Staff Tips & Tricks: September 2007 Archives
One of my many joys (or chores depending on the day) is to create custom design coordinate groups for our customers to use as a guide, inspiration or template for their homes. Since you know your schedule and your family's needs, how you use these groups is entirely up to you. But isn't it great to have some of the work done for you! I research market trends and color combinations and hunt through our warehouse to bring you fabric combinations that include color, pattern and texture that will work perfectly together so all you need to know is which colors work for you and your rooms and your yardage needs. I hope these postings will be the next best thing to hiring an interior decorator. About once a month I will feature a new design inspiration, whether it be your dream bathroom or that family dining room you have always dreamed of. First, let's focus on the center of the home, that family room or great room. Since this room will probably be the most popular and most used, it needs to feel calm, crisp and clean (even if it isn't).Let's use our Khaki and Robins Egge Blue Collection. It has just the right amout of color without being overwhelming and the blue with khaki is very refreshing without being washed out. The sofa would look great with P. Kaufmann Sarita Cocoa. This pattern should hide dirt and light stains that little hands tend to share but with still look great when friends drop by.
Don't forget the pillows for extra Pop and comfort on movie night. Try 2 in P. Kaufmann Jacquard Picnic Check Azure and 2 in P. Kaufmann Vassar Paisley Horizon. Both prints with compliment the sofa beautifully.
Next we will need some extra seating. Try pairing to comfy but stylish club chairs with our new Matleesse in Ivory. This will add duribility and texture to really make your room come to together. On the windows, I love the idea of roll up shades with Dupioni Silk Bisque on the underside (to show just a hint when you let the light in) and P. Kaufmann Yazman Cocoa on top as the dominate. Finish off your room with accents of Chocolate Brown, Ivory and Blue to really bring in that clean, airy feeling. It will look like you paid high dollar and spent hours pouring over design books, when all you really did was jump online amd visit my hand picked collections! Be sure to post pictures of you finished rooms or design inspirations in our Sew & Tell Gallery. And don't forget, I am here if you have any questions and would love to hear what rooms you are looking for advice or just a few tips.
Enjoy your home,
A few years back my best friend Ann purchased a furnished "rental" condo in a resort area on the South Carolina coast. While the place had good bones, it was blah, blah, blah. Think basic furnishings, sparse accents, no window treatments...just no personality. Our mission was to turn this place into a cozy nest without breaking the bank account. We purchased new bedding, lamps, accessories and fabrics. We set out on a six hour drive to begin a two day makeover. While Ann got busy hanging pictures and arranging things, I got busy with the fabric. First up for me...drapery panels. I used a plaid promotional dupioni silk. Wow, they instantly brightened and added life to the room! Next, it's on to decorative throw pillows. I really wanted to pull all the colors from the plaid silk throughout the room. Accent pillows are such a quick way to accomplish just that. My last significant project, and the one I am most proud of, is that I covered a headboard. I had no confidence that I could pull this off. As it turns out, it was so simple! All I did was lay batting, then stretch and staple the fabric. Bye, bye boring old headboard! I wish I would have known it was going to be this easy. I am sure I could have used Fabri-tac to add some cute embellishments!
We are so proud of our quick makeover. It must have turned out well because I have not yet been able to claim my free week...The place is always rented! I have 2 projects under way right now that I am excited about. Vicki is going to help me because these are more detailed. Hope to have them ready by my next blog entry!
How to pick out your own fabrics? This can be a challenge for most of us as there are so many choices. My favorite fabrics are batiks. Check out our site for a wide variety of Batiks.
The choices are endless and no two pieces of the same fabric are the exact same. They make wonderful quilts and wall hangings sure to catch anyones eye. Remember this is going to be your quilt, and the choices are wholly up to you and it needs to be pleasing to you not necessarily to anyone else. Decide if you want the quilt or wall hanging to blend with a room's décor or do you want it to stand out and be seen. For most of us the hardest part of beginning a project is picking out the fabrics to achieve you vision. Never be afraid to ask the help or opinion of the staff that work in the shops or to call customer service, as they are there to help and assist you. Larger chain stores that have a fabric department are less likely to have knowledgeable people working in that specific department but true quilting shops do have the personnel to assist you and are more than willing to help share their knowledge with you. If you still are having trouble one sure way to find something that works for you is to find a collection that you like. (Check out the Just Arrived section of the web site). With a collection you usually find not only a focus fabric, but also coordinates and blenders that all are in the same color hue so that they look great together. As your skill increases so will you ability to make color choices for your projects. Kathy
Side note from Tara: Check out our quilting assortments here and here, put together with Kathy's own hands.
