fly the flag quilt along – week 2

by Nova on August 20, 2013

It’s flag making time!

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First up  a couple of flag making tips…

Cut your template out of something sturdy, you have a lot of flags to cut. Use cardboard or some plastic. I used some clear template plastic, it helps if you are making fussy cut flags.  I drew around the template with a permanent marker pen so it was easy to spot on the cutting table, what with it being  clear & all.

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Snip your tip & trim your ears. A little trim to the pointy end of your fag before you turn it right way out helps with the whole turning process. Once you’ve turned it & pressed it, trim those little ears off so you have a nice straight top to your flag.

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Use something pointy but not sharp to push the point out (a bamboo knitting needle worked a treat for me) , you can ease it out with a pin a bit too from the right side.

I have lots of flaggy ideas & inspiration whirling around the grey matter & that’s why I  love patterns just like this one. You have options, from the keeping it simple & letting your yummy fabrics do the talking to adding a bit of fancy.

Not all the ideas  whirling around made the cut into this quilt, because even for this lover of the eclectic & scrappy, sometimes more is not more, but you might like one or two or more  of them so here goes with a list of ideas for fancying up your flags:

Applique  – even within this fancying up there are lots of fancy ideas – machine or hand applique shapes or letters,  spell out a name or greeting or ‘time for bed’ ! Felt letters would be cute sewn on with blanket stitch.  Applique on the underside of the flags for a peek-a-boo effect, or save some applique for your fabric panels under the flag a bit like this cushion I made  a while ago.

Texture – I love using an array of fabric textures in a quilt, it adds interest & makes it all the more tactile I reckon. Don’t pick fabrics that are too thick (like denim or home dec) for your flags though as turning the pointy end will be a bit tricky. Some fabric ideas that spring to mind could be voile, flannel, lawn, quilting cotton of course, I used a couple of linen blends & these worked just fine too.

Embellish – ribbons, ric-rac (this is what I added!), buttons, lacy bits, beads, sparkles … you get the drift.

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Add your embellishment before you sew the 2 sides of the flag together eg

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A row of bobbles would be great running along the top of your rows of flags.

Fussy Cut – pick out those cute features in a fabric (this is where the clear template comes in handy).

Upcycle – this kind of comes under the texture heading too I guess. I am a big fan of the op shop (charity shop/thrift store) & vintage fabrics in general. Do you love the fabric in that Nanna blouse but wouldn’t wear it in a million years? Think quilts!  Once you’re in that mindset there’s a whole world of fabrics to explore – Vintage sheets, souvenir tea towels, cut bits from embroidered doilies.  What about the dress you wore to death but can’t bear to part with?  Chop chop & pop it in a quilt.  Men’s stripey shirts would make fabulous flags don’t you think? As much as I love a trip to the fabric shop there is gold to be found at op shops, boot fairs, garage sales & even in your own wardrobe.

Embroider – if you love to get busy with needle & thread then stitch pictures, words, letters, arrows, hearts, feathers….. Use a flag as your label (that’s what I did!) & no I didn’t grow a new husband, all the nieces & nephews call Andy  ‘Pandy’ ;)

Do your stitches before you sew your 2 flag pieces together & also I recommend cutting just a square piece of fabric &  doing the embroidery first, then cut out your flag – embroidered stitches draw the fabric in a little so your flag would end up marginally smaller & maybe a little warped  & also because a square fits in your embroidery hoop so much better than a triangle.

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Themed –  Theme your flags to tell a story –  fussy cut fairytale flags or monster flags, or space flags & your quilt becomes a storytime adventure. Make your flags into an eye-spy game or a memory game with fussy cuts under the flags. Colour themed (love the Ombre background) would be marvellous or rainbow striped even. If you love a holiday quilt then what better one than a flag quilt! Theme it up for halloween, christmas or whatever holiday you fancy.

Find some more flag ideas over at Shannons place & in the flickr group.

Got some ideas? Share them here or over there or in the group.

Let’s make some flags!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy August 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

Woohoo, go team flag makers *waves pom poms from sidelines* (well, I did promise ;o) )


tracy August 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

oooo….love the embellishments…ricrac is a fave…looks like I may make another! pastels this time I think


Kellie Andersen August 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

The flags are sooo gorgeous :-)I love all your work, but you really do create awesome goodies for the wee people. Loving it!


Willit Neverend August 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

Wow! I’m not making the flag quilt, but these are some excellent tips. I will have to remember them for future quilting and sewing projects. Thanks for sharing.


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