Saturday, March 18, 2017

Westchester Home Design Awards

I am so happy to report that two designers with whom I work have been named finalists in the 2017 Westchester Home Design Awards!  It's a thrill to see one's work in a space that has been recognized as one of the top three in its category in the county.  I'm so fortunate to work with these (and many other) talented, driven, and committed professionals.  When they let loose their creativity, they allow the work of so many fabricators to shine. 

Katherine Stern was nominated for the category Library or Home Office.  Katherine and I brainstormed to create some of the most exciting roman shades I've ever made.  You can read about them on this blog post which details how we broke up the 54" wide fabric and re-constructed the pattern so it would fit in the space.   Click on this article link and scroll down to see the entire room after it was finished, and the brilliant way in which Katherine has used color and industrial metals to create what she calls "a dynamic tension."

 In the category Best Use of Small Spaces, designer Denise Wenacur was nominated for transforming a bonus room into this tranquil meditation space.  We fabricated the roman shades and window seat cushions.  I love how the light enhances the texture of the pale grey linen blend which was lined in a sheer.   Click on this article link and scroll down to Denise's entry, to see gorgeous photos of the whole room, completed. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Grey velvet swags, installed!

I'm happy to say that the grey velvet swags were successfully installed today!  Thanks to Danny at Fabric Factory Outlet for sending me his photo.
I've made a variety of arched treatments before, but once I began making this, I realized that I had never actually made arched SWAGS.  Thanks to the excellent instructions in Ann Johnson's books on swag fabrication, I was able to draft these swags perfectly on the first try.
The side swags were pretty tricky.  I read the instructions a dozen times before starting.  I've made asymmetrical swags, but never with an arched top.  It was fun!
The face of the board was covered in grey lining....
.....and the outward-facing part covered in white.  The horizontal board is there to help the frame stay put; it was removed after the arch was installed.
I marked the arch with masking tape in 1/2" increments so I'd have symmetrical reference points for each side.
 The reference points allowed me to go back and forth and make small adjustments evenly on each side.
The side swags were attached first, starting with the flat section.  When stapling mirror image swags, I do both together, one pleat at a time, so they can be pleated the same way.
It was pretty thrilling to see the pleats to fall into shape almost immediately!
I used cardboard tack strip to even out the center where the pleats stack up.  After the center swag was stapled, I flipped it back and filled in the gaps with little pieces of cardboard, then secured it all with hot glue. 
Actually the hot glue made a good filler too.  I wanted the top curve to be sleek.  Once the glue cooled, I trimmed it smooth with scissors.
To shape the jabots to the frame, I made a little paper mock-up of the jabot silhouette and cut the shape of the frame.
After the jabots were pleated (using my Parkhill jig), I cut them to shape, leaving a board allowance for the returns and first pleat.
Since the jabots followed the frame precisely, they were easy to attach to the face.  Only the return and part of the outermost pleats were stapled up onto the dustboard; the rest was attached to the front to reduce bulk.
It didn't seem likely that anyone would climb up and see the raw edges, but I covered them will twill tape just to be safe.
The dustboard cover was stapled just behind all the tack strip build-up which shaped the top.  It's fun to staple it on then flip it over right side up!
It's a wrap!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A busy hallway!

No matter how much workroom space you have, you always wish you had more, right?
I'm very lucky that in addition to my workroom space, I also have a L-O-N-G hallway, and I use the wall for drafting.  Recently I've been drafting those arched swags I mentioned yesterday.
I leveled the frame on a workroom stand and taped out the shape, reference points, and hung plumb lines.
 Using Ann Johnson's Anatomy of a Swag Vol. 2 as my guide, I draped chain weight to determine the shape and proportions of the swags.  This took a LOT of experimentation.  There were 3 fixed points: a center finished length of 18", a short crossover point of 15", and a finished width of 106".  Those numbers determined the shape of the swags.
As I was in the thick of it, along came two (TWO) Fed Ex drivers: one in the normal delivery truck with a big order from Rowley Company, and the other in a semi with a well-packaged 11' custom Ripplefold pole from J L Anthony!  (wait'll you see it!  it's spectacular)
We opened the box with the pole to be sure it was in perfect condition, and I went back to pattern-making.  As I perfected the chain weight draping, I recorded the measurements on the worksheets in Ann's book.
The masking tape was handy for making notes as I worked.

I taped gridded paper to the wall and traced the outlines of the swags.
All those tapes and draped chains were distracting, so I removed all but the actual swag shapes, to be sure I was satisfied with the proportions and silhouette.  Next- creating the swag pattern.......