Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shade clutches

I had an inquiry on the "Need Help?" page, above, about shade clutch systems, and I thought I'd just copy and paste the question and my response here for anyone else who seeks information.  This reply is just a beginning of course!  There is much to know about lift systems and frankly I'm loath to stray from my standard.
So here, below, is the exchange from the comments section on the "Need Help?" page.
I would love feedback about your experience with clutches in the comment section to this post.

How do you determine which clutch system to use? Which do you use most often and where do you purchase them?
Thank you,
  1. Hi Kathy-
    We mostly use Rollease's traversing clutch. We make a lot of shades, so we buy components and assemble them ourselves. Designers' Resource Group in Lodi NJ is a Rollease distributor and I live close enough that I can usually pick up the components at wholesale when I'm in the area and eliminate shipping charges. It's a fraction of the cost that way.
    Rowley Company also sells components for this traversing clutch system in smaller quantities.
    But if you don't use them often, you might find yourself climbing the learning curve every time!- and might be better off buying your clutches pre-assembled. From Rollease, you can get the traversing clutch from their Expressly Yours program.
    Other clutch systems include a variety of offerings from Dofix, Rowley, Safe-T-Shade, and Textol, as well as other Rollease systems.. You can buy most of these either pre-assembled or as kits.
    I have in my workroom kits for ALL of these systems so I can gain experience with the unfamiliar ones, but I'm afraid now they'll have to wait until after the holiday rush for me to have time to experiment.
    We've been assembling so many Rollease traversing clutches for so long now that we can do them very quickly, and have experienced every conceivable glitch so troubleshooting is straightforward.
    Factors influencing which system to use:
    Aesthetics- if you can see it from the outside;
    Available mounting depth- some need quite large boards or headrails and others are very compact;
    Weight- some have weight and size restrictions;
    Ease of assembly;
    Installer's aptitude;
    Cost, including shipping charges;
    Need for special tools or equipment.
    I hope this helps!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bias banded shade

OK folks, I've been trying to get back into the swing of working!  Last week was a hectic pace keeping up with Thanksgiving deadlines.  Now I'm taking a breath and doing my first blog post in a month or more.
So I'm going to keep it simple and feature this adorable bias banded flat roman shade.
We needed to work with the available fabric, so we could not be sure the plaid would match itself on the vertical and horizontal intersection.  I sent a bunch of photos to the designer, Suelyn Chase of Cottages to Castles, so she could choose a layout for the bias plaid.  She decided to apply trim to the join to disguise the fact that the plaid doesn't align with itself.  Since the shade will always be up, it's almost a moot point anyhow.
The little blue trim covers the seam.
Before sewing the bias strips to the floral, I applied a fusible fabric stabilizer backing, from Rowley Company, to keep the band from warping.  My Dofix iron made easy work of that process!
The Dofix also came in handy for making the returns.  I used 4" fusible buckram, also from Rowley Company, to fabricate the little flaps without sewing.  I chose an area of the floral that was just the solid blue background.
Then I used Dofix fusible velcro loop tape on the flap, and stapled sticky-back hook tape to the board.  Easy-peasy!  My new tools and materials make short work of what used to be a tedious, time-consuming, and tiresome step.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I've posted this on Facebook, both personal and Leatherwood Design Co pages.  But I realized I should post it here as well, for anyone who reads this but not Facebook.
I thought it's time to leave a quick post to explain where I've been..... back and forth between NY and PA sitting watch with my father who declined suddenly and rapidly after a recent hospitalizaton. He is resting comfortably and peacefully at home as we await his final journey, which will be soon. He occasionally raises an eyebrow or mumbles in response to the ambient conversation, so we know he is at some level still aware of our presence. I am grateful that both he and we have had the opportunity to say goodbye- not everyone gets that precious gift. We had a wonderful family gathering last Sunday, his last day of real consciousness, and he was content that we had one last party and was ready to go.
I'm focusing on keeping up with work, keeping myself and John fed and rested, and spending as much time as possible in PA with Dad and our family. I'm forever indebted to my step-siblings who have gone above and beyond as the most devoted caregivers imaginable.
Here is Dad with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, at a recent gathering at the rehab place, before going home to hospice care. I probably will not be back here to follow up on this post until after he has gone. I and my family are at peace with this process and wish him a heart full of gladness and joy as he takes this final journey.