upcycling: quilt cover + sheet = curtains

Sunday, 9 August 2009
I think that title is misleading because the curtains I made for the guest bedroom just in the nick of time for my in-laws visit look waaaay better than those student houses you see with sheets thrown up over the windows. I've been searching for months for curtain fabrics for the lounge room and bedrooms but nothing has really taken my fancy, and given that huge amounts of fabric are involved with curtains I think you really need to love the fabric before committing to it. But given the short notice for my in laws arrival I had to come up with something, so I turned to my trusty stash. And in fact I'm pretty happy with how they turned out so possibly these may become more permanent than originally intended. Sorry for the bad photo, but even with a fancy camera)that I don't know how to use most of the settings) it was hard to get a good shot with the light coming in through the window:
I had bought a queen sized quilt cover from an op shop some time ago purely because I liked the pattern: a cream fabric with a yellow and brown floral pattern. It was a little bit too short to use for the curtains, and since I wanted some fabric to cover the pelmet I lopped some fabric off the the bottom and sewed on a contrasting panel from a sheet that I happened to have that is a good complementary caramel brown colour. I also had a whole roll of curtain lining and plenty ruffle tape in the stash, both also picked up from op shops over the years which was extremely handy because the only new things I had to buy were the curtain rings and ribbon.

To jazz up the curtains a little to make them look like curtains and not bed linen hanging up, I sewed on a 1in wide yellow ribbon across the join of the contrast panel, toyed with sewing on some buttons but ran of out time so didn't. Don't you love it when those decisions are made for you?

Annoyingly I think the curtains are a little long, but I blame my husband for that because he put up new curtain rod brackets and must have put them on too low, because I made these curtains the same length as the existing sheers that were over the window. I suppose I could re-hem these or get my husband to put the brackets a bit higher - or just ignore it until our next guests come to stay!

Even though the in laws gave short notice to their visit, I'm pretty happy about to see them. My husband has taken the week off so I have a few extra pair of hands to help with the baby and it's almost like a mini holiday for me - now I have some babysitters I'm getting a haircut, a facial and possibly I can even squeeze a massage in. I may even turn up to mothers group on Wednesday without the baby so I'll be able to finish a cup of tea for a change. Plus my mother in law is a whir of activity, cooking, cleaning and making cups of teas so it's been great so far!

So to reply to some comments from the last post:

Marie-Christine - I'm definitely trying to do too much, that is in my nature and I just can't help myself! And I totally agree with you in not doing more than necessary, but this particular pattern was designed to be made as two pieces sewn together so there were no facings and I couldn't be bothered drafting any. Plus with only a few seams it didn't take that much longer to fully line it and using that tutorial is much quicker than the way the pattern called for. But don't worry I look for shortcuts everywhere, in fact if I ever meet the Slapdash Sewist in real life I'll arm wrestle her for the rights to her blog title!

Dawn - I don't know how I manage to do it, but somehow I can twist my arms in all directions and get those buttons done up at the back! Very handy skill really since due to the global financial crisis I had to let go my personal maid who assisted my dressing each morning LOL

Jean - if the day comes that I finish all my UFOs, I'm going to try, try, try to avoid creating new ones but I'm sure it will only be a matter of time. I bet an annoying but cute BWOF will de-rail me.....

Lindsay T - I'm not neglecting my sleep, in fact I feel pretty good these days. Little Anna and I have to a truce of sorts - she sleeps nicely for me usually three times a day, and I let her sleep in my bed for half of the night which she loves. Secretly though I don't mind at all because it means she sleeps in to a decent time in the morning, and she doesn't wake up when she's in our bed like she does in her cot.

Matrosehase - I wish I could claim the blazer I'm wearing in the last photo, but that's actually a skirt suit from Veronika Maine, one of my favourite RTW suits so I'm greatly relieved it still fits

Well with the in-laws around I'm not sure if I'll get any sewing done since I should be visiting with them instead of locking myself away in my sewing room which is what I really want to do. But it's almost like Christmas around here with all the presents and attention Anna is getting (not that she knows what Christmas is yet), so I'll just have to make do with my hair cut and facial and massage.............


  1. Your curtains are fabulous. I'm sure it saved you a bundle using the materials that you used. You're looking great. It looks like you're pretty much back to where you were pre-pregnancy.

    How awesome that you are going to pamper yourself while your inlaws are visiting. I hope you all have a wonderful visit.

    Let me know when you and Trena from Slapdash get in that arm wrestle. I'd love to buy tickets.

    Oh, and the baby is just as adorable as ever. Isn't being a mommy just wonderful? I love it!

  2. what fabulous drapes. It was a very good plan to add the contrast at the bottom and the ribbon at the join - made them look very custom made. And an added bonus that your in-laws are so helpful and caring.

    Lois K

  3. Hey Kristy, sorry guess I didn't explain very well.... I meant that if/when you get all your UFO's done then you can start on more fun stuff and that hopefully they won't turn into UFO'S too...
    Oh well.... hey, your drapes turned out lovely... and the style is longer drapes that "puddle" anyway! Just have to keep Anna outta the room to keep from pulling on them hmmm?
    Have a great visit with your inlaws!
    Anna sure looks happy/healthy! Enjoy!

  4. Great idea and execution on the curtains! I would definately leave them as permanent, they are beautiful!

  5. Ok, I'm glad to know you're getting enough sleep. Both my kids slept in our bed as infants. I think I've mentioned this before, but my son would wake up and crawl into our bed every night around 2:30 a.m. until he was 11. Having a big kid share your bed is a lot different from sharing it with a baby.

  6. Great curtains. They look very "Home Made" - as in the TV show ;)
    My youngest used to come into our bed as soon as she was able to walk (at 9 months!). I loved it. She was so cuddly....sigh...
    Mind you at 15 she is still cuddly but doesn't come into my bed in the middle of the night anymore. I get my cuddle fix while watching TV with her. Oh, and lately she has been bringing me coffee in bed in the morning. Love my baby!!

  7. I love the curtains! You are very handy with and willing to do the home dec thing. I have to hand it to you...home dec makes my skin crawl! *LOL*

  8. LOL, I'm pretty good at arm-wrestling! Re: length of the curtains--in the past it has been a sign of wealth and luxury to have the fabric puddle at the bottom of curtains rather than stopping at exactly where it needed to. I think it's a nice old-fashioned touch.

  9. The curtains look amazing. So professional. And I think buttons would have put them over the top. As always, your skills, your initiative impress me. And leave me much in awe.