Saturday, February 28, 2004

Shirley thanks for sharing the double on half method....

You are so awesome. We are getting close to Baltimore and will be contacting everyone who will be coming.... STill need lots of help.

Hey all....

I have been on the road teaching and sewing slipcovers.

Went to Jackson Mississippi where I did some awesome silk covers for 6 dinning room chairs. Hope to get them up on the picture trail soon.

Then onto Laurel B&B where I did a workshop.

Onto Arizona to work in SewWhat's workroom and today we are doing another workshop.

Wish you all were here to share your info....

Thursday, February 26, 2004

y'all can go look at todays answer to the double on half post if you choose, I won't stuff up the board here.

The demo's will be done by everyone coming, different people, different methods. Again, I am talking about Baltimore. April 15 to 18, the Window Fashions show. We are the only slipcovering probably being done, but if you do windows or would like to, this is the largest show of it's kind. I think the classes are over priced, that's just me. Even if you only had a day to do it, you'll miss a good opportunity if you don't come.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

this will absolutely be demo'ed at Baltimore. We take turns doing a cutting of our own choosing every two hours or so. Slipcover network booth, come, see, contribute, be a greeter, come to the PJ party and discuss washing fabrics.
Posted originally on CHFI Slipcover Forum ( by Shirley Hendry Walsh on 2/25/2004:

method : double on half

I did promise a while back to do this, and then waited to see if I could get it into Sew What. I didn't get a response, so I will do it here :

I'll do double on half first though it's # 3 down on the methods list.

Double on half. Done in the home, or shop if you choose. Using the real goods, folded on the center point of ( symetrical ) furniture on the center portions, doubled WS out, RS facing, on the arms.

Let me say that in different words. You take the chair ( sofa ) measure the inside back top and place a pin at the half way point, same on deck, outside back bottom. You are placing a pin where you have measured to find half the chair. The pin marks this place and doesn't get removed untill you are done.

Your block cuts are made the same size you would make them for any slipcover technique, generous. I do the outside back first. I fold goods ( vertically, in half ) to WS out, place the fold on the halfway point, and anchor into chair, with long pins, into the four corners. My pins are inserted back an inch or more from my proposed seam line. My anchor pins stay put while ( and when ) I close seams.

I then position all my block cuts ( double layer )every where on my chair ( on the half I chose to use of course ), WS out double thickness, RS facing smooth and having respected grain and pattern on the side I can't see. I anchor with reasonable tension, though tension ( pulling ) is done on closing seams, not at time of anchoring per se.

This is not a " how to " . This is a contrast. This assumes you would know how to decide where your seams would go, how much over the block cut should be to work with safely, and where you'd center or "picture frame" your print.

After anchoring every pair of cuts securely and having placed those long fat anchor pins out of the line of " traffic " ( where my line of closing pins need go ), and making certain I have a range of choices for seam placement given my block cuts overlap generously , I dig in and see what I can close up. Where appropriate, all block cuts which tuck are arranged so that I can see tuck is provided for : either thay are tucked in, or they are peaked out where I can see they are tucks and not excess.

Closing is the whole game. You must have already made sufficiently large block cuts to give you choices. If one looks short, replace it now. You are brushing cloth into place, it's a gentle process. You sweep one piece into the piece it joins to with tension, but without strain. Closing pins are distributed not in baby step fashion ( say, not here, then at two inches away, then two inches away in a straight line ) but in a " hop skip and jump "" style. You need not work on the outside back untill it's finshed and having closed no seams on other parts of the chair. It's faster to throw in the closing pins you can decide on quickly, and leave areas you are uncertain about to last. You may trim seams as you pin some areas closed in order to see what you are doing in tight areas. Darts folds and unexpected seams used to remove excess are discovered and closed while closing seams.

