Happy Black Friday! Did you brave the crowds and go shopping today? Since I don’t do crowds or traffic (avoid both like the plague) I stayed home and worked on a few things here. Anyone score any amazing deals?
I have something I’m super excited to share today because it was another one of those big AH-HA moments. The more I learn about bedding, the more I realize how little I know! Do you ever feel that way when working on something?
Are you familiar with Euro Shams–you know, those big square-shaped pillows folks sometimes use on or across the back of the bed as a decorative feature in their bedding? I have a pair I’ve been using for many, many years in my spring/summer bedding. I purchased them from Linens and Things a gazillion years ago for the plaid moire shams seen in the photo below.
As many of you know, recently I’ve been working on a “fall-winter” look for my bed. When I took the poly inserts out of the old moire Euro Shams to use inside the new Ralph Lauren Devonshire cotton Euro shams, I had a heck of time getting the flange around the edge of the sham to stand up a little. The only way I could get it to stand up at all was by shaking the pillow as far down to the end as I could and then playing with the flange for a few minutes until it finally stood up. If you breathed hard in that direction, it was bound to fall back over.
You’ll notice the flange around the “standard” red tartan shams is hopelessly floppy. I’m going to have a felt insert added to it when I have the bedskirt made for this bed and that should help.
When I recently shared a little holiday decorating idea for the bed, I never could get one of the pillows to look right, despite ironing both shams and adding a little starch to the flange. Feeling frustrated, I Googled this little problem to see if there was a better idea and guess what I discovered. It seems that sham inserts are not all created equal! Hold that thought!
Notice how the corner of the Ralph Lauren Devonshire sham pillow looks empty…no wonder it won’t stand up worth a flip.
Here’s why…the polyfiber insert I’ve been using doesn’t fill out the corners of the pillow. When I googled to find a solution to the floppy flange problem, I found an article discussing this very thing. In the article they pointed out that polyfiber inserts never fill out the corners of Euro shams, the poly just won’t stay in the corners. I had never noticed this before because the shams I use for my spring/summer bedding are made of heavy moire fabric and the flange on those stands up pretty well all on its own.
Not so with the cotton Devonshire Euro shams I’m using on my bed for fall and winter. I thought I could pound my sham into submission. Surely if I pushed and cajoled it just the right way, I could work some of the polyfiber down into those corners.
I didn’t try cutting it open because I had a feeling even if I could get some polyfiber down into the corners, it probably wouldn’t stay there. The article said the best way to remedy this issue was to use a feather and down insert. Uh-oh, sounds expensive, right?
I headed over to Amazon and searched and was delighted to find some feather and down Euro-size inserts that were no more expensive than the polyfiber inserts I’ve been seeing in my local big-box bedding store. In fact, they were actually less.
I noticed a funny thing about them, though. The listing showed they were 28″ x 28″, two inches bigger than all the poly filled Euro sham inserts you normally see. Euro shams and the inserts that go in them are normally 26″ x 26″. My Devonshire shams are 26″ x 26″. Ummmm. Apparently, the seller is used to folks asking about this because in the description it says, “Decorators recommend to buy this size pillow for a 26″ x 26″ sham.”
Okay, I’m game. The reviews looked pretty good so I ordered two. The shipping date was far out but surprisingly they came in just 7 days.
Here’s a side by side comparison, that’s the feather and down euro sham in back. Definitely bigger!
And you can see the corners of the feather and down sham insert are fully filled out. That’s because down and feathers can get into the tight corners of the sham.
These shams are 95% feathers and 5% down. That probably wouldn’t be good for a duvet because those feathers would most likely stick through and give you a poke on occasion, but for a decorative sham it works fine.
I was worried it would be hard to get the larger insert inside the sham cover but it wasn’t at all. It went right in. Notice how it’s filling out the corners nicely.
I put the insert in the pillow on the left first and you can really see the difference the insert makes.
Here’s how both Devonshire Euro shams look with their feather and down inserts. I like that they are taller now and love how the flange is standing at attention.
So much Better!
So, if you suffer with the Floppy-Euro-Sham-Flange-Malady each time you make your bed, you may want to pick up a couple of these feather and down inserts. These things weigh a ton, by the way. I was shocked how much heavier they are than the old poly filled shams. This was the one I purchased: Bed of Roses Euro Feather Down Pillow Inserts
Update: I just noticed someone asked how much these inserts weigh and someone who had purchased the inserts replied saying they had weighed one and it weighed 6 lbs! lol That sounds about right…they are good and solid! I guess that’s why the flange now stands up so well.
Update: After I wrote this post, I emailed Bed of Roses and asked if they had shams to fit the 27″ x 20″ red tartan shams. They replied saying they don’t have them currently in stock but that they’ll be happy to make them for me. They said they would need to be 29″ x 22″, again 2 inches larger around. I’m so excited they can make them in the size I need for the red tartan shams so maybe that will help with the floppy flange on those, too. It will take about 10 days for Bed of Roses to make them and send them out to me. Once they arrive, I will let you know if new feather/down inserts helps with the flange problem on those, as well. Keeping fingers crossed!
A Surprise Present
I received the nicest gift in the mail day before yesterday from Martha’s Circle, a network of which I’m a member. They sent these adorable Martha Stewart”Plaid Scottie” flannel sheets. Are they not perfect for my winter bedding?! I just washed and dried them today so they’ll go on the bed this evening. If you are interested in getting a set, I noticed Macy’s has them on sale for Black Friday here: Martha Stewart Collection Novelty Print Flannel Sheet Set (not an affiliate link)
I am way behind in saying thank you to some wonderful folks who have featured a post from Between Naps On The Porch in recent weeks. It’s always such a nice surprise when that happens. Thank you to those of you who noticed these features and left a comment letting me know.
Thank you to Country Living Magazine for featuring my front porch decorated with a snowflake wreath for Christmas. You’ll want to check out their 14 Classic Ideas for Outdoor Christmas Decorations.
Do you watch The Today Show? They have a “Home” section on their website where they share fabulous decorating ideas. I didn’t realize this until someone told me they had seen one of my tablescapes there. A big thank you to Today.com for featuring two of my fall/Thanksgiving table settings (#7 & #13) in a lovely slide show they put together for the holidays. You’ll find it here: 14 Ideas For Your Thanksgiving Table Decor
Thanks so much to Apartment Therapy for sharing one of my fave napkin folds, the Triple Pocket Fold in their post titled, The Well-Dressed Table: 5 Ways To Fold A Napkin. Always so much inspiration to be found at Apartment Therapy!
If you have a moment, please visit these wonderful sites, you’ll definitely come away with lots of new ideas!