It was about 2 years ago that my daughter asked for a “new” banner for one of the children. I had to agree, the banner I was replacing was not going to ‘last a lifetime’.
The children celebrate their baptism birthday, and the banners hang in their home, usually in the bedroom.
As I started the year with a long list of projects, I hoped to get this done BEFORE the baptism birthday. When I won the embroidery machine last year, I thought I would include embroidery on the banner. I started to collect various designs that might find a place on the banner. I have a collection of designs from Embroiderydesigns.com and from designsbyjuju.com. (I love Designs by juju. She has digitized lots of Bible verses, and gives them away for free.)
Dear daughter drew a sketch on a notepad of what she had in mind for the finished project.
Hubby and I went on a shopping trip where I collected a variety of fabrics last Wednesday. One of these fabrics is NOT quilting cotton~!~I am ever thankful for the Sewing with Silk class I took at the beginning of the month. (Stabilizer is the secret!)
As he was going to be busy on Wednesday evening, I decided I would sew. I sat down and narrowed down my choices of fabric.
I started with 5″ squares, making half square triangles, trimming to 4 1/2″. Put those up on the design wall and decided TOO big. Trimmed the 1/2 square triangles down to 3 1/2″ and decided that was perfect. I worked on it for 5 hours on Wednesday evening….and on Thursday, I put together the main part of the banner and then sat back to figure out the “what next”.
The what next involved me trying to decide how was I going to applique the name and date and searching for fonts that might work easily and be of the right side. Why applique? Well, it seems that my Brother 500PE embroidery machine was not working properly, and dear hubby had determined it was a “timing issue”. Perhaps it needed a new “bobbin case”….and of course, to take it in for service, we would need to take a 70+ mile road trip, along with $150 for the “walk in the door service charge”. Last month, Hubby had tried and tried to get things working and it would not.
Well…after I contemplated my next step, I posted a question on a Facebook group – Brother PE Embroidery (https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/388276124532366/?fref=nf) . One lovely lady suggested, I take the bobbin case out; clean it all again; replace the needle and try again. I did and it WORKED. My needle had been striking in the bobbin case and not catching the bobbin thread. I am so “not mechanical”; and I don’t really “get” why the machine works, I just expect it to. I thought I had given hubby a new needle when he was tinkering….Anyway, I am convinced, it was a GOD thing….He guided my efforts to get the machine working properly. Let me just say I was thrilled.
So, embroidery machine running properly, I learned a little more about stabilizing and hooping….I have used medium tear away, mesh iron on, pellon fusible. Turns out the mesh iron on is too light weight… the stitches pull the fabric. I read on that Facebook group about “floating stabilizer” and tried that! (Slide a sheet of tear away medium weight UNDER the hoop. The fabric in the hoop had iron on mesh stabilizer backing the cotton). Wow; what a difference it made.
So; as the embroidery came off the machine, I started to play around with layouts. Note; I had cut my main banner squares down to 3 1/2″ and my embroidery was stitching out at a 4×4″ …..so, I decided to work them in as a top and bottom “border”. I always have fun with the designing, and made lots of changes along the way.
Once I had all my embroidery work completed I played around with the layout and came up with a balance that pleased the hubby and I.
Once all the design work was done, it was time to layer it up and get it quilted. I added a hanging pocket on the back before I attached the binding. I just need to add my “made by Grandma” label and cut a dowel, and it will be ready to pack up and mail. Finished size is about 15″ x 30″.