How, I wondered, had it come to this point of tatters and I hadn’t noticed it.
My pink chair, the one Jon gave me as a birthday gift when we were just friends, was falling apart and even though I sat on it every day, I somehow neglected to see the reality of it.
This is the pink chair that one day was delivered to my studio by Jack Metzger from Jack’s Out Back Antiques. I was in my Studio Barn at Old Bedlam Farm when he knocked on my door and moved the pink chair, a victorian floor lamp and some wooden weaving spindles into my studio.
Jon and I were just friends at the time, but I couldn’t believe how well he knew me. It was exactly the kind of chair I would have picked out. It was exactly the kind of chair that my husband at the time would have talked me out of buying because he wouldn’t have liked it.
It was the chair that I was sitting in, when a few years later after I was separated from my husband, Jon (the man who had until then convinced me that he didn’t like to be touched), stood in my studio doorway, telling me (to my delight) precisely how he would make me cry out in delight.
It’s also the chair that Mother the barn cat used to sit in when I read her poetry and the chair my dog Frieda chose to sleep in. So you can see why that pink chair is more than just a chair to me.
When we moved to the new farm, my studio was smaller so I brought the chair into the house.
I can only think the damage was so gradual that I didn’t notice it. I’m not sure what woke me up to it. Maybe it was bringing Zinnia into our home, the thought of how enticing such a thing would be for her to chew on one day.
I started doing the repairs on the bottom first because when I finally looked at it, I knew immediately what I would do about it. I had this upholstery trim in my studio for years. Probably longer than I had the chair. It was wide and pink and would be the perfect solution.
It would change the feeling of the chair from its simple 1930’s deco look to something more bohemian, but it would work.
So I sewed it on and then when Jon and I went to pick up our vacuum from the Charlies Vacuum Shop (the same place I take my sewing machines to be cleaned and fixed) in Glens Falls, I stopped at Joann Fabric and bought a three-inch high piece of chair foam.
The front of the seat cushion was already torn so I just ripped it a little more, emptied the old disintegrating cushion into a garbage bag, cut the foam to size (I had to piece some of it together) and stuffed it in.
Then I found the perfect piece of fabric to patch up the front of the cushion and sewed it and few other patches onto the cushion.
When I was in high school I had a pair of jeans that I patched so many times, eventually, they were just patches. I imagine that someday my pink chair will be the same. Constantly evolving into one life-sized three-dimensional patchwork.