Fat Quarter Window Valance
Okay, so here's what prompted this project. I moved from California to Idaho this summer and am leasing a house with blinds. I hate blinds. But since I don't own the home and am only leasing it for a year or two, I don't want to spend money on covering the blinds. But I HATE blinds. So, I dug though my fabric stash and came up with some fat quarters that will work well with the very dark kitchen cabinets and the stark white walls and provide a bit of class (I hope) to the blinds. Did I mention that I hate blinds?
Here goes . . .
Measure the width of your window. My kitchen window measures 36” wide; however, I’m going to use a tension rod from cabinet to cabinet. The space between the cabinets measures 42”. For a nicely gathered valance multiply the width times 2.5 (42” X 2.5 equals 105” for mine). That's how wide you will want your finished valance to measure. For the Fat Quarter Window Valance the fat quarters will be used as the 22” being the width and the 18” as the height. Dividing 105” by 22” will tell me how many fat quarters are needed for my 42” wide area which is 5. I can use 6 for a fuller valance for 4 for one with less gathering. Since I have 3 fabrics I want to use, I’m going to use 6 fat quarters, 2 of each color.
If you want your valance to be longer than 17" you can turn the fat quarters and use the 18" as the width and the 22" as the height, if the design of the fabric will allow. Mine would not, but that's okay because I'm fine with the 17" length.
Verify that your design does not run along the selvage but across the 22” edge. Iron the fat quarters. I trim off the selvage more out of habit as a quilter than a necessity for the valances, however, if the edge of the selvage is white you will want to cut if off so that it doesn’t show up in the front of your finished valance. Trim the fat quarters to the same size. I’ve received fat quarters that measured anywhere from 17 ½” to 20” in one direction and 21 ½” to 23” in the other direction. It is important that all the fat quarters are the same size before you begin, but it does not matter what the actual dimensions are . . . as long as all fat quarters are the same size.
Fold a fat quarter in half with the printed side of the fabric together so that the18” edges meet. You should be looking at a two layer piece of fabric that measures 9" X 22". Sew a ¼” seam along the bottom on a 9" edge, cut the inner corner diagonally for ease of turning, turn the fabric, pulling out towards the sides to make a peak. Press. Do the same with the remaining fat quarters.
Decide the order in which you fat quarters will be sewn together. With the printed design together place one fat quarter on top of the other, aligning the peaks. Stitch from the upper edge to the beginning of the angle. Press seam open. Continue with remaining fat quarters in order.
Time to line the top portion of the valance. Each of the seams between my fat quarters measure 7 ½”. I’m going to add 1” to that and cut a strip of lining 8 ½” deep by the width of my valance which is 132”. Press ½” under on one long edge of your lining. Pin the lining to the top, sew a ½” seam allowance. Press open. Fold sides ½” in, insides facing, press, top stitch ¼” from edge. Fold top of lining towards inside making sure lining covers raw edges, press. Stitch close to edge of lining.
To sew in pockets to insert a curtain rod, you need know the type of rod you are using and whether or not you want a ruffle on top. My valance is going to use a tension rod which is ½” in diameter. I’m going with a top ruffle. Stitch across top edge 1 ½” from the edge across the valance. Stitch from one edge to the other across the valance 3 ½” from upper edge. You’ve now formed an upper ruffle and a pocket for a curtain rod up to 1” wide.
Your valance is ready to hang unless you would like to add embellishments. You can string beads from the peaks, sew on bows, pin on butterflies, whatever strikes your fancy.