesterday (yes, only yesterday!) is that all of this teaching has made me a better and more proficient upholsterer. Seeing as how I don’t do upholstery for customers any longer, I don’t often get a chance to feel that pressure I used to feel when under time constraints to get chairs finished and delivered.  Yesterday, I had a much needed reminder of how that pressure still bothers me. I was under the gun to get two chairs finished up for my friend and long time student, Fred.

Mod Home Ec Upholstery Classes

The day started out with me leisurely working on his chairs. Once I got far enough along, I messaged him to tell him that they’d be finished ‘tomorrow’ (Tuesday).  Much to my surprise, he would be out of town and I’m leaving for Denver bright and early tomorrow morning. I could either put the whole delivery off until I got back, or hustle up and knock these out. I decided on the latter.  It was later in the afternoon so I had to get down to the business end of getting these finished. That’s usually the time when you start making mistakes because you’re tired and ready to be finished.  I had to get to Starbucks, get some caffeine and a treat before I could move on. Check and Check. Back to my shop.

ModHomeEc Upholstery Classes

It was startling to me how much better I had become at upholstering. There was no more dallying around. I knew how many things needed to get done and I chugged right through them without the old contemplative deliberations I used to agonize over. It was like being in the upholstering zone. Fred’s chairs were finished 30 minutes ahead of time which left me time to clean up my shop and feel pretty great about my newly discovered improvement in the craft I’ve been doing for over twenty five years. It didn’t hurt that I was fresh off of a 3 Day Upholstery Bootcamp in which I tutored five ladies through the step by step process of reupholstering the chairs they lugged in to my shop on Thursday morning and waved Goodbye as they lugged those same chairs, only freshly reupholstered, out that same door on Sunday afternoon.

ModHomeEc Upholstery Classes

Conclusion: Teaching this great stuff through the years and learning about other people’s learning styles has enabled me to find better ways to master my own techniques. So to all of you who’ve been students in my courses, THANK YOU! You’ve made me better and I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you the great practical and metaphoric process of tearing off the old, and replacing it with fresh, new and properly constructed foundations and show fabrics. It’s a delight to teach this to so many interesting and talented people.

ModHomeEc Blue Chairs


Dog Days of Summer 3 Day Upholstery Bootcamp (Studio Workshop, August, 2016)

Beginning Upholstery (Studio course beginning September 7, 2016)

Spool Ottoman One Day Workshop (Studio Workshop on August 13, 2016 )

Tufted Boudoir Bench-Online Instructor Led Course (Sign up on ModHomeEc Home Page to receive updates. Registration opens August 15th, 2016)

Chair Up! Beginning Upholstery -Online Instructor Led Course  (Sign up on ModHomeEc Home Page to receive updates. Registration opens August 15th, 2016)



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