About a year ago, while waiting for the builders to start construction, I started making curtains for the new house. I bought UNWASHED linen from Ikea, and after getting them home, understood for the first time why WASHED linen was such a prized commodity. The linen actually turned into this lovely, mid-weight fabric after laundering, but it was so drapey that I could not for the life of me cut a straight line. I struggled through 25 yards of material (did I mention all the windows are 7 feet tall and really wide, and I was sewing 100″ x 104″ panels?) and decided that I was never going to make full length linen curtains again. Ever. Unfortunately, I still had basement windows left . . . . but luckily, I also had many fabric scraps left over from various quilt projects: The walkout basement has a very large east-facing window, and in the morning, these panels look like stained glass. They are of course too long for the windows: the short story is that I thought 9 foot ceilings really meant 9 foot ceilings, but of course I forgot about the various space-occupying plumbing and HVAC elements, one of which runs right into the top of the window so that I cannot hang the curtain rods anywhere except inside the window frame. Sigh. And I am just too lazy to shorten the curtains, so for the forseeable future, the bottom of the panels will remain gently folded on the window sill.
I took up quilt-making because like most doctors, I have a touch of OCD in me. There is something very satisfying in cutting precise geometric shapes, sewing the precise seam, matching the precise points. A plastic surgeon attending told me once that I was dextrous, and unfortunately for me, I have never forgotten that comment. These curtains are scrappy, improvised, and obviously imperfect, and I felt so free when I was making them. I look at them and I smile; they make me happy.