Interior Design

Friday, March 27, 2020


When I was about 10 years old, my mother gave me the best gift of my lifetime. She taught me how to sew! My mother was a seamstress as was her sister and their mother before them and many other relatives as well. My first project was a blue cape for my doll edged with red binding and a red cross embroidered on it. I can still see myself holding that little cape and sewing a basting stitch to affix the binding. From that little cape I blossomed into an accomplished seamstress, dressing all my dolls with homemade fashions. By the time I was in junior high, I was making clothes for myself. In high school I had my own sewing machine set up in my bedroom and I could whip out a dress in a day for any occasion.

Time passed and in 1984, I purchased my decorating business and I soon found that my knowledge of sewing, how a garment is put together, helped me immensely in designing window treatments for my clients. I could visualize how the fabrics would be sewn together to make the finished product. When I designed a valance or top treatment that was not the norm, I would go to the workroom and together we would devise a plan on creating the new vision. I had developed a love of beautiful fabrics over the years and I was thrilled when the new fabric books would come in. I would sit down and put different designs together to envision new looks for my clients. And when a fabric book became discontinued, I would find it hard to part with it.

I eventually solved the discontinued fabric problem by donating them to local quilting groups at the Lutheran churches or taking them to schools for the teachers to use. I continue that practice today. This past summer, I decided to take a quilting class to refresh my skills in making quilts. I had only dabbled in quilt making over the years and I wanted to see if I would like to get back into it. That class got me hooked again! And I’ve discovered 2 lovely stores in town that offer quilting fabrics and classes. Instead of mindless TV watching, I now retreat to my spare bedroom where I’ve set up a space for quilt making!

But what to do with the finished quilts? A perfect solution is to use them for decorating purposes around the home. They can be thrown over a table for a tablecloth or hung in the bath as a shower curtain! Quilts that are worn can be cut up and made into pillows or used to cover a chair seat. They can be used as spreads for a bed or neatly folded at the foot of a bed. Or how about a stack of finished quilts displayed in a cupboard with the doors open!

As I’ve visited the quilt shops the last couple of months, there have been lots of patterns and fabrics available for the fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Drape one of those completed holiday projects over the dining room table; add a couple of candles and some gourds and you have an instant centerpiece!

And here’s a lasting project for the whole year! I just finished the perfect quilt sized for hanging, 34” square. Install an adjustable black metal rod over a console or desk in your foyer. Sew a rod pocket onto the back of your quilt and hang it on the rod. Then devise a plan to make 11 more 34” square quilts, one for each month or occasion of the year! Every month you will be redecorating and visitors to your home will instantly know you are an avid quilter! Until next time, have a happy decorating day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Have you been watching the new crafting show on NBC, MAKING IT?  The two hosts are kind of silly but I enjoy the creative aspect of it.  The show is loosely based on British competitions like Great British Bake Off and another Sewing show.  Why not have our own USA Crafting competitions?
 I've been watching Making it and last night, the interior designer ( and I am one of those) created a She Shed with a wall that looked like a quilt.  She painted wood slats in bright colors and then arranged them in a chevron pattern on the wall. She won the challenge this week and well deserved.  If you missed the show, you can watch the video
This isn't just about a new show on TV, there is a whole history here.  Back in the spring,
Craftsy Unlimited offered a free weekend and then a membership with 4 $25 bonuses for product, I watched and then signed up.  Then it converted to Bluprint and I've been watching Making it. Pat Sloan talked about it on her blog  Many the comments on her blog were negative about Craftsy being sold, etc etc.   People dont like change.  There is comfort in the old ways but the world is moving ahead at a pace that it is hard to keep up with. 
As an interior designer, when we travel I look for quilting designs in buildings and walks and store windows.  I appreciate painted doorways and stained glass windows.  I did not know that Craftsy had been purchased by NBC but now I look forward to future shows like Making it.  It could open up a whole world of shows that high light the craft industry.  Making it is sponsored by Etsy and Bluprint.  Imagine all the traffic that is going to Etsy now from folks who didn't know about it.
I intend to enjoy the journey! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


I've always wanted a serger but never gave it a thought to look for one.  Until my LQS, Stitcher's Quest, had a serger event at the shop.  She brought in a dozen Bernina L460 sergers with a Bernina trainer and set up two events.  I attended the first one and those sergers were sold in a flash!  I conveniently put my name on the one I was using and went home with it! 
So after my purchase, then what?  I watched a few videos online and got out the book and tried out a few things.  Craftsy Unlimited came along offering a free weekend of watching classes so I jumped in and took the opportunity to watch a few serger classes.  One showed me how to make a box bag with zipper inserted so off I went and made a few.  It was sew much fun! 

Here are a few that I have made to sell at my church Arts and Crafts Fair.  I have Alabama and FSU waiting in the wings, ready to sew up!  Where I live in NW FLorida, football is big!  

For a free tutorial on how to make a box bag without a serger, here is one from Sew Can She!

Have fun!  



