November 24th, 2009 by Kristi Stephens
No deep thoughts to write today… they are floating around in my head, but my hands have been busy. My sewing machine and I have rekindled our relationship during the month of November! Starting with that pilgrim hat project and the pilgrim dress, we have plunged headlong into crafty wondrousness in anticipation of Thanksgiving.
I really love Thanksgiving and wanted to spruce up our decorations a little more with some nice things that I will enjoy pulling out for years to come. (Not that AG’s construction paper/feather turkey isn’t GREAT, but you know… we’re looking for classy.) :)
I had seen an idea in Family Fun for making a glue batik banner. It looked easy and fun – so of course I made it more difficult. That’s the way I roll.
I wanted to paint the background of the muslin a darker brown, but didn’t have enough paint. We resorted to staining it with leftover coffee [grounds and all!]. My husband is brilliant! After we had finished step 2 of Family Fun’s project, we then went over all of the background area with strong coffee and let it dry.
It isn’t drastically darker but it did make it look more brown and weathered, which I like.
After I finished step 4 of the directions I ironed it flat, cut the edges more precisely, and then cut strips of 4″ wide fabric long enough for each side of the banner. Next, I just ironed everything, pinned the strips of fabric on, and sewed them with a 1″ seam allowance. Now I pressed the seams flat, and hemmed the outside edges with a 1″ seam allowance again.
To make the letters, I took a letter stencil we had and painted the letters on backwards with a sponge brush. I didn’t want the paint to show on the finished project, but this was way easier than trying to trace out all those letters with a marker or something on that dark felt.
I let AG help a little. Ie: long enough to take this picture. Mommy was having hard time sharing her project. ;)
After cutting out all the letters, I just glued them onto the banner with liquid stitch and then hot glued a dowel rod to the back to hang it from! Time consuming, but easy project considering how much I like the results!
We all trooped back to JoAnn fabrics (affectionately known as “the green store” at our house) and I got 3/4 yard of dark brown, 3/4 yard of heathered brown, and some pumpkiny orange thread and embroidery floss.
I cut the dark brown to the finished size I wanted using another placemat I had as a template, and then cut the heathered brown rectangles slightly smaller. Then, using my paint/stencil technique I stumbled onto with the banner letters, I painted leaf shapes onto my leftover medium brown felt (from the banner project) using a leaf template my husband drew. I covered the paper with packing tape so that the paint wouldn’t bleed through while I used it. Drawing the leaf was a bit of a pain, so if you want to make these, feel free to download our leaf pattern here.
After painting the leaves, I ironed on some two-sided heat-n-bond to the back and then cut them out. Then we adhered them to the heathered rectangles with the other part of the heat n’ bond, and then I hand stitched around the leaves with embroidery floss.
Yes, that was more work than I had anticipated. [Hence, no thought provoking blogging coming from here lately!!] :)
After the leaves were stitched on, I pinned the heathered rectangles onto the dark brown rectangles and stitched around the edge with my sewing machine. I don’t know how to describe these stitches… so – to make the edges look like this:
I used my machine’s D and G versions of the “SS stitches” – D around the heathered, G around the edge of the dark brown.
Now, I must say that I am not good at cutting out rectangles that are perfectly square and even. Just doesn’t happen. The stitches around the outside not only helped these look more finished, but they also helped camouflage my weird shaped placemats.
While sewing around the dark brown edge, I kept my presser foot lined up with the edge of my stitches around the heatered rectangle. Sometimes I was right on the edge of the fabric, sometimes I had almost an inch to spare. :| After I had stitched around the entire perimeter, I carefully snipped the edges even with the outside of my stitches, being cautious not to clip the threads. So, my rectangles might be a little wonky, but visually they look good since the width of the dark brown is even all the way around.
I have enjoyed having a home project to work on, and I love how the banner and placemats dress up the dining room for Thanksgiving.
And don’t they look stellar with my new fabric napkins my sister made me?
Hope you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving prep! God has blessed us abundantly – give thanks to Him and praise His name!
To see what others have been tackling, click over to Tackle it Tuesday at 5 Minutes for Mom!