Pivot cuts : these take courage. In crotch areas, or where turns are made with a block cut, to make it conform to a curve or change direction with it, you often must clip deeply. You must in order to continue closing seams, and when you get there, you will know. Hop skip and jump untill this is a last task, then you will see your choices more clearly. Once you hope skip and jump enough the seams will in fact be closed with pins every two inches apart or closer if defining a curve, or supporting heavy cloth.

To summarize what has not been a full description by any means, just the " lay of the land " and to contrast to what you may now do : all parts of the chair are cut at this fitting, save boxings, skirts, cord. NO cord is pinned in, you may not pin cord in using double on half. There's no sewing done prior to this app't, and many slipcover cutters will not even have the benefit of having seen the furniture or fabric choices prior to walking in the door. You are not there to invent a new process, you are there to execute a proven process, there's no creating or perhaps even much thinking involved. With enough cloth you can embellish after you get back to the shop. You have not cut into the bolt prior to arrival. You will cut off the block cuts without the benefit of a table or yardstick. You pull it off the bolt which lays on the floor, hold a length up to the spot you need a block cut, glance at the pattern, makes sure you have enough block cut to manipulate the pattern into the spot you'd like it to be. Clip the selvage at that size you want.

Hold the cloth end, bolt on floor. Flip the cloth over onto itself at the clip in the selvage, line the cloth up selvage to selvage ( fold will be you cut ) and slip your very shrp scissors into the fold and slit it. It will be straight. You pull the cloth as much as you slide the scissors. This has been done with success a million times, use your foot to help you ( right handed , then right foot ). Try this at home, it's easier than it sounds.

Once it's all trimmed in the home, you fold the pin fitting up and wrap it in the remainder of the cloth and bring it back to shop. You have also : traced cushions, noted boxing height, skirt height intended has been marked on the fitting, and hey, write the phone number on the deck too, may as well.

This is the one and only visit, the one and only fitting, the next trip back it's installed finished. With practice, a chair wil take total 30 to 60 minutes. The average cutter will have as many as six addresses to hit in a day, though hopefully the seven or so pieces they can do are at fewer addresses ( multiple job ). The average cutter will not explain this to a seamstress, it will be understood well enough in this form those people will not need to speak. Exhausted yet ?

Obviously, for those of you who have considered and then tried pre measuring, have had an app't prior to see the job, and can take the cushions with you, you can see how to break this into smaller bites. Just know there are men out there doing this everyday, and that it can be done in a haste, with proven process, and have all the fit that you may struggle longer and more haphazzardly at achieving. You can imagine, these people can employ and delgate to others: they price to receive volume, the volume supports the process. You must keep a seamstress busy to keep a seamstress you have trained to do this, this seamtress training took me two years. Cutters volunteer to do this for the minimum price so the flow of work is uninterupted, so they can keep the employees busy so they don't go out and do it independently.

A rat race ? Yes, but it is THE rat race. It is how most slipcovers make their way into the hands of the people who buy them. You need not change a thing just because you know. You should at minimum be aware. And, if you are good at telling yourself the work they do cannot possibly be good, you need to know it is good work, the results are very acceptable. Creative ? No. Turned around fast ? Maybe not. Competitive ? If they do it in your city, yep. It is how slipcovering is made into big business.
Karen, if you want to click and drag ( can you ? ) the double on half post, from you know where, I think it's the best I have done, and I think people considering what summit classes to take should think about Bernice's.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Got a billion slides from Maureen Thomas ! yay !

Now, to get them to a stuff to learn everyday.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

I am making cushions for wood frame furniture.
The fabric is a red/cream pin stripe (1/8" wide stripes) with embroidered polka dots, about 1/4" diameter and 1 1/2" apart.
For the most part the polka dots are embroidered squarely.

When I fold the fabric to cut my bias strips, the dot shifts on and off the center of the strip. The dot will not be down the center of the strip. May be near center every 7-10 inches, inconsistent.
If I follow the polka dot down the center of my strip, the angle is only about 30 degrees.
This is complicated by the fact that I will be using 1/2" cording. So the center of the cord will be very visible.

