More Adventures in Curtain Tie Backs

Well not really, I just thought it’d be a fun title. But I did learn some things, so it could have been an adventure….

In my bedroom I have some very long and heavy light blocking curtains. And while they work to block the light, they have grommets in the top and are a little difficult to pull open and closed every morning and evening. I thought it’d be easier to use tie backs to keep them open.

Since they’re so heavy, and so long, I decided on a very wide tie back – 8 inches. And of course I was going to embroider them! I wanted to try something a bit different, so I used a “thread velvet” or cut thread design from OESD.

Here’s my test run – always test it first! As you can see, my chosen stabilizer didn’t work well and there are wrinkles and pulling galore. I thought a fusible cutaway stabilizer would be enough, but there’s a lot of stitches (31,671) going into a fairly small area, about 5 by 7.

Instead I used good ol’ Décor Bond. It’s fairly firm and will help such wide tie backs keep their shape, but is still thin enough to embroider through.

And here’s the final result, with all the threads cut to create a velvety look. (OK, I actually think they look a little like wooly bears, but you know, I think weird things.)

Oh, and there’s another reason to make a sample – you can audition your colors! If you notice in this side-by-side, the first sample has a darker brown than the second. I didn’t care for the darker one so I changed it out and like it much better.

But wait you say – there are still wrinkles! Why yes, yes there are – because I pressed the Décor Bond from the back. It does not like to be pressed, let alone steamed heavily; at least not directly. Adhere and steam it from the fabric side of your project. So lesson to learn: normally you press embroidery from the back, but if you use something like Décor Bond (which I suspect contains nylon), press from the front. And use a pressing cloth!

Alright, second tie back, pressed from the front – ooh, so much better!

Normally I would have flipped one design so they would mirror each other after installation, but I forgot so I just hung one upside down; it looks different enough.

Sorry for the poor picuture; it’s a south facing window, so never a good time of day to take a photo. But you can see the shape I was going for with the tie backs.

And here we are, new tie backs for the bedroom. The fabric was a silk dupioni I had left over from another project, the Crane Tapestry, and since it hangs in the same room I thought it would be nice to try and match it. Light blue on periwinkle may not be terribly chic, but I can always change them!

One thought on “More Adventures in Curtain Tie Backs

  1. I have grommet curtains in a room; yes, they’re hard to pull back and pull close. But your tiebacks look great! Great idea.


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