Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
A hand-crafted birthday banner
Here is one of the handmade gifts I made for Christmas this year. I made two of these "Happy Birthday" banners for my daughters and their families. Since they each have more than one child, it wasn't practical to add a child's name at the end of the banner as the pattern was designed. So I made a separate small banner for each child's name. These could be tied onto the end of the "Happy Birthday" banner if desired, or hung beneath it. I found the pattern in the book Stitched in Time, by Alicia Paulson. This is a lovely book, with many interesting projects with the potential to become family heirlooms. I bought mine on Amazon with a gift card I'd received for Mother's Day.
(Note: I have just added this book to my A-Store, "My Kitchen Table Collection" which you can access with the button to the right. If you are interested, Stitched in Time can be found and/or purchased on page 6.)
I did just a couple of things differently from what the pattern directed. I used muslin to back the parts of the banner, rather than matching fabric as suggested. This saved the decorative fabric and enabled me to make a number of banners with the fabric I had purchased. I think that in most cases the banners I made will be hung against a wall or above a door, so really the back side will rarely be seen. The other thing I did was not to make hanging loops at each end of the large banner, because I wanted to leave the recipients the option of tying a separate name banner to one end. I just left 8 to 10 inches at each end of the bias tape, feeling that would be enough to tie or tack up where needed.
This was my first attempt at using a font from my computer for a fabric craft. I used Georgia at the 250-point size as recommended, and loved the way it turned out. It was also my first attempt at freezer-paper stenciling, which I undertook with fear and trembling, but it turned out fairly well. All in all, it was a fun project which I hope will become an heirloom in my daughters' families. I gave the banners along with birthday candles, birthday napkins, and a couple of fun kids' books from Gooseberry Patch.
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.