Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Sew and Attach Welting

Welting is a decorative trim which adds the perfect finishing detail to pillows, cushions, slipcovers and more by accenting the design lines and drawing attention to seam lines. It can be purchased in a variety of colors and sizes but making it yourself is quick and simple.

Cording – For this tutorial I used 8/32”
Sewing machine with zipper foot
Matching thread

Measure the item around which you will be attaching the welting and add 3 inches. Cut cording to this length. For this tutorial I will be using a 20 x 20 pillow so I cut my cording to 83”.

Cutting Fabric Strips
Professionals recommend cutting the fabric strips which will encase the cording on the bias, meaning on the diagonal of the fabric. Bias cut fabric is more flexible when going around corners and curves. I usually try to use this method, but have to confess I have on occasion - when the fabric is stretchy - cut my fabric straight across and it still worked out fine.

In most cases, one strip of fabric will not be long enough, which means cutting multiple strips. For this example I needed two.

To determine the width of your fabric strips, measure the circumference of your cording and add twice the seam allowance. For my cording, this meant fabric strips which were 1 ¾” wide – ¾” for the circumference of the cording and 1” for the ½” seam allowance.

Cut the number of fabric strips needed to go around your item.

Piecing Fabric Strips
Place two ends of bias cut fabric strips wrong side together as shown below.

Pin and sew along the diagonal using a ½” seam allowance.

Press seam open. Add additional strips using the same technique if needed. Cut your fabric strip a little bit longer than the cording.

If you did not cut your fabric strips on the bias, place two fabric strips, right sides together, at a 90 degree angle as shown below.

Cut on the diagonal and then proceed as above.

Making the welting
Fold the fabric strip around the cording – leave about ¼” of the cording showing out the end – with right sides out and long edges matching. Some people prefer to pin in place and then sew. I find it easier and quicker to just wrap the fabric around the cording – adjusting as I go – while sewing.

When you come to a point where two fabric strips have been joined, make sure the seam is pressed open.

Sew using a zipper foot. I usually do not sew the last few inches of cording to make it easier for attaching the two ends of the cording together.

Attaching Welting
Once your welting is all assembled it is time to attach it. As I mentioned earlier, for this example I am using a pillow. Start on the bottom edge of the pillow or the back edge of the item to which you are attaching the welting.

Pin welting to fabric  - clipping at curves - with unfinished edges aligned on the right side of the fabric.

When you have gone all the way around, cut your cording to exact length needed. You may have to rip out part of the seam of the cording. Leave your fabric about 1” longer than the cording.

Sew ends of cording together using a needle and thread.

Fold fabric back and overlap raw edge of other end of fabric with folded edge. Pin.

Using zipper foot and sewing machine, sew welting to pillow.

Simple, easy and quick! To finish the pillow add a zipper and then back piece of fabric or just the back piece of fabric sewn closed with a needle and thread.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Living Room Finished!

I am happy to say my living room redo is finished! (Well at least as finished as it is going to be for a little while! Things tend to change quickly around here so I don’t want to make any promises.) The final pieces of the puzzle – curtains and a lamp – have been added and I could not be more pleased with the result. Here is a look back at what the room looked liked before.

Here is what the room looks like today.

I finally found time a few weekends ago to finish the curtains. For new followers, these are the second set of curtains I have made for this room over the past several months. (You can read about what happened to the first set here.) The fabric had been sitting in a closet for several weeks and I had been going back and forth as to how exactly I wanted to make them.

I thought about making a scalloped edge, adding some sort of decorative trim or even sewing a stripe of colored linen to the top. In the end, I continued with the “simple is better” theme of this room and decided on plain panels.

The lamp is from the same shop as my recently acquired orange chairs. It looks like stone – although I think it is resin – has a gray metal shade, and is a much better fit than the previous brass lamp which used to occupy this space.

The best part to me about this room makeover is it was more about taking things away rather than adding them. The room is lighter, brighter and just all around more representative of the current décor in my house.

Linking up with
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Remodelaholic Anonymous at Remodelaholic
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming

Note: I have not forgotten about the promised “How to sew curtains with lining” tutorial. I am almost finished with the writing and should have it up soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Spruce Ups

The weather was finally warm enough the past few days to begin preparing the outdoor spaces around our home for spring and summer. With the last patch of snow gone in our back yard (hurray!), the patio furniture and urns made their annual spring time appearance and there was lots of raking, sweeping and soil preparation.

I even managed to plant a few herbs – rosemary, parsley and lavender – along with some lettuce, as they seem to tolerate the fluctuating temperatures of this time of year.

It was fun to look around the yard to see if the plants we transplanted in the fall survived the winter. I am happy to report several look good and others we will have to wait a little bit longer to tell.