The choices are endless and no two pieces of the same fabric are the exact same. They make wonderful quilts and wall hangings sure to catch anyones eye. Remember this is going to be your quilt, and the choices are wholly up to you and it needs to be pleasing to you not necessarily to anyone else. Decide if you want the quilt or wall hanging to blend with a room's décor or do you want it to stand out and be seen.
For most of us the hardest part of beginning a project is picking out the fabrics to achieve you vision. Never be afraid to ask the help or opinion of the staff that work in the shops or to call customer service, as they are there to help and assist you. Larger chain stores that have a fabric department are less likely to have knowledgeable people working in that specific department but true quilting shops do have the personnel to assist you and are more than willing to help share their knowledge with you. If you still are having trouble one sure way to find something that works for you is to find a collection that you like. (Check out the Just Arrived section of the web site). With a collection you usually find not only a focus fabric, but also coordinates and blenders that all are in the same color hue so that they look great together. As your skill increases so will you ability to make color choices for your projects.
Side note from Tara: Check out our quilting assortments here and here, put together with Kathy's own hands.
Hello, I am Victoria Bryant. I am fortunate to work in Fabric.com's Customer Service Department. I work with customers everyday to achieve their fabric visions.
This is my philosophy- All people create. At one time or another, we want to create something with our hands. Your medium could be cooking, gardening, painting, yarn craft ( knitting,crocheting), wood working or sewing. Women, of course, do several of these. If sewing is your creative tool, it is not dirty,not fattening, and the results are long lasting.
My love is quilting. Cotton is the fabric of my life. I credit my grandmother with sowing the quilting seeds. As a child, I remember her creating templates from Kleenex boxes, and carefully cutting her fabrics from cast off clothing. She would create her quilt tops during the summer. I knew it was Fall, not only by the weather, but by Grandmother setting up her huge wood quilting frame. She would handquilt several tops in a season. I cannot see a Kansas City Star quilt pattern without thinking of my Grandmother. Even now I have one of her quilts lying at the foot of my bed. The colors are still bright even though the fabrics are slightly worn. It comforts me in times of crisis, to pick out the scraps of my sisters's dresses. It is time for me to start sowing some seeds of my own. In honor of my grandmother and the Halloween season, I have created a very simple "Trick or Treat" bag. I used the Scaredy Cat charm pack from Moda. Any fall themed fabric would work such as Acorn Hollow. These also could be used for potpourri . We have some great fall selections available at his time. This is a great use for charm packs. Many customers ask what to do with charm packs. That will be a future topic. I hope that this very simple project will get someone started quilting. The treat bags are very simple. No cutting involved. Select 2 charms. Place wrong sides together and sew 3 sides creating a bag to fill with candy or your choice of items for those special trick or treaters.
One of my favorite book series is Harry Potter. I know alot of kids out there who would like nothing better than to be their favorite wizard or witch for Halloween. This is a great Invisibility cloak or dress robe pattern for your kids. My fabric picks for this are our Sparkle Velour (to which I have referred to as Wizard Wear since it hit our warehouse) or Stretch Velvet. Both are machine washable.
Another decorative project I am anxious to start because of great expectations to be so festive is a Pumpkin Garland made from these Pincushions. They would make perfect pumpkins. I plan on draping them around my front door and over my fireplace. I learned a little trick from Heather Bailey's Pear Pincushion stems. She rolls up a piece of felt whip stitches is loosely, tugs the strand to get a good bend and then stitches the stem to the pincushion. This would be a great addition to turn these pincushions into happy pumpkins. My pattern choices are a toss up between Moda Fall Back in Time and Scaredy Cat Fat Quarters. Maybe Both!
I am really excited to get started on all of the above projects, but at the moment I am finishing up my dress for my brother's wedding. He is getting married in Savannah, Ga on the 16th of this month! I am his best man AKA Best Broad! The dress is drafted from my own pattern and so far it is turning out better then I could imagine. Here is my inspiration picture. The finished project will have thicker straps and not as low cut but equally as sassy! (please excuse my primative photoshopping). I am using Linen because it will still be warm/hot so far south. I do not want to sweat and the drape from linen is just perfect for this casual wedding. I was originally leaning toward our Cotton Sateen but given the temperature range in Savannah in September, I decided on linen to catch any breeze (fingers crossed on a nice breeze, please!) It would also be great in seersucker for more a casual or any of our Bridal Fabrics for a more formal look. I love this look because it is a fitted up top and has a gathered empire waist, which means....I CAN EAT! So awesome and very important. I will be sure to update later with picture of the finished dress in our gallery.
Update on embroidered ottoman cover. The move is on the 17th so whenever I can take a break from packing, I am working on it and my dress. However, so far I have measured and cut. No embroidery to date. Apologies but it looks great in my head!