Crafting: January 2011 Archives
Bunting: A lightweight cloth material often used for flags and festive decorations
In honor of St. Valentine's Day (or Single's Awareness Day, as I have seen it referred to), I have whipped up a most festive bunting to celebrate love. My history of Valentine's Day has always made it more of a celebration than an anxiety-riddled day of examining single life. My mom would always give up little gifts and cards before we left for school. There was also the huge PAR-TAY in grade school that equated Valentine's day with cute cards, lots of candy and my favorite color at the time, Pink. It wasn't until Middle School and High School that Valentine's became the black mark on the calendar. I decided shortly after a bad break-up that I wasn't going to celebrate it any more. I held to that all through my courtship with my husband and since. However, now with a daughter of my own, I long to recreate the joys of my childhood and that especially includes Valentine's day the way Mom taught me.
This project started with an idea: bunting. It is such a favorite in the craft world, I think, for 2 reasons: insanely customizable, relatively quick. My bunting would be, of course, made of valentine-y colors (pink, red, white) but also some new colors to spice it up. As usually happens as I was assembling my supplies (I should not that I wanted this project to use up scrapes and remnants from other projects) I found out that I was depressingly low on ribbon. I had no pink, red or white ribbon at all! I was too ashamed of this circumstance to even show my head in public. To serve as a ribbon to hold the bunting together, I decided to take strips of my chosen fabric and braid them up. To determine how long I would need it, I cut out my flags (roughly 6 in. W by 8 in. H) and arranged them. I then measured across the top and added a little extra for hanging. To make the braid, I cut strips about 2 in. wide (if you just snip into the fabric, you can rip it the rest of the way down and it will be perfectly on the grain). I then knotted 3 together and braided. When one strip was about to run out, I would knot it together with another. I continued to my desired length, knotted and trimmed the ends. I then cut ½ in. by 4 in. strips and stitched them to the top of the flags and tied the flags onto the braided fabric.
I cut out the letters from various colors of felt and glued them in place. Too late I realized I could have used my Cricut for this. You could also use a blanket stitch to secure the letters or Heat n Bond. I added big hearts at either end because it just felt right.
½ yd of quilting cotton in various colors (½ yd makes 3 flags)
Three ½ yds of quilting cotton in various colors for the braid
3 sheets of 9 x 12 in. felt for letters