Which way would you cut your strips to cover this 1/2" cord.
True bias or following dots.

I am inclined to follow the dots. But I know the cord is going to give me trouble, even on the true bias. I'm thinking that the 30 degree angle will give me more trouble.

What do you think?


Christine Denise

I say stick with the true bias. I've done scads of similar things, using all kinds of stripes and plaids. I've found its better to stay with any directional strip cut on the true bias. Much better and consistent look.

1/2" cord? Ugh...

Kim Fisher
Cottage Coverings
Slipcover Fabrication & Design
Forest Grove, Oregon
Nike Sampletown Tech
Beaverton, Oregon

i have ran into problems like this before, my choice would be to follow the dots it's a much cleaner look. try one cushion and see if the chord looks good.if it twists too much then you might want to use a coordinating fabric. other options are to make the chording flat (eliminating the chord) or avoiding it completly and cut the top of cushion and front boxing in one piece.

Upholsters do not use bias when making cushion covers. In fact some isew in the welt cord in the boxing strip band, or in the top and bottom pieces of the cushion.

Sometimes I have had to use straight of grain strips for my welt cord, simply because it would looke better.

The advantage of using bias strips is the give around the corners. Just know that sewing on the straight of the grain does not give you that easy and you will have to have make more clips while sewing into the corners.

One more thing you do not have to have it on the true bias. The fabric will give even if it is not. So do what works fastest, and looks good.

It is the visual effect from a distance that counts.

Let us know what you ended up doing.


Karen with

Friday, February 20, 2004

I am here with you Shirley, just traveling and can't keep up with everything on the Internet.

you'd think I'd get tired of talking to myself ! ( you'd think ).

Needing a logo. Needing two logos. Will swap. Elegant and and needs distinctive font and shape. Take a stab, get a freebee. What freebee ? Suggest.

Anyone have suggestions of sites to look at which posts " magazine " type articles, anything you like the looks of, anything having navigational whizzees with the pictures provided to make them easier to understand ?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I have trouble imagining a product ( new one ) that you could write about every three months related to slipcovering ( unless we do fabrics )
if you are saying you want to mail the post I wrote about " the gift " anyone may quote me. As far as who to, I know you know Kari Gang, and Pizzzazzitup and Teresa G. ( Greisewicsk ? ) Richard ( tee hee ) and whomever.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Shirley may I send the post about a gift to other in the business who are in the area????

Let me know. I am off to bed
Hi all from Mississippi

I am beat after a long day of traveling form the pacific northwest....

How about ideas for Vendor Spotlight then if I have no takers to write the article??

Hi Karen - I will happily proof/edit anything you send. I'm not confident enough of my skills (yet?) to produce any writing of my own. westvillagedraperyATyahooDOTcom (HA! SpamBots - I dare ya'!)
I am not sure I am the best one to say this, but the booth in Baltimore is a gift. Karen pays for it with the free seminar, but it is a chance that we are only certain to have one year at a pop. If you wait there may not be another. We hope to continue but it's not up to us, and to purchase the space is prohibitive. You have the chance to show your work in person, & greet designers who walk by. You can send your 8 by 10's and a pile of business cards and we wil pass out for you. There's no limit to the kooky-ness you can conjure up in your work, mine is off in left field all the time. Novice work is fine, any spice you add is fine if your own. The only way to do this wrong is to not participate.
official outline for available email at your request. I am asking for writing on the subjects outlined. No one is too inexperienced to write this, maybe better if you are. Fresh words, bright and cheery, slanted toward the choice of custom made of course. Email me your email so I can forward. .I may have rough site up this week.

Monday, February 16, 2004

maybe a vendor can do that products report ?, ask Joe via Richard.

I got great pictures from Jeannie Hutchens for the process of slipcovering. And Jeannie herself, of course. I can print here ten by eights if anyone sends digital disc, if you want to be shown at the booth in Baltimore April 14th.

