Geranium fabrics make great cafe curtains for the kitchen

vintage fabric with pots of geraniumsMarybeth is back today with her second in a three-part series on geraniums — that quintessential mid century flower. She writes:

Fabrics in a geranium print are a great way to bring your plants in for the winter.  Genius!  Especially for those whose plants succumbed to frost or you did not have geraniums this year to bring in. Here are my “winter” curtains in the sunny kitchen window.  This fabric came from my grandmother’s stash.  Unhemmed after all these years, this fabric still hangs in my one kitchen window.  I switch out the other curtains, using these instant curtain clippies: 1 inch cafe curtain rings.

Note:  I inherited the fabric from my grandmother.  She used this heavy cotton weave to make curtains and dish towels.  The date could vary from the 40s through the 70s.

You have many fabric options, all currently available riffs on the geranium theme. Online fabric stores are easy to search through, with many having good prices on flower prints, which tend to be a summer item. You might miss Spoonflower, a custom fabric print site. Many artists offer their designs for sale in a number of fabric types and weights. For kitchen curtains, go with the basic quilting cotton.  The first two fabric “swatches” are from Spoonflower. While you are there, enter “vintage” or “50s” into the search engine and see what else pops up.

fabrics featuring geraniumsSIX SWATCHES

From top left to right:

  1. Cubist” geraniums in classic rich red. AT SPOONFLOWER
  2. Red geraniums  potted in shades of blue, green, and cream, AT SPOONFLOWER
  3. Westminster Fabric, featuring “dream” flowers of cornflower blue  and lime

From bottom left to right:

  1. Westminster Fabric, stylized geranium leaves in greens and corals, ATJFF FABRICS
  2. Martha Negley Brown and magenta leaves,  Border print in yellow

Thank you, Marybeth. Fabric lovers, I’d also advise you to keep an eye on etsy.com for bolts or yardage of vintage fabric. For simple cafe curtains you shouldn’t need too much … just remember, you are likely to have a “repeat” of some size to deal with.

  1. Judith Gillette says:

    I’d love to find the Vintage Geranium Border Print fabric for my vintage kitchen, with GERANIUMS as my focal point!
    Please advise! Thanks!

  2. I was just thinking today how much I love geraniums… mine keep blooming even though the temps have dipped low lately. What a fun way to enjoy them all year with fabric. Really like the brown and magenta sample. I really need to learn how to sew…

    1. MbS says:

      Melanie! You can make a no sew version. And, the curtain-perfection inspector is OFF for 2010-2011. Check out the clips linnk. And, consider cutting the edge of the fabric with a pinking shears. You could ask the fabric counter aid — if you purchase in a store — to cut the edge with you.

      You need about 2 to 2 1/2 times the fabric length of the window. This will give you generous “waves” of fabric across the window horizontal axis.

      Try this! My image is NOT sewn….for about fifteen years now.

      1. pam kueber says:

        In the past I have also found, that if you find a fabric with a nice selvage edge – you can use that as the hem and don’t need to sew it… easy-ish to just fold over the top part that connects to the cafe curtains…

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