Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Air Date Announced

Greetings to all during this very busy holiday season...

I have just heard from the Extreme Makeover - Home Edition Producer that the episode on which we participated will be aired on Sunday, January 18th at 8pm. Please check your local listings as this date approaches. I have been told that the dates are often subject to change.

Check back on the blog for confirmation as we get closer to that date. I will be anxious to hear your feedback after the show airs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Move That Bus!"

It's time for the big reveal. Last week we participated in an Extreme Makeover - Home Edition (EMHE) project in the Chambersburg, PA area. The show should air just after the holidays, but I don't have an exact date yet. I am unable to share any details about the family or the home at this time, but I can tell you about my amazing experience.

As you may know, the entire home is completed in a just a week from the initial door knock and demolition to the moment they move the bus and reveal the new home to the family. I'm fairly sure the only time there was no activity in the house was very early Friday morning when security locked the house down for a few hours so staff and volunteers could catch up on their sleep.

On Tuesday, I rode along with two of my colleagues, Monique (our group's benevolent liaison with EMHE) and Lori, to the site. While there, we reviewed the plan for window treatments and fabric accessories with the EMHE design assistants . After the meeting, we walked over to the house to see where the treatments would be installed when completed. Donning hardhats, we ducked under the stone mason's scaffolding and made our way to the front door. Once inside, we skirted stilt-walking dry-wallers and drying fans as they worked quickly to prepare the walls for the painting crews to come in. Our excitement to see the house aside, we (along with the EMHE designers) were glad we previewed the placement of the treatments. We were able to suggest an adjustment in the number of family room drapery panels and regain some pillows that had to be removed from the plan due to lack of yardage.

Next, we were joined (in the field used for volunteer parking) by several other window dressers to divide fabric and assignments. Thankfully, I had brought along two old sheets on which we rolled out about 75 yards of fabric to be doled out amongst the volunteering workrooms. Monique was fantastic at keeping the flurry of activity we generated over our fabric allocations organized. During our drive home, we reflected on the day and what an honor it will be to have a part in something that will have such a positive impact on the family who will receive the EMHE home.

Wednesday morning came quickly and Sandy joined me in the workroom where we jumped right into our EMHE project - panels for the master bedroom. I'm happy to report that the drapery assembly went well and the outcome was beautiful. Sandy and I worked very well together to accomplish the task. I am so grateful for her help. Other than the gift we were giving the family, I didn't realize another aspect of the project we were working on until my daughter said, "That's always Ty's room!"

Thursday afternoon, I loaded the panels (well protected against the rain) into my car and headed back to the worksite to meet up with the rest of my group, who had also been very busy sewing. I was amazed at the transformation in the house within those two days. We watched as a "bucket briggade" passed furniture off of the supplier's truck into the house. Then it was our turn to move in and install the window treatments and accessories we'd all been working on for the past two days.

During the installation, someone tapped me on the shoulder, thrust a broom at me and commanded me to "Sweep!" After I got over my shock and fear that I would be removed from the house if I didn't move quickly, I realized that she was part of a camera crew. They wanted to film myself and another member of my group (Lisa) sweeping the stairs. Using a simple broom never felt so awkward. It will be interesting to see if my cleaning skills were good enough to keep that footage on the segment and off the cutting room floor. Watch for the shocked woman in a hard hat on the stairs.

At one point, Monique discussed ideas for the remaining fabric with the design assistants. They settled upon a few additional panels and Monique, Pam, Sharon and I headed back to the hotel conference room that Monique had reserved for a situation such as this, while the others stayed at the home to help with other assignments. We pushed together conference tables to stand in for the worktables we all have in our workrooms, dragged in the portable sewing machines, irons and other necessities we had brought from home and set about making more panels for the house. By 1:30 am we were back at the house installing the panels we'd made in our makeshift workroom. Grateful for our help, one of the design assistants, paved the way for us to return the next day to help with some last minute activities, and have VIP viewing of the moment of the big reveal. My head finally hit the pillow at 3am Friday morning.

Friday was a day filled with excitement. We arrived at the house to be on hand as the celebrity designers made some final adjustments to the rooms they had carefully planned out. As I found myself sharing space with each of them throughout the day, I was impressed by how much thought they had given to the individuals that would occupy the rooms they had designed. Those unique, meaningful touchs they put into each room are like a personal message of hope they send from themselves to the family members.

