Mini Portfolio

Saturday, May 8, 2010

definition: French Blackout Lining method


As in many industries we Drapery Makers throw around terms that most others don’t understand. So I’d like to try to define some of those for you as best I can.

Today, I’d like to help you understand what is meant by the term


French Blackout Lining Method – basically, it means a way line either panels or a top treatment to achieve light blocking. I avoided the use of the term “blackout” here – because no window treatment can achieve  totally darkness, but with many methods we can come close.

This method of blackout achieves the effect of Blackout lining (a lining that is created by fusing a “rubberized” backing on to lining) without the stiffness and limitations of that product.

It is achieved by using 4 layers of fabric to create this effect: First is your Face or Decorator fabric, Second, a layer of Drapery Interlining (a flannel type product), next is a layer of Black Lining, followed by a layer of standard Drapery lining. 126_2690 By using these layers you create a nearly blackout effect. The key to this process is a tightly woven Black Lining. You can tell this by holding a flashlight behind the lining – the less light you see coming through the better.

I prefer this method to lining panels because they hang better and look very plush and rich. It’s also a great insulation factor for both heat and cold. It also creates much weight in you treatment so make sure that it is secured properly when installing.

The drawback to this method is that is much more labor intensive thus costing more upfront but I believe that the benefits of protecting your drapery fabric and insulation out weight the cost in the long run.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Springing into Panels!!!

Yes, It’s coming up Panels all over my studio! All my upcoming projects are Panels – with a few pillows thrown in! Panels can be simple or elaborate, they add a splash of design and color to any room! And there are more pleat styles than I can name – but by far the three most popular (in my area at least)


 Pinch Pleat  Sketch curtesy of Jackie VonTobel Design Directory


Euro (or Fan) Pleat


Goblet Pleat

Design Directory Sketches 508 



Here are some the newest project fabrics that have come in here at the studio!

horizonal striperustgoldbrown126_2687

This fabric was used to make these reverse tuck panels (a great option to Flat panels – the small tucks give a bit of fullness even when fully closed!)






This is the project I am starting today: A pair of stationary Goblet pleated panels w/Functioning Pinch Pleated sheers underneath!



Next weeks Panels: Functioning Reverse Tuck Panels for 10ft wide windows








Week of the 17th – I will be working on these fun panels on the left w/Grommet Tops and Lead Edge Beaded Trim! On the Right is a Window Seat Cushion for the same room (Body is Pink & Cording is the print).  Also that week I have another set of panels for the Master Bedroom in same home – fabric is on back order. And the following week it’s 2 more teen bedrooms for same family (no fabrics in studio yet!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Projects in and leaving the studio!


Finally, this year is getting into a familiar groove! Jobs are beginning to come in and go out on a more regular basis! Here’s a peek at a few.



tailoredbedskirtcontrast pleats






Tailored bedskirt w/contrast pleats


Euro Shams & Pillows for Client’s Bed

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Euro Pleats

Also, a pair of Euro Pleated panels out of this fabric (panel ready for delivery on right)


Slipcovered cushions on recliner chairs & Accent Pillow









Close up shots of Knife Pleated Ruffled Pillow on Left and Box Pleated Lumbar Pillow on Right.

Also, event Notice: the 2010 Designer Showcase home is open to the Public April 30th – May 23rd.  More info can be found @ Tulsa Designer Showcase. Can’t wait to let you know of my involvement in several other charitable projects around town as they become available.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Have seat!!

It always amazes me how thing seem to come in groups in the Studio. I remember a couple of months ago I had 5 pairs of panels in the shop at the same time, all different clients – then it seems like I always get a rush of red and green combos as the holidays approach, and sometimes all the jobs have brown as the dominate color….

Well, lately it’s been – Chairs! Thought I share some of the fun things I’ve been doing with them in the studio.


Really cute way to dress up some dining chairs by doing the backs and seats as separate pieces it makes for a more relaxed look!


How do you make this chair look more homey??





Check it out this slipcovered chair looks great both from the front and the back!!! (PS these chairs are going in this years Designer Showcase here in Tulsa!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Can you believe – 8yrs of Cord & Pleat Design?

April 1st was the 8yr anniversary for Cord & Pleat Design, Inc.! It’s been an amazing journey for me and I’m still lovin it!! I remind myself how blessed I am to work in an industry that I love and that is constantly changing and also to have such amazing clients and colleagues! 126_2620

And as spring is finally coming on us here in Oklahoma – changes are happening here at the Studio too… I recently opened an internet shop – on Etsy to sell some small items that I make from scraps left over from projects and super great buys I find on my fabric hunting sprees!

Etsy shop:


Suggestions are welcome on items that I will hand-craft for my online shop…please stop by check it out and add it to your list of favorites!

I am celebrating April by offering an anniversary special – 20% Discount on labor if we book your project in April. Call me to set your private appointment to begin creating your custom treatments for your home or office!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Perfect fit….

Have you ever looked at a beautifully dressed window and thought something was off? just not right about it?

Well, more than likely it was the proportions & fit of the treatment that were causing this effect. Proportion and fit is as important in your window treatments as it is in your clothes. think of your window treatments as “clothes” for your home.

Let me show your an example to help you see the difference in poor proportion and proper proportion. Take a look the following sketches and then I’ll discuss which treatment is in proportion with the window.

These window are all the same size but as you can see the valances are are different lengths.


If your proportions are to small your treatment can come across as skimpy and may look as thought you didn’t have enough fabric or as an after thought!


