The Power of the Pillow

Well, I think I’ve made a final decision about my bedding. I should know very soon but I’m 99% sure I’m going with the bedding I shared from Williams-Sonoma Home in yesterday’s post. So what has moved me further along in that direction?

Tartan Duvet and Shams


This little tartan pillow is to blame. A few days after I ordered the bedding, I revisited the WS website to gawk at it again. In the midst of my gawking, I noticed some of the “extras” they have in this tartan fabric, including the pillow below. I decided to order one thinking it may look good on the bed or in a chair in the bedroom.

Well, Mr. Tartan Pillow came today (still awaiting the bedding) and he pretty much sealed the deal…

Tartan Christmas Pillows


…so much so, I went online to Amazon today and cancelled my order for this bedding. Fortunately, it still hadn’t shipped. Was it a sign? 😉

In case you missed yesterday’s post, it was under consideration as a possibility until the pillow came today. (See yesterdays post HERE for more info.)

Plaid Tartan Bedding


I had a feeling I would love the tartan fabric based on how much I loved the look and feel of this Christmas stocking I found on clearance in Williams-Sonoma last year. It’s made from the same fabric as the bedding, or at least it appears to be.

Tartan Christmas Stocking


The pillow is definitely made from the same fabric as the stocking. A blend of linen and cotton (55% linen, 45% cotton) almost gives the pillow a feeling of wool. I love how it feels!

Tartan Christmas Pillows


You may remember the wreath pillow from seeing it on the swing when I decorated the porch last Christmas. (That post can be viewed here: Screened-in Porch Decorated for Christmas

Between Naps on the Porch Christmas Porch


Per Williams-Sonoma’s super nice customer service, the duvet and the standard shams shipped on Monday so they should be arriving on Friday. The Euro shams are on backorder until January, something I unfortunately knew when I ordered those. I keep hoping that will change…have no idea why they can’t get them in until then.

So with that decision probably made (can’t 100% commit until the duvet comes on Friday) I started pondering what I’m going to do about a bedskirt. Then it hit me, I love this tartan fabric so much, why not make the bedskirt out of it, too.

Tartan Duvet and Shams


I’ll most likely place the duvet across the foot of the bed like I normally do with the comforter in my current bedding. And I’ll probably use the ivory matelasses I already have or maybe buy a solid red one…or use a red wool blanket I purchased recently. So, why not go with the tartan for the bedskirt. There’s just one problem, I can’t locate the tartan fabric online anywhere.

I called WS’s customer service and asked if they offered the fabric in yardage. Turns out, they do offer several of their upholstery fabrics by the yard, but not this tartan fabric. Boo hiss. I politely suggested they might want to consider offering it too, since it would come in handy for making a bedskirt to go with the bedding.

4 Poster Bed with Plaid Moire Bedskirt


Plan B

Then I went with plan B. I had noticed Williams-Sonoma has a bunch of tablecloths in this tartan fabric. They come in a lot of sizes and one size is a whopper at 70″ x 126″. I don’t know if the tablecloths are made of this exact same fabric but they look like they are and they’re the same composition: 55% linen and 45% cotton.

I did a little measuring and my current bedskirt is around 82 inches long down the sides and 62 inches across the foot. If the tablecloth is the exact same fabric as the duvet and shams, there should be more than enough fabric to make a bedskirt from the tablecloth. So I ordered the giant tablecloth and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that’s it’s made from the same tartan fabric as the bedding and pillows. I’ll let cha know once it arrives. Update: I’ll have to make a plain(not pleated) skirt or order at least one more tablecloth if it’s to be a pleated skirt. Wish I could just find this fabric!

Tartan Tablecloth 70 x 126


This past weekend I stopped by Starbucks for one of their mocha coffees…have you tried those? On my gosh are those good! They are made with dark chocolate so they aren’t sicky sweet like most hot chocolate drinks. With mocha coffee in hand, I wandered into the Barnes and Noble that’s attached and look what I found!

I purchased two…one for me and one for a friend. I tucked a few more pretties down inside my friend’s tote since her’s will be a Christmas gift. She’s one of the friends I took a birding trip with to Jekyll Island for the Georgia Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival a few years ago, so I think she’ll really like it.

