Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Window Treatments hanging from what? Knobs, Rods, Hooks, and Whatever Else You Can Think Of

There are many different ways to hang a window treatment these days. Unique ideas can really help to achieve that "wow" factor you are going for. This post will focus on unconventional as well as conventional ways to hang window treatments.
Drapery Hardware can vary from a knob to a full length drapery rod with finials, rings and brackets. Materials used to manufacture the hardware range from metal, stainless steel, resin, and wood.
The ways to use these elements in window treatment designs are only limited by your imagination!

The Helser Brothers have come up with some Old World Style wrought iron scrolls in their Artigiani Collection using two back to back finials attached to a vertical finial mount bracket. The design shown in this dining room area curved bay window alcove with a multi-layered tray ceiling calls for something special. Silk, chenille and wrought iron definitely answer that call. Note the use of the paint on the tray ceiling calls attention to the eye and draws you upward toward that beautiful scroll hardware. The use of interlining with the silk adds body to the panels.
Go check out the entire Helser Brothers Line of drapery hardware on their website.

Adding drama to a particular area of a home can be done with the use of silk, fullness, interlining, and long lengths.
This design was found on CustomCreationsbySheri from Dysert Iowa. These dramatic silk drapery panels are punctuated with an overlay valance creating depth. The full length panels with a contrasting pleat insert bring drama and warmth to this formal living room area. The rounded shape of the window grouping is framed by the wooden rods with finials. The multi layered design has the panels hung by a rod pocket versus wooden rings. The overlay valance is also hung by a rod pocket instead of rings.  Notice the placement of the pattern on the overlay valance.

The following window treatment design for a dining area, focuses on the use of pattern and color to bring interest to the otherwise plain decor. The drapery hardware used is a small diameter metal rod with metal rings and a corner joint that makes it a one piece unit allowing the crown molding to be highlighted and uninterrupted. Note the width of the drapery wouldn't allow the panels to cover the window space if they were drawn. These drapery panels remain stationary, but provide just enough pizazz to complete the room.
To see more designs from this Texas based designer, visit their site here.

For a modern sleek look, it can be a challenge to find a hardware piece to compliment the space without overdoing it. One of my "go to" drapery hardware companies is JAB. Most of their lines are contemporary and modern. A favorite of contemporary clients is the Metropolitan line. JAB is a European company with roots in Germany.
The image below depicts the JAB stainless steel flat curtain rod with a low profile and clean lines.

 The following image was found on Pinterest and is an idea of how to solve a window treatment for an arched window frame. The sheer is mounted to the wall with small rings that are screwed into the plaster. There are small sewn portions of the fabric that are gathered onto the rings with a piece of thread wrapped around each ring.  Many more variations of this can be accomplished with heavier fabrics that are lined. The dips in the fabric can be spaced closer together so that minimal light shows through at the top of the design. Hooks can be attached to the back of the treatment and attach to each of the rings.
The image below was found on google and represents another variation of using knobs to attach a valance to the wall. The soft flowing folds are just enough to block out harsh rays of sun that come in through the upper portion of the window, yet still allow plenty of view.
This image was found on
Knobs like the ones in the valance example can be purchased as "tiebacks" or "holdbacks" from the Kirsch Designer Metals Collection.  They are available in two sizes 3" and 4" diameter.

Finials can also be used as knobs when attached to the Kirsch finial adapters as shown in the image below of a curved bay window with stationary drapery panels mounted on the finials. This design eliminates the need for a rod with multiple bends and curves. It is a bit labor intensive during installation as there are 5 to 6 finials on each panel and there are 6 panels.

The image below is an example of a traditional rod used in a non-traditional way. The length of the rod is just enough to hold the stationary panel in place with finials, rings and brackets.
The image below uses resin holdbacks mounted on 6" posts for a traditional style window treatment that was needed above plantation shutters. Dupioni embroidered silk swags that are hung from holdback posts provide a less structured approach to the scarf type window treatment. Pieces of wadded up wrapping paper were used in longer lengths of the scarf to add body and to make it stay in place.
Hopefully this post has inspired you to think "outside the box" when it comes to the use of different types of hardware to mount your window treatments for a look that really says "wow"!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Workroom Use of Industrial Sewing Machines

A Creative Touch Draperies & Interiors workroom has several industrial sewing machines.
This post will focus on these 5 machines:
straight stitch, walking foot, 5 thread serger, blind hemmer and the tacker.
The bulk of daily work is accomplished on the straight stitch machine.
Some call this machine a lock stitch.
The straight stitch currently used in the workroom is manufactured by the Chinese company Yamata.  This machine has been very good with no problems using it in the 8 years in use. There are many other machines out there in the industry that are much more expensive than this, but this machine was purchased new and hasn't had problems so far.  There are several different needle plates allowing use of large sized needles (up to 21 or 22). Also, useful are various attachments that are available for this machine such as a ruffler, hemmer and binder and miscellaneous feet like welt feet, zipper feet, edge foot etc.
Chinese made Yamata straight stitch
There are times when you have a project that has something very heavy that requires a straight stitch and a nice walking foot machine is a good thing to have on hand. To see one in action below there is a link to a video that will demonstrate a walking foot sewing together leather goods.

