Thursday, December 31, 2009


Out with the old (2009) and in with the new! Wishing everyone a prosperous, happy and healthy 2010!

Photo by Deb Hodge.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


For these slipcovers (there were two sofas, facing each other in the family room) I used a light khaki denim, a black and white stripe for the welting and pillows and a box-pleated skirt.
The box-pleated skirt gives it a totally different look than a tailored or gathered skirt. It is also a much bigger pain to make.
Neither back shows since both are pushed against a wall, but it still looks cool with the buttons in the black and white fabric.

I also learned a HUGE lesson when I did these slipcovers. When I went to cut, I did not realize that the two sofas were different sizes. They looked the same. Luckily, I cut the sofa and measured the cushions on the one that was slightly larger. When I went to install the finished slipcovers, one fit perfectly and the other was too big. Well, I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong when my client happen to mention that the sofas were not, in fact, the same size. They just looked like they were. (A fine time to point this out, I thought.) I was not happy, but like I said, at least I had a finished cover to cut down, not to try to make larger. It was the same with the cushion covers. It is never easy to fix mistakes, but it is far easier to fix ones I've made than to try to fix someone else's. Now, if there are two seemingly identical pieces of furniture, you better believe I make sure they are instead of just assuming they are. Lesson learned!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Snow flake courtesy of Karyn Bernard from French Charming. And as you can see in the background, there is no snow here. Only the tangerines and lemons on my trees.

Again, I wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays and all the Best in 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Wishing everyone love, peace and joy this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I wish I could have been there yesterday when my client's daughter got home from school and saw her 'new' bedroom for the first time.
It's very much a princess bed, though not too little girly, and will take her into her teens.
There are also draperies out of the same fabric. The rod wasn't installed yet, so no pictures of those.
Problem? Not enough of the pink/yellow fabric to make the panels for the bed frame. Solution? Use the contrast blue/green fabric for banding and ties.
New pillow shams and throw pillows and a white matelasse coverlet complete the bed.
These are the same pillow shams reversed. She can have two different looks by flipping the pillows. The backs of the throw pillows are also different.
I love making pillows like this. It is hard to see but the welting on this pillow is a stripe that has all the colors of the bedding. The back of this pillow is white duck, so that the welting stands out better.
A different fabric all together. A remnant I had that had similar colors.
(It is actually upside down in this picture.)
I used yellow linen on the back.
The main pillow sham fabric with a ruffle of the fabric from the back of those shams.
The back in a green tweed from Laura Ashley. Again, it was a fabric I had left from a job I did probably 15 years ago! You just never know when a pretty scrap of fabric might come in handy. I am not good at throwing away fabric, even if it is in colors I do not like. I tend to hang onto fabric until I can either use it in another job or find a new home for it. Or keep it, just in case!

Monday, December 14, 2009


I did the slipcover for this (HUGE) sofa about 4 years ago. It was during the summer and we were having a heat wave. My house does NOT have air conditioning and I literally had a sweat shop and it was me doing the sweating.
It really doesn't look as big as it is. The sofa measures 120" across the back, which is really big. The chenille was quite heavy; so heavy, in fact, that I sewed the entire slipcover on my industrial machine. Usually, I only need to use it to sew the skirts on. Even using the largest needle on my regular Bernina wasn't enough.
The ironic thing is another client here in Coronado has the exact same sofa. Not the same fabric on the base, but the same frame. That one, though still huge, was much easier because the fabric was Shabby Chic duvet covers from Target. In other words, sheeting, which is a far lighter fabric. Looking at these pictures now, I have to say I am impressed. For one thing, it doesn't even look like a slipcover. For another, I think it looks pretty dang good!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


This was the starting point - 4, fancy, formal, not cottage-y at all, dining chairs.
Isn't it amazing what a little fabric can do?
I'm not sure I can actually do a slipcover anymore without buttons down the back! The do add interest to an otherwise uninteresting fabric.
The new 'dresses' for these chairs warmed up the room.
And my client got the cottage look she wanted. The window treatments were updated as well, but for some reason, the shots came out all dark, so I can't show you those.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This wing chair is in my client's garden room. The fabric is a cotton toile, but when I washed it before cutting and making the slipcover, it came out of the dryer and felt just like a very soft flannel. It seemed like a different fabric.

Most fabric can be washed, despite the 'Dry Clean Only' warning on almost every home decorating fabric. The manufacturers do this to cover themselves. Some you obviously wouldn't wash, like silk. But the only time you really can't wash a fabric is when it is an upholstery fabric backed with rubber. That won't wash, at least not without ruining the fabric. Other than that, I say, wash it!
It is kind of hard to see on the chair, but I also made large, ruffled pillows for a bench that is in the room, as well. I just forgot to take a picture of it. The wing chair was on the large size, so the pillow actually works with it. A lot of times, wing chairs are more compact and an additional throw pillow would make sitting in the chair hard. That was not the case with this one.
I covered the buttons with the solid part of the fabric, just so they would show a bit more. Didn't really help as it is such a busy, dark fabric.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Today is what Winnie the Pooh would call blustery. I just call it rainy and cold. It's the kind of day that smart people stay inside and off the roads. Alas, I had to deliver a slipcover this morning, so I got to experience it close up and personal. Anyway, we do need rain, and as we get so little, it seems somehow wrong to complain.

This chair is slipcovered with canvas, the kind artists or painters use. It's just like a drop-cloth, without the seams, so much easier to use.
Back view with buttons. We tried putting it on without unbuttoning it and it was a no-go. Sometimes the buttons do more that just look cute!
The back pillow with a 1" ruffle. Since the fabric is so plain, having a gathered skirt and this ruffled pillow adds a bit of interest and texture. For the slipcover, seat cushion and this back pillow, I used a 10 oz. canvas, which is semi-heavy duty. The 12 oz. would not have worked at all. For the welting, the 1" ruffle and the buttons, I used an 8 oz. Since it is the same color, it makes no difference in the finished look, but it would have been very hard, if not impossible, to do the small ruffle in the heavier fabric. It was hard enough gathering the skirt. My client likes it so much, she is going to have me do the sofa, too.

Friday, December 4, 2009


The mosaics below were made by Linda Morrow. She was also at The Mermaid's Mercantile last weekend. Her work is simply beautiful. She did have other pieces that weren't mermaid-y, but I chose to show just these. I do not think this was her first show, but she is rather new, and has no blog. In any case, I was impressed with her work.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


This not-so-lovely chair was picked up by my client at a garage sale. Nice lines, but far from nice fabric. Her youngest daughter's birthday is coming up and she thought it would make a good 'throne' for the birthday girl. The only dilemma was which color of denim to use: pink, green or white?
In the end, she chose white.
Every princess slipcover needs buttons up the back, don't you think?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The pictures below are all the amazing work of Marian Buzbee and Nicki Glade. Both are new to the world of craft shows (this was their first ever) and as of yet, neither have a blog. If you are interested in any of the work shown, you can contact them through e-mail. I especially loved the mermaids, which fit right in at the Mermaid's Mercantile!