Tartan Cardinal Book Bag From Barnes and Noble


They are only $9.95 if you make a second purchase. Since I purchased two bags, that’s what I paid. I just love ’em and wanted to share this in case you are as tartan obsessed as I am and are looking for a Christmas present for a friend…or maybe for yourself. 🙂 The snowflake tote would make a great Hanukkah gift.

Tartan Tote


Have you started your Christmas shopping? Got any great recommendations for gifts?

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  1. Renee Cook says

    I know it feels good to have made your decision. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. While I am not tartan obsessed–yet–I am enjoying your passion and adventures. Don’t forget to keep us posted!

  3. Hi Susan, I love the plaid and can’t wait to see it on your bed.. Question though, on the dust ruffle. From the way I understand it you didn’t take into account the added fabric needed for the gathering of the bedskirt, unless you are going with a box or straight skirt. Just wondering.

    • Oh, Jan…I bet you’re right. Yikes…I may need to order two tablecloths OR make them plain skirts, whatever that style is called. I think I prefer the pleated look. I wonder if I make it a pleated skirt, if two tablescloths will be enough. Wished I could just find the fabric!

      • Susan, if you want the gathers to be as full as the skirt you now have, you need at least two or three times the width of your bed measurements. I don’t think you would be happy with a straight skirt, and not having it full enough would make it look skimpy. Personally, because of the length you need, I don’t think the pleated would look that great. But then again, it’s yours not mine…. I can’t wait to see it complete! It will look like a holiday all winter in your room!

  4. If you have an old mink coat lying about like I did you can reconfigure it into a beautiful throw to toss on the end of your Tartan bed!

  5. Tell the truth, I’m the friend you bought the tartan bag for, right? 😉

    About that bedskirt…I don’t think two will be enough, whether you do the pleat or ruffle. If you make the pleats fairly far part, you could get away with two perhaps, but it will be tight.

    (Glad you chose this one Susan. It’s MUCH nicer than the other one!)

    • Must find this fabric! lol I don’t want to have to buy three tablecloths…geesh! 🙂 Thanks, Doreen…the pillow feels so nice, I hope the bedding is the same way.

  6. Peggy Thal says

    Beautiful choice! Your bedroom will be so perfect and festive.

  7. I love the tartan, always have. So cozy, and warm,looking for winter.

  8. I LOVE tartan! I am seriously obsessed with it and I’ve been adding to my collection of tartan items every year (I even use tartan wrapping paper!). I have the tablecloth from Williams-Sonoma and it’s wonderful. I plan on purchasing the napkins this year (if they’re in stock).
    Michelle from

  9. Susan,
    I love it when a pillow does that to one, dear friend!!!
    Love the red tartan plaid. . .the fabric content sounds luxurious!
    Wishing a rapid delivery to your door!

  10. Perhaps a pleated skirt in white or black would work for you? There are several on-line if you google them. Something white with black piping perhaps also…sometimes plaid on plaid is more plaid that a person ends up liking and the WS isn’t as soft as your summer’s set (which is SO pretty!)jw

  11. Vicki Dugherty says

    Unlike a previous commenter, I am a tartan fan. And this is going to look fabulous in your bedroom. Cannot wait to see it all finished. As for the bedskirt, I was planning to ‘someday’ make one and use a flat white sheet for the top layer, cutting it 2″ shorter on the edges of top so that the overhang fabric would appear to be the whole top side. Does that make any sense at all? Doing it that way (nobody sees the top part of a bedskirt underneath a mattress) you can cut your huge tablecloth to make the side pieces and one end piece drape as long as you need it to be. Vicki in Louisville KY.

  12. I know you will have your bedroom looking like a magazine in no time. I love your ideas. It is supposed to be another cold winter! Good thing you will be prepared. =)

  13. I share you tartan passion, been eyeing pillows for my sofa, just made up my mind also. Can’t wait to see your finished project!!

  14. I love the tartan pillow, Susan; I think you’re going to love the bedding. 🙂 The tote bag is really pretty too — those are so handy to have around the house! I’m sure your friend will really appreciate the gift. Have a good week.


