Fabric Focus: Crewel

via Angela Todd Designs

Crewel fabric, sometimes called crewelwork or crewel-embroidered fabric, is a hand-embroidered decorative fabric made with wool yarn on a firm cotton, linen or jute base. Designs are typically graphic, bold and colorful renditions of foliage, flowers or wildlife. The Tree of Life is a standard motif.

Crewel has been around about a thousand years and its roots are worldwide, having ties to India, Greece and Mongolia, among others. Today, most crewel is made in northern India in the Kashmir Valley. It reached its heyday in 17th-century England and was popular during the Jacobean period for bed drapery and wall hangings.

While crewel never went out of style, it seems to be gaining popularity again. Learn more about this venerable handicraft and where you might want to use it in your home. Click HERE for the full story…

Fabric Focus: Bridge Traditional and Retro Styles with Chintz

chintz pillow

via Landing Design

Chintz is a major player in creating traditional and retro vibes. It has an air of romance and translates well on curvilinear pieces. Like a lush garden, chintz comes in a vast array of designs and colors.  Find out what chintz is, its pros and cons and how you can make it work in your home.  Click HERE for the full story.

Fabric Focus: 6 Ways to Bring Ticking Stripe Fabric Home

Ticking stripe

via Kirby Perkins Home Builders

With its clean look and hint of nostalgia, ticking stripe fabric is a down-to-earth, decorative workhorse. Quintessentially simple, traditional ticking features a muted stripe in a color such as red, blue, brown or black on a light, neutral background. A twill of tightly woven cotton or linen, it was originally used as a cover for mattresses and pillows to prevent the spiky quills of down feathers from poking through.

From window treatments to pillows to shower curtains to upholstery, here are six ways to use ticking stripe fabric. Click HERE for the full story…



Fabric Focus: Grain Sacks

grain sacks look great just hangin' out on a ladder

via French Larkspur

With its homespun allure and slub-like texture, grain sacks are a favorite among designers and homeowners looking to add a bit of farmhouse decor.

You’ve probably seen it on throw pillows or even upholstery, with perhaps a colorful stripe woven through its length or a vintage advertisement printed on it.

But don’t think your home needs to fully embrace a rural lifestyle to take on some grain sack accessories. The material works just as well in contemporary spaces to add that touch of country appeal. Here’s how decorating with grain sacks can lift your home decor. Click HERE for the full story…

Fabric Focus: Decorating with Touchy-Feely Velvet

Velvet headboard and chairs makes for a luxurious bedroom design

via Summer Thornton Design

Ahhh, velvet! It makes everything seem just a little more sumptuous. With its regal good looks and unsurpassed softness, it’s hard not to love it. And there’s a bunch of different velvet types from which to choose, including solids, devoré, crushed, mohair and silk.

If you’re considering this posh fabric for your home, here’s what you need to know. Click HERE for the full story.

Crush of the Week: Albert by Sister Parish Design

Albert in Blue

This week’s crush is on Albert. My husband has nothing to worry about — Albert is a blocky, modern fabric and wallpaper pattern made by Sister Parish Design. It features teardrop-like shapes in square blocks which alternate in orientation.

The famous 20th-century decorating doyenne’s design archives have been re-imagined by Sister Parish’s granddaughter, Susan Crater, and great-granddaughter, Eliza.

Sister Parish (1910-1994) had an intrepid love for color and pattern and was the first to mix humble materials, like ticking fabric and handmade quilts, into mainstream decor.

She was also a pioneer in advocating American-made products. When she decorated the Kennedy White House living quarters she worked effortlessly to bring in as many local products and artisans. Her family continues the American-made tradition.

Albert, along with many other gush-worthy patterns, is hand colored and screen-printed on to a 50/50 blend of linen and cotton in the USA at Griswold Textile Print in Rhode Island.

Chest in Albert Red

Albert fabric is available by-the-yard (with a 2-yard minimum) in blue, red, chocolate, paprika, parma, citrus, sea foam and indigo. It’s 54 inches wide, has a 13-inch repeat and is suitable for upholstery. The 26-inch wide wallpaper comes in blue, paprika, red  and gold.


Many of the fresh, graphic designs are also available on serving platters, waste bins, tissue box holders and shower curtains, soap dishes, and pillows.

Dining with Albert is possible too, in this set of 8 napkins.

Albert Napkins, Set of 8

Sister Parish Design’s goods are available through their website as well as selected showrooms and retailers. Sister Parish Design has also recently collaborated with One Kings Lane to create a line of furnishings featuring these fun textiles.

Lucky for me, there’s a retailer in Islesboro, Maine called Apples, which I hope to visit this summer!

Pattern Focus: Greek Key

Greek Key

via Cindy Rinfret

The Greek key pattern was an important symbol in ancient Greece. It signified infinity, eternal flow, friendship, love, waves and the four seasons, to name a few of its associations. With its bold, twisting design, the Greek key pattern is the epitome of an enduring classic. Click HERE to read more about using this timeless and surprisingly flexible pattern.


Pattern Focus: Polka Dots

via Tobi Fairley Interior Design

via Tobi Fairley Interior Design

With their fun-loving persona, polka dots are a go-to pattern for decorating nurseries and kids’ spaces. But they’re not just for kiddos. Check out the benefits of using polka dots to create a bright spot in your home. Click HERE for the full story…

Crush of the Week: Birds and Butterflies by Schumacher

Birds and Butterflies wallpaper pattern #17460

Birds and Butterflies by F. Schumacher & Co.

This week had some déjà vu moments. Maybe it’s because it’s spring and my subconscious was thirsty for nature scenes — or the birds outside my window were chattering. Whatever the reason, I stumbled upon Schumacher’s Birds and Butterflies pattern a couple of times, and was happier in doing so. It’s my crush of the week!

via Sarah Wittenbraker Interiors

via Sarah Wittenbraker Interiors

Birds and Butterflies isn’t new, but actually a revived early 1960s pattern described on their website as “colorful creatures take wing amid black and white gesture drawing of twining foliage”. What I like about it is it’s whimsical without being childish, and combines a lot of different colors. It’s sweet, fresh and vibrant, but not over the top.

Birds and Butterflies isn't just for bedrooms!

via Design Transformations

While the status quo might be to use this dreamy pattern in a bedroom, it can work in a lot of different spaces in your home, like entryways, living rooms and even this laundry room. It might even make sorting and folding a bit more pleasant.

via F. Schumacher & Co.

via F. Schumacher & Co.

While these images only shows wallpaper, Birds and Butterflies is also available printed on a fine chintzed cotton ground, which would make fetching draperies.

Schumacher sells to the design trade only, but some wallpaper and fabric outlets sell the Birds and Butterflies pattern to the public.

I hope you enjoyed my crush of the week. Thank you for viewing!

Pattern Focus: The Power of Paisley

via Jennifer Robin Interiors

via Jennifer Robin Interiors

While paisley may remind you of men’s neckties, kaleidoscopes and psychedelic ’60s garb, it’s actually an ancient Persian pattern. Paisley ranges from simple to ornate, large to small and bold to subtle, and even bridges multiple generations. Click  HERE how to learn more about this unique pattern and how it can look best in your home.