I purchased this low volume bundle a few weeks ago, and I’ve been eagerly waiting to cut into the stack of fabric. As I’ve progressed through this creative sewing and quilting endeavor these last few years, I have learned a lot and have really started to understand what draws me to quilts.
For me, it’s the fabrics. I appreciate the fine, detailed, and intricate patterns that takes hours and hours of cutting and piecing, and I understand the beauty of a flawless quilting pattern done with a long arm machine. But, I have learned I am drawn to the fabrics.
You will see lots of simple patchwork in my home. Last week, I used five inch blocks to make a single panel curtain for the window on our back door.
It used to have a magnetic blind on it. The magnets weren’t that strong, and the blind wasn’t overly appealing. We took the blind down months ago. Peter has kindly been requesting me since to come up with some sort of curtain for our door.
After a few months of thinking, out came a patchwork curtain!
The window on our door measures 27 1/2 inches by 41 1/2 inches. I made the curtain slightly larger than the window.
Here’s how I did it.
1. I cut 63 squares. They are all five inch squares. (I have a post here explaining how I square my fabric and cut perfect patchwork squares.)
2. Next I sewed the blocks into rows of seven. I was intentional about ironing every single seam open. I was intricate and precise with the seams.
I knew the sun would be shining through this curtain every day. If the seams were wonky and pressed inconsistently, it would be very noticeable.
3. After sewing nine rows of seven blocks each, I sewed all the rows together.
Once again, I ironed every seam open. I also made sure as I was sewing the rows that all the seams stayed open under my presser foot.
4. Lay the curtain out flat on top of fabric for the backing. I used a solid cut of Kona Snow. The fewer the creases, the better.
I’m sure the backing is completely optional. I chose to use backing for a few reasons. I’m not sure how fast fabric can fade in the sun, but I’m hoping the backing slows down that process. I also wanted something to keep the seams flat. I know they lose their crispness if I don’t iron them every so often. Using backing and some simple quilting, the seams will stay flat. I’ll only have to iron the curtain if I choose to wash it.
5. Pin the curtain and backing together, and cut the backing the same size as the curtain. I used straight pins since I didn’t use batting. I figured they were faster. In hind sight, I should have used basting pins. I was moving and jostling the curtain enough while sewing and such that I wished I had used basting pins.
6. Iron two finished quarter of an inch edges around three sides of the curtain. You don’t need to iron finished edges at the top.
I ironed one side. Then I simply folded the top side under to match the bottom. It’s simpler than you’d think. I think you could secure these hems with stitching, but I don’t think that is needed at this point.
You can see both the finished edges in the above picture.
7. Cut a 4 1/2 inch strip of fabric for the top portion of the curtain. We will create a hanger for the curtain rod. (I think this is officially called the ‘head’ of the curtain.) It’s the loop or tunnel where the rod slips through.
I used the same fabric I used for my curtain’s backing.
Iron a quarter of an inch in on every side. This will create a finished edge of all sides. Then iron the strip in half. (Pictured below.)
8. Attach the head to the curtain.
Lay the head (or 4 1/2 inch strip you just cut and ironed) right below the top of your curtain.
Back in step number 6, I said you didn’t need to iron in the seams at the top of the curtain. You can see that mine are ironed in here. I wouldn’t recommend it. First off, it’s unnecessary since the seams will be covered with the head. Second, because those seams are ironed and the seams of the head are ironed, I’ll be sewing through eight layers of fabric when I sew these two pieces together. Just by leaving the edges unfinished on the body of the curtain, you’ll eliminate two layers.
Pin the head to the curtain body.
9. Quilt the curtain, backing, and head together. I did some simple straight line quilting a quarter of an inch off every seam.
I sewed an eighth of an inch around the perimeter of the patchwork after I quilted the curtain. This will secure the stitching.
I also sewed an eighth of an inch off the top of the header to secure it to the curtain’s body.
And that, my friends, is how to sew a patchwork, single panel curtain for a window. It’s been hanging up for a while now, and I don’t regret it’s springiness one bit.
(source: white sheer curtains)
Next up is a completely identical throw quilt for the living room. Because I absolutely love this combination right now.
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