When my sister asked me if I would be interested in recovering the little, antique rocking chair, I said, yes, thinking that it would be a fast and easy undertaking.
We went on a speedy shopping trip to select and purchase the fabric that would provide the rocker’s face-lift, which had been a gift from her mother-in-law just prior to the birth of her first child.
I hadn’t seen the chair in awhile and, in retrospect, had I inspected it before agreeing to tackle the project, I might not be sharing the experience at all. The little rocker had spent its most recent 8 years rocking a total of 3 babies. Needless to say, it was more well-worn than in my mind’s eye.
My sister’s vision for the rocker was bright, cheerful, maybe a little Bohemian, to make it a focal point in its new position in the family’s living room. She selected Waverly’s Santa Maria Desert Flower fabric. The textile’s rich, sandy background is a perfect foil to vibrant, jewel-tone bursts of ruby, hot pink, turquoise, emerald, citron, and sapphire in the Talavera inspired pattern.
After making a 90-mile trek to me, I set about removing the animal print fabric that had been added 8 years previous. I peeled back the the fabric and ribbon trim that had been hot-glued to the frame to discover another layer of green velvet, trimmed with golden soutache braid. Below that was a velvet brocade, nailed and tacked in place.
What was revealed next spoke to the history and age of the chair; remnants of a fourth fabric and layers of cotton batting and horse hair and even straw that lay atop the covering over the metal springs.