Samples and Fabric…

First of all, I think most of you know I do my own samples. I typically test the 5×7 design in PES format. This is to make sure all of the steps are right, in the right order, the design is laid out efficiently (can I cut out any unnecessary steps?), etc. I have, in the past, subbed out my sampling. Now that I’m not so busy with customer work, I usually just do them myself so I can guarantee the steps are right and that I get the fabrics I want and a good web photo.

Every now & then I get an email from a customer saying they are sewing a design and the stitches aren’t lining up. I had a girl ask me this week if the design she was sewing had been tested. They are, of course, and they are also sold to hundreds of people! I usually resend the design and that fixes the problem. Since these are digital files which are emailed and downloaded and sent here & there, anything can go wrong! Any little thing can corrupt your file or make it not sew correctly. It doesn’t happen often, but if it happens to you (my design or anyone else’s), simply request that the design be resent and try that! 99.9% of the time that works.

Anyway, I usually sample mine on 2 layers of cutaway stabilizer if I don’t have a blank t-shirt. I try to take my web photos outside on a sunny day. When the designs are listed these usually go in the trash! I thought I’d take a picture of these today before I dumped them. These 5 designs were listed yesterday BTW!

 Every now & then I get a surprise UPS package from TJ’s Fabric in Opp, AL. Today was one of those lucky days!! Is this not a picture of beauty?? By next blog post I will try to photograph and share some of my favorites! P.S. If you go to LINKS on my blog, you’ll see a list of fabric websites ~ TJ’s is #1. I hope to get by there again this year when we go to the beach! I assure you it is fabric heaven! You can see more photos of TJ’s in this post!

 I know you are SOOOO SICKKKKKK of hearing about my stinkin’ sewing room. I am sick of it too! I wish I could just snap my fingers and it be Pinterest-picture-perfect!! I keep going back to Pinterest, and back to Pinterest, and back to Pinterest. Just trying to figure out what I can do to this sewing room/office to make me walk in it and SMILE!! 😉 I’m happy with the green desks, matching bulletin boards, new black chairs ~ basically 1/2 of the room. What I am buggin’ about is the white Expedit on the white walls (I think?). I keep wondering if I should paint the walls. I think that might be cheaper than buying a black/brown Expedit?? Below is the fabric that I ordered. I’m not sure if it is too busy to recover the chairs in. Or find something that compliments this and recover the chairs?

 Do I chose a color and paint my walls?? A pretty yellow?? The room is not that big. I like the blue too but that might be too much. If I don’t use this fabric on the chairs, then what do I do with it? There are 2 windows, both with plantation shudders. Simple valances? Ironing board cover?

 Anyone have any suggestions? Or just send Candice Olsen my way!! Please!! Someone!! Help!! :</ While I LOVE Pinterest, I get so frustrated with myself because I see what I like but don’t know how to achieve it! Arghhhhhh!!!! I won’t get started on the rest of the house! While the kitchen was completely renovated and I love it, we have done NOTHING since it was completed. It’s 2012 and time to get to work!!

Any ideas are appreciated! Here are a few pics of the rest of the sewing room…

To the right of my desk – the 2 windows. I have since hung a shelf, peg boards and my “Take Chances…” sign in between these 2 windows.

 The wall-o-desks. The left wall with the golf ball display is totally blank.

 The wall-o-Expedit. My thread is to the left of the Expedit, and the door is to the left of my thread.



  1. Coby Sandefur says

    I definately think you should paint those white walls!! I love the fabric! Maybe paint and make curtains. Im dying to have a sewing room! If my house ever sells and we get a bigger one that will be a must! Love your blog and your appliques! I am a newby to all this and I love it!!

  2. First of all I love the desks and want to know where you got them.
    Second, I’m moving on Saturday and the new house is gonna have a great new sewing room but I am paralyzed with fear in not having an idea of where to start.
    This blog post comes at the perfect time for me! So…Thanks!

    • The furniture is from – Martha Stewart Craft Collection! Comes in gray & white too and lots of neat pieces. Good luck!!

  3. I think painting a neutral color might be your best option. Even though paint is cheap, you have a lot of heavy furniture to move. Use your fabrics for your splashes of color. Plus, you have the green of the desks and black chairs/bullentin boards. You have the fabric, just go ahead and cover those chairs. You’ve loved that fabric for awhile – so just bite the bullet and do. Take the fabric to a paint store, like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. They usually have some gals who can help guide you on a neurtral color. But, w/the big white unit you have and white shutters, I think you’ll like the contrast of a little something on the wall.

