Bunting Part 2: Tutorials for ‘quick bunting’ and ‘perfectionist bunting’

In Part 1 of this post I mentioned that my bunting-making began following a request from my daughter for some bunting to hang round our little garden as part of her 16th birthday celebrations.  This bunting was a learning experience, quick to make and inexpensive.

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DSCN2285A few years later I embarked on bunting-making as a means of creating some capital in order to purchase more fabric to make cushions and quilts to sell. But sales of bunting never amounted to much profit partly because I chose to make ‘perfectionist bunting’!

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In 2014 I reverted back to quick and easy bunting to make lots for a one-off event – our daughter’s wedding.

So, onto the tutorials: First ‘perfectionist bunting’ then the shortcuts to ‘quick bunting’.

Perfectionist Bunting

Requirements:

Template – I have two, the large one measures 8½” across the top,  9″ from top to tip and the small one measures 5¾” across the top and 6¼” from top to tip.  Both are cut from template plastic and have lasted several years (I used sturdy cardboard for the very first template I made).

Cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler

Coloured pencils/fabric markers

Fabric – !00% cotton prints and plains

Cotton bias binding.

Sewing machine with a blending cotton thread for seams and cotton top stitch thread for attaching the flags to the bias binding.

The large and small templates.

The large and small templates.

Fold a width of fabric in half and then draw around the template making a row of triangles, half the right way up and half upside down.  Use a rotary cuter and ruler to cut out the pairs of triangles formed by the two layers of fabric.

TIP: Be wary of directional fabrics - every other triangle will produce a flag with the print upside down and this can make for a lot of waste!

TIP: Be wary of directional fabrics – every other triangle will produce a flag with the print upside down and this can make for a lot of waste!

Turn the triangle pairs right sides together and stitch down one long edge, turn at the point, make one stitch and then sew up the second side. Use a ¼” seam.

Turn the triangle pairs right sides together and stitch a quarter inch seam down the diagonal seams. TIP: when you get near to the point, leave the needle down, lift the foot and turn the fabric ready to make just one stitch across the point before turning the fabric again to sew up the second side. This single stitch at the bottom helps when it comes to turning the flag right ways out and pushing out the point.

TIP: Before turning right ways out, cut off the fabric point a quarter inch below the single stitch. This helps reduce bulk at the pointed end of the flag.

Turn the flags right ways out, push out the bottom point and press.

TIP: Find a suitable, tapered but not sharp, implement to push out the points. I found a beater from my mixer works a treat!

TIP: Find a suitable, tapered but not sharp, implement to push out the points. I found a beater from my mixer works a treat!

TIP: I use a knife to push the seams out ready to be pressed.

TIP: I use a knife to push the seams out ready to be pressed.

The next little job is to cut off all the ‘bunny ears’ ready to sew the tops of the flags into the folded bias binding.

SONY DSCStay at the ironing board to press the bias binding in half lengthwise.

SONY DSCFinally (whew!), making the bunting:  leave an ample 20″ of tape at each end of the bunting for tying; arrange the flags in order and begin tucking and pinning each one into the folded bias binding about 2½” apart. Use a contrasting or matching thread to sew just under ¼” in from the open edge of the folded bias binding – including the 20″ of tape at either end.

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One last check before declaring your bunting finished – turn the flags over and ensure the stitching caught the back of the folded bias binding as well as the front!

Now for the Quick Bunting method:

Requirements are the same as above except:

Fabric – use any large scraps of any type of fabric, if you are looking for particular colours try charity shops (curtains and bedding if you are planning to make a lot!) or retailers who stock cheap bedding.

Threads – it’s all top stitching so use threads that will add to finished the effect, on plain fabrics I like using contrasting threads that coordinate with the colours of the other flags, mix and match style!

Binding – needn’t be cotton and woven tape works well too.

Cut out the triangles using the same method as above.  This next step really speeds up production: place the triangle pairs wrong sides together and stitch down the long seams using colourful threads and a straight or zigzag stitch.

SONY DSCAs the flags are right sides out; the turning, snipping points, pressing and snipping bunny ears stages are missed out (hoorah!) and it’s straight on to attaching the flags to the binding/tape!

Choosing whether to use the ‘perfectionist’ method or the quick method really comes down to issues of time, the total length of bunting required, resources, how visible it’s going to be (in a child’s bedroom or hung around a dimly lit venue) and just how fussy you or the recipient happen to be!  Of course the methods can be merged, for instance a variety of fabric types could be used for the perfectionist bunting (although thick fabrics are difficult to turn right sides out and make a point at the bottom).  In actual fact I learned a lesson about fabric choice as you can see from the photo below:

This is some of the bunting we hung outside our house in the very wet summer of 2012.  The plain cottons quickly faded - I discovered that polycottons kept their colour much better in similar conditions.

This is some of the bunting we hung outside our house in the very wet summer of 2012. The plain cottons quickly faded – I discovered that polycottons kept their colour much better in similar conditions.

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The wedding bunting was made using the quick method, fabrics used included new and old polycotton sheets and duvet covers and a smattering of a favourite bought in Cameroon.

If you have any questions or suggestions about making bunting please do use the comment box at the bottom of the page.

Allison

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About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
This entry was posted in Family, Learn, Selling craft, Tutorial and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bunting Part 2: Tutorials for ‘quick bunting’ and ‘perfectionist bunting’

  1. Colleen says:

    well done Allison – I think even the quick bunting method was a labor of love considering how many you had to make !

    Like

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