  15. Ha! I have two cushions on my chairs on the front porch made out of that lovely, cheerful tartan. I made them out of a kilt I found at a garage sale, for $5. Score! Your bedroom is going to feel so cozy. Can’t wait for the final reveal.

  16. Margio Kuhn says


    Although I have not seen the quality, I most definitely like the look of the Williams Sonoma one the best, and with all the other tartan items, sounds like you will soon have a whole new look in you home.

  17. A few days ago I was thinking about the same type plaid bedding that I saw while on a home tour at Christmas. It was in Herman Mo. at and old seminary. Every room is decorated it a different theme. There are several hundred Christmas trees. If you are ever in Mo at Christmas you must see it.

  18. I am with you 100% on the WS tartan plaid. I want to do a red tartan plaid for our son’s room, well, it is his room when he is home. I have hardwood floors and a 3×5 wool oriental…with taupe walls. I think I need some of the red plaid to finish up this room. It also has hubby’s civil war prints in there too. So the red plaid will go with the soldiers uniforms (some gray, some dark blue.)
    Very clever to use the curtain panels. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that the plaids work. Can’t wait for your photos!

  19. YESSS! So pleased you chose “that” plaid! This is going to be SO beautiful!! I like plaids so much….I had this “old” plaid skirt…get this, Prince Charles came to VA (Penny’s) to promote a line of plaid…I bought the skirt…which…hmmm..evidently shrunk over the (?) years…well, it is now my favorite “plaid pillow” ever!! I even put a brooch in the middle to add some sparkle. 🙂 Mad for plaid!!! franki

  20. Love the tartan! I have made several bedskirts from sheets, tablecloths, etc. Basically figure your drop and add minimum 1 inch for hem, plus 1/2 inch top seam allowance….so if you want a 20 inch drop, figure you need a width of 20 + 1 + 1/2, or 21 1/2 inch wide strips. Then add the total side length x 2 ( left side and right side) + bottom width of mattress. For a queen this would be roughly 80 + 80 + 60, or 220″. Multiply this by 2 or 3, depending on fullness of ruffle desired. Add some if you need large corner overlaps at end of bed. So a queen would need at least 440 to 660″ in 21 1/2″ wide strips seamed together….seams tend to hide in the fullness. So figure how many 21 1/2″ wide strips you can get out of the tablecloth….and dont forget to match your plaids end to end! And then determine how many cloths will take you to get the long total width for gathers. I usually use flat twin sheet for the dust ruffle top if making queen size ruffle. May sound complicated, bit really isnt.
    Usually i go with nice white or ivory ruffled or pleated skirt, since gathered ones use lots of fabric and can get really pricey. Good luck!

    • Thanks, Jae for all those great tips! Maybe I’ll get brave enough to make it myself. I’ve made some complicated things over the years including a dinosaur costume for my son that had a zipper, a hood that was lined with red satin and a quilted front in red satin. But I sew so infrequently, it’s like reinventing wheel each time. lol Takes me a good hour to just remember how to thread and work the machine again. 🙂 But I may just try it!

  21. Susan, I don’t know if you are getting your tablecloths from the retail/ catalog WS, but last week the WS outlet had those tartan tablecloths. I don’t remember the price but they were a certain % off.

    I, like another follower, suggest you might also consider a solid color bed skirt. I think a solid ( green, black or white/ivory) with a red grosgrain ribbon accent band a couple inches above the hem line might really set off the tartan duvet and would look very tailored and polished. If the euro shams don’t come in, and you do a solid color bed skirt, you could do the euro shams in the solid and trim them with the same grosgrain ribbon.
    I, too, use a flat sheet as the “platform” for bed skirts I make. I have made several and do one box pleat in the center of each side and on the middle of the end, and a half pleat at each corner. Limiting the pleats saves on fabric but gives some interest. Keep us up-dated. MM

    • Sounds like I need to make a trip up to the WS outlet that’s about 1-1/2 hour away. I’ll call them first but it would be great if they had them. Once this tablecloth comes, maybe I’ll be able to decide if I want to use the tartan for the bedskirt or a solid color. Thanks for the tip about using a flat sheet for the platform…I’ve been trying to figure out what to use for that. That’s a great idea! I’ve never had a regular skirt with the little box pleat like you’ve described…would def save a lot of fabric. I could make the bedskirt with one tablecloth I think…if I make that style. I love that over the top pleated look, too. 🙂 Thanks, Marie…lots of excellent advice!

