Is it a sign of old age when you buy a rocking chair?

I went to an estate sale about a month ago and even though they had dozens of vintage quilt tops I ended up buying a rocking chair.


It is hard to tell in the picture how bad the condition of the upholstery is.    The springs in the seat are all sprung and it is very uncomfortable.

I decided to recover it.  Here is the seat once I got the old fabric off.


My initial plan was to re-tie the springs and put it back together but once I got a closer look I saw that the wood was in terrible shape.   The reason the springs were popped is because the wood was so worn out it could not hold on to the nails.   It had several cracks as well.  It looks like it had been recovered at least a dozen time and all those tacks in an out over all those years just wore it out.

I decided to make a new seat with plywood.    Perhaps not historically correct but it sure is easier than trying to rebuild the old one.


I also ditched the springs and used a high density upholstery foam.


The back was not bad so I was able to recover it as it was.


The seat got covered with muslin first so I could get the shape right before I cut into the velvet.


I think Teddy wanted to try sitting on it.


After a little more adjustment of the seat I was ready for the velvet.


I have no Idea what this might have originally been covered with but I like the way it looks with now.

and Teddy did get to try it out


Here are some of the supplies I used.


The electric carving knife is the best tool for cutting upholstery foam.

Now back to work on a few quilts.

Happy Quilting


65 thoughts on “Rocking

  1. Lisa says:

    I thought you might cover in patchwork for the new studio. I have been looking for just the right chair to cover in patchwork for my sewing room.
    Your rocker looks great.

  2. Pam G. says:

    Wow! That is a chair fit for a king – King Teddy that is. I love it.

  3. Laurs says:

    You are so hihly skilled in so many areas! The chair is gorgeous!

  4. Sandy says:

    It’s a beautiful one too! You did a marvelous job. Teddy looks so regal sitting on it.

  5. Denise says:

    Great throne for Teddy pup. Love your posts.

  6. huggybears says:

    Tim-what a handy man you are ! Lovely to see how you transformed this old beautiful rocking chair ! As with older quilts-lots of work .but so satisfying when done !And for sure -Teddy loves it-his new thrown 😀

  7. Sara says:

    Wow, a jack of all trades! And Teddy looks like a little prince on that velvet! I think he has claimed it as his own!

  8. Ann says:

    My goodness! Is there no end to your talents? The chair looks fabulous! Perfectly suited for HRH Teddy 🙂 (I bet there are lots of little white teddy hairs on the ruby red velvet, haha.)
    I think a rocking chair is so soothing. Enjoy!

  9. Kathy in FL says:

    Lovely chair. Beautiful upholstery job!

  10. Nancy says:

    My folks had an electric carving knife like that one. I saw it at the cabin…perhaps I need it in case I want to cut some foam in the future! The chair looks great!

  11. Rhonda Casey says:

    Wow! Love your chair.

  12. Helen Beall says:

    Beautiful piece! i saw one like it in an antique store on LI, but didn’t buy it. So sorry now…

  13. Dorothy Matheson says:

    My Great Uncle has an old rocker covered in wine red velvet that has been in the family for a long time.
    So your color is a good one. I know it was red velvet in the very early 50’s and I do not know how long before that.

  14. Nina says:

    Beautiful Tim!!

  15. Judy says:

    Beautiful job Tim! Love it with Teddy sitting on it! 😉

  16. Nerida Duncan says:

    It looks fabulous.

  17. Judie Frost says:

    You need to use the rocker and Teddy with a red velvet scarf for your Christmas cards! Great job on the chair, are you going to start holding upholstery classes now?

  18. Cheryl says:

    Oh my gosh! Your talents know no bounds! Teddy looks especially valiant in the rocker. Has he claimed it as his own?

  19. What an adorable picture. You did a fantastic job on the chair.

  20. Mary Ann Roberts says:

    I have a grafanola just like that.. Absolutely love the old 78s. Love the chair too.

  21. Beautiful work! My mother used to use her electric knife for cutting foam, so I always thought that was its intended use! 😉

  22. Kristen says:

    To paraphrase Homer Simpson; Tim Latimer. Is there anything he can’t do?

  23. Ángela says:

    Tim and Teddy, you both are a pair of characters. You should do a show. The first episode could be Tim and Teddy: The Rocking Chair.

  24. Isabella says:

    A man of many talents , nice work

  25. Sandi says:

    Your rocking chair is gorgeous! Don’t throw the springs away, they are great to use to make pincushions out of.

  26. Lorij says:

    No Tim, it is not. I have a rocker bought when I was 24. It’s a porch rocker that has almost always been inside. When my back bothers me it’s the answer. I’ve had it 38 years.
    That’s my favorite color. I have reupholestried lots of chairs. Sometimes the wood and the springs are so worn there’s no recovery for them. You’ve done a beautiful job. Looks like the frame was well cared for. I think Teddy likes it too. It is a beautiful piece of furniture.

  27. When we bought our 1st rocker we were in our 20s & brand new parents! Not a sign of old age at all! We bought the next rocker a few years later–a nicer looking one for the next baby to be soothed in… The 1st resides in the basement family room & the other has its pace of honor in the living room…

    • timquilts says:

      I think this one will stay in the living room……but I am going to try sitting in it to hand quilt….if it is good for that it might move to the quilting room

  28. Janice says:

    You did a fantastic job; the rocker really looks lovely. I am always amazed at your ingenuity! I am surprised you chose to use velvet though. Real velvet doesn’t wear, well does it? Wouldn’t repeated sitting in the same spot (which is unavoidable) crush the nap down? Will the lower height be comfortable for you (a taller person) to sit in? And the low arms on your antique rocker mark it as a “nursing rocker” that moms would sit in while feeding their babies, or some call them sewing rockers too! A really lovely piece of furniture–what a great find!!

  29. Rose in VT says:

    Tim: That is fantastic. I was thinking of a hunk of velvet I have hanging
    in the closet, and the chairs waiting for me to reupholster, and a loveseat. And what had me stopped was not knowing how to cut the foam I need to get. Who knew I need to order an electric knife also!
    Great job.
    I did manage to upholster a long bench in my entry, and quilt it in crazy colors. So a velvet chair, and other pieced upholstery projects are in my future now that you’ve solved the foam problem for me…:)

  30. Joyce Barham says:

    I am so glad you rescued that rocker. My Grandpa always sit in a rocker and at home we did, too. I’m 65 and can’t imagine going without a rocker. Such a pretty color you put on it. I can see that Teddy is happy there, or at least for now. Enjoy your blog!

  31. glendajean says:

    My goodness Tim that was fun!!! A great tutorial I also love restoring and love the satisfaction of seeing it back in all its glory. Your chair sits so comfortably beside that side board. I think you have lost YOUR chair to teddy LOL. Cheers Glenda

  32. Louise Porter says:

    Talk about multi talented! Your chair looks wonderful Tim.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s