My friends, I’m working hard to will some positivity into being right now. This month, March 2021, marks the one year anniversary of the global Covid-19 pandemic. It’s been a year of considerable loss for so many and even with the bright light of vaccines at the end of the tunnel I find myself needing daily pep talks. Maybe you feel the same? And so I decided that some visual reminders, directives and encouragement were in order.
I’m delighted to be serving as a #SpoonflowerAmbassador this year and have partnered with them on this simple cut and sew tutorial. Spoonflower is a brilliant print-on-demand fabric/wallpaper company based in Durham, NC and Berlin, Germany. I’ve designed four old-school inspired pennant banners and have made them available in two colorways: what I’ve been referring to as candy colors shown above and collegiate colors depicted below. Each colorway can be printed on a yard of fabric providing you with all four designs or you can select a single design in the colorway of your choice and have it printed on a fat quarter of fabric. Lots of options!
I’ve created these banners using Spoonflower’s most recent addition to their long list of available fabrics: Recycled Canvas. It’s a woven canvas 100% polyester fabric offering a smooth drape, soft hand and radiant color saturation with a subtle luster. Best of all it features 50% REPREVE® high-quality recycled fiber that helps conserve energy and natural resources – AND each yard or meter of this performance fabric is made from 10 recycled bottles. It’s perfect for both indoor and seasonal outdoor weather-resistant use. You can find all of the fabric specification and more info here. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a special discount code on your next Spoonflower purchase.
- a fat quarter (18 x 27″) banner design of your choice (all options are available in my Spoonflower shop)
- clear quilting ruler, rotary cutter and cutting mat
- sewing machine, coordinating thread and sewing clips
- sharp scissors and a pencil
- 3/8” (10mm) grommets and a grommet setter
1. Cut a 2” border around the banner shape. This is easiest to achieve with a clear quilting ruler and rotary blade. By way of clarification, when I refer to the banner shape, I’m referring to the color that surrounds the text. In this instance I’m measuring two inches out from the edges of the orange interior – creating a 2″ border of pink.
2. While optional, I recommend stitching along the raw cut edges of the fabric to prevent fraying. You can utilize a serger/overlocking sewing machine, or simply sew a zigzag stitch with 1/4” allowance and then then trim the fabric as close as possible without cutting into the stitches. I’m working on a Janome Memory Craft machine that has a “multiple zigzag stitch” that is great for finishing the raw edge of synthetic substrates.
3. Finish the edges by completing all of the following steps for one edge before moving on to the next. I recommend executing the long left edge and then the long right edge (or vice versa), next move on to the top edge and finally complete one of the two angled bottom edges and then the other. Fold and press a 1/2” hem – making certain to use the synthetic setting on your iron. You may find it useful to use a heat resistant ruler as a hem guide. You won’t get a crisp fold with Recycled Canvas, but it will be enough to define the hem and allow you to secure it with fabric clips (preferable) or pins. Secure the hem in place with a straight stitch using a 1/4” allowance.
Using a sharp pair of scissors snip all of your thread tails and clip the outer two edge corners of the hem that runs along the top of the banner. See the photo below for reference. Press all of your finished hems flat.
4. To complete the banner install 3/8” (10mm) grommets in the two top corners of the banner. Handheld grommet setting tools and grommets are inexpensive and easily accessible online. (I purchased this set and it worked wonderfully.) If you’re unfamiliar a grommet is a two-part piece of hardware that is pressed together through a hole in the fabric to create a nicely finished reinforced hole from which to hang your banner. You’ll follow the instructions that accompany your grommet setting tool, but typically you decide on placement, trace the interior of a grommet piece with a pencil and cut the traced circle out of the fabric with small sharp scissors.
Next insert the grommet into the hole through the front of the fabric, place the grommet washer on the backside of the fabric and press the two pieces together using the grommet setting tool.
The end result is a smart looking, reinforced holes that allow you to hang your banner for display. The images below show you what an installed grommet looks like from the vantage points of both the front and back of the banner. Not interested in tackling grommets? Consider sewing a pole pocket along the top edge and hang the banner from a wood dowel.
Ready to get started? Pick your favorite banner design in my Spoonflower shop and save 15% when you use the discount code: RMahar15