  22. Oh my gosh, Susan, your bedroom is going to look fantastic! Sure hope the tablecloths work for the bedskirt. I saw those totes at B&N recently and I thought the one with the bird was so cute. Glad you picked up one for yourself!

  23. Susan, one last idea. Just looked at the WS web site and saw the pillowcases with the tartan band. If you did a solid bed skirt you could add a tartan band instead of the ribbon. MM

    • That’s true…they do have the tartan band. Marie, about the red ribbon idea…that ties back to the bedding. The pillow that came today has a red ribbon banding all the way around the outer edge and the Christmas stockings have the red ribbon along the edge, too. So I bet when the duvet comes, it will have that same red ribbon edge.

  24. I am loving that pillow so the bedding should be gorgeous!!! Hope you can get a skirt made and your bed will be FABULOSO:):) You are so generpus telling us where you find things. I got the antler “place card holders” and the little sleighs at Walmart today!!! Can’t wait to see your bedroom “redone”!!!!

    • Glad you found those, Pinky…things are selling out so quickly in the stores! I think folks are starting their Christmas decorating early this year.

  25. okay I am going against the trend here I think a gathered bedskirt will add more softness to your room. Love this tartan great choice. But you have a pretty deep drop there 24-25 inches that’s a lot of flat fabric for a tailored bedskirt.I do think using the plaid for the skirt is the right choice. There are some patterns like toile and tartans where the more fabric the more luxurious the look is.

    • Victoria, that’s a good point. I don’t think I’ve seen a flat, tailored skirt that long (25 inches) before. I preferred the pleated/gathered look the most, so I guess I’ll stick with that, especially with this drop. I love plaid for a bedskirt so leaning toward that…but just have to get the right fabric. Thanks for weighing in on this…this is really helping me decide what to do…all these great ideas and suggestions!

  26. I have always loved tartan as well. My first pair of glasses in the first grade were a red tartan plaid , so the bug hit me early. I only wish in my antiquing life that I had purchased tartan ware before it became so expensive. I love your new bedroom look and it makes me want to do the same. I’ll have to see what I can come up with in the post Christmas sales! I have had several dust ruffles made from matelase bedspreads. If you buy a new one you might want to consider getting a kingsize extra for the dust ruffle. Enjoy your holiday make over. I’ll be anxious to see the final outcome.

  27. Susan ~ I have a red toile comforter from PB that I use in the fall/winter. I love the red on the bed when it’s cool/cold outside. I ordered the duvet and matching pillow shams. I had a cream colored lacy bedskirt that I use with it. I am glad I didn’t order a matching dust ruffle (honestly don’t remember if it was available!). The light bedskirt keeps the room from being too red. And I love red!

  28. I think after all this beautiful advertising, WS should know where it is coming from and kick back a discount for you as we all flood the stores to buy tartan!
    Lol, just saying…

  29. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    Yay! I’m so glad you chose the W-S plaid. I know you’ll love it.

  30. I’m glad you chose the red tartan it is so much lovelier than the other choice. the little pillow is so cute and I imagine will look great on your bed.good luck with the dust ruffle.Maybe because of the boldness of the print it would be better not to ruffle it and just leave it flat.thanks to QVC my christmas shopping is done ,shipped and already delivered.YEA!!!! Susie

  31. Luv your new look!! I used to be a interior designer and when we were trying to save money on a job or were short on fabric…we would do inverted pleats with a solid color fabric inside the pleat that coordinates with the plaid (it will take less fabric). We also used sheets to make our top piece for the dust ruffles or we would buy a cheap, ready made dust ruffle and attach our own fabric to it. Sometimes we’d let the purchased fabric peek out from under the added fabric (like a petticoat). Good luck…I know it will look great when you are done!!!

