Friday, December 17, 2010

The Fastest Cheapest XmasTree Skirt

Every year as I am putting up the tree I think about the gorgeous Christmas tree skirt I should have made. I have lots of ideas I always do, but never seem to remember to actually create one. So I will share my secret for the cheapest last minute tree skirt. A round table cloth. Yes, you fold it in half, cut along the fold half way, make a circle cut in the middle. Turn under and stitch up the rough edges. Voila!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Preserve the Memories

Interior designer Susan Schenk has created a line of pillows that are made from those fab outfits you will never wear but still have. "Everyone has an outfit in the back of their closet that they have saved for years and just can't part with. The outfit reminds them of an event, or a time in their life they cherish." The garments are made into sophisticated pillows that can be incorporated in your home interior.

The dress above was worn by three little girls in a wedding. The memories are now preserved, and a beautiful pillow adorns the bed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kidneys on the Couch

When I first started custom sewing for interior designers I was confronted by the "kidney" pillow order. I had sewn pillows that looked like balls, pillows that looked like tuxedos, pillows that looked like flags or stars. I used all the geometry lessons I swore I would never need. But a kidney pillow? I'm thinking kidney beans that sort of oval shape with the dent in it. And exactly why would someone want such a thing? I lay awake in the dead of night as one always does with these sort of creative
dilemmas. Finally, I confessed to the designer my insecurity with creating this pillow. She looked at me like I had just fallen from the sky, and proceeded to explain to me it was just a rectangle. A rectangle! Hundred of kidney pillows later I must say they are my favorite. The height /length dimensions are in a 2 to 3 ratio. The favorite sizes are 12" x 18" or 14" x 21. The smaller of the two fits nicely on a single proper chair, and the larger fits perfectly in an upholstered chair. Another great attribute of the kidney pillow is that it only requires one yard of trim, so you can splurge and get that fabulous trim, without spending a lot. For two pillows, you only need one yard of fabric and two yards of trim.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Sweet Suite

Dnaegle Suite is a unique interior design concept for today's first time home owners. They provide several "design suites" consisting of fabric, paint, art and accessories enabling you to purchase everything at one shop. Easily transform your basic room into a well designed interior.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The perfect wrap around for winter.

Deborah Jarchow is inspired by color, exploring the endless ways different hues can be combined, blended and interwoven. As a full time weaver, she spends her days creating color palettes in hand woven fabrics. She is devoted to exploring the interplay of color and texture and how light reflects from the fibers. Her textiles are designed using a simple weave structure, or plain weave, so the rich color combinations and delicious fiber textures can be fully appreciated. This fascination with color translates into large scale wall hangings and sculptural forms that affirm her emotional connection to color. Deborah has a elaborate collection of scarves, throws and wall hangings available.

Vintage Jewelry

Gloria Bass scouts flea markets and swap meets looking for interesting pieces such as keys, typewriter keys (remember those?) and collectible jewelry pieces. She then creates necklaces, rings, and cuffs, no too are alike and each one is an interesting conversation piece. Dnaegle carries her Vintage Glo line in their store.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Magical Floating Jellies

The art of Susan Christensen brings sea life into a child's room. These hanging jellies come in a variety of brilliant colors - hot pink, deep blue and bright green. More sophisticated than a baby mobile, these works of art float gently in a light breeze. Their magical!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flowers: Fresh, Silk or WOOD?

Laguna Beach has the greatest galleries and public art. It's also a great place to take visitors because there is something to offer everyone in a lovely setting steps from the beach. Last weekend I took visitors to lunch at Sundried Tomato and we got drawn into Xanadu Collections. These flowers are all boldly painted wood specimens! The whole store has a fun tropical feel.

They have the largest selection of unique vases that are very narrow in dimension. This type of vase is great for small spaces as they lay flat on the wall.

The vases are a work of art in and of themselves.

Yes, my favorite. An arrangement of Zebras!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chair Cushion Ties

I have probably made every type of chair cushion imaginable. It's a personal thing, but I never like the look of cushion ties. Whether the are bows, or tabs, or 1/2" ties I always find them less than perfect. So, when it came time to make a cushion for my antique rocker I chose to use a tassel and cord. I cut it in half and attached each end in the seam. Now I have a look I am happy with and yes, it does keep the cushion on the chair.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mattresses Go Sky High

I was reading the article in the Wall Street Journal on the new mattresses that are getting bigger and bigger. Just several years ago the box springs were deeper that the mattress resulting in the duster having a longer drop than the bedding. Now the reverse is happening. A 19" mattress top will result in a 22" - 24"drop for a coverlet or duvet. In these cases, which are the norm these days, Decorative Textiles always ensures the client has the bed they are going to be finally using before the quote. Clients often change their mind after approving the fabrics. A bed such as this from the E.S.Kluft Company requires several considerations. The first, it requires two people to make the bed. Second there are new considerations in the way the duvet or coverlet drops that differ from the older mattresses. If the interior designer does not use our measuring service, I request a photo of the end corner angle of the bed to ensure exact fabrication.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quilted Bedding and Pillows


