Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tucks + Quilting + Applique = An Elegant Master Bedroom

For the past several weeks, I've been working on a pretty bedroom ensemble for one of my favorite customers. A lush cream-colored cotton sateen with a silky sheen was her fabric of choice for the bedspread and pillows, with accents of antique gold sateen. The gold fabric echoes the color of hundreds of brass nail heads which march along the wall just above the chair rail and below the crown molding. The deep purple walls gleam with flecks of gold.

To add interest to the wide expanse of the bedspread, I stitched criss-crossing rows of 1/2" tucks.

In keeping with the overall simplicity of the bedding design, only three pillows were used, two king-size shams and one bolster.

The shams feature oversized hand-appliqued monograms and rows of vertical tucks. It took a little extra time to do the monograms, but I enjoyed relaxing with some hand-sewing for a few hours, and I love how the monograms turned out.

The bolster pillow has a center section that I quilted by machine. The diamond pattern adds much-needed texture to the bedding but is understated, giving it a look that is elegant but not over the top. Shirred side sections and multiple cream-colored trims complete the design.

I like adding unexpected touches to the embellished items I make, like the radiating lines on the ends of the bolster, below. I could have left the fabric unquilted, but isn't this so much nicer?

The wooden bench that sits at the end of the bed got a makeover, too. Bold stripes on the slipcover and pillow add a splash of the purple wall color to the center of the room. The slipcover is fully lined and attaches to the bench with hidden Velcro closures.

The bench's bolster pillow has an elaborate quilted center section that really makes it something special.

A cable design takes center stage. It's surrounded by tight stippling (vermicelli-type quilting) which compresses the batting and gives the cable more dimension. A scalloped border and more stippling, in a larger scale, complete the design.

Gathered ends are finished off with covered buttons and accented with twisted cord. (Can you tell where the ends of the cord are joined? That's a good gauge of someone's sewing skills. It's really tough to make the join look good on a 6" circle like this one!)

Yesterday, after I installed the dust ruffle, smoothed every wrinkle out of the bedspread, plumped the pillows, and made sure everything looked perfect, I called my customer into the room. When she saw her beautiful new bedroom, the look on her face was priceless. Surprise and happiness came first, then amazement, as she studied all the little details. Her excitement and appreciation made all those hours of careful work worthwhile - I love making people happy!


  1. Leslie, This ensemble is just gorgeous! And try as I might, I can't tell where the cording is joined. How does one even do that??

  2. It's very tricky! The cording comes with 1/2" twill tape sewn on. You have to remove the tape from the last inch or so of each end of the cording, untwist the individual cords and overlap them so they all match up perfectly, all while hoping that the whole thing doesn't unravel and fall apart! Then you stitch it to the pillow with much pushing and shoving to get the double thick pile of cords under the presser foot of the sewing machine. When it all turns out smooth and even, it's a miracle!

  3. Wow, Leslie! This is so elegant and clean looking. Love the details. You are really good!

  4. What beautiful detailed work you do. and then they take it off to go to sleep,,,, I only have a duvet cover made in a heavenly cotton with stitched tucks, similar to yours and I feel like I've gone to heaven when I get into bed. Thank you for letting us share your wonderful bedroom creation.

  5. Oh my, Leslie. This is an amazing bedroom ensemble. Your workmanship is fantastic.

  6. Awesome bedroom decor! I love it!!! Wish it were in my room.


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