Thank the Wasp

The other day Teacher was chasing a wasp with a rolled up magazine and accidentally knocked down the kitchen valences. As he replaced them after smashing the little menace I got a good look at them and was instantly grossed out; they were covered with a layer of dust and cobwebs. Ewwwwww!

Of course I washed them right away, and when they were all fresh and clean I took another look at them. They weren’t bad curtains, as curtains go. I’d made them from a cream and dark green striped Lands’ End sheet when we were living in St. Louis. In fact, they were probably some of the nicest curtains I’d ever made because they were even lined – not just thrown together from the cheapest not-too-ugly fabric I could find.

As I looked at them I realized that I was tired of looking at them. When I’d made the valences I’d been pregnant with Angel Face. She just turned fifteen this year. These valences had been in our various apartments and rental-house kitchens for the past fifteen years.

It was definitely time for something new.

Teacher and I took a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics to find fabric. I had a vague notion of what I wanted: something with green to go with our counter tops, maybe something whimsical, but nothing striped, plaid, or too old-lady-flowery. We walked up and down the rows of printed cotton, waiting for something to jump out and bite us. Nothing. We kept walking; not fleece, not corduroy, not… wait… where’s Teacher?

He’d stopped in front of the brocades and satins. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous fabrics!

At first I was unsure because in my head I’d been picturing a printed cotton, but the brocades were so gorgeous and on sale that I couldn’t resist. After a little hemming and hawing on my part – we know I’m not great with decisions – we went with Teacher’s first choice.


Curtain FabricThe green is more “mossy” than our counter tops, but we figured once it was on the wall the difference wouldn’t be noticable. The cream and rose coordinate perfectly with the walls and curtains in the rest of the house. It’s great being married to a man with an artists’ eye – and great taste!

The first chance I got I started working on the new curtains. I thought it would be easy-peasy, but I didn’t anticipate how challenging the fabric would be. It was slippery and shrunk where I pressed it, both of which made all the hems and seams more difficult than they should have been.


Curtains DoneAfter much perseverance and more than a few four-letter words the valences were done! A light pressing and gathering on the rod helps hide the wonky parts, and the green looks darker against the window and light wall so it coordinates nicely with the counter tops.

All in all I couldn’t be happier. Thanks Mr. Wasp, for invading our home and starting the chain reaction that resulted in our gorgeous new valences! I’m almost sorry you’re not around to see them.

Amy Sue

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