Thursday, September 8, 2011

Celebrate Color {Patchwork Curtains}

There's nothing like a deadline, is there?  Sometime last fall I bought 12 yards of chocolate brown linen.  Washed it, folded and put. it. away. True story!  Because who wants to deal with 12 yards of curtains?  The thing is our living room actually needs curtains.  In the winter we spend a bundle on propane for our fireplace, which is our main source of heat.  And opposite that fireplace?  Huuuuuuuuge picture windows = serious energy loss.

When I promised Brandon that I'd make those curtains this September, I explained that it would really happen if I made the project part of Celebrate Color.  So, it's really all thanks to you that our living room now has curtains.  And I LOVE them.  So, Thanks!

Kona bundles!


Is it any surprise that the project began with more fabric?  12 yards of chocolate brown linen may be enough for the functional curtains that actually close, but I would reward myself for finishing that boring project with some decorative patchwork panels to frame each side.  I pulled from these three Kona bundles:  Hot Spice, Grounded and Candy Corn (available here and here).

my palette


Our living room colors are brown, black, red, plum and yellow.  For the patchwork panels, I'm leaving out the red.  Since the curtains frame our red sofa, it works out perfectly!  I pulled all shades of brown, yellow, gold, cream and raisin from the bundles.  Then, I added in Kona berry and a nice shade of unknown plum I've had stashed for quite awhile.

Oooh, those colors make me giddy!  Such a scrumptious array of tones and definitely feels like "fall" to me! 

But hold your horses, I had to make those boring chocolate curtains first.  You know, I was pretty intimidated last fall by that heavy stack of linen.  Maybe it's all the quilt backs I've wrangled since then or maybe I was just intoxicated by the color-fun to come, but I cut into that linen without looking back.

heming.  lots of this...


And, really, it's not such a hard project.  I just had to cut and piece each curtain to a gargantuan size and then hem each side.  Lots of time spent with one of my favorite tools - the hem guide.  (bless you, Deborah!)

I heart Ikea


I'm using an Ikea rod system called Kvartal.  It has 3 tracks, so you can have 3 layers of curtains.  In this case I'm just using 2 tracks - one for the chocolate curtains and one for the decorative panels.  Shown here is the tape (on left) that you sew onto the back of the curtains, in which you insert hooks for hanging.  The hardware set (on right) actually allows for three different options for hanging curtains in this track system.  I went with the large, metal hooks which are invisible from the front.

curtains made easy


After hemming, it's as simple as sewing on the tape.  Done.  I HEART Ikea!

Patchwork panel mockup


Time for fun! Here's my patchwork mock-up to serve as an anchor for improv piecing.  I kind of wanted to make sure Brandon knew what he was getting into.  I think he thought this looked pretty cool, but it's hard to tell.  Anyways, it passed.  This color scheme without any prints and in such a random layout seems to fit the more modern aesthetic he always likes.  And the plum and yellows make it "ME"!

Improv piecing is something I can literally do all day.  It just doesn't feel like work, when every step is an artistic judgment call.  So engaging!  It's exciting to see the product come together and no two are ever the same.  So, yes, I like one panel better than the other, but I'm not naming names!

on the left
on the right

I know these pictures aren't the best, but in our house, catching curtains in natural lighting is really so difficult! Everything else in the room is mostly well lit though. Even while I was making them, I wasn't sure that curtains would make such a difference to the room, but now that they're hung... 

living with patchwork

Well, I can't imagine the room without them! In real life, the plum, golds and yellows add so much to our ho-hum mocha walls and chocolate curtains.

that wall should read "insert mini quilt here"

Here's the only shot with fair lighting, albeit a rather odd shot. I think that blank wall should read "Insert Quilt Here". Right?  Maybe someday, y'all. These curtain panels are yet more evidence that I'm wearing. him. down.

Now if I could, I'd enter these curtains into the Fabric {Home Decor} category of our Celebrate Color event.  But as it is, I'll just present them to you, along with my sincere thanks for giving me good reason to tackle this project and explore the possibilities with some of my favorite fall colors.

Happy sewing!

53 comments:

  1. Wow, that's impressive! What a huge project to tackle, and they looks amazing. So fitting with everything I keep reading about color blocking for this fall!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love, love, love your curtains.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love them!! The bold colors make them look so cool and modern, not at all "log cabin" like I associated with patchwork curtains. Well done!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...Wanna come decorate my house??? Just kidding! Great work! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. They are gorgeous! They work so beautifully in the room.

    ReplyDelete
  6. wow, these make such a great statement in your room - love them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very inspired patchwork! I worked on my entry last night, and it's coming along!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh they look fantastic! More motivation to get me going on mine. So did you do anything to the back sides or is it just open seams?

    ReplyDelete
  9. All I can say is WOW. I love the color blocking!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Stunning.... love your new curtains! You done good!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Absolutely gorgeous!!! love the color combo. The bits of yellow will really add a cheerful aspect to the room in winter.

    ReplyDelete
  12. They're awesome! I agree; they really pull the room together. I'm glad you had an excuse to make such a lovely set of curtains. Oh, I also agree about improv patchwork. It's so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  13. "These curtain panels are yet more evidence that I'm wearing. him. down." BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Love it. And these curtains are to die for. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  14. They look great and are a lovely addition to the room. I will confess I once made all my curtains for my living room which amounted to two short pairs and 2.5long pairs. And even though they were up for years I never hemmed the long ones. I just left a few pins. I kept telling myself I needed to wait for them to drop sufficiently before I tackled hemming. When they were ever washed I'd rehang and tell myself I'd have to let them settle in before I went and hemmed. They were eventually thrown away still with pins attached!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lovely window treatments! The improv panels are a great idea.

