If you sew, you generally end up with fabric scraps. I had amassed quite a large pile of scraps, many of them in black-and-white prints. I decided to use these to make patchwork curtains for my workroom.
Wanting an easy pattern for my first foray into patchwork, I opted for a subway tile type pattern using 3" x 6" rectangles vertically (3" wide x 6" long). To cover my window, I would make two curtain panels 36" (twelve 3" rectangles) wide and 60" (ten 6" rectangles) long. Thus I would need 120 rectangles per panel; 240 rectangles total. I cut 240 rectangles.
I used what may seem like an unorthodox process to sew the panels because I was using a serger rather than a regular sewing machine. It's quick and easy to serge in an assembly line fashion with little stopping and starting, and I took advantage of that. The general idea was to sew the rectangles/patches into vertical strips and then sew those strips together to make a panel.
For each panel, I began with 120 patches.
First, I sewed 104 of the patches into pairs. I selected two fabrics more or less randomly and stitched them together at one short end. This gave me 52 pairs.
I set aside four of the pairs. I sewed the other 48 pairs into quads. This gave me 24 quads.
Next, I sewed the 24 quads into... er, is there a word for sets of 8? Octos? We'll go with octos. I was just making this up as I went along anyway. ;) This gave me 12 octos.
On four of the octos, I added a pair, giving me four strips of 10.
On eight of the octos, I added a single patch, giving me eight strips of 9.
I had eight single 6" long patches remaining. I cut each of these into two pieces: one 4" long and one 2" long.
On four of the strips of 9, I added a 4" long patch at the top and a 2" long patch at the bottom.
On the other four strips of 9, I added a 2" long patch at the top and a 4" long patch at the bottom.
I now had four strips with a 6" patch at the top, four with a 4" patch at the top, and four with a 2" patch at the top. I laid these out 6-4-2-6-4-2, etc. to form a subway tile type pattern.
I stitched the 12 strips together to form a panel. Then I called my regular sewing machine into duty to hem the sides and bottom of the panel.
The final step was to add a pocket for the curtain rod. I cut a piece of fabric 4.5" x 35" (the finished width of my panel). I folded up .75" along one long side, then hemmed the short sides.
With right sides together, I sewed the unfolded long side of the strip to the top of the panel.
Then, I folded the strip over to the back of the panel and stitched it down along the folded long side. This created the bottom of the rod pocket. I then stitched a seam about 1" below the top to form a header above the rod pocket. The seams are difficult to see in the photo, so I added blue marks to show where they are.
I repeated the process for the second panel... and ta-da! Patchwork curtains. :D