Finally, we were told that it was time to line up directly behind the bus to watch the family arrive. As the limo drove past us, the excitement began to build. After the family was greeted by Ty, those of us behind the bus were drawn into a horseshoe around them to watch the excitement unfold. I watched as the the new home, a generous gift from the hands of hundreds of strangers, was revealed to the family, and I was very proud to take part in something so meaningful to someone else.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Mum's the word"

I'm "on cloud nine!"
Next week, All Sewn Up is taking part in a really big project. I want to fill you all in, but I think it's better that I wait until it's "all wrapped up". Sorry to leave you "in the dark", but, I suppose you'll have to check back in next Friday.
Until then, it will be "strike while the iron is hot", "nose to the needle" (rather than grindstone), and "pedal (of our sewing machines) to the metal" for us! Let's hope it all comes off "with flying colors."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

It's true...time flies when you're having fun. Here at All Sewn Up, we've been having a blast for the past 5 years. The very process of providing custom window treatments for our clients is brimming with opportunities for fun. Meeting with a new customer is really an occassion to make a new acquaintance. Through the design proccess we inspire our clients with the unique treatments we propose for their homes. Next comes the fabrication stage. It is here that we carefully craft every treatment as if it was going to furnish our own homes. But I have to say the greatest moment of joy comes when the final product is installed in our customer's home. The gratitude they express along with the opportunity to see our all of our careful planning come to fruition provide us with the ultimate level of satisfaction.

Join us in a joyful celebration of our 5th anniversary. Between October 13 and November 14, 2008, wish us a Happy Anniversary and get a 10% discount off your custom window treatments and home accessories.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Field Trip

I excused myself from work on Monday to take a field trip. I had a special delivery to make and I want to share it with you. This summer, my Stout Brother's Fabric sales rep asked me to create a window treatment to be displayed in their showroom. I was flattered by the request and saw it as an opportunity to present All Sewn Up to the designers who frequent the showroom seeking fabric and trim that will satisfy the needs of their customers. The valance I created for them, using a beautiful Stout linen fabric along with their trim, is called a Catherine.

This is a great treatment for heightening a small window (such as this one), but requires a lot of room above the window so as not to cover too much of the glass. To further showcase Stout's products, we mounted the treatment on posts and attached one of their fabulous medallions to the end of the post.

We were all very pleased with the outcome.

After the treatment was installed, I shopped for fabric for a few of my own customers. While Stout has created a very comfortable showroom in which to view fabrics, I couldn't resist exploring the warehouse where I was delighted to see row upon row of lovely fabrics lined up and waiting to be turned into masterpieces. We should all dream so big...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Answer - What is it?

In my last blog, I showed a picture of a device and asked readers to respond with what they thought it was. I heard from a few people that they had read the blog and had no idea what it was. The device shown in the last blog is called a "Stay Fold." It attaches to the bottom of a drapery panel to get control over wayward folds. Furthermore it can control those panels that balloon out because they are hung over an air vent. See the photos for an example of the Stay Fold at work. Below is the same panel, first without Stay fold (air off, thankfully) and then (though a darker photo) with Stay fold. You can see the order this little wonder can elicit.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What is it?

There has been copious excitement in the air about this little device, which is being installed at a customer's home tomorrow. It is certain to take the wind out of her sails, but in this case, that is a good thing! Let me know what you think it is and I'll post the answer in a few days. Window treatment professionals need not reply...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All Sewn Up, LLC

In my opening post, I made reference to my window treatment design business, All Sewn Up, LLC. So, let me share a little background information about the company. Operating a window treatment business has been a dream of mine since my family was very young. At that time, however, I had no idea how to approach the business part of running a business...the visual and sewing aspects were already second nature. My friend, Sherri, who is an architecht, was quite used to my carrying around bits fabric that I found interesting while I discussed whatever project was currently under consideration for my home. Five years ago, she asked me to help her with a project for one of her clients. It was a large project involving a lot of windows. Half-way through the process, I realized it would be a lot easier to accomplish our project goals if I established my business. Having access to the right materials and tools would make things go more smoothly. So, I set my mind on learning how to open and operate a business and All Sewn Up was born. (I am grateful to Sherri for believing in me and to my husband, friends and family for their ongoing support!)

Things have progressed nicely since then. The company has experienced steady growth. This past year I stepped beyond my role as a business owner and became an employer. This meant there was more to learn, but has been worth it. With our five year anniversary approaching this October, All Sewn Up is more than ready to meet our customer's needs in the coming years.

A peek inside the workroom reveals Sandy working on a customer's project.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


To blog or not to blog...that has been the question of the my mind, at least. So, welcome to my blog. It is my goal to share with my readers the latest trends in window treatments and other soft home furnishings. This is an industry that is constantly evolving with amazing products being introduced on a regular basis. And I'd love to share my findings with you.

Even as I am inspired by all the lovely things I have at my disposal as a dresser of windows, I must confess, my own windows could use some garmets. My home suffers it's own shoeless cobbler's syndrome. The only logical solution would be for me to hire my own business, All Sewn Up, which has been actively creating adornments for my customer's homes. (But not my own, as my family will tell you.) The room in which I sit and type has an impressive picture window overlooking my tree lined backyard. I know that with proper attire that window could really make a statement. The added treatments would be the punctuation (the exclamation point), needed to make a commanding statement.

So, please join me, as I sit in my room with a view, and ponder all the beautiful ways in which a window can be dressed.