For washable fabric samples or samples to be test washed ( or washed stuff that loooked promising but turned out very badly ) mail to me. Email me and get address

Still have beds available ( and transportation ) for Baltimore.

Send pillows or table rounds ( or squares ) and I will set small chairs on tables with it. Send cards whether or not you are coming. Send 8 by tens or discs for me to print up 8 by tens. Designers attend, one from your locality may see your stuff.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Dee are you out there?????

Anyone out there. I sure could use some help with the Slipcover Press.
Shirley is already writing the Slipcover Lady column...

Anyone else out there who would be willing to collect information for the vendor spotlight or the professional spotlight?

If you are already doing something for the Network, don't volunteer for another thing....


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

HI Shirley!

Yes I was prepared with pictures. I sent you exactly what I had sent in for the Calendar Contest. The personal photo IS the hardest to send. Thank you for the compliment on my picture but you better believe I took alot of bad pictures before that one. I never like any pictures of myself. Who does?

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Do you have any before and after photos of your slipcover jobs???

We'd love to include them in the booth in Baltimore.

Show off your work, and let others know what a custom slipcover really looks like.

The photos need to be 8x10 before and after would be great with your biz name, email address, phone number and where you are located....

Show is April 15-17 but I needed them yesterday..............

Let me know if you have something you want to send, and I'll tell you where you should send them.


Monday, February 09, 2004

this may sound really strange but the only way to make absolutely certain to get your work in Sew What? is to enter the 2004 slipcover contest. I am, with as many as I can enter. I may have been able to get work in Sew What? through another door before, but this door is supposed to be open to all.

It does support them, and does make them look better informed but it gets you published, and lets you borrow and use the credibilty they have. Don't over look this. I look for every chance I can to get some pictures out there.

Every time I have been published it's been a chance thing, it's not assured, and you take what you can get. I have tripped over some nice luck this way. You have to plan to use the vehicles that present themselves, don't wait 'till the " right " one comes along. Ten years from now, all you'll be saying is you were glad you started looking for chances.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

No one else, but I am not the kind of person to be prepared with pictures of ME, so I will assume people wil sort through pictures they have as they have time to do so. I needed a head shot for Sew What? and I was so disgusted I paid 200 bucks to get it, I just couldn't be happy with the freebees I already had. I mean, don't pay, but be comfortable with what you send.

Just so people know, if it takes you time and you want to do your best, they don't have to be quick and not up to your standards. Tessy, you were prepared, and they are great. ( I imagine you don't take a bad picture )I now have a photographer on retainer ( read: continual slipcovers ). If you are near me and need shots, maybe I can help.

I made the post announcing the Slipcover Summit on Carrscorner upholstery website today.

Has anyone else sent you pictures?
I would not mind the link to the Slipcovernetwork Directory on your website even though I am not on it. Not yet anyways.

Karen, what if we charge a range of prices, with exceptions and add ons, can we see a form ? I haven't seen one. I think Tessy tried to send me a form I couldn't open. I actually have never participated except to say I copy Calico Corners local prices because I couldn't reduce it to a simple answer.

Let's say for instance I have a decorator price. That also happens to be my january and august sale price, and my volume price ( for a whole house ). I add or take off for hard fabrics or for duplicates. Which price should I base it on, and how much extra should I comment on ? Poor Denise. Basically, I copy a base price by what the local fabric stores charge, who are all remarkably consistent with one another.

Back to my original question, is there a form we can print to look at ourselves ?

Saturday, February 07, 2004 Pricing Survey

We need your help, and hope you are willing to answer the Slipcover Pricing Survey 2004 for the Slipcover Network at

Since 1999, slipcover professionals have been networking together sharing and talking about their businesses across the USA and Canada online at The subject of pricing ones work has always been one of the top topics of discussion. In the Winter of 2000 the first committee of volunteers agreed to survey those who were in the business of Slipcovering and the results were the Summary of Slipcover Prices for 2000. Knowing that cost of living had risen, in 2002 another volunteer committee was united and a new survey was created with results being the Summary of Slipcover Prices for 2002. Now in 2004 to keep up to date with the economy, another volunteer committee has been formed to collect pricing information for 2004.

