I decided I needed a new way to display my birds, and I got the idea of attaching a white panel surrounded by a colorful border, and using that as a curtain for a pair of bare windows in my living room.
The white center was easy -- I had some nice fabric left over from simple white curtains I made for my bedroom. It wasn't wide enough to cover both windows, but that would be fixed with a border. Rooting through my fabric stash I found a collection of half yard and fat quarter cuts of bright Guatemalan-inspired fabric, which would be perfect. I chose for the first border a half-yard of a bargello-like print in a rainbow of colors, which yielded a three inch border. That wasn't enough, so I added a second border of five inch squares and five by ten inch rectangles cut from an assortment of wovens shot through with contrasting threads. Satisfied, I held it up to the windows, and it still wasn't wide enough. I was running out of fabric, but I took the two black fat quarters, cut them up into two and a half inch strips and had enough to border the whole thing. But now the height of the curtain was way too long, and interfered with the air conditioner -- too bad I didn't pay attention to that dimension when I was sewing. Off came the black borders on the top and bottom, along with an inch of the second border. I finished the curtain by lining it with a spare white bed sheet, and I was done.
I don't keep my birds up all year, so I think I will use the curtain as a display for other things, too. Like all my brightly colored, handmade ornaments -- I've finally reached the point where I have too many to decorate a medium-size tree, and I no longer display extras on the mantle (having become thoroughly enamored of my Three Kings display). Maybe I'll put my Day of the Dead doohickies there, too.