Not all workrooms have the ability to machine quilt in custom designs or in small squares. Decorative Textiles
uses several different quilters that can produce a quilted design that enhances the bedding. Dense quilting around a pattern, for example the orange flowers in the pillow above, will make the flower "pop". Custom quilting helps to avoid eye sores such as vertical lines quilted on a stripe fabric....without matching each and every line.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Traditional Quilting

The quilt of Lynn Thompson and Pat Hershock
I recently introduced a client to some contemporary textile art and she said, "These look like quilts!" Technically they are, as a quilt is 3 layers connected by stitches. The traditional quilt above is made from a pattern and stitched by hand. The value of the quilt is influenced by the quality of the work (which is the lack of stitches showing in the construction of the quilt) and the precision and size of the quilting stitch. The stitches should be the same size on the front as they are on the back, and that only comes from years of experience. Today, it is getting more and more difficult to find hand quilters. Jean Judd is one of the few artists who creates contemporary art quilts that are hand quilted.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Custom Lampshades

I purchased these lamps at a local thrift shop this weekend. They were such a find and the first thing I thought of was how fun it will be to make a custom lampshade for them! My head is spinning with ideas! Custom lampshades are hard to find. After some serious looking I found a source. Now to find the perfect fabric for the shade.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Buttons, toggles, buckles and frogs

Check back later to see these buttons on a pillow!

A button (or three) adorning a pillow can be that finishing touch that completes the look for your home interior. Finding buttons is an adventure in and of itself. Ever since one of my interior designers ordered a pillow with a mitered face and a large square wooden button in the center I have been on the look out for all colors, sizes and types of buttons. I'm ready to share my secrets. M&J Trimming has a diverse selection of decorative buttons. I prefer buttons from bone, horn, shell, wood and metal. You can also find a great selection from Durango Button Company. If you're in a rush, the best place to look locally is yarn shops. They stock large buttons for sweaters and bags. Lastly, vintage buttons are a great accent and can be purchased on garments at used clothing stores.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Pindler Outdoor Fabrics

photo credit Pindler and Pindler
Pindler and Pindler's new Signature Exclusive Newport Mansions Indoor Outdoor Collection
Outdoor fabrics are improving by leaps and bounds. We used to only be able to get blue marine canvas. Today all the major vendors have their own fabric lines and the texture has improved.
Some of the fabrics are so soft and pliable you'd be surprised to learn they are sun and moisture resistant. We recently made interior pillows for a client from "outdoor" fabric for her Hawaiian home. Everything seems to fade in their brilliant clear sunny weather!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Framed Textile Art

Curves and Color, Disney Hall
24" x 30.5"

Pamela Price Klebaum has perfected an acrylic frame that openly attaches textile art quilts to clear plexiglass for hanging textiles in an upscale yet traditional format. Without harming the textiles, this method of mounting art gives substantial support to even mixed media pieces that are uneven in weight. Interior designers will appreciate the standard wire hanger that is hidden behind the contemporary textile. This clear frame also is beneficial in a commercial setting where art may be relocated periodically. Note that the wallpaper background is visible through the plexiglass.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fiber 2010 West

Woven metal, woven plastic, woven recyclables, woven fiber....there is so much variety in contemporary weaving on display at the Studio Channel Island Art Center in the heart of Camarillo, now through May 22.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ventura Textile Exhibit

Becoming Art at the Seams is a juried textile exhibit at the Ventura Art Museum through June 20. Due to the renovation of the original museum, the exhibit is located just a few blocks away at 89 S California Street. Presented is a diverse collection of 36 contemporary art quilts of greater Los Angeles artists.
Linda Miller's "Flowing Through 2009" shown above is a whole cloth, painted, layered with fabric and then decoratively stitched by both hand and machine. The photo doesn't do the art justice as a two dimensional picture cannot present the details and color intricacies. You'll just have to take a road trip! One of the most wonderful qualities of textiles is the ability to manipulate the fabric and fibers. "Elemental 1" by Linda Cassirer of Santa Barbara, incorporates yarn and felting techniques to bring an undulating motion to her art.

Also of note:

Time Gone By, Karen Rips

Driftwood, Madeleine Bajracharya
Rehearsal, Sherry Davis Kleinman

Tucked Away, Loris Bogue

Friday, April 9, 2010

Skirting the Bedpost

There are those times when the most beautiful of beds poses a problem for the duster. You can see from the photo that the posts and rail on this bed do not allow for the standard bed skirt to drop. This is easily solved by making three separate panels of the skirt with no decking and either tacking it directly to the inside of the rail or using 1 inch velcro. Heavy duty, sticky velcro will adhere to the wood or you can use regular velcro, then staple or tack it with upholstery tacks. Velcro must be sewn to the fabric

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lush down seating without the "bum" impression