How will the survey help your business?

As you will note the survey covers two aspects of business; demographics of where you live, and actually pricing of the work that you do. The information you supply us is collected and tabulated into results from the questions and information you provide us. Though we do asked from business information, your business name will not be included in the results of the survey. So no one will know who you are, and what you are charging. You will however receive results of the survey which definitely should help with the pricing issue.

The survey has been designed to give guidelines as to what people are charging in certain parts of the country. Population size, resort community, or one type of industry where you live would have a big impact on who your customers are. Results will be tabulated in highs and lows with a medium range of pricing. So if you are below the lowest, then you may want to raise your prices, or higher than the highest then you are really doing something right!

Please note that only those in the business of Slipcovering, going to be in business, adding onto their business, will have access to the results of this survey. All who request the information collected from the survey must supply proof of being in business. The Summary of Slipcover Pricing will be copy written by the Slipcover Network, and will not be for publication by any other source. Those who have not participated in answering the survey and would like a summary copy mailed to them, will be charged a nominal fee of $5. You may also receive the summary online via a request to

Collecting Survey Information

3 wonderful volunteers have agreed to collect the information for the summary. They each are slipcover makers, have their own business, and live in different areas of North America. They will be happy to submit the survey to you via email, fax, by phone or snailmail and are hoping that you will return it to them completely answered by Feb 28, 2004. Results will be available to you by April 1, 2004. If you can help please call or email the volunteer in your area so she can get a survey to you.

Thank you so much for your time
Karen with

Western States will be collected by Kim email address fax 503-359-4600 phone 503-359-4600

Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas.

Central States will be collected by Tessy Fax 216 749-1829 phone 216 749-1829

Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan.

Eastern States will be collected by Denise fax 301-869-3163 phone 240-481-2017

Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Maryland.
That is great, it will be good to have on the site.

Well it is your website...why would anyone else care????

I really link the great thing is the link to professionals on the Slipcover Network Directory. I keep that site up to date, and folks then can find a good slipcover person.

You have got me going.

ps but I do need to get some work done too
Tessy sent me 6 exactly perfect pictures.

One of herself, one of her business card, and two very different before and afters.

Karen, please, if you will prompt Bill and send him what he needs to use ( aka to list and link the summit. Heck, I think that wouldn't offend a soul ? Am I wrong ? See the forum board in the next five minutes and we'll find out if anyone is offended.
Shirley so lets get you up and running.... When will it happen. Bill has pics of me already doing stuff. I can send him more if it helps and before and afters.....

I love the idea and will you have a link to professionals on the Slipcover Network page? That would be super.......................

Dee making an announcement is a great idea, and it will take a little work. I am not sure how to do this exactly from that location.

Would you be willing to post information on the forum from the Slipcover Network for us regarding the Summit???

Tessy would you be will to post info on the carr. upholster forum for us too about the Summit???

This way it isn't just me talking about it. All posts need to be made twice a month...

Anyone on WCAA or Drapery PRO? That would be helpful too.....


Friday, February 06, 2004

With the professional slipcover site at this time, I am open to suggestions. What I cannot afford to do is offend.

I want everyone to go there, and no one to be afraid to send customers there.

Like Karen, when I do finally use it to sell, it will be teaching and products that teach, but I have so much on my plate I cannot see me doing that for 2-3 years.

For the time ebing, I want to portray, in pictures, the process of ordering, having cut, and having installed a custom cover. It would make clear a person comes to the house, asks you what you want. Makes suggestions about cleaning the final product, and makes style plans according the customer input.

The installation of the final product is done by the person who comes again, and the benefits are listed and contrasted to the kind you order by mail.

