It’s flag making time!
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.
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.
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.
Add your embellishment before you sew the 2 sides of the flag together eg
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.
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.
Let’s make some flags!