Friday, November 22, 2013

Color!- on fab fabric Friday!

This project with Katherine Stern is one of my favorite projects of all time.  First, Katherine's color sense and overall aesthetic jives totally with my own style and preferences.  (Click on the link to check out her website- if you love color and pattern, you'll love her work!)  The room is not quite finished- walls, floors, furniture, and windows are done but accessories, artwork, and the grand piano are still to be installed.
We fabricated mock hobbled valances to provide continuity across a large space, originally two separate rooms, with 7 windows of 5 different sizes.  The bay area at the end will soon have a black grand piano, so there are solar shades under the valances to protect it from the sun.
The fabric repeat was perfect for this style, allowing the pattern to flow uninterrupted.  I totally forgot to take a close-up to show how the valance has depth and dimension- next week I hope to have a chance to get some more shots.  This is the closest I got:

Prints are not always on-grain, but it was critical to cut the strips perfectly according to pattern, so I used a transparent ruler to draw a line from point to point across the width.  Although the line was curved, the fabric was stapled on straight, and the slight "smile" didn't affect the outcome of the product.
Katherine wanted the valances to have depth and dimension.  She didn't want the fold sections to be flat and taut, but instead look shingled.  To achieve that, I used bump but didn't line the entire strip the way I learned in Ann Johnson's webinar; rather, I cut 9" strips, and rolled the bottom half so it would make the fold kick out.  It worked perfectly.  (That's what I forgot to take a close-up of!)  To keep it from slipping, I used a tag gun to secure the fold in a few spots before stapling it on. 
I marked my strips "bottom", "A", and "B", and laid them out on the table along with the bump strips, of which I used three different sizes and folds, so I layered them in the order in which they would be used, to keep from getting them mixed up.  Then I worked one at a time, hanging them on my Workroom Valet so I could sit on a chair for finishing the ends. 
You can't tell from the photos, but the center window of the bay was a tough one to treat.  The molding went into and just past the angle in the wall.  I had the valance frame constructed so this could be taken into account on-site and have some flexibility.  The legs did not go all the way back to the back of the dustboard.  I had the dustboard made narrower than the molding, and the face was added on separately and was slightly wider than the molding to molding measurement, so it wouldn't look too small.

 The spaces between the bay windows were different, so we nudged each of the three valances in different directions: you don't notice it, but the valances are not centered on the windows; however, the gaps between them are equal, which was the only way to deal with the imbalances. 
I can't wait to see this space when it's all finished!  As the installer said- "This job was food for my soul!"

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