[Homestead] window quilts and other movable insulation
indexer at localnet.com
Wed Oct 29 22:26:06 EDT 2008
keith bellinger wrote:
> Thank you Sue, for the great description of how much sewing is involved
> in making window quilts. I like Gene's idea for simplicity and for the
> fact I don't own a sewing machine. There are several similar
> shutter-like examples in my book
If that's the Shurcliff book you mentioned previously, that book is an old book on the subject of movable insulation but I still think it is the best. The guy was ahead of us all, and I've used many, if not most, of the ideas he has in there. Too bad more people aren't taking advantage of it, because it has saved me and folks I've worked with many, many cords of wood over the years.
There are a number of mostly-rigid foams on the market now, and you
don't need a fancy one, just one that will cut without crumbling, which
is most of the newer ones and some of the older ones. I've done quite
a few workshops on movable insulation and people have used a lot of
worse things! Here we have a couple of places that specialize in
used/damaged/overstock/whatever foam and it can be had pretty cheaply.
If you find something that's just a bit small (I kept finding some that
were a tad smaller than some of my window openings, largely a problem
that resulted from making bastard size windows to fit our idea of what
was 'right' rather than stock windows) you can easily wrap them in one
or more layers of poly quilt batting, stapled, then apply your cover
fabric so they'll fit tight into the opening. Also, if you use foam and
it's of the easily smushable type, to avoid marring the edges as time
goes by, and thereby ruining the tight fit, it works to use a layer of
batting (or some other thick-but-smushable fabric; I used wide strips of
wool from a ruined coat on one and it works very well) right from the
get-go and that saves the edge good and straight so that the fit stays
nice over the years.
I'm using fabric-covered foam in windows and a couple of doors where I
only need to put it up and down infrequently (attic, extra room,
basement door, etc), and just have the wq rigs in rooms where I want or
need to have them in different positions as the day goes along. I have
a couple of smaller ones that I made a fabric "hinge" on, so that when I
go into that room in the daytime and need a little light I can just pull
down the top half, let it dangle, and then pop it back up when I want.
I use those for the room where I keep some daylight-sensitive plants and
it's a good compromise between the cost of the wq and convenience of the
I'm sure you'll find just the right thing for your own windows/openings
in Shurcliff. Stay warm!
SusanJane, in Maine
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