  32. Oh I really hope this all works out…it’s going to be gorgeous! I would love a tartan in my master…I think this will inspire me! 😉

  33. I hate to make this suggestion and throw a new wrinkle into the decision making, but have you checked out L. L. Bean? I know they have other plaids as well. Just a thought…

  34. Love the plaid!! I have to go against the grain here and say that I would love to see a ticking stripe in red or dark green for the dust ruffle and definitely have it gathered. I think it will make the tartan stand out more instead of a big blend in…….cant’ wait to see the finished product!!!

  35. Helen Tarr says

    I cant believe that it is 10 years since your last bedroom makeover. That is when I first found your blog and I have followed you ever since. It is my morning ritual – get a cup of coffee and see what is happening “on the Porch”.
    You have such wonderful taste that I am sure what ever you choose will be beautiful. Wish I had your attention to detail.

  36. I absolutely love your choice! Gorgeous! There’s nothing like tartan for the holidays, I just adore it!!

  37. Love the tartan ~ excited to see your bed room transformed into what you have always wanted for the winter. Vikki in VA

  38. Love your pillows, but may I suggest adding some holiday cheer with a Scottie dog pillow? They are widely available this time of year. Macy’s has a very cute one that between sales and coupons are very reasonable and of high quality. Must admit that I have a Scottie so I’m rather biased! You can also find Scottie throws or blankets that go well with assorted plaids – they are available everywhere! My favorite is an argyle pattern with Scotties in some of the diamonds.

  39. Love the Tartan plaid. It will be perfect for your bedroom. Can’t wait to see it all done.

  40. I love this look especially the little pillow that says Merry Christmas Y’all. Did you find that online?

    • Thanks, Jen! I think I found it at HomeGoods…it’s been so long, I’m having trouble remembering. Definitely didn’t buy it online. I just checked and it doesn’t have a tag on it. I just googled and found some different ones online…wonder if an Etsy seller would have one for sale…or check on eBay, too.

  41. Peggy Bostic says

    Do I love tartan?? YES!! I did find a tartan watch for granddaughter and also the stick on nail tips with tartan design and polish to match. She is a cheerleader and can’t wear during school, however, she will enjoy during holiday this year.
    I also found a too cute pillow at Habitat last year and can’t wait to use on my porch this Christmas.
    Last year I found wool tartan blankets from Scotland ($5.00 each) at Goodwill and had planned to use on my outside chairs this fall but there was no fall just summer to winter. Maybe they will show up on my porch Christmas…..
    Yes, I do love tartan and am always on the hunt during my frequent “treasure hunts” at thrift stores.

    Peggy in NC

  42. Fanny N. Rinaldini says

    Hi Susan! Luv your tartan! For fabrics you might want to try Hancock’s of P aducah ( Ky) city of quilting with a Quilting Museum.
    They bring fabrics from all the world and export. You can order on line, they will send you a catolog.
    Good luck hope you check it out!
    I live in Argentina and they bring fabrics here. Huuuuuge deposit store to die for in Paducah!

  43. Diane Garman says

    I think you will LOVE the red tartan. I have a Ralph Lauren Wallace tartan silk duvet for my winter bedding. (It has a little more black in it). I have euro shams in the Wallace tartan, PB white embroidery shams next and a navy tartan pillow in front. I do not have a dust ruffle. I am perfectly happy with the airiness that it brings. I am VERY impressed with your idea of using a tablecloth for your dust ruffle. I cannot wait to see your results!!

  44. I love the tartan you chose the best, but I am wondering if you have considered combining the two tartans together on your bed, for example the bright red duvet and the other tartan for the bedskirt and a mix of pillows? I also wonder if you have considered not using a bedskirt for a different look? My bed is similar to yours, and I am not using a bedskirt any longer, and I like the look.

