Friday, November 28, 2014


I received a call from a woman telling me that she picked up my card a few years ago at the Farmers Market in La Jolla.  Odd, I thought, as I haven't done that market since about 2003.  As it turned out, she had gotten my card at least 11 years ago and had held onto it all this time.  Cool!

She told me she had purchased a set of flannel sheets that she wanted a tablecloth and napkins out of. Okay, not my strangest job, but up there on that list.

Once I got the sheets, I washed them.  She wanted everything a certain size and had I made the tablecloth and napkins to her specifications, when she finally did wash them they would have shrunk and probably not evenly.  Anyway, once it was all pre-shrunk I then cut out the 12 napkins and the over-sized tablecloth.  It was fairly easy to work with because of the plaid.

After I delivered it to her, I asked that she take pictures of her table once it was all set.  I did think about it briefly once yesterday, but thought she probably forgot.  Today I received these pictures.  So, thank you, Pam.  I am happy that I was able to contribute to a happy Thanksgiving for you and your guests!

Friday, November 21, 2014


This is the same chair I did back in the spring for the home of the designer on this job.  At the time she had me make a permanent pattern because this is a chair she likes to use in all the homes she does.  It is super big, but then again, the homes she works on are super big.  Perfect fit!

The fabric, a heavy linen, is photographing as aqua, but it is really a much more teal green than it looks here.

Since the house is still in the process of being finished, it looks very empty.

The back of the chair, with large buttons, since the size I usually use would have needed about 20, and would have looked ridiculous.  And because the chair is very rounded, the buttons are actually needed to make the slipcover fit properly.

A couple weeks later I was back at the house delivering other items, and took these shots.  By then, pictures had been hung and accessories added so it was looking more like a lived-in home.

The window treatment fabric has yet to arrive, but once it does, there will be balloon valances on the windows that look into the courtyard of the house. The fabric is another gorgeous Designers Guild stripe like nothing I have ever seen.  I look forward to making them and posting the finished room.

Friday, November 14, 2014


When I first started my business back in 1992, then called Design Options, I only was doing window treatments, bedding and pillows.  People kept asking for slipcovers, though, so I decided I'd better learn how to make them.  I bought all the books and read up on everyone else's opinions of the best ways to make slipcovers.  Still, the only real way for me to learn how to do something is to actually do it.  The problem was that at the time I had no furniture that I could practice on.  My sofa was a futon and I had director's chairs for my dining room table.  I had no upholstered pieces.  So I went to Betty's Resale Shop (this was in Chicago) and bought a chair for $12.  It was a small chair and not exactly what I wanted, but the price was right.

In an attempt to make the chair look more like what I wanted it to be size-wise, I bought batting and covered the entire chair with it, several times, until it was puffier.  Then I kind of upholstered it with duck cloth because you can't really put a slipcover directly on batting and expect the batting to stay in place.  I didn't do too bad a job, but because I had no clue what I was really doing, nor how to do it, I sewed the arm fronts by hand, which meant the chair couldn't be used without a slipcover.  No big deal since that was what I wanted in the first place.  Anyway, at the time I was working at Loomcraft and I had always loved this fabric.  With my employee discount, it was probably $5/yard.  By the time I made this, though, I had already 'learned' how to make slipcovers on a client's benches, sofas and chairs.  Talk about being thrown in the deep end and having to sink or swim!  I learned very quickly how to swim, and have been 'swimming' ever since.  I no longer have this chair, but I still love the slipcover!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


This pillow, actually there were 2, took me the entire day to make.

  Let me say right now that I cannot really draw, but I figured since an anchor is mostly straight lines, I should be able to do it successfully.  I did tell my client that if I thought it looked dorky, she would be getting solid black pillows.  So, first I had to draw an anchor big enough to fit on a 26" pillow.  Next step was to cut it out of the paper and trace it on fusible interfacing.  Then I had to iron the interfacing to the white Sunbrella; then cut those out; then do a satin stitch around the whole thing.  After all that, I then zigzagged the anchor to the fabric, and sewed the welting on, put the zipper in and finished the pillows.  Literally, the entire day to do this, and I only made $50 per pillow.  Still, I was quite happy with how they turned out, as was my client.  Next time, if there is a next time, I will charge accordingly.