I want to benefit with information the people who sell them, the people who buy them, and the people who sell fabric that could be made into slipcovers. So, for the time being, I am not sure giving out a couple peolple's business info ( including mine ) is compatable with that. One the other hand, they will see you in the picture, and will know it is in fact you.

At some point I will add registration page, which will be password protected. To send a person to the site and not have them see links or say, the slipcover network directory, I may have that page outside of the reach of a person you give that password to. Still working on it.
Check out the Forum posting:
Another thought: Make an annoucement on the Discussion Board, which is where I learned about a local upholstery course. There's a great deal of overlap between the two industries.
Re: Announcement on "Other" Forum

Karen, I've had e-mail solicitations from Forum members who market/promote various goods and services; they obviously got my name/e-mail from the Forum. I don't know if they paid She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named for an e-mail list - maybe they simply gleaned addresses from the Forum themselves.

Could you do this? Go through the Slipcover Forum, and use the e-mail function to make a member-by-member announcement without actually posting.
Registration is open for the Slipcover Summit.... We need to announce this to everyone we know. There has been a lot of excitment, and some registrations so far.

Some how we need to let others know about it on some of the other forums. We are not allowed to really advertise, so how do we go about getting the word out?
Shirley I don't think people understand what you are doing exactly.... But I know as time goes on you will hear from others?

So when do you think the site will be up and running.

I wrote Bill and I know he has photos of me, but I can send him others....

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Hi, Shirley, and I'm thrilled with what you are proposing. It will be great to have a site that we can post pics and a spot about ourselves... sort of like an on-line slipcover yellow pages!

The tough part for me is going to be finding the time to write, in a pleasant way, why clients will be happier with our custom (or made-to-measure) offerings instead of the "one-size-doesn't-fit-anything" slipcovers offered by the heavily-advertized mass-produced slipcover company we are all familiar with... Just when I don't think it can get any busier, somehow it does.
have not heard from anyone yet. Let me put it this way: if you have pictures, they may be useful even if you don't know it. If you need further explanation about the website, ask here openly. I sure I have confused people.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

narrowed down the purpose of . I am asking for pictures of you all cutting out slipcovers on furniture and your before and afters. Include a picture of you and a business card to blow up for layout.

The new and limited purpose at this time is anti propaganda. The search engines respond to the key words " custom slipcovers " with 99% ready mades. I will have great fun with this. If you want ( and it's free ) you can play too.

Send also well written objective reasons ( leave words like nasty out ) why to buy true custom and not the elastci arm front kind. Needing also a well written paragrapgh on why a made to measure slipcover can be just as well made as custom, from some one who does them that way. Our contrast is only geared at you know who. Pictures on a disc and whatever needs mailing, meail me first, I will give you web master info, and tell him what to expect.

I have a budget, first come, first serve. I cannot have 900 pages for this.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

I haven't done the blood rites yet but Denise and Judit should both be there, and perhaps Martha too.
Well I am glad to learn that she is still around....

Of course I remember her. Just sent here an invite. Home she can chat too.


Martha's Morris is standing here ! Martha wants an invitation, remember her ? Conference 2001, Swanannoa ? if you could send her an invitation, Karen ?
Dee, copy editor/proof reader. Do you know how to write??? I bet you can. What about taking the Vendor Spotlight article???

Still needing Volunteers in Baltimore....

So far Shirley there is you, myself and Donna. Is Judit coming to town?
Maybe be Cathy from Baltimore, she just joined our group.

Donna and I will be driving in as we will have stuff for display.

What about Denise??? Also Maureen said she could come down for the day.

you can see not that there's much to see yet.

Stumbled across Magna Fabric on the internet yesterday. That site and two more I couldn't get any parts of the sites to respond to my mouse.........? If someone else wants to check it out they offered lots of denims for 35 cents a yd. Needless to say, that's a confusing claim ( to me ).