Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Window Quilts...

I was asked about the window quilts and thought I'd try to explain them a bit more.

They aren't anything overly special. They are just what they sound like...a quilt for a window. You can make a simple wall hanging style to fit the size of the window, creating a sort of mural over the window. Or they can be plain and simple with solid fabric and a fancy quilting design:

Or you can do what I like for a cozy winter -- a real life, plain ol' quilt hanging in the window :o)

Here at ManyTracks Homestead they have window quilts hanging and I just love them. So cozy and country looking, aren't they?

Here are some instructions over at
Bella Online and Energy Boomer
and Lehman's Country Life
and Countryside Magazine
for making window quilts.

For the most part, it's basic and quick:

Measure your window. Are you going to place the quilt inside the window frame, on the window itself, or are you going for a more traditional window look with the quilt outside the window?

You are probably going to want a light color for your backing -- it's going to bleach out somewhat in the sunlight of the window, so plan accordingly. That pretty navy blue might look wonderful out there, but after a summer or even a winter of sun exposure....well, not so much.

Plan your quilt. I like the looks of the patchwork style myself, but that might not be your thing. The picture above from ManyTracks is perfect for my liking. Now, we don't get very cold here, so I would probably go more for a 'curtain' look than the 'window shade' look. I'm not sealing out frigid northern air here (I'd actually like a way to funnel it in!)

A 9-patch design would be very simple to do, and easy to vary for each window size needed. And, they don't look bad when lightly gathered, as a traditional curtain would be.

It doesn't even need much sewing. Can you stitch a straight line -- or a relatively straight line? You can easily make a window quilt. You could, of course, go all out and make it a true quilt, with an all-over quilted design. But you can just as easily leave it basic and just tie the corners here and there. If you have a batting between quilt and backing you will have to secure it somehow to keep it from sliding downward and bunching. If you aren't looking for a serious draft stopper, you could just keep it un-filled, just a front and back. With something basic, such as the 9-patch design, you have a grid already in place to tie off with.

Now, how will you install/hang your window quilt? Inside the window, you could mount them with a small frame, or depending on their weight, you could use Velcro strips. For a serious winter cold issue, I'd go with this style as it will really seal the window better.

You can also run those little plastic circle hoops --I have no earthly idea what they are called, sorry -- and stitch them along the top, then run them on a standard round curtain rod. Easy opening and closing when necessary.

If you are a bit more creative, you can create your own roman style shade system to hang your window quilt.
Here are some links for thoughts on hanging window treatments:
Solar Components -- scroll down to Hardware on the main page and get ideas
Sewing Roman Shades complete instructions

Lots to think about, but ery easy once you get going. I love the idea shared in the comments -- embroidery or red work squares. What a great way to personalize the window quilt!

And D -- on this thread over at GreenSpun they even talk about making one for a sliding door set up.


PocketsoftheFuture said...

Thank you so much for writing this post. It is just the encouragement I need!

Funny, it was Sue's window quilts at Many Tracks Homestead that inspired me (yet again) to make window quilts for our home. I came across hers last winter, I think.

I hope you post photos of whatever you make. I can at least hope to post photos of the redwork.

How do you propose to use velcro strips? I need these to keep out as much cold air in winter and hot sun in summer as possible. Would you fold the quilts against the window frame I wonder?

Thank you again. I look forward to more.


As Simply As We Can said...

Wow -thanks! You either already knew quite a bit about this subject or did some research! I love that picture up at the top of your post too. I'm going to go search through all the links!

Dawn said...

This is a neat idea...window quilts. I don't know how to sew anything, but I know if I were to head to some thrift shops or yard sales I can pick up some quilts for cheap!
Now that I think about it though I don't think it will work well in my kitchen window...but maybe in the bedroom windows...

*wheels in the head spinning with ideas* :-)


Linda said...

but but but.... wouldn't it get VERY dark in your home? (as winter is dark already, and your blocking more light?)

greetings from the netherlands :)

Energy Boomer said...

Thank your for the link to my Energy Boomer blog. My wife's quilts are a real energy saver in our house. Here is a article about some of the ways they save.9 WAYS FOR A QUILTER TO SAVE ENERGY


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

Blog Archive