  4. Amy Brewer says

    I think the blue is a great idea, but maybe use a lighter shade in the same color family. I am awful at picking out my own colors so I have found taking whatever I am using to a local paint store and usually someone there can help. Even HD or Lowes sometimes has some super helpful people that are good with colors. Anyway, I definitely think a more softer shade of blue would look great and REALLY make your green furniture pop.
    Also, you can get testers of any paint color you want. You can then either paint it on the walls in 2 ft x 2 ft sections OR paint a piece of posterboard so you can move it around the room to see how the light hits it on different walls. I have done this in most rooms I painted and it works wonderfully. Blue is one of my favorites but there are a TON of shades!

  5. Amy Brewer says

    OR you could use yellow on the walls, again a much lighter shade and paint the ceilings blue. I just painted my ceilings a LIGHT shade of blue in my kitchen and yes it was a royal pain, but I LOVE how it looks.
    Also, I would use the fabric as simple window treatments. Don’t hide them on the chairs!

  6. Tiffany Pouncey says

    I say the blue….would be sooo pretty with fabric and the green furniture. Love it

  7. mandy buell says

    I love reading about all you do! I can’t believe you trash your samples. Some one would love to use them and bet you could sell them as iron or sew ons. I am trying not to be to jealous of your beautiful fabric you TOT in the mail! Love it. As for your office, you should paint your walls the blue that matches the fabric. We just painted our boys room and bathroom that color and it just feels so clean and open. Use the fabric to recover your chairs and make a fabric covered artist canvas for the blank golf ball wall. Or you could do one simple valance across the top of both bringing the eye up. If you do paint I would either keep the walk blank or the windows blank. I adore the fabric and now want to run out and get some for our playroom and my scrapbooking area.

  8. I love your blog! I think you need COLOR on the walls! Oh, and I really love the fabric for the chair or what ever you choose to do with it 😉

  9. Linda Reedy says

    Love the color Coastal Plains by Sherwin Williams. Beautiful soothing blue green. Don’t know if it is the right shade for your fabric. I like the paler shades of aquas etc. That is just me. Beautiful fabric. Enjoy!!

  10. Cindy Riney says

    I would use the fabric on the chairs and an ironing board cover. I like the blue in the fabric for the walls. I think it will make your Expedits stand out more. It will also make your black pop. Another option for color would be to cut some poster board to fit inside basket fronts. ( leaving the handle open) You could buy colored or use 505 and glue fabric to poster board. You could coordinate front to fabric inside, or you could use plain for a more uniform look. Try to match colors to your chair fabric. Do you know anyone who might add vinyl to your tool chest drawer fronts? I know you love it but it needs a little color or design.. Now stand back and look for something small to bring in a touch of the yellow.
    Your blog has helped so many of us and you deserve to feel happy in your work space. The fabric you chose reminds me of a warm sunny day, I hope your room will soon reflect that feeling to you.

  11. I just have to say that I love the fabric, I think it will look great on the chairs and I think a light aqua on the walls would look awesome. I think it would look great with the green desks too. 🙂 Love everything you do. Thanks so much!

  12. Nancy Hughes says

    I definitely think you should use the fabric, it is gorgeous!!! Pick a color from the fabric for the walls ( i vote yellow). Add a couple of valances or cornice boards in a cute shape and that will jazz it up quite a bit. 🙂 The yellow color will pop with the green desk, black chairs, and the white expedit cubes.


  13. Beth Alford says

    I definitely think the walls need some color! The white seems too sterile. If you did blue or yellow, I would do a VERY pale shade, just to add a touch of color, but to still keep the room nice and airy. Also, if yoyrI walls areneed super pale, your threads and fabric can still add your pops of color, without being too busy. I love plantation shutters, so I would probably leave them alone, and maybe use that fabric to cover the chairs. I LOVE the green desks and the distressed chairs! So cute! Just my opinions…hope this helps a little!

  14. I love the blue in the fabric!!! I think the walls will look fabulous in that color! Also, it will make all the other colors pop! Definitely wouldn’t paint the walls yellow.

  15. Anna Petry says

    Oh no, Rosemary!! Don’t trash them. Even though they are on stabilizer, they can totally be used for SOMETHING. Cut out as close to edge as you can and make a greeting card with them or use them when wrapping a gift. Or, put into a small frame….OR, put them up as “decoration” in your sewing room. If none of these appeal to you, I’ll send you shipping money and you can toss them my way. 🙂 :)I hate to see the beautiful designs go to trash. :):

    Love the fabric for your chairs. Obviously there is no pink in your fabric but it complements (and looks great with) those colors. Why about a pink wall, or bottom half of a wall a pink and then chair rail with peg board on top of that? Or, a wall of stripes…in the colors of the chair fabric. One of my favorite decorating (easy and cheap) is to wrap the fabric on cork board or canvas. You can also put fabric into good ole fashioned embroidery hoops for decoration. Full of ideas for you, virtually. Need to work on my own room! 🙂

    • Well, I share this space w/ the husband, so I think he’d kick me out if I proposed pink walls! HA! I’ve seen the fabric in embroidery hoops! Thanks for the ideas!

