This project lends itself well to making use of holiday fabric, or any fabric, that you love. You can make one, or you can make many to give as gifts or to sell in your craft store. Banners or buntings are simple to make. Sewing them easily fills the requirement to "just make something."
The minimum amount of fabric needed per flag is 20 x 16 inches (50 x 40 cm), well within the sizing of a fat quarter of cut fabric. If you purchase fabric by the yard, select a minimum of 1/4 to 1/3 yard.
I typically make six banners at a time. I purchase 2/3 yard of each fabric to produce six flags (12 cut pieces) per fabric pattern. You can make each flag from a different fabric, you can just use two patterns, or even make all from one fabric. Isn't it fun to have these options?
You can choose different flag shapes: triangles, rectangles, rounded-edge rectangles, chevrons (single centered point), or swallowtails (two points on the perimeter of the flag). Use Google to search for "flag shapes" for even more ideas. The key to project satisfaction is assessing the direction of your fabric print. If your fabric pattern has no distinctive direction, then you've got the easiest gig. If the pattern is vertical or horizontal, and you like your work to follow laws of nature (i.e. no upside down or sideways faces or text), then pay attention to direction. To demonstrate, let's look at this sample:
With this cutting plan, one triangle will be upside down. If you want all pieces to go in the same direction, you have a few options:
1) cut two pieces correctly (you may "waste" fabric, or at least be left with a piece for a different project, perhaps some decorative pyramids that you sew together later)
2) cut one decorative pattern correctly, and back the patterned fabric with a coordinating solid
3) select a different flag shape
I began my love affair with the triangle banners. But when I discovered that two of my prized fabrics had pieces that were cut wrong due to opposing fabric direction, I changed my strategy. First, most of the fabrics I bought had more than one direction. Next, I settled on the chevron shape. Since my work is sometimes done late at night (when I'm not at my sharpest) or while my kids are home (and I'm frequently interrupted or distracted), the chevron works better for me. The easiest option is a plain rectangle or square.
So, before buying and cutting fabric, have in mind your chosen flag shape. Consider the quantity of fabric needed. Decide how many flags you want. A range of seven, eight, or nine patterned flags offers variety and increases visual appeal.
Next, choose your bias strip color. I use Wright's Extra-Wide Double Fold 1/2 inch by 108 inches (3 yards). You can match the bias strip to the fabric colors , or have it contrast with the flags it so it stands out.
In this project, I will make a banner that has nine chevrons.
- Cotton fabric, 7 to 9 pattern varieties
- One package of bias tape double fold 1/2 inches by 108 inches (3 yards)
- Sewing machine with universal sewing needle size 12
- Binder clips, quilting clips, or pins
- Template plastic
- Rotary cutter
- Air-soluble marker
- Turning tool or a bodkin
- Walking foot for sewing machine