Custom Tablecloth from Pieced Together Drop Cloths

My dining room is right inside the front door of our home. We have a 60″ round table which allows us to pull in extra chairs and squeeze up to 10 people around the table. 

The problem is the table top is in desperate need of refinishing. I wanted a quick and inexpensive answer so I experimented with making a tablecloth by piecing one together from drop cloth remnants.

I liked the way it turned out so much it’s now one of my most favorite projects!
So much so that I used the same process to make two more tablecloths which we used during the holidays.  
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Ruffled Aqua Damask Pillows plus 3 Gathering Techniques

When I found this aqua damask I knew I’d found the perfect fabric for Lynda’s pillows. The problem was there was only 2 yards and I wanted 6 yards. 

With no possibility of ordering more I purchased the 2 yards, as well as a matching tassel trim, with the hope of finding a matching solid to finish our pillows.

I have to admit I thought it was a long shot. 

So, the hunt began for a coordinating fabric. As you can imagine it wasn’t easy. In fact it took a trip out of state to find the perfect match.

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Posted in Pillows, Sewing Tutorials | 3 Comments

Pink Paisley Floral & Plaid Scalloped Valance


If you ask me to name my favorite style of window treatment I will say long panels. But in the case of this playroom, a valance, hands down, was the best option.


The sliding glass door is 108″ wide and accesses a small balcony with a beautiful view of the neighborhood lake.


For light control and privacy the homeowners chose 2 industrial quality roller shades. The header for these shades is 5″ deep. A valance was the perfect solution to cover the shade header as well as hiding the shades entirely when rolled up and not in use.


To install the valance we used 4 L-brackets spaced evenly across the width of the door.


The finished width is 111″ wide with a 24″ finished length and a 5 5/8″ return at each end.

Each of the 5 scallops is 22″ long at it’s center and 20″ at the peak allowing the plaid ruffle to show 4″. Each return is also 20″ long before the ruffle.


The 6″ ruffle is attached to a “slip”. This allows the two elements of the valance to hang separately rather than attaching the ruffle to the scalloped valance.

The scalloped valance is self-lined. In this situation you want to use either the same fabric or a complementary fabric to line the scallops otherwise you run the risk of seeing the lining along the bottom seam of each scallop.


With the majority of my board mounted valances I only use one horizontal board. In this case, due to the 111″ width, we created a 3 sided board using 2 @ 20″ boards for each side return for additional support.

After installation the side boards had a tendency to lean inward and not hang straight. To correct this issue we placed a screw just inside each return to keep it straight.

In the photo above, you are also seeing a portion of the shade mechanism in the upper left corner.


While I may prefer long panels they would have been a tempting place for little ones to play behind as well as hindering access to the sliding door. This valance adds a huge punch of color & pattern to this space and does a great job of hiding the unsightly shade header.


Lynda used the same paisley floral to create 2 @ 4″ bench cushions to soften the built-in benches she uses for toy storage. The cushions are easily removed so the kids can access their toys under each seat.


An old game table (with an adjustable table height which makes it great for the kids) is tucked into one corner of the playroom. The chairs got a new look with a fresh coat of ivory paint and new plaid cushions.


The two pink swivel chairs, previously used in Lynda’s living room at her old house, now provide the kids with a comfy place to read or watch movies. They also helped influence the color scheme for the new playroom.

This style of valance can easily be adapted for smaller windows and is a great look for any room in the house.

If you have any questions about this colorful valance don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.

floral – Ladbroke color Circa Punch
plaid – Strada color Red originally purchased at
I’m not positive but I believe this plaid is also called Crawford Coral by Pindler & Pindler.

Posted in Window Treatments | 4 Comments

How to Spruce Up a Fabric Wreath with Jingle Bells


One of my favorite projects, which happens to be ridiculously easy and made entirely of left over fabric, is this Shaggy Fabric Wreath.

You can use this style of wreath anywhere throughout the house and at any time of year but I find myself using it the most at Christmas.

Recently, I took the wreath up a notch by adding a collection of rusty jingle bells.

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Posted in Creative Projects, Fabric Projects, Seasonal Decorating | 11 Comments

How to Choose the Best Length for Your Curtains

Living Room Curtains 1What is the best length for curtains?

There’s more than one answer but the key is to choose from the right options.

Occasionally, the answer is dictated by where the window is positioned in a space or by what else is going on around a window…like floor vents in the worst place possible.

Today, I’m going to take the guess work out of this question. Continue Reading…

Posted in Window Treatments | 4 Comments

New Life for an Old Lamp


The first time I saw this lamp it was sitting on the sofa table in a client’s living room. I loved it!

She told me she’d purchased it at an estate sale and didn’t know any more about it. I told her that day if she ever wanted to sell it to let me know because I knew I’d use it in my own home. 

A year or so later she called, ready to work on our next project together and asked if I still wanted her lamp? Yes! Without hesitation! So we bartered. My services for her lamp and I came home with a brand new/old lamp.

I carried this beauty all over the house eager to find where it’s new home would be.

I didn’t like it anywhere. It wasn’t working.

For some reason this beautiful lamp, I’d admired for so long, didn’t fit in any room of my house.  Continue Reading…

Posted in Decorating Ideas, Our Home | 4 Comments

How to Fix a Comforter That’s Too Short

How to Add a Ruffle to a Ready Made Comforter 23

Have you ever searched the world over to find the perfect comforter for your bedroom only to bring it home and discover it’s too short?

I’m not sure if the problem is the big, pillow top mattresses we have these days or the comforter people trying to save on fabric?

Either way, we tend to make do with the front side of the bed looking beautiful while the back side is hiked up showing the sheets.

Comforters are, of course, sewn together, usually with decorative stitching holding all the comfy layers in place. Taking it apart to add anything to lengthen it would be a nightmare.

For several of my clients, I’ve found the answer is to add a 6″ gathered ruffle, or a flat flange depending on their preference, to the outer edge of the comforter. Ultimately, how we attach this ruffle depends on how the comforter is made.

Today’s solution also involves a ruffle that’s a bit different because this ruffle is HUGE!
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Posted in Sewing Tutorials | 8 Comments

How-to Make a Lined Valance with Contrasting Band

Valance Tutorial 1Today I’m sharing an easy tutorial for this simple lined valance.

It’s simple but the contrasting band takes it up a notch. It’s definitely not boring.
You can also add trim along the upper portion of the band to jazz it up a bit more if you prefer.

While this is easy it’s not “no-sew” easy.
But if you’re wanting to make a nice, lined valance…this is the a great way to go. Continue Reading…

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Posted in Sewing Tutorials, Window Treatments | 3 Comments