A Chill in the Air

We have lived in this house now for 18 months. As is generally the case with me, I was all gung-ho for the first several months, hanging pictures and curtains, decorating, organizing. When most of it got done, I moved on to other things. Well, to be fair with myself, there was lots going on – my mother got sick, Mack and I traveled quite a bit for business, etc. But, nevertheless, I stopped working on the house.

With the onset of autumn, I am reinvigorated. The tiniest little nip in the air always causes me to energize and begin to get back to work. Must be my old schoolteacher DNA kicking in!

I’m having a WELCOME AUTUMN dinner party (chili, white lightening chili, and German chocolate cupcakes with expresso ice cream) this week and decided that it was high time to make curtains for the back windows. I have procrastinated on covering those windows for several reasons. First, this wall of windows looks out on the back yard, which is quite lovely (full disclosure – it’s not lovely because of us! The previous owners were wonderful gardeners and we have not yet had an opportunity to mess it up). I want to bring the outdoors in to the living room through those windows. Secondly, I thought that I might want to put a shelf above the windows instead of putting up curtains. I finally decided against this and started thinking about curtains again. The third reason, of course, is just that I’ve been kind of lazy.

Well, anyhow. I just decided to do it. I had been to a Hobby Lobby in a different town and had seen a fabric that I really liked; one with a bird print in colors that worked in my house. Of course, that one was unavailable once I decided to pull the trigger and get the fabric. I could have waited, but came across a print that I really liked. It was bright – maybe a little brighter than I should have gone, but I really like it. This is, after all, a Nana’s house. The bright colors and kid-friendly furniture and decor is what it’s all about. So, I pulled the trigger and bought 8 yards of the decorator fabric (which was on sale for 30% off). I had a bolt of muslin at home, which would suffice for lining. All in (counting the clip rings which would connect the curtain to the rod) I spent about $100.

I had done a bit of research over the weekend and found a tutorial for the kind of casual curtains that I wanted for this room. Though I’ve been sewing for decades, it’s always good to refresh my memory when starting a new project. For these curtains, I found exactly what I was looking for on Sonya Hamilton’s Blog:


The best part of her easy-to-understand tutorial was her step-by-step detail about how to determine the amount of fabric needed for the project.

I was able to purchase exactly the amount of fabric I needed – which is important when buying expensive decorator fabric. (Just for kicks, I got a bit more than I needed to make a couple of throw pillows). By the way, Sonya even reminded me and her other readers about the importance of factoring in the repeat. Since I had a 27” repeat on the fabric I chose, this was particularly important.

I am really thrilled with the way this project turned out. While I was worried about the bold pattern of my fabric, I am glad that I went that direction. The valances bring in the color of the most important piece in the great room – the red Bertazonni Range, as well as the turquoise of the kitchen cabinets and the yellow of the leather “Oprah chairs.” I think it ties the whole room together.

I probably won’t get around to making the throw pillows before my party on Thursday (or maybe not even this year, knowing me…) but I think the valances finish the room. I’m feeling very feisty this cool fall morning.


I am just getting around to posting the story about my curtains, so I’ve had a few weeks to live with them. I like my choice of fabric even better than I had hoped. Here’s my mannequin (doesn’t everyone have one?) Hollis, all dolled up for Halloween. I think she looks particularly fetching in front of the new curtains!







Then, Jack and Coby came over to watch the first game of the

World Series. I came into the room to find three generations of crazy Wallace boys wearing the felt sombreros that I picked up at the Dollar Store that morning. (I don’t know why…they just called my name). I like the curtain backdrop:)



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