02 December 2007

Windows: warmth and cold, both

Big windows are a wonderful thing in terms of passive solar gain. The big windows on the south side of the house absorb a lot of sunshine during the day, and provide us with lots of free light and heat.

However, at night, they leak cold like you wouldn't believe.

The white sheer drapes that filter the blinding daytime sun don't really keep the cold at bay once the sun goes down.

So, today I hauled up the serger, the sewing machine, and a stash of fabric from the crawl space and proceeded to make the first of several window quilts. A window quilt is just what it sounds like: a quilt (complete with filling to make it warm) that fits inside your window.

The first part of the adventure was to create something to hang the quilt from: I had a long length of inch-and-five-sixteenths doweling, so I created supports for each end of the dowel and mounted those inside the window frame (our windows have deep frames, so there's lots of room in there). That gave me a long rod that won't bend or bow under the weight of the window quilt, and it's positioned inside the frame so there won't be any room for drafts to leak out the sides.

Then it was time to make the quilt. I wasn't very energetic or creative with this one ... it's just a series of strips of fabric sewn to each other, no fancy patterns, nothing particularly interesting. I did manage to use up some interesting scraps (bits cut from the bottoms of another set of curtains, and some blue paisely fabric that was never going to be made into anything in particular, as well as some lovely quilting cotton that I had purchased in a fit of insanity when I thought I might actually make a fancy quilt). The middle layer is some cotton quilt batting, also found in my stash, and the backing is a pale green sheet that had no mate. All of the layers were hastily stitched together, and a few experiments were done in an effort to find the best way to hang the completed quilt from the rod. It turns out that a strip of fabric sewn to the top of the quilt in such a way as to form a pocket for the dowel rod is the best way to mount these things in my windows - particularly if you can manage to make the strip wide enough to leave a bit of a 'topper' above the dowel rod, filling in the gap between the top of the curtain and the top of the window.

So, we have one window that is much warmer than the others tonight, and others will follow in their turn. I'm thinking of denim for the one in The Boy's room...


  1. Anonymous9:24 pm

    Good creativity!!! You do way better in that area than I would ever do. Hope you can get them all made so you have a warmer winter.

    Love, AC

  2. Sounds very cool... er should I say warm!


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