So I was reading Jo's blog this morning,
and she was talking about making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Roll Roll Cotton Boll and how that quilt was the starting point of the learning process and love of quilt making. Which got me to thinking about my first Bonnie quilt. I had been following her blog and saw there was going to be a retreat at Camp Beckwith, Al which is quite near me. I inquired about it and was put on a wait list. On Monday prior to the Friday start, I got a call that there were some openings. I grabbed a friend, loaded a bin of old reds and greens into my car with 2 neutrals and was on my way. Bonnie blogs about it here
There is a day 1 and a day 2 and if you go down to the final small pic on the blog and click on it, you will get a slide show. I am featured in both of those slide shows! It was so much fun and when I got home, I couldn't wait to finish up those blocks, create an additional border or two to make it larger, and get it quilted! I love that quilt even though the points are cut off in my border. Bonnie describes how there was a pile of scraps we could dig through that was continually expanding. I found a piece of Univ of Alabama fabric I even incorporated into the quilt even though we are avid FSU fans. Below is a pic of my FSU fabric proudly displayed.

I've got plenty more 1.5" strips again! Maybe I should do another one! I used a constant neutral for the quilt even though Bonnie suggests a variety. I find it helps to anchor all the busyness of the rest of the fabrics.
Thanks for reading and have a great quilting day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Today I linked up with Jo's Country Junction
Jo is having a quilt along for her amazing Double Wedding Ring Quilt and I'm going to attempt to link up and quilt along with her.  I loved loved this quilt and I have the magazine and plenty of scraps!  Can't for next Wednesday.  In the meantime, I need to find the magazine and see if I want to have templates made.  I'm also going to look for my Quick Curve ruler to see if I can use that for cutting out the templates.  Wish me luck!  Have a great quilting day!  Carol

Saturday, July 7, 2018


One day, I decided to sort out bins of fabric that have been accumulating heaven knows what.  I found 13 pinwheel blocks that I had made during the Celtic Solstice mystery from Bonnie Hunter.  That was at least 5 mysteries ago and I never finished that project.  Looking at them I could see why.  I was fairly new to quilting at that point and they were terrible!  None of the points came together in the middle.  But, I'm not one to throw things out, especially when it comes to fabric.  I thought, "these would be perfect for centers on Bonnie's Tile block from May/June 2018  QUILTMAKER magazine."  It was all the rage a couple of months ago!

So, I rummaged through my purple bin, cut loads of 1.5" strips and started sewing.  These little blocks sew up fast!  I looked through my stash and found 2 yards of this OMG polka dot fabric.  I call it an OMG fabric because its, OMG why did I buy this?  I don't even like this fabric!  It was on sale of course and I thought at the time it would make a good baby quilt.  From that two yards I cut the border, 12 more alternate blocks and pieced the backing!  Yay, just a bit left to cut into 2.5" squares for a future use.  All in all I figured I used up about 4 yards of fabric in my stash! 

As I said before, the pinwheel points didn't exactly come together but I quilted them with orange peels and its hardly noticeable! 

Another trip to the stash found about a 1/3 yard strip of a purple batik for binding!  That little quilt is done!  

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I've owned a Decorating Den Interiors franchise since 1984 and have been a very successful, award winning interior designer for 34 years.  Back in 1984 I was a Captain in the US Air Force Reserve and I had a part time job managing the reserve office at Eglin AFB.  My job was being upgraded to a full time position for an NCO and as an Officer, I wasn't eligible to apply for it.  It was at that time that I read an article in a WOMAN'S DAY  magazine about a woman who owned a Decorating Den Franchise.  I showed it to my husband and said, "I think I could do this."  I sent off for information and then proceeded to consult with some local business owners for advice. 

There was a well known woman realtor in town so I asked her what she thought about buying a franchise.  I'll never forget it.  Her name was Betty and she said to me, "if you don't take risks, you never get anywhere!"  

Quilting is like taking a risk.  You need to venture out of your comfort zone at times and try new things.  In 2010, when the economy was soured and my business was struggling, I saw an ad in the newspaper for a beginning quilting class at a local quilt shop.  I was an accomplished seamstress growing up.  I made all of my own clothing and sewed for others.  I dabbled in quilting a pillow and reading magazines but when I purchased my business in 1984, sewing for myself ceased to happen  I never sewed draperies for my clients but knowing how to sew certainly helped me along the way.  And I was always good with colors and fabrics. 

So in 2010, with a bit of time on my hands, I signed up for that quilting class and never looked back.  It reawakened my sewing skills that had been buried for many years.  Each week, we would go home with two blocks to make for a sampler quilt.  I would complete those blocks immediately and then couldn't wait for the next weeks class.  I loved playing with all the fabrics in the shop and I soon learned that quilting is also an expensive habit.  That beginning quilt must have cost me $300 with all the supplies I had to buy for it.  I was set on a journey of love for the rest of my life! 

When you become a quilter you take a huge risk!  You accumulate a large stash of fabrics and continually buy more.  You buy expensive sewing machines and quilting machines and your house becomes a disaster area with quilts and fabrics thrown everywhere.  The end result of completed quilts and stockings and pillows and pin cushions is so rewarding! 

So I'm asking, have you taken a risk?  Are you stuck in a comfort zone of always using a simple pattern or the same colors over and over?  Do you have stacks of fabric in your stash that you are afraid to cut into for fear you will ruin it?  Is your UFO pile of completed tops stacking up because you are afraid to learn how to quilt them?  I encourage you to step out of that comfort zone and try something new!  Taking risks will get you somewhere! 

Thanks for reading!  Carol