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« Aprons On My Mind | Main | French Hatbox »

February 06, 2008



Oh if you could see the pile of junk in our many dreams piled up in there! I believe your plan will work and that you will come out ahead like when Sweet Pea cut off her denim dress and voila! it worked!

Tanya Whelan

Oh, I love Sweet Pea!! I don't know she's just so sweet, maybe it's her name. Well, I loved that dress so fingers crossed the bed will turn out as well. Thanks for the encouragement!!


Glad it worked out. Usually some carrige bolts and some new rails will take care of those things lickety split! What a great bed it will be.

Natasha Burns

Hi Tanya,
Oh I do love that old bed - your garage sounds like mine, glad to hear it's not just me getting more and more beautiful junk! I'm sure it will all work out. I love how you told the story though, I was chuckling away!
Gosh I haven't heard the term strike-off for a while now but you brought me back to my full time working days when we had prints done and had to approve strike offs! Great to hear the new range is fully underway, I am ITCHING to see it and can't wait to get some new fabric designs!!!


As a woman who sleeps on a 100+ year old iron bed every night, I can help you, but it will cost money. LOL

First, do not drill holes in the bed! It will go badly.

You need a blacksmith. A real blacksmith.

If you still have the piece that got broken off, he can weld that piece back on. (And if you don't, call the guy you bought it from and make him find it!) Then, he can fashion you new rails. You would have at least needed to have the old rails lengthened anyway, as they would never have held a modern mattress in their original state.

It is also wise to have the smithy make you some rails that can go across the middle of the bed, as modern mattresses are heavy, and using side rails only will cause sag.

Once he makes those repairs for you, the bed will be good and sturdy. We have slept on ours nearly every night for almost 8 years now.

One other thing, you can never, ever use a regular metal hammer on cast iron. Use a rubber mallet only, and only in case of emergency. Cast iron is actually prone to shattering like that. (Which is why the drilling is not a good idea.)

There are photos of our much beloved old bed on my blog way back here:

Periwinkle Vintage

Tanya, thanks for your oh-so-nice comments on my blog! I'm sorry about your bed fiasco, but it will definitely be worth it in the end!

Tanya Whelan

Thank you for talking me out of the drilling Sarah. I'm going to take your advice and have the old fitting welded back on then I'm going to try to find a machine shop that will modify some old rails to make them fit. Turning into a project alright, but your beautiful bed is giving me hope.


i can't wait to see it all done up! i love the bed, and i am so glad you found a way to make it work, i think older is better!


Oh I have spent some money at Country Boy! I was always grateful that the piles of stuff didn't come crashing down on me! Oh - and there used to be a blacksmith shop somewhere on 35th street (maybe another number street closer to 21st st) between Colley Ave. and Hampton Blvd. I never went in there, but I always had visions of a custom fireplace screen. Maybe that will help!


well..I have a bed like can see it on my blog under mi casa. I only had the head and foot board...after several months of looking for the rails to fit the antique stores..I went to ebay....and got them there....they had a bunch when I was looking..look under antique bed rails. good luck...I found a bed at a yard sale 2 weeks ago and I wanted just to want it...had no place for it..I also have a crib headboard in my garden...I love those them!@!


I can't wait to see your new fabric collection. I've been checking your blog everyday to see if there are any sneak peeks. I'd love to win ANY fabric - we can never have enough, right!

Firefly Hill

I love the story about the bed! I have done things like that too and my husband just rolls his eyes. I bet it is going to look fab. Cant wait to see your new collection!



Can't wait to see the "new" bed. I love using your fabrics, am working on a quilt now to go with the nursery bedding I made. Jan


I'm not so good with english, but I try to explain my idea. You can use the head of the bed as a decorative item for your garden. You can use like this:
by hanging up. Or you can let it stand against a wall, hang some small and larger jars on it, use the smaller ones for tea lights and the larger ones to put flowers in it, decorate the frame with some ribbon and/or silk flowers.

Dont know if you like it, its just an idea.



Cool Bed.

I was wondering if you can help me get a copy of your pattern for the Fleamarket Bag.
I have ordered it 2 times and each time I get a reply that it is unavailable.

Thanks Toni


I am repainting my daughters room and had to move her old iron bed. It is so rickety I don't know how she slept in it. But it made it through her college days!! We have so many metal and wood braces between the rails but it is still wobbly. Guess I need a blacksmith!! Good luck with yours!! They are so pretty!

happy zombie

I love that bed, and I'm pretty sure you'll make it work in some other fantastic form!

I love Tim Gunn. Love him, love him, love him! I think he could walk into any world crisis with heads of states gathered... Let's make it work people, let's make it work. Sigh. I dream.


Tanya, such a great bed. I can see why you fell in love with it and I can also see why you bought it despite being broken. I'm quite the same way - funny thing, guilt. I can't wait to see who it all turns out. Glad to hear you got through you work so quickly, and also glad to hear you really are liking how things are turning out. Talk to you soon.


Now that's what you would call a "bed bummer". Hope it all comes together beautifully. I'll keep an eye out for a look at the how it's ultimately transformed.

Have a great weekend!


Paint it?!!! Leave it rustic and the contrast with the crisp new bed fabric will be delicious!


This is my first visit to your site. I think it really wonderful. I feel for you about the bed, but you sound like myself about trying to make it work and find a way to do, by hook or crook.
Good luck and I'll be adding you to my fav's.



You are a very brave woman...don't give up on the dream bed...You will make this bed last for many years to come...and many little boys and gals will thank you for that!
Good luck on your new articles!


You are a very brave woman...don't give up on the dream bed...You will make this bed last for many years to come...and many little boys and gals will thank you for that!
Good luck on your new articles!

carol Eldridge

fun bed-vintage delight!

I am sure you will find some use for it..maybe use it in your studio and hang all your aprons and bags on the headboard as a display.

I am a designer as well...I paint and create products for manufacturers and license my artwork. Please stop by and say hello sometime!

carol eldridge

Sarah Moyar

i would totally do the same thing...not only because i love the bed but because of the guilt. what is up with guilt complexes? i think...where there's a will there's a way! i'm hopeful for the finished project picture. :)

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  • Hi There!
    I'm Tanya. I blog here about my life and my work as an author, fabric, product and sewing pattern designer. My fabrics, scrap booking products, paper products and sewing patterns are available globally. My second book for Random House, Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time includes interchangeable patterns to create 219 unique dresses. It will be released June 16th, 2015. Thank you for coming by!
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