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Sunday, August 4, 2019

SK Designs - 2019 UPDATE!

SO very much has been happening with SK Designs this year - here's a long overdue update!

Awards & More:

SK Designs received the Best of Houzz 2019 Service award - we are excited!

Our area neighborhood newspaper, The Leader,  presents annual awards to area businesses.  These awards are voted on in various categories (restaurants, service providers, shops, and more) by area residents, which makes this awards very special and appreciated.  Our area neighbors and clients voted SK Designs the 1st Place Award Winner for our category! 

In the window treatment fabrication industry, the CWC (Custom Workroom Conference) event is THE event dedicated to businesses like mine who fabricate custom fabric treatments (including slipcovers and upholstery).  I have happily attended two of the past events, and it is a great format geared specifically to workrooms, and the camaraderie and friendships and fun are an added bonus to the classes which are taught by industry leaders.  The showroom floor features plenty of vendors and suppliers to keep us up to date with the latest products, machines and supplies that will benefit us in our daily work. 

I am thrilled, honored and humbled to have been selected as the
Keynote Speaker for the September 2019 event in North Carolina! I will be speaking about teaching sewing to the new younger generation (children) in an effort to promote sewing skills for our future workrooms.  As many of you know (and as shown below), I have taught a free after school Sewing Club class at an area Title 1 school (and sponsor the same class at another area school), and have given Sewing Camp classes to neighborhood kids in my area on occasion also.  I can't wait to share my experiences with the 200+ attendees at this fabulous event!

Getting ready for the CWC event's marketing materials meant it was time for an updated headshot (long overdue for my website also!) and as usual, my favorite professional photographer came to my rescue and took photos in my studio.  If you need a great photographer for events, family photos, headshots, mini-sessions,  newborn photographs, etc., I highly recommend Brandy Stoesz Photography at www.brandystoesz.com. I really dislike getting headshots done and she made it painless and stress free! www.brandystoesz.com

Besides all of the above exciting news, SK Designs has completed numerous fun and gorgeous client projects.  This casual and relaxed slipcover for a settee is just one of them. We left the arms and legs bare to showcase the pretty wood frame.

 This soft functioning London Shade has deep folds with a soft curving hem and short tails on the sides.
 This stationary (non-functioning) London shade has soft curves.  The fabric is actually turned sideways from the standard direction, so that we could utilize the pattern better.  I pinned it in place in a couple of directions for the client to choose from.  Sometimes the fabric tells you what it needs and this worked out great.  The horizontal stripes at the folds and sides reminds me of epaulets on a soldier's uniform.  The symmetry is great and I love this completed treatment. This fabric is from Anthony George Home.

Okay, I know that this is a long blog post! But I have to share a few more things with you, including a sampling of new fabric books and a pair of fabrics for an upcoming order.  These embroidered fabrics with a pop of color are awesome together!

We finished our fourth year of Sewing Club at Stevens Elementary.  The students were so awesome (as usual).  We had our graduation party in late May and the students received two sewing books, some sewing materials (zippers, fabric, batting, ribbon and more).  But the gift they all liked the best was the custom Shutterfly book which included photos of them and their projects throughout the year.  The Leader newspaper also featured a story about the kids this year (thank you Elizabeth Villareal!) and they just loved the attention and were so excited to be "famous"!

It is always bittersweet to end the
year of Sewing Club (but I am happy to get my Tuesday afternoons back for client work!) after such a successful term with the kids.  Here are a couple of photos of our group at the end of the year (missing one student) and a photo of the reaction of the kids when they reviewed their custom photo book.  SO CUTE!

I did hold one Sewing Camp this summer for some returning students (these students have now taken 2, 3 and 4 Sewing Camps).  We had a blast with these new projects: a bean bag chair, a zippered cell phone wristlet, and two cell phone charger pockets (one to keep and one to give!)  They were terrific, fun, focused and excited to learn more about sewing.  Great job, girls!

If you have made it this far in the blog post, then you get a virtual cookie!  But even better than a virtual cookie are these awesomely decorated and also delicious custom cookies made for me by my super talented neighbor, Barbara Ballance.  Her cookies are legendary in Garden Oaks!  She made some cookies for my Sewing Club students and they were so fun and creative, and the pins in the pincushion cookies looked real! 

The photo below shows a sample of the SK Designs "Thank You" cookies she made for me recently.  I LOVE THEM!

Want some of these cookies?  You have two great ways to get some:  1) contact Barbara at ballancehousecookies@gmail.com (no website yet).  I give her free reign and they always exceed expectations) or 2) contact me at SK Designs to schedule your in-home consultation and I will bring you some cookies at our appointment!

Thank you for reading!  Hope you enjoyed this long overdue update!!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Yes, it has been forEVER since my last blog post!

2018 was very busy for SK Designs; we had many wonderful client window treatment and bedding projects, attended a great drapery workroom trade show in October, added a commercial walking foot machine to our workroom, and are looking forward to 2019.

Here are a few of my favorite things from 2018:

Beautifully detailed pillows for a bed.  The green grosgrain ribbon is formed into a Greek key design on these Euro pillows and the neckroll has a reversible cummerbund wrap.

These dining room draperies remind me of liquid silver!  These panels are made from a beautiful silk fabric and feature a stunning embroidered band on the leading edge.  The trim and fabric work so well with the "oyster shell" finish of the drapery hardware.

Another gorgeous banding detail on these study drapery panels in the same beautiful home.  Bandings are very popular right now and come in wide variety of widths and styles.  They are so awesome!

One of my favorite projects of 2018 (below).  These custom arched rods complement the French blackout lined drapery panels in this stunning living room.  Love these!

The silk drapery panels below have a (sort of) funny story.  We had installed these somewhat recently and my client called me a while later to let me know that her dogs like to look out that window and they also tend to play a little in front of the arched window.  Guess what? They were playing and actually tore the fabric at the hem.  Now this was not a matter of the hem being tugged out of place; the fabric was actually split and torn!

Fortunately we were able to obtain more of the same fabric, and even more importantly, the dye lot matched perfectly!  So we replaced one width of the panel and added hold backs to keep the panels out of the way of playtime.  Mission accomplished!


We are in our fourth year of teaching a free after school Sewing Club at an area elementary school.  Here are a few photos from the fall semester.  Photo #1 shows some of my students.  SK Designs is also sponsoring a second Sewing Club at another school which has another great instructor (photos 2-4).

 Looking forward to a great 2019!