If your proportions are to large your window can look heavy and over done. While “lavish” is wonderful in Interior Design – making the proportions larger will not achieve that effect. Instead focus on rich looking fabrics and plush trim.


You guessed it – This proportion is the winner! Both the side panels and the valanceare in proportion with the window!

How can you achieve the “perfect” proportion in your home? By using a professional Window Treatment designer and/or interior designer can assist you with finding the “perfect fit” for your windows!

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Off" the Walls

As a window treatment professional many times I am called on to come up with creative or unusual ways of installing treatments.

In this application I was asked to install treatments on 100 year old plaster walls. Trust me that put “fear” in my heart – if you don’t know a “small” hole in plaster walls can become a “large” issue both time and money wise!

Instead of mounting the valances to the wall, we were able to attach them by toe nailing screws through the moldings above the windows into the mount boards of the valances.

In this case it definitely paid off for both the client and myself – that part of my job as professional Window Treatment Designer/Fabricator is to think outside of the box – or in this case “off” the wall!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pushing to the “Extreme”

It’s quiet and peaceful as I sit in my studio and write this post – the total opposite of how it was a week ago. The “rollercoaster” of ABC’s Extreme Home MakeOver rolled into Tulsa Jan 28th along with an ice/snow storm.

In conjunction w/Simmons Homes Extreme began a project for a deserving family right here in Tulsa. As soon as I heard about the project, I jumped on board – excited for once to have the time in my schedule to give back to a community I love.

If I had to describe my experience in one word it would be = ROLLERCOASTER

Here’s a timeline of my experience.

Jan 15th: I saw a post on Twitter to volunteer, filled out form = Excited!

Jan 19th: Attended “Pep Rally” for the event with several friends, none of us knowing if we were going to be selected. = Hopeful!

Jan 22nd: Notified that I indeed was chosen as one of the volunteers for the project (out of over 1500) = Thrilled!

Jan 25th: Emailed reminder of my fabrication skills = Anxious!

Jan 26th: Received call from the “design liaison” stating that I would indeed be working on fabricating for the home and would I be willing to be one of two head seamstresses on this project. = Ecstatic!

Jan 28th: Build started! Ice and Snow Storm arrived too! = Nervous!

Jan 29th: Received call of seamstress meeting on Sun at 2pm; Still snowing! = Comforted!

Jan 31st: Meeting. Project overview was given to us by the design liaison and one of the designers/architect – Cory. None of the show’s “stars” were present. As a “head” seamstress I assigned projects as best I could with what knowledge I had available as to skill levels. fabrics would be available at 10:30am on Monday.

I went directly from the meeting to the workroom to clean and prep for the “volunteers” I had coming to assist in the project on the next day. One of my wonderful volunteers, Anoli,also went with me to assist in cleaning. = Anticipating!

Feb 1st : After an excited and sleepless nite, early to the workroom to continue prepping for the next two days. I finished cleaning and organizing and worked up work orders so I could keep track of the projects that were being worked on in my studio. Fabrics finally were ready and picked up around noon.

Volunteers we re arriving at my studio when I arrived back from picking up fabrics, we all knew this would be a 126_2615long two days. My dear friend, ShaRhonda, brought taco soup, chips, and drinks for myself and volunteers – great to have food in a crock pot that was ready when ever someone was hungry.

We worked hard through the first day a126_2616nd nite – cutting, serging (and of course my serger decided not to play nice ) and began to assemble projects. Our projects consisted of window treatments, panels and bedding for Master bedroom and pillows for the Master and one of the childrens rooms. My wonderful h126_2618usband, came and did the woodwork needed for the window treatments. The volunteers were great, wonderful talented ladies, 126_2617Anoli, Karen, Jodi, Patti – first day volunteers. We worked late into the night and two of us even bunked down for a couple of hours in my studio. = Overwhelmed!

Feb 2nd: 2 volunteers and myself, Anoli, and Karen to start, later we added Marilyn and Patti. The design liaison called and added pillows for another room to our126_2614 list as well. Unfortunately, I began to get very sick and this began to hinder progress, I called in a favor from another workroom pro, Judy to come and assist, by then things were looking rather dim as to the completion by deadline, so I called the other head seamstress for assistance and she made the decision to take the work to other teams for completion. = Exhausted, Frustrated, Sick

For several days I was extremely disappointed and frustrated for myself and my amazing volunteers to not be able to complete the projects – but after some time and reflection I believe that we did the best job possible in the time allotted and the circumstances we faced.

In spite, of the “rollercoaster” I am honored to have assisted in the projects and process and I met some wonderful ladies in my community with whom I plan to keep in contact.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Photo Feature: Shaped Box Pleated Valances

I thought I’d start the new year by starting a new feature – I’ll share photos of a project and discuss any special issues, concerns or issues that were considered in creating just the “right” look for the project. Okay, so much for talk …let’s get to it!

9-12-2007 (2)

9-12-2007 (1)

On this bay window the decorator asked me to create 3 shaped box pleated valances w/bias banding, micro cording and decorative trim. 2 small and 1 large.

My task was to take the “theme” fabric and make sure that the showed well on both the flat scalloped sections and the pleated sections of the valances. I wanted the scene to fill out the section but not look too crowed. Due to the size difference on the scalloped sections it was necessary to chose 2 different sections of the fabric to “showcase”. Both the end sections (small) feature the same scene and both sections on the center (large) valance are a different scene. I tied it all together by featuring the same scene on the pleats. This created a cohesive treatment and allowed more of the fabric to show.