Source unknown

One project which has been on the radar for some time now is creating a fire pit area. I love the look of the picture above with the four Adirondack chairs arranged in a circle. We are hoping to replicate something similar with a fire pit in place of the large pot. Below is the space we will be working with. The small ring of rocks with the hole in the middle was what we used last year for our outdoor fires.

As you can see, our designated area is more sheltered and sits next to our “in progress” garden. We started the garden a few years after we moved in and have been slowly adding to it one feature at a time.

Our plan is to cover the ground with the same small gravel which we used for the garden paths. At the moment it is all dirt and not very user friendly. We are still undecided about the fire pit itself, right now we simply have a hole in the ground surrounded by rocks. Several friends have the portable type pits like the one shown above, but we are leaning towards building ours out of stone to match the rest of our home’s hardscaping. What would you do? I would love to know your opinion.

I hope to have some updated pictures of this area in a month or so of our progress!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anniversary and Follower Feature

Next week will mark the two year anniversary of Red Door Home!

I wanted to thank each and every one of you for joining me on this incredible journey. Your kind words of encouragement and thoughtful comments mean so much. From the very first day, I have been amazed at the generous spirit of the blogging community. I have learned so much but more importantly have made so many wonderful and supportive friends along the way. Thank you all!

In addition to the friendships I have made, another rewarding part of blogging for me has been the emails I have received. You have sent me decorating questions, letters of encouragement, and pictures of projects completed based on RDH tutorials. I have to admit, it is thrilling to know you are actually inspired by the projects I have completed as well as the tutorials I have written.

Here is a recent email from a follower I wanted to share. Paula from Sweet Pea used my Spring Basket Tutorial to make a center piece for her mom’s birthday dinner. From the pictures below you can see Paula’s finished basket turned out a bit different than mine. To me this is what crafting is all about – seeing something which someone else made and then using your imagination to make it your own.

So again – thank you from the bottom of my heart for the past two years! Please keep those emails, comments and suggestions coming. I hope to continue to create, design and inspire for many years to come.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Young Girl’s Bedroom Update

Over the past several months I have had the pleasure of working with a friend on updating a few areas of her daughter’s bedroom. Her daughter had outgrown the pink and purple color palette and wanted a more updated and fun look.

My friend purchased Pottery Barn green polka dot curtains as well as blue and brown duvet covers she found on clearance to use as the starting point for this room redo. The duvet covers were used to create pillows and small curtains for a bookshelf.

After a trip to Calico Corners, we decided to add green and brown ball fringe as well as two fabrics – one striped and one floral print – to tie the entire space together.

This room redo incorporated many sewing projects including adding fringe to both edges of the curtains, creating a new window seat cushion, designing custom embroidered and appliqued pillows, and making small curtains hung from a tension rods to conceal the contents of a book shelf.

To bring the window seat fabric to another part of the room, custom Euro shams – striped on one side and floral on the other – and a large embroidered body pillow were sewn for the bed. By making the Euro shams from two different fabrics, my friend’s daughter can decorate her bed in all different combinations.

As you can see, this space is a great example of how mixing custom pieces and embellishing store bought items can create a great looking room. This was such a fun project and the best part was hearing how pleased my friend’s daughter was with the outcome!

Linking up to House Tour Party at No Minimalist Here
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Blue Glass Lamp

Not too long ago I shared my lamp moving adventure – a small project which morphed into an entire day of rearranging! At the end of this story I was left with one side table in our guest bedroom in need of a lamp. With lots of family coming to visit soon, finding something to fill this space became a priority.

I looked in all the normal places but just did not find anything (which was not expensive) that would work. I had all but given up when I happen to come across a pretty blue glass lamp while checking out a Craig’s list item (more on what this was later).

What caught my eye were the size of the lamp (almost 36 inches tall), the round silk shade, and the blue glass globe. I was not sure about the brass but figured I could always change it with some paint later. The lamp was part of a set found at an estate sale but unfortunately the other lamp’s globe was cracked along the bottom and the shade was stained. I ended up buying the one lamp and other item for the price of the other item – a free lamp!

As I mentioned above, I originally planned to use this lamp in the guest bedroom. However, once I brought it home I realized it just did not work with the green/blue cart I have for the bedside table. So I did some more lamp rearranging and brought back the original white ceramic lamp to the guest bedroom.

The blue glass lamp is now right at home in the master bedroom.

To bring blue to another part of this neutral space I added a silk pillow which I already had (still another story!) to the bed.

I think this little touch of blue is just what this room needed.

I am even growing to like the brass. Don’t tell Mr. RDH though because he finds it hard to understand why I like a brass lamp and don’t like the brass ceiling fan in the same room!

Linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch Met Monday

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