    I have curtain fabric, cut to length, for both my sewing/guest room and the kitchen, that's been sitting in the sewing closet for two years now ... waiting for me to recover from making curtains for three other rooms (including 5 panels just for the bedroom). You've inspired me to think a bit more seriously about maybe getting back to these projects "soon".

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gorgeous!! I ordered a bolt of chevron fabric to make curtains for our formal living room, just waiting for it to arrive! White and gray chevrons do not count for celebrating color though, do they?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rachel,
    I am totally with you on curtains for keeping the warmth in the house! I love your new curtains!

    I really need to cover a large door and window in our kitchen and have been putting it off, but you are inspiring me to move the project higher on my list :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh they are gorgeous! I think my husband will have a breakdown if I suggest I make curtains too! Maybe I'll just get on with it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. oh, they are so perfect! What a great idea! Very, very nice! (congrats!)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would never have put those colours together but they look fantastic! The curtains do make a huge difference to the room. They give it just the right amount of pop!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, thank-you all for your lovely comments! I'm so glad this project is inspiring to some, because that was totally the point! In answer to Jessica, I did line the patchwork panels so that they're aren't raw edges. With the chocolate curtains, I didn't line them since they're aren't raw edges (just one part with selvedges). But, I probably should have lined them. I couldn't imagine working with that many yards x 2.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love them!!! I have made three sets of curtains now, choosing three fabrics that I loved, buying up the insane amount of yardage, leaving them alone, with only the hemming needed. I would love to do a patchwork set for my sewing room window and door -- someday!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh my gosh. These are fantastic! I would never think of patchwork for curtains! You did such a beautiful job with them. I wish it was possible to get of a shot of them closed with natural light... Such an awesome job!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Fab idea with the coloured extra layer *looks wistfully at the plain cream linen curtains hanging at the window and thinks perhaps getting her arse in gear to was and properly hem them/add a bit of colour would be a good idea*

    ReplyDelete
  25. They loook FABuLouS! Awesome job :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. They look so very good! Way to go on getting it done. I know what you mean about tackling big things like curtains. I'd procrastinate too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I've never seen patchwork curtains before, they are a great idea. Yours turned out just gorgeous. (Kinda glad you can't enter the comp hehehe)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow! Yes, a massive project, but they look GREAT. You've inspired me to make some curtains ... uh, after I finish all of my other projects, hahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  29. SWEET!~ I love when you do things like this! Like the shower curtain? You rock. Now you have to make slipcovers for the red living room seating : )
    ~Monika

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your curtains are truly fabulous! Now I'm inspired to make some...

    ReplyDelete
  31. Impressive set of curtains!! I hope they give the thermal quality that you need for winter. I finally let our furnace run this morning because it was so cold. Here's to a long winter in Michigan.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nice curtains. That was a major project you got out of the way. The patchwork is really cute. I went to my Austin Quilt Guild Meeting tonight and someone else is doing the Bottled Rainbows QAL. Small world.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow, totally fantastic! And you make it seem so effortless!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ohhhh, those are fabulous!!! I need one of those hemming guides :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've nominated you for the versatile blogger award on my blog. Check it out if you like...

    http://thelifeofmegananne.blogspot.com/2011/09/megan-anneie-get-your-gun.html

    ReplyDelete
  36. Amazing! I would like make something like that for my own home. Once we finish building it, that is...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow those are beautiful!! How original they are too, awesome way to use all those beautiful solids!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. They fit the walls and linen curtains perfectly! Did you put something on the back of the patchwork curtains to hide the sean allowances? I´m just curious, I have never seen patchwork curtains before.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Fabulous! Those colors were meant for each other!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great job on these curtains! I would love to see a tutorial on how to make them!

    ReplyDelete
  41. They look really fantastic! I understand completely about purchasing curtain fabric and then putting it away...we picked out fabric for bedroom curtains in april, i think, and i've yet to sew them up, despite the fact that fiancee puts a blanket up every night over the existing hand-me-down curtains to darken the room. I think this is the weekend, but now I'm so torn...wish I'd bought something that would go better with patchwork panels. Maybe for the living room...hmmm...
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Fantastic curtains! Do your patchwork panels completely cover the window? Off to check IKEA.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Connie - No, the brown curtains (behind) completely cover the windows. The patchwork are narrow decorative panels - easy!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your room looks great! I plan to make such curtains too. Did you attach some kind of background to the cotton fabric? E.g. fusible pellon?
    Bye
    Susanne

    ReplyDelete
  45. Wow wow you made my jaw drop to the floor! I love how you turned improv-piecing into something so artistic and practical!!! Your curtain reminds me of Crate and Barrel! Just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I know I'm late to the party, but SOOOO cute! I love your curtains. Great job. We live out in the country with no need for privacy, so we've got big, nice blinds on all of the windows to block the sun. But maybe I need curtains after all...

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am about to tackle custom panels for the Kvartal system for a sliding glass door in my kitchen and I was just wondering how wide the panels are that you made? I bought one Ikea panel for a guide and they are quite narrow. You did a wonderful job, the curtains look lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question! They are each only 44" wide. Yes, rather narrow, but working for this purpose.

      Delete

Related Posts with Thumbnails