PERFECTLY IMPERFECT-I may not be the best at what I do, but Nobody has MORE fun trying than I do! :)



Thursday, August 9, 2007

Curtain Saga

All is quiet and peaceful in Rabbit Hop this morning...so far.

The cows broke into the haybarn last night just before dark, so hubby was out trying to fix the gate by the four-wheeler lights after dark. The pastures have dried up and the pond is almost dry. We're having to try to keep two big tubs filled with water, which they can empty in just a few minutes. Praying that it rains soon so we don't have to sell the cattle.

But I was going to tell you a curtain tale. Earlier in the summer I cleaned out my large upstairs studio, which because of heating and cooling costs, had become like an attic storage space. There was no way to walk around on the floor without moving something out of the way. It took a while, but I got rid of tons of stuff and now it's all neat and tidy with plenty of room for me to work/play when I want to. Right now I play in the dining room when I write or try to make stuff.

Anyway, about the curtains. I had bought the cheapest thermal backed curtains JC Penney carried several years ago to help with the heat/cold in the studio. There are eight regular windows around the walls plus four triangle shaped ones high on each end. Daddy, hubby, and I built it and Daddy wanted me to have plenty of light. We didn't think about how much heat/cold all that glass would also create at the time. I bought four pairs of curtains and used one panel per window, which worked fine (none for the high triangles).

For several years I have washed and dried these curtains on gentle in the machines and they were fine. I skipped a year last year (too much else going on), but this year I washed two pair and dried them with different results. When I took them out of the dryer the thermal backing was all stuck together and when I tried to pull it apart it tore holes in the curtains and the seams apart. Goofy me, I layed these aside. Thinking the dryer caused it, I washed the other two pair, planning on hanging them on the line to dry. Alas, when I took them out of the washer they were stuck worse than the first pair, all in big wads.

Mom came and I showed her the curtain tragedy. The heat and cold upstairs must have rotted them I decided. She was convinced we could get them straigntened out. We couldn't. Not even with her pulling one end and me the other. We gave up and six panels went in the trash. There were two panels, however, that were only stuck a little and I straightened them enough to use on the end where the mid-day sun comes through, never mind the holes in the backing.

The curtains before these were made out of peach colored sheets and had been relagated to dust covers, so I gathered these up from their various positions, washed them, and hung them temporarily.

A few weeks later I got a sale book from JCP and lo and behold their thermal backed curtains were on sale with free S/H. They had the same ones that I had just ruined, the cheapest, but I decided to go with a little better quality. In reading the descriptions about both, I discovered that the ones I had been washing for several years were supposed to be dry cleaned. :o

I ordered the better quality, which were machine washable, and a tad more expensive, but they were on sale with free shipping and handling, so I ordered four pair just like before, one panel per window, cloud blue floral.

They came. First of all the color was more storm cloud gray (most shades of gray depress me for reasons I won't go into now). Second of all when I went to hang them one panel wasn't wide enough to cover the window and two panels were way too wide. I ordered the same size I had before. The nearest JCP return store was twenty miles away (not that far) but I would have to pay S/H to send them back.

I did a lot of thinking and figuring (didn't want to spend any more money than I absolutely had to), and decided to keep them, despite the color, order two more pair, and splice the ones I already had. Aggravated was what I was. Luckily JCP was having a weekend online sale and my curtains were marked down seven more dollars than the sale book and there was still free S/H on orders of a certain amount, which was good for me. They arrived four days later.

So I have cut four panels up the middle and sewn each half on to the side of the first eight panels. (I got to use the Janome computerized sewing machine which I bought three or four years ago and hadn't used in so long that I had to get the instruction book out again. I love this machine. I just hadn't been sewing much in a while).

It's been extremely hot upstairs so I haven't hung the curtains yet, but I do have the hooks on two of the panels and just holding them up, they don't look too bad. The main thing is that they help with the heat/cold up there. Nobody much is up there anyway except me. Still they wound up costing more than I meant to spend, and for the expense it would have been nice not to have to splice them.

Oh, well. I was lucky to get several years service out of the old curtains. They could have stuck together in wads the first year I washed them instead of dry cleaning them. So all's well that ends well I guess. :)

Incidentally, the same week I ruined the curtains, the tire came off the riding mower wheel just as I was starting to mow our acre yard, the carpet cleaner literally blew up on me (pop, fire, smoke!) in the middle of my carpet cleaning, and something else happened that escapes me right now. Think someone was trying to tell me something? :)

PS: I got the curtains hung today. I nearly boiled while I was upstairs hanging them, but I could feel the difference in heat coming through the windows immediately. The sheet curtains have once again been relagated to dust covers. Despite the gray color the new ones look pretty good I must say, plus they filtered all the light enough to give the room a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, which I really like. Two slight problems. One panel plus a spliced half still wasn't wide enough to cover the ends of the rods, but at least the glass is covered, and when we got into the truck to go after cow feed I noticed that the spliced seam, which is the dark gray (pardon me, cloud blue), is really shining against the white thermal backing from the outside. I took as small a seam as I could. Neither the rod ends nor the seams look too good; I can live with the rod ends, but those dark seams on the white background just jump out at whoever happens to be outside. I've already spent too much, so the curtain saga continues...

1 comment:

Nona Parry said...

Sharon, could you hang the peach sheets behind the "cloud blue", sort of like sheers behind curtains? That would make all the windows a lovely peach from the outside. :-)