Juki LU-563 Walking Foot Machine
The Juki LU-563 is a real workhorse. This machine will stitch heavy leather and upholstery. Also handy are the welt cord feet that go with this wonderful workhorse machine which assist when adding a welt cord to things like a slipcover or heavy pillow cover with  multiple layers of heavy fabric.
The video at this link shows a walking foot in action:

The serger is another machine that gets used almost daily. This machine uses 5 strands of thread and it also cuts the edge of the fabric straight and finishes it off with a nice edge stitch. It sews up to 2400 stitches per minute which saves time. It's great for sewing together widths of drapery that are being matched up on a pattern.
Juki 5 thread serger makes a beautiful clean edged stitch

The blind hemmer machine is invaluable when sewing side and bottom hems into drapery. U.S Blindstitch makes a very hardy blind stitch machine that definitely cuts down on seam tear-outs and redoes that were previously happening often with other machines that were being used to perform hemming.  The tear out time for this machine's stitch is fast because the machine uses a looper stitch similar to the serger's looper stitch making it very easy to remove with the pull of just one thread. This machine uses one single thread and sews a complex blind stitch that pierces through multiple layers of fabric to provide a clean look on the front side of the project.  A Creative Touch uses this machine for both drapery side hems and bottom hems on drapery panels.
The 2:1 stitch setting is used doubling the space between stitches versus the 1:1 which is used for garments like hems on pants.
U.S. Blindstitch machine saves time when a tear out is needed
This machine makes an effortless single thread blind (hidden) stitch that can be adjusted to the depth and width you want.  The look of the stitch is very neat.

Proving to be a real time saver for pleated drapery headers is the tacker machine. This machine can be a bit scary to use the first few times. I wear safety glasses when using it and this really helps with some of the fear! This machine will sew a neat tack very easily through the layers of pleated fabric on a drapery header.

Singer Tacker machine
 The shop is a bit messy, but that's what happens when you have work to do!!
A bit messy - sorry!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Walking foot sewing machine in action

Full service Upholstery

A Creative Touch Draperies & Interiors offers full service upholstery from a small bench or window  seat to a full size sectional sofa or a room full of furniture.
This post focuses on several project photos from the past to give you an idea of the details that are involved in the upholstery process.
Chair after re-upholstery service & wood color change
Original Chair "before"
The client wanted the color of the wood changed to something more neutral and the fabric a bit more neutral as well.
The back view of the original chair before we reupholstered it
This is the ottoman that goes along with the chair above

The details on the wood color change are shown here

Before slipcovers

After slipcovers
Close up of slipcover

Other upholstery projects are shown below:
Chair "Before" upholstery service
Chair "after" upholstery service
Bench seat "before" adding upholstered seat cushion

Window Seat "after" adding upholstered seat cushion, pillows and window treatment  

Cushion re-covering projects are shown below:

Original chair before the cushions were re-covered with new fabric

Chairs after cushions were re-covered with new fabric

Another view of the chairs with new cushions

 Close up of pillows and cushions

Sofa cushions "after" recovering them with new fabric to match window treatments
Bench before upholstery services

Bench after upholstery services
Bench before upholstery services

Bench After upholstery services

Chair after upholstery services

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Duralee Designer John Robshaw Collection Highlighted

If you love fabrics that look handmade and are imperfectly printed with a tribal feeling, then the Collection by John Robshaw from Duralee just might be a collection you'll love.  As a lover of the old world techniques, John travels and connects with artisans from many different cultures. He prefers to use imperfect printing techniques that provide a human touch element. He uses the color Indigo liberally and often mixing it with reds, oranges, and browns.  John impacts communities overseas where he builds relationships with his artisans and gets involved in their daily lives by attending weddings and other family celebrations.
John enjoys blending colors, processes and designs from each culture. He redesigns them and mixes up the processes in unique ways yet he is able to retain their essence. In piggybacking these designs and techniques with each other or with his own ideas, what emerges is new and fresh, and yet retains that sense of tradition and the handmade.
The Duralee collection offers something for every color choice.
The image below capitalizes on the tribal aspects of his designs by showing off animal prints, tribal symbolism and old world printing techniques.
John Robshaw for Duralee Fabrics

Duralee pattern 21035
Duralee Pattern 15453
Duralee Pattern 21038-157

Duralee Pattern 21040-794

Duralee Pattern 21034-193
For more on John Robshaw's collection upcoming 2015, see his blog and website

Spring 2015 Siam Collection

A collage of Siam 2015 Collection from John Robshaw

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fabric Designer Uses Color to express seasons

One of the fabric suppliers A Creative Touch Draperies & Interiors uses is Duralee. Recently Duralee commissioned an award winning designer to help with a collection of fabrics that is just, in my mind, amazing!
Her collection combines bright colors with white backgrounds giving it a clean, modern, chic look with the vibrant colors added in for a pow! The designer is Eileen Kathryn Boyd.

Eileen Kathryn Boyd for Duralee
Her use of color will make you smile!
In the photo below, the use of yellow with purple and aqua just sing of Spring!
To see the complete Duralee Eileen Kathryn Boyd's collection.
Eileen K Boyd collection from Duralee

Eileen Kathryn Boyd has her own blog with so much to offer anyone that loves color.
The drapery and pillow fabrics are shown below:
Duralee pattern 21009-610 
Duralee Pattern 15379-618

Duralee pattern 15386-246
The chair cushion and pillow fabrics in this photo are included below:
Duralee pattern 15371-618
Here are a few more images using Eileen Kathryn Boyd's collection in other colorways

Duralee Collection from Eileen K Boyd

Duralee Eileen K. Boyd's collection
The drapery fabric is shown here:
Duralee pattern 21008-204
The bench fabric is shown here:
Duralee pattern 15390-588