Stash Project – Pennant Flags

A friend the best wedding photographer in Orlando asked me to make these for her to advertise her business, and I found (after drawing lines for an hour!) that they’re the PERFECT fat quarter project. Really! You can cut exactly six 8×10 flags from each, or ten smaller flags. (I don’t remember how small. 8×10 is perfect so stick with that.)

All the instructions I could find online were vague about the cutting and mostly no-sew. I wanted to back the flags in pink felt (um, because it was in the remnants) so the flags wouldn’t flap in the wind. After all, these need to be reuseable!

So I started by folding the FQ in half on the shorter side (you’ll have 9″ showing) and cutting that in half (at the 10.5″ mark.)

Next, mark each 10.5×18″ section at the 4.5″ and 13.5″ point on the top, and the 9″ and 18″ at the bottom. Slice and dice between the marks. (OK, so they’re more like 8.5×10″ flags. I’m allowing you a half inch for error.)

And there you have three flags! (I stacked here, which is why you can see the flowers under the stripes.) Rinse and repeat with as many FQs as you want. I used four for a total length of 27′ of flags. Don’t worry about the half-flags. We’ll get to them later.

Cut whatever backing you’re using, as well. Sew the front to the backing (make sure you keep front sides together if the backing has a front side!) Leave the top open. Trim tops/sides/the tip of the bottom.

Turn the flags right side out and iron them nice and flat. If you’re using felt, don’t iron the felt side. I’m just saying.

Get whatever binding you’re comfortable using – I bought half inch double fold. Since I had four FQs and we wanted at least 4″ in between each flag, we decided on three packages of 3-yard binding. Unfold it, pin it down, and sew across the first fold line on every flag. Just for added security in the Florida hurricanes.

Once all the flags are secured, fold the binding back over and top-stitch along the entire binding, even between flags, so everything stays where it should. If you’re being fancy, use a pretty stitch. I thought about doing rickrack, but it didn’t look right to me. Form your own opinions.

And there you have a cruddy picture of the finished flags! It was snowing and I wasn’t going outside to hang them up, and I have no where attractive indoors to hang 27′ of these things. I’m begging my friend to send a picture from her event.

BTW, she choose the fabric based on this wedding. Which is my favorite wedding ever. The next time I get married, I’m totally doing the carnival. It’s Michael Miller Plain Jane Aqua. So cheerful! I love the way the big flowers look on the flags, especially that red one in the middle right. Adorable!

Oh, and remember the half-flags? Put them back together and you have a FQ again!

OK, actually, I’m going to sew them together, sash them, border them, quilt them and bind them, and send them off to Project Linus in my friend’s name.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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Out of This World (Space Valance)

When we were out hunting for fabric for the airplane block quilt, the Wee One discovered space fabric and fell in love. He got the Matchbox Space Shuttle for Christmas last year and it’s consistently been a top toy. Plus we went to the Houston Space Center in April, which thrilled him to no end – he wanted to spend the entire vacation there. Woo, landing the Space Shuttle!

So when it came time to pick his bedroom theme, it was pretty much a given. Which sucks, since we have an airplane lamp and a Mickey airplane lamp and a Mickey airplane picture and an airplane shelf and airplane hooks and all those Disney lithographs and not to mention, the Perpetually-in-Progress Cars quilt. Oh well, the PIP Cars quilt can just not match and all that airplane stuff can go in the playroom/future nursery.

And so it was off to JoAnn’s to buy some space fabric. This fabric actually has a better “feel” than most JoAnn’s fabric – nice and soft. Too bad it’s only for a valance! Um, I think we bought a yard, knowing that it was 42-44″ fabric that we would be slicing in half to get two 20″ or so panels.

I super-generously let Mom hem the sides of the valance. (Hey, I pinned the hem for her!) Then I got to use my trusty little gauge again to pin the pocket at 4″. I would have turned over the bottom edge, but his window is really long and I was worried about it being too short. So I skimped.

The previous owners left a curtain rod with a 2″ rod, so we figured 4″ would give about a 1″ ruffle on top after all the seams.

Yep, right on the 1″ mark! BTW, I recommend picking which side you’re planning on sewing on and sticking with it. Also, it helps to remember to change the stitch length back from your quilting one. *roll eyes*

They slid easily onto the rod, not so easily around the corner. So I won’t be taking them off again!!

As you can see, we bought black panel curtains for behind the valance, which is why I didn’t use any backing on it.

Up next: the rest of the space themed bedroom! (OK, no sewing involved. But I did constellations on the ceiling and if I’m going to spend time messing up my neck to put up teeny stars, someone has to admire them!)

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stash Project – Camo Crayon Belt

OK, this doesn’t really count as a stash project, not for me at least. I saw it, loved it, and bought fabric for it. But the fabric came from the remnants bin, so that should count for something, right?

I came across Grace Violet when searching for a ribbon blankie idea. She has a super cute ribbon football that I’ll probably make.  And the drawstring bag, and the fabric bucket, and the bandanna stuff, and… OK, I just love everything. But I started with the camo crayon belt because the Wee One wanted a crayon thing that was more boy-ish.

The camouflage fabric is 43″, which seemed about right, so I laid out a crayon and decided on 6″ for the belt width. Cut 7″ for 1/2″ seams.

Can I just mention how much I love this sewing gauge thingie? Never used it before but I use it all the time now!

Did a decorative stitch on the hems, but I don’t love it. Too girly. Next one, I’ll use a straight stitch or something more triangle-ish.

I thought about making this more like a sash, with a curved shoulder and hip, but I didn’t have a sash to pattern off of, so I went with a single piece of fabric, simply straight seamed at the bottom. If the seam at the bottom doesn’t look like it will hold up to the Wee One’s use, I’ll reinforce it on the next one. With a decorative stitch of course!

