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Another wedding craft project--Banners!

Essentially you can see this whole post over on my Flickr stream, but I thought I'd bring it over here in post form too.

I made about 53 yards of banners for the wedding. They'll hang outside over the dining areas to bring a little cohesion to the place.  My plan is to make a quilt after the wedding with the fabric that I used for the banners.

I bought three cotton fabrics for the banners. Purple, teal and green. Each was about 43 inches wide, and I bought three yards of each, plus two more yards of the teal and purple for other projects.  One thing I learned is that Joanns will run out or discontinue fabrics, so it is not safe to assume you can always go back and get more later. (The green, for example, was a thing of the past two weeks later when I went back for more.) What with the coupons, I think the fabrics cost me $40.



I am sure that there may be better ways to cut fabric, but I just measured everything out and went from there.  I decided that I wanted triangles that were 12 inches long and eight inches wide.  So I measured out a foot, marked the fabric along the line, and tagged every four inches.  I suppose I could have done every eight, but then I would have had to remember which line I was on, and it wasn't all that big a deal to mark every four.  I just used a regular pen, because my marking pencils weren't coming out right.  Didn't seem to be a problem.



After marking every four inches, I just connected dots from one line to the next.  I used a plastic cutting board as my straight edge, because my ruler was just a little too short.  The Pythagorean theorem tells us that the sides are 12.649 inches long. (12)squared plus (4)squared=(12.649)squared.



After marking, I cut.  I used pinking shears so I didn't have to hem the edges or worrying about them fraying.  This is the main reason that I chose not to use a rotary cutting tool.  I'm sure that there are easier ways of doing this, but I have never been confident in my ability to keep things perfectly straight and even on one layer, much less multiple layers.  So I went one row at a time.

Scissors, measuring tape, ruler.


After cutting, I ended up with five diamonds from each row, plus some four inch half diamonds from the ends on some rows.  I had to buy the pinking shears, but I had everything else I needed for this project: measuring tape, a ruler, and a pen.  It was really helpful to have a big dining room table to cut everything out on.

I used three different fabrics for my banners. I ended up cutting out 129 of the diamonds.


My fabrics looked really pretty next to each other, and ultimately, I cut out 129 diamonds or sets of triangles, plus another four of the teal and purple because I had extra fabric.  I had originally thought that I'd use the four inch half diamonds from the ends of the fabric for the banners, but I realized I had PLENTY of banner material.  I'll probably use those pieces for the quilt later on down the line.  Over the course of maybe four days off and on, I probably spent three hours on the measuring and cutting.

After cutting everything, line up the edges and iron the wrinkles out.


After cutting everything out, I worked on another project for awhile, but I went back to the banners after that project came to a natural pausing point (i.e. I finished folding the first batch and needed to wait for my second order of origami paper to come in to finish up my Kusudama flowers).  But when I came back to the banners, I needed to have the triangles lined up and pressed.

There were a LOT of banners. Ultimately, I put together 133 of them.


There were a LOT of banners. It took me about an hour to iron them all.  But it was nice to see that a) I more or less got them uniform in shape and size, b) they really did look nice together, and c) I was almost done with this project.

I  tacked each banner onto a length of bakers twine. Maybe an inch of sewing on each side.


I've seen different banners using different materials for unifying everything, bias tape being the most popular.  I chose baker's twine. I bought mine at BHLDN, not knowing that I could get it for half the price at Save-on-Crafts.  Essentially, I ran the twine inside the top edge of the triangle, and I sewed over it about an inch on each corner.  I am not the worlds greatest seamstress, and my sewing machine and I are passing acquaintances.  It took a little while for us to get used to each other (I probably went through 40 banners before I got the tension right).

Because I have a lot of territory that I want to cover with these. I separated them by a foot. Ultimately, I think I ended up with about 52 yards of banner.


I separated my banners a foot apart.  I have a lot of territory to cover with them, and I didn't want them too bunched up.  I just used a ruler and marked the twine with a highlighter, lining up the edge of the next banner with the bright yellow mark.  It was a fairly easy pattern to get into.

You can see the tacks on each corner. After the wedding, I plan on using some of the banners to make a harlequin quilt. I wanted to keep the fabric as unmolested as possible.


You can see the finished tacks in this piece.  After the wedding, I plan on using some of the banners to make a harlequin quilt. I wanted to keep the fabric as unmolested as possible.  I think that the tacks will be fairly easy to rip out without harming the fabric too much later on down the line.  You can also see the yellow hi-lighter mark on the twine.

I had a bunch of triangles from the ends, so I sewed them together before tacking them onto the twine.


I had a bunch of triangles from the ends, so I sewed them together before tacking them onto the twine. This was the only real sewing that I had to do, and it was fairly straight forward.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the final product (at least for now), but It turned out great.  I think the sewing took me about four hours over the course of three days.  I'd sew 30 banners, do something else. Sew another 30, and so forth.  This is the first DIY project that I had completed, though I obviously have several others in the works.

Comments

( 4 comments — Say something )
badrahessa
Feb. 24th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
those fabrics look gorgeous together , can't wait to see final product :)
fallconsmate
Feb. 24th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
oh, i LOVE the fabrics you chose! this wedding is going to be so bright and colorful!
lostvoice
Feb. 25th, 2012 06:01 am (UTC)
Wow. I'm just so damn impressed with the decorations so far.
erbie
Feb. 26th, 2012 08:57 am (UTC)
Love these! I used the same teal and purple fabrics for some reusable grocery bags that I made for Christmas presents this year. Very cool idea!
( 4 comments — Say something )