  45. So glad to hear that you made a decision as can relate to your dilemma since there are so many choices out there. Re the bed skirt; for a spare bedroom I actually ended up purchasing a Queen Size comforter and dissected it to create a tailored pleated bed skirt (with contrast inserts) and two flanged pillow shams which provided more than enough fabric to work with. Will also add though a high end Ralph Lauren product and the fabric was gorgeous; I was surprised how easily it was to take apart as the workmanship IMO was ‘not’ the best regardless of its price tag but by the same token was well worth the (quick) effort since I couldn’t find any fabric to match its quality, pattern and the convenience of its very wide seamless width. In event you wish any tips re yardage requirement, construction etc. and you feel that I can help, please don’t hesitate to contact me personally as I believe you have my email address. I know your room is going to be gorgeous! -Brenda-

    • Wow, you are not kidding, Brenda! I can’t believe how many plaid/tartan patterns or “setts” there are! I just bought the neatest book called The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. I was tickled to find my tartan (maiden name) in there and I actually liked the tartan a lot. I lucked out and it was a pretty one. I should try to have a pillow or something made in it.
      I wish I had your sewing ability! That is amazing that you even made the inserts in contrasting fabric!!! Brenda, if you and I lived closer, I’d come to your home every day for a week and watch you sew to learn as much as I could. All I know about sewing was making an apron in home economics in 8th grade and what I’ve found online or in books. Interesting that the RL wasn’t made as well as we would expect. I guess it’s because everything seems to be made less-well these days. Sad, but true.
      Oh, I do have a question Brenda about how much fabric I need for the bedskirt…I’ll email you now about that. Thanks!

  46. Susan, I think the prettiest thing would be to have a double layered bedskirt. Put the tartan one all the way to the floor, and over that have a shorter one in white or ecru lace, eyelet or crochet. The two tartans will be lost if they are right next to each other. Think of a Scottish lord wearing a kilt and a white shirt with lace at the cuffs! Just my .02.

  47. Susan, I can’t tell you how SIMILAR your and my tastes in decor are. As an example, your bedroom furniture is so very similar to mine (and your porch is the inspiration for the one off my newly purchased home. In fact, I put LARGE PORCH as a keyword to any home searches) . I even have the tall 4 poster bed with bed steps.
    I totally gave up with trying to find a bedskirt and started to question my sanity in wanting a tall bed…until I saw YOURS. (Beautiful!) So, you have the skirt professionally made? Where do you go for that? And about how much are you charged (as you supply the material)?
    Thanks…my heart beats faster to think that a bedskirt is FINALLY a possiblity!

    • Thanks, McKenna! I really do love the look of a bedskirt and when your bed is higher like mine and yours, it can really create a beautiful look. When you have a tall bed though, you pretty much always have to have a skirt custom made. The longest ready-made skirt I’ve ever seen was only around 20-21 inches long and my bed has a 25 inch drop. I just pulled out my folder for that room and it looks like I spent a little over $200 for the moire fabric in June 2003. I think the labor to have it made was $145 back then. That was 11 years ago, though…so prices are a lot higher now, I’m sure.

  48. What do you call that type of bedskirt that you have for your spring/summer look? I have looked up “flared” and “sweeping” but I haven’t found it. What I DO find (picture wise) doesn’t seem to describe the flared effect on the bottom.
    Also, (heck) while I have your ear (eyes?), how would you describe your decorating style? Since you and I are so similar, I’m asking because i can’t actually NAME it. Ummm…French Country? Well yes…but no. Traditional? Well, sometimes….but not really ALL the time. Country? Not really close, and definitely not primitive.
    What do YOU answer when asked to name your decorating style?

    • My decorating style could probably be called Traditional or English or English Country. I also love French Country but I think my decorating is more toward English/English Country than French Country. I think we all decorate in a blend or mix of styles, though. I very much love classic design which fortunately, is also good for the wallet because it’s not trendy and never goes out of style. The bed skirt style I have is just called ruffled or gathered or shirred, as opposed to a tailored or box-pleated style. If you Google “bedskirt styles” and click on “images” you’ll see various styles. I don’t know what to call the flared effect I was going for. Basically you just have the skirt made a an inch or two longer and pull it outward to create that effect.

  49. I fell in love with yours and all the Tartan ideas on Pinterest. Did my Xmas dining room totally Tartan. Well guess what girls? Payless has Tartan pumps that will go very well next Xmas! With sale price and BOGO they came to……………$8.50!!! (1/28/2015) Mine arrived and they are not only gorgeous, but comfy.

    • Oh, I looked for some tartan shoes a few weeks ago and couldn’t find any. Never thought to check Payless. Did you get the Jaclyn Point Pump, Maureen? I know your dining room was wonderful! I’d love to do a dining room in tartan!

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