Monday, December 3, 2012

**Holiday Low Sew Idea**

The Project:  BUNTING!!

Now we’ve scoured the magazines and websites and project books and found the perfect holiday gift project for our family and friends...or at least a few of them.  It’s time to get cookin’.

For me this year, it’s bunting!!!  I love all things English (UK actually, add Irish and Scottish to the list), and found many darling ideas for bunting construction on and in several craft magazines, as well as on some DIY craft websites.  I think the gift of celebration decorations sounds like fun, and a few of my family plans will happen after Christmas, so I’m going with non specific (non-holiday) fabrics and colors.  I’m also considering adding noise makers, gag prizes, bubbles, glow sticks and small party trinkets for a “party-in-a-box”.  I can find things like that at party stores or dollar stores, and the children in the homes that will receive these, will have a blast.  They can start by using all this for New Year’s Eve.  

The next step for me is to personalize the project somewhat.  I like to make adjustments to the ideas I see, with respect to materials, technique, color scheme, etc. to make them my own.

I want a faster to sew and a bit stiffer version than the ones I’m seeing, so I’m borrowing some tips from scrapbooking and using scalloped edge fabric scissors to cut out the flags.  When I construct the flags, I will leave the cut edges exposed which looks fun and tattery, and saves the step of turning and finishing.  In addition, I’m adding a layer of thin cotton batting between the top and backing fabrics I choose, to give the flags more body.   I pick color schemes for each household to go with their home furnishing colors, not a specific holiday.  That way they can use the bunting and accessories for any celebration, birthday, holiday, or just festive dinner at home, and I’m adding a complementary table runner in the same fabrics to go along with the bunting flags as a set.  This completes the “party-in-a-box” idea.

I’ve also decided to make the flags double sided.  So they can be turned around for a different look.  

For my first set, I’m designing for two homes that have a modern decorating scheme, so I’ll pick black and white fabrics in geometric prints and a couple of florals, and add some red, black, and white prints for a little color.  Several of the newest fabric collections did not disappoint, and I found lots of choices in my stash and at the local quilt shop.  I’ll use six black and white prints on one side of the flags, and six red, white and black prints for the other side.  When I sew them together with the batting in a mini quilt sandwich, I’ll mix up the combinations for interest.  

And I picked a ticking stripe in black and white for the tie strip to hold the banner flags.  

I’m making two or three sets at once to save time while cutting and sewing.  Like an assembly line, I can cut everything in one step and save time and materials.  I sew two or three long ties out of the ticking fabric.  Then I can sew a big pile of flags and mix them up and rearrange them when I’m applying them in the last step to the ties.

With the extra fabric, I can sew simple scrappy table runners or table toppers that use patchwork or panels, whichever I have time for, and I end up with a fabulous custom gift set that will be remembered all year long when it’s brought out for celebrations for all kinds of occasions.  It may even inspire some new family traditions.  I’m up for that!

Now that I have a fun idea that I think my families will like, it’s time to explore other colorways.  And start thinking of girlfriend gifts...something with roses maybe...

Stay tuned.


  1. I love this idea. I have two shelves, one on each side of my very small living room, that I usually try to hang lights from. This would add color and fun without seeing the cord hanging to the plug. Do you sew the flag onto the banner or is it within the seam allowance on the top of the flag? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Michelle! I used the ticking as a sort of seam binding (which also works well if you find wide seam binding tape) and inserted the tops of the flags into the binding fold. To do this: cut ticking strip the length you would like the flag hanging cord strand. Fold ticking strip in half lengthwise and press. Turn both cut edges to the inside of the strip and press. Insert tops of flags where you want them and pin. Top stitch down the length of the tie cord strip enclosing the flags into the "binding" and turn under and top stitch each short end (or cut with pinking shears and leave unfinished like the flag edges. Have fun!!!! Thanks for your comment.