I bought 1.5″ ribbon for the crayon holding. Cut 16.5″ – 16 1″ crayon slots and 0.5″ for the seams. Since the belt is 6″ across, I put the ribbon 1.75″ from each edge. I started placing pins for the 1″ slots, but got bored by about the fifth.

So then I started just putting the gauge on the sewing machine. Oh, and on this crayon thing, I had to start and stop and backstitch and such since the crayons slide through. I’m not sure if I like it any better than the ups and downs of the continuous line crayon roll. Both are a pain!

And then you have all these threads to snip at the end!

Now that he’s tried it on, I think definitely next time I’ll cut in at the hip to make it sit better. As you can see, it fits regular crayons, big crayons, and big markers. Skinny markers fall out – I assume they’re too long. And if you want all markers, you might want to make it wider.

But in the end, it’s an hour-long project and a happy Wee One!

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Easter Basket Made from a Placemat (Making the Basket)

This poor basket was made in a hurry after I finished the placemat – with lots of phone calls to Mom! I had to take the sewing machine from Texas to Oklahoma as soon as I was done with the basket, where it sat in a storage unit for nearly two months. And I could have hand-sewn a handle, but we left San Antonio three days after Easter, so I was a bit on the busy side with the packing! But, months later, we’re finally settled in Oklahoma. Everything is unpacked (including the hard drive with the Easter Basket pictures that I didn’t have access to for two months!) and I’m ready to catch up on quilts!

Which I need to do since my sister commissioned one, I’m doing two baby quilts for Christmas for my cousins, my sister-in-law is due in September, I have two friends due in August and November (and the November one will also be getting my first doll quilt!) and, to top it off, I might try to get a booth in a holiday marketplace, with doll quilts and crayon rolls and other little things. Good thing the Wee One is going to school in a month! Of course, this isn’t counting the Wee One’s always-in-progress Cars quilt or my niece’s perpetually-in-design quilt.

ANYWAY – like I said, the Easter basket. It’s from JCarolineCreative and I don’t understand the directions. OK, folding the placemat in half and sewing up the sides, I got.  But “Step 4,” the folding of the cone? Nope. I called Mom and she tried to understand/explain it to me. She also said I should try pinning it and checking if it was right before sewing, to eliminate the need for seam-ripping. Obviously she doesn’t know me all that well.


This is NOT how you fold the cone. If you do, it will look like this:


Seam ripping time! Mom and I had a long debate on getting this right, specifically focusing on the part that says you should stitch across 6″. In my first attempt, I was only stitching across 3″. I blame Mom, she should have realized (over the phone) that I was doing it wrong.


Even though it is awkward to fold it like this, THIS is how to do it. The top of the seam should be at the corner. Sew about three inches down. Six inches across, just like the instructions say. Go figure. Flip sides, do the same to the other, andwhen you turn it right-side out, it’s a little basket! Minus a handle, of course. If I had time, I would have tacked down the excess fabric (the portion the seam ripper is resting on above.) And if I had a lot more time, it would make a nice purse template once you put in a liner and a magnet clousure as well. And a handle – yeah, handles are important. I didn’t have time!


And the Wee One? Got himself some marshmallows.

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 8:54 am  Leave a Comment  

An Easter Basket Made from a Placemat (Making the Placemat)

I don’t know why I was inspired to do this. (Well, I do – a friend mentioned her plans to quilt a vodka bottle holder on Facebook, which naturally leads to the thought of an Easter basket for my kid. But that’s probably one of those things that I shouldn’t be admitting…)

The Wee One was not keen on the idea of the Easter Bunny. He was even told the Easter Bunny brings crap like Santa, and still didn’t believe me! I was torn between letting it go, since the Bunny is not really the reason for the season, or making a huge deal out of it so he believed me (and then totally missed the reason for the season.)

I even sang “The Easter Parade” to him. In public.

Finally I suggested we make his own Easter Basket. That got him on board.

That and the HEB commercial that mentions marshmallows in Easter Baskets. I need to write to the Bunny and make sure there’s marshmallows in there.

But it turns out, there’s not a huge amount of Easter Basket patterns out there! At least not with fabric. Finally I found this one from JCarolineCreative. The cone portion is kind of intimidating to me, so I’m not planning on deviating from her instructions one bit.

Well, except for the fact that I don’t have placemats and I’m not going to go buy one just for this. What I do have is leftover Air Force fabric from the airplane baby quilt! So based on her pattern, I whipped together a 17.5″x 11.5″ placemat. Actually, I was going for 18×12″, but something happened. What, I don’t know. Just something. I started out with 18.5×12.5″ fabric, used 1/4″ seams, but… Maybe it was my helpers.


The Wee One wanted to push the pedal. Notice the cat is wholly uninterested in projects if he can’t sit on them. He does, however, like to attempt to catch feet that push pedals. I was happy to let little boy hands take over.

I did decide to add some extra stiffness with interfacing, since I did such a fabulous job with the last interfacing. For this one, I decided that since I was using up leftovers, I would put bits and pieces of interfacing together like a puzzle. After all, they’re getting ironed on and quilted in, so what could possibly go wrong?


For once, the answer is nothing! (yet…)

Sewing was just wrong sides together, sewn on all four sides leaving 6″ or so on the top, cut the corners, turn it right-side out, jab at the corners with AB’s recommended metal meat skewers, sew that 6″ together. I quilted it together with a couple of zig-zags.


And there you have a placemat with which you can make an Easter Basket! If you’re not terrified of following the instructions. (You make a cone and somehow it becomes a basket? Really?)

Published in: on April 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment