One of my favorite websites for décor items is Piper Classics. Their variety of kitchen linens, bed and bathroom accessories and seasonal items fit in with country, cottage and farmhouse styles. They also offer a wonderful selection of curtains and window dressings – including buffalo check!
I had the idea that I wanted to hang buffalo check curtains in my kitchen, so I had purchased 2 sets of buffalo check window panels for the two windows. But they were a bit pricey, and I decided to hold off on purchasing the valances so that it wouldn’t make such a dent in the budget.
Well, I held off, and held off, and sure enough, when I was ready to purchase valances, Piper Classics no longer carried that pattern of buffalo check in their curtain section.
Consequently, I was now the proud owner of 4 panels of buffalo check, with no valance to match them. But in all honesty, I had come to realize the buffalo check might be a little overwhelming in my kitchen. So, what does one do with all that buffalo check fabric? She sews pillows!
Speaking of sewing…. Not many blogs that I follow discuss sewing. But Anne over at On Sutton Place creates wonderful, information-packed posts with a great range of sewing tips. And not just that! Her blog showcases her wonderful timeless decor style and cozy home! She recently wrote a post (link here) with a list of very valuable sewing tips, a couple of which I had never even considered.
One of those tips was life changing for me. Sorry for the drama, but it’s true. Anne talked about creating patterns for forms and sizes you sew often. What? This had never even crossed my mind. Over the past year, I have collected tools to help me with better quality and more efficient sewing, but creating a pattern for the things I sew frequently? Brilliant!
As I have been writing this blog, I find myself at each new season, purchasing fabric and sewing pillows. It’s time consuming, and it’s probably the reason I have not been as productive posting as I might have been. But it’s very important to me to create pillows that are exactly my taste, especially as it relates to whatever season we are in. As a result, I am pretty selective about the fabrics I use on my pillows. Store bought pillow covers do have their place, and can be a great option, but I like the flexibility and freedom of sewing my own pillow covers. (That includes using a shower curtain; see that post here!)
Back to the pattern making idea. I have an inventory of pillows that I change up with different pillow covers for different seasons. Her idea of making patterns made me realize I could probably save myself huge chunks of time by creating patterns for all of my pillow sizes. Before I scheduled my sewing session for the buffalo check pillows, I took measurements and created the patterns I would need.
If you are interested, here is how I made my patterns. (Disclaimer: by day, I work for a print and mail company, so I have access to paper and cutting tools.) I took 19 x 13 sheets of 80# cover weight stock and marked them for cutting. We have a table-top cutter and I cut down and stapled together pieces of the stock to get to my final sizes. They may not be pretty, but they get the job done!!
The patterns are perfect; I checked their quality by laying them down on my Fiskar cutting mat that has a 1” square in graph pattern. They have even lines and clean 90-degree angles. But the buffalo check did not have even lines, or nice, 90-degree angles – so I had a bit of a struggle with cutting out pieces that were straight and not crooked. I am certain having the precut patterns helped immensely, and I am looking forward to using my new patterns on fabric that does not have a wonky check pattern!
From last winter, I had already sewn pillows using this black floral upholstery fabric that I absolutely love. I have mixed them in with some pillows covered in fabrics in warm gold tones which seem to be the best counterpoint color for the black floral print. Adding in these black buffalo check pillows helps soften the formal feel of the black floral print.
The rest of the living room is done in neutrals with a lean towards richer colors, patterns and textures. At my favorite thrift shop, I found a brand-new window valance, still in the packaging, in a small, black pillow ticking stripe. I laid it down on the coffee table as a runner. On top of my valance-turned-runner, is a tray I picked up at a garage sale. It’s holding an interesting black dish that I found at the same thrift shop full of pears from Pottery Barn, a shell on a stick and a couple of candles. (I call the black dish interesting, because I have no idea what purpose it serves! It’s too big to be a compote dish, and too small to be a fruit bowl. If you have any idea what it is, please let me know!)
On the mantel is my window frame, and a simple display of collected pieces.
A chippy candleholder from a garage sale, a corbel from the thrift shop.
A pair of green bowls (same thrift shop) loaded with twig balls and wine corks, another shell on a stick and an ivy display (thrift shop!).
With the addition of the buffalo check pillows, the room feels pulled-together, yet very cozy, informal and welcoming.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – buffalo check just makes my heart happy.
From our home to yours~
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