The plush look of down in a chair is so inviting. It"s like sitting on puff of goose down. The only problem is, once you sit in it you have to launch yourself out and then when you look behind you there's a crater in the seat that does resemble quite well a feature you wish would be a tad smaller. The way to accomplish a soft seat that will be a supportive cushion is to make a custom down T wrap with a zipper opening, and then insert some HR foam. The result....fluffy but firm. This room was designed by Jacque Walters of Patterson Forrest Interior Designs.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's New

Decorative Textiles is defining itself as the go to company for textiles in Southern California. Not only do we fabricate custom soft goods but what's even more exciting is the textile art we have available to provide that unique fine art that your clients desire. Step away from the traditional painting and experience textiles. Commercial or residential, weaving or fabric, sculptures or vessels, tapestries or contemporary art quilts, if we don't have it, we know where to find it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Grandma's Sewing Box

My daughter's friends don't know how to sew. Those little buttons that fall off their shirts get sent to the dry cleaners for repair. It's two bucks. I inherited my grandmother's sewing box. She had it for most of her 90 years. (Mending was her responsibility since her mother died when she was a teen.) I love the little pieces of cardboard that she wrapped thread around and saved for future sewing. I have more thread than that on my workroom floor! That was the depression, and they never forgot how hard times were. The frugality of those times never left her. All through the 50's, 70's, 90's she never tossed them out. So, no matter how hard times get now, at least I know I can save two bucks.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bed Dusters

Were dusters really intended to keep dust balls under the bed, or are they actually intended to hide your extra storage place or give the dog a place to go in a thunderstorm? I'm not sure but I do know that without the duster, otherwise known as bed skirt, the bed looks unfinished. Lately there has been a trend towards box pleated dusters. They have a tailored look and are more interesting than the traditional shirred skirt. The pleats can vary in size from 4" to 8", at the discretion of the interior designer unless there is a pattern. If so you want to be sure that the workroom bases the pleat size on the design repeat as is shown in this photo. Note the way the repeat is incorporated in the pleats.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Home Tour Part 1

Periodically I will take you on a quick tour of a home for which Decorative Textiles has made the custom bedding. This master bedroom has a king bed that may look dwarfed by the size of this large room, but yes it is a king. The bed consists of a duvet turn down at the end of the bed, a coverlet with a down fill, two-tiered shirred duster, three 30" shams with chenille trim and 6" ruffle, three 26" pillows with self welt, two 24" pillows with applied fringe and a kidney pillow in the front that is the size of a body pillow with glass beads, two shirred panels on the face and applied trim. All these delicious fabrics have been mixed and matched by the Interior Designer of Patterson Forrest Interior Designers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Outdoor Pillows

With the hint of spring just around the corner we can start thinking about dusting off the patio furniture and freshening up the cushions and pillows. The selection of outdoor fabrics has come a long way since the blue marine canvas we originally associated with weather durability. Almost every fabric house has a line of fabrics and now even outdoor trims. The technology in the the development of many of these fabrics has becomes so advanced that they can even be used indoors. They have a softness to them never seen in the past.

Gone also is the bumpy, lumpy polyester fill that barely fills out the pillow cover. Clusterfil, a "man made down" has small airy balls of polyester that give a lightness to the fill. When combined with outdoor ticking, you have a durable, weather resistant, luxurious pillow.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shibori in the Home

Referring to shibori as tie dyeing is like calling paint by number art, but it does serve to get the initial impression going. This ancient Japanese textile art uses the techniques of stitching, pleating, folding and manipulating cloth that is then dyed. The resulting fabric exhibits unique patterns and color.

Undersea 64" x 11.5"............. By Constance Rose .............Urban Ikat 35" x 19"

Shibori fabrics are also incorporated into decorative art quilts. Constance Rose uses the techniques of arashi shibori and handwoven shibori in creating fabulously unique fabrics for her quilted wall art.

Constance Rose: My work is about texture - the way the fiber surfaces feel to the touch, as well as the visual orchestration of pattern, color, line, shape and form. As a surface designer, I am highly intrigued with the serendipitous patterns created on fabric by dyeing, printing and discharging. The foundation of my studio quilting is wholecloth or stitched raw-edge appliqued, handprinted, shibori dyed, discharged or digitally printed fabrics. I am fascinated with overall graphic patterns that make a statement or have a bold presence. I am drawn to muted colors and asymmetrical shapes that evoke the organic natural world. My studio quilts are constructed exclusively of my own surface designed fabrics and my art cloth pieces are handwoven by me. I make all the fabric I work with, by either weaving it, or by printing, painting, dyeing, screening or discharging it.

These beautiful samples of muira shibori are 10" wide and sold by the yard from Kasuri Dyeworks . The three dimensionality of the fabric in both bold turquoise and muted black, burgundy combinations create textural interest and can be incorporated into pillows to add accent any room. The kidney pillow has the shibori fabric in the center, framed by a one inch flat flange and a knife edge.

Donghia has commercially available fabrics that include two shibori designs. Eclipse is a jacquard with the look of a Japanese resist dye shibori creating a circle pattern. The Natural Elegance collection includes 11 shades of 54" upholstery silk appropriately named Shibori which has beautiful monochromatic impressions of geometric shapes.