New seat covers

New seat covers

After much deliberation, I came to a very difficult conclusion: The seat covers on the dining room chairs needed to be changed. I really liked them. They were perfect in the dining room in South Carolina, but just didn’t fit the decor of the dining room and house here.

A week ago Tuesday Janet and I went to look for fabric. That was the easy part. Last Friday and Saturday were the designated days to make the switch. On Thursday I removed the seats from the chairs and pried up the staples to remove the upholstery. Friday after lunch we gathered all the materials in Janet’s living room. Mother came in to cheer us on. I set about cutting the fabric on the dining room table, and Janet began the difficult job of putting the new fabric on the seats.

Okay, you need to get a picture in your mind of Janet’s technique. The fabric is laid wrong side up on the floor; the chair seat is centered upside down on the fabric; Janet kneels in the center of the seat, tightly pulls the fabric around the seat and staples the fabric onto the seat with a staple gun.

Before she had finished the first seat, she was complaining about her butt hurting, her knees hurting, and profuse sweating.

About the same time I finished cutting out the last of the seat covers, she was finishing up the second one. I kept asking her how I could help, but since she only had one staple gun, she said there was nothing I could do. Suddenly, it dawned on her that if I could kneel on the seat, she could get a better angle with the staple gun.

Picture # 2 – The seat is prepped as in picture one. This time I mount the seat on my hands and knees while Janet faces the seat with staple gun in hand. In order to get the best compression I kneel very close to the edge where Janet is stapling. So, our heads are side to side touching and shoulders interlocking. Of course, as she moves around the seat so am I. Now I know you may find this hard to believe, but we got the giggles. Whew! She thought she was sweating before. We were ready to take our shirts off (but we didn’t).

Low and behold, the system worked and we were surprised at how quickly we had gotten that next one done. So, I said, “Mother, you keep track of the time, and we will see how long it takes us to do the next one.” We were posed to start and I said, “Okay, Mother, what time is it?” After a little difficulty focusing on her watch, she said, “2:47.” We finished the first side and I asked her for a time check – “2:42” Hmmm. Wonder how we did that. Finished the second side. Time check – “2:43”. As Janet zapped in the last staple I asked for the final time check – “2:47″. Well, I said in triumph, we got that one done in NO TIME.”

We thought it would take Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, but we got them done in 1 1/2 hours.

I tried to man the staple early on, but it was obvious, that I was a better kneeler than a stapler. The next day when Janet and I were talking about our outstanding teamwork, I suggested that if we ever tackle a reupholstering job again, I will do the staple part of the time. Very matter of factly she responded, “Yeah, like you steer the canoe.” Those of you who were there will have to fill in those of you who weren’t.