  16. Rosemary, I can’t believe you are trashing these adorable appliqués! May I suggest backing them with heat and bond so the can be made into an iron on patch? You could do a giveaway on your blog. Or maybe find some cheap bibs and donate them to a children’s hospital….or keep them for gifts….or gosh, just send ’em to me… I’ll pay the postage! LOL!

    Love your designs! They stitch out beautifully!

  17. As so many others -I also think a light turquoise. Now “they” are doing feature walls so at least the wall with the expedt on. I agree with someone that a wall of the samples would be good -I know would make me happy to walk in and see my accomplishments. If not, how about keeping them in a notebook/journal with the date of release???

  18. I just wish that I could go to the door and find a surprise box full of fabric like that!!! I’d be in heaven for weeks. The other day my hubby told my cousin that whenever I had sewing projects to complete he could count on being a ‘sewing widow’ until I came up for air!!!

    Last fall we renovated our unused living room into a new sewing studio or ‘sewing chine room’as our 2 1/2 year old grandgirl calls it. I finally chose a white semi-gloss paint – I love Behr’s Cottage White – for the walls. It really lightened up the room which at my age helps me see all the sewing and stuff much better! I also love red so I’m painting all sorts of accents with a red gloss spray paint. Just makes me happy to look at it! Even though I have a long way to go, I’m enjoying the transformation process. Just wish I had room for an Expedit cubby full of fabric.

  19. Definitely need to paint the walls! Also, love the fabric for the chairs. I would take my fabric, a drawer from the desk and go to New Look or a paint store that has a decorator to help pick out your paint color.

    OMG! how I would love a surprise package from TJ’s. They have the coolest fabric, wish they were not so far away.

    Hate to see you are throwing away your samples! You could always donate to a chartiable organization for kids to use in craft projects. Wish I had your samples to put in my file along with the print out of the appliques I have ordered from Applique Cafe 🙂

  20. Wish someone would send me a box of beautiful fabric! How nice! I think you should recover those chairs ASAP!! That fabric is gorgeous!! I think a lighter version of the blue would look great on the walls and do away with the “blahs”. I would use the same color as the blue in the fabric but if you are hesitant a lighter version would be nice too. I think a matching valance would really set off the whole room. Even just a simple rectangle hung on a rod with clip rings would be cute. (Yes, you can do it!!) What about those letters they sell at HL to spell out a word above the expedit. Like “Create”, “Inspire”, “Dream”, something like that, in the yellow or orange from the fabric. Or take black and white photos of a bunch of different letter “G”‘s from all over town and use them as a collage on that wall. These would look good in either black or white frames once the wall is another color.

    I hope you find something to do with all those samples. I hate to think of them in the trash. Good luck and many blessings for the new year. I enjoy your blog and your designs very much.

  21. Before painting, What if you framed your sample pieces and use that as art work! If you add curtains that will make it extra warm and inviting.

  22. Jan Melton says

    Have you thought/tried putting Jeff’s desk and bulletin board on the wall to his left? That would break up the wall you face and add to the blank wall beside the expedit wall. His wall would show more of his personality and yours would have your great ideas and splashes of color for you!

  23. Anne Coleman says

    What about a fabric board with ribbons? it could be hung on the wall, and your designs or cards could be displayed there. Also, like on the tool chest—maybe there could be little label holders on each drawer to hold a label (turquoise or lt blue or yellow??). You have the green going for you, and the black. Now pick ONE more color that you like and pick it up in the ribbon on the fabric board (the same as you cover the seats in the chairs with), the labels on the drawers, and the labels on the baskets in the Expedits (even just a ribbon and a paper label would add color). I sorta feel like an idiot writing in, because your designs and ideas are so wonderful. You put fabric together in such cute ways for applique!!
    I have always decorated by picking up a color that I like and repeating it throughout the room, so I was thinking maybe that would work here….Love your blog!

  24. Rosemary, I have decided that Pinterest is a social experiment (masterminded by who I’m not sure) to see how many things it can get us to do (crafts to make, recipes to cook, etc) and how bad it can make us feel about how our own craft areas look!!!!

  25. I like the blue for walls and use a few of the samples for decor and make pillows from some of the children in the hospitals that have little or no family or funds to have the little extras. Wouldn’t even have to be a stuffed animal, even a pillow to snuggle would be nice. If I was there I would help you..I can sew the squares!
    Have a Happy Day! 🙂

  26. I think the blue would look GREAT on the wall!! It would definitely make the white pop and I would definitely cover the chairs with that beautiful fabric!!