Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fish Tail Swags for the Living room.

My house is upside down as Christmas decorations are coming out and making clutter everywhere . Son in law Gary came and brought down the tree and its base and a box of pine cones from the loft.   As I was putting up Christmas trees, I decided that I just must make the swags to go over my windows, I have been wanting them since I first moved to this house over 2 years ago.  This is how I have come to be sewing with Christmas music.   I will play it for weeks. I have a whole box of Christmas CD's.  Manheim Steamroller and Marshall Styler are favorites. 

If you have pretty windows and want minimal coverage, swags over the top are a nice way to go. They are also a way to give a more finished look to windows with modern blinds like I have in this house.  This coverlet pattern fabric was bought several years ago, my friend Dorothy had it for her shop in 2 colors, gold and blue.  I wish I could have bought more of it, it sold out in a flash.  Now it seems perfect as a quiet understated pattern for a very busy room.  For this project, one of my featherweights is on the dining table to give work space needed for the 12 ft swags. 
        As I cannot reach both sides at once when they are up above the windows, my swags do not hang with any precision. These are casual in the extreme.  I wish Peggy F were here to assist with them.  Gary set the nails I hang them on. But to hang the swags themselves I teeter back and forth trying to reach them from a step stool under my 5 ft 2 self.  Daughter Cheryl helped with one pair.  Many long arms are needed. The windows are wider than I can reach from my perch.  So casual is the way they will stay. 
One choice I had to make was how high to hang them. The tops of these are looped over straight 2 inch nails set 3 inches above the windows so as to block the least light. I could have chosen to hang them barely above the windows to give better coverage to a blind when it is raised all the way. 

Another choice was made concerning the supports for the swags.  Instead of a commercial hook or such, I use a loop of brown twine over an ordinary nail with a good head so the twine does not slip off. In hanging these It helped to arrange the folds with the fabric laid out flat on a table, then tie the loops in place and carry the curtain to its window by the loops of twine.

Now they are up on all three windows! 
I have added two Santas by designer Bethany Lowe this year.  The white one is perfect in the front bedroom done in Blue and white.  I like white Santas, white teddy bears, white flowers best always.  The white tree is from Trish Travis at Country Gatherings.

Now I can start to decorate the other Christmas tree!  e


  1. Your swags are beautiful in your lovely rooms. I think I may put out a few Christmas things this weekend too. Ohhh..those Santas!

  2. Beautiful swags and love how they look on the windows, as well as your Christmas decorations.


  3. I've made swags like this--they're a great solution when renting or in Base housing, because they make fewer/smaller holes in the walls over the windows than curtain rods do. I bet your house is gorgeous with all your lovely Christmas decor on display. It was an honor to help you put the trees up last year. :~)

  4. Beautiful swags. Love the Santas.

  5. Edyth, you have been an inspiration to me for a long time. Love your swags and decorations. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Tricia

  6. Beautiful swags, Edyth. ... jan

  7. Love the fishtail swags! Those look perfect in that room! And the Santas are just delicious, especially the white one.

  8. I love them!
    They look wonderful on your windows!
    The Santas, nothing can compare to those!
    Your trees, ah, Christmas!

  9. I think your swags are lovely and the perfect compliment to your windows and rooms. I was gifted a piece of that fabric in blue. I made pillow covers out of mine. I always enjoy your Christmas decor Edyth. Thank you for sharing. Lori

  10. Merry Christmas Edyth! Grete, Tascha & the girls & I all send our Love to you this Christmas! XOXOXOXOX rachael


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