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Sep 10, 2013

Bunting #5: a bountiful Harvest bunting

My kids and I love to garden. This year each child got to pick one part of the garden to tend. J'lyn went for pumpkins and zucchini while Jordyn worked on some carrots, basil, and tomatoes. Bryson grew tons of sugar snap peas, carrots, and 1 cucumber and our little Camryn was all over green beans! It was a very bountiful and fun year in the garden. Yet, as all good things must come to an end, and our garden is ending. With such a great harvest we decided we needed a bunting to show our love of gardening. I was not sure what I wanted the bunting to look like until when I found  this great piece of block fabric, then the vision came together. So today I am going to show you how to turn a fabric panel into spectacular bunting! 

HARVEST BANNER TUTORIAL: Making a banner out of panel blocks...




Supplies:
1 yd of a Fabric Panel (if you have to cut some of your panels to get one yard, then add a bit more to retain the last row of blocks.)
Batting (I used Legacy 80/20 blend, AVAILABLE IN OUR SHOP)
Twine, cut at the desired length you want the bunting
Hooks (I used RIKTIG Curtain hooks with rings from Ikea)
Sewing supplies & tools
Like I said I choose a harvest panel to show off my garden this year, so beginning with your fabric cut out each individual block 1/4" from each edge.
Once cut, you should have a stack of panel blocks like this; count how many you have. I had ended up with 14 blocks, but did not want a bunting that long so I choose to make mine double-sided. If you want a longer bunting you could choose to incorporate a second fabric for the backing of each panel. Once you know what you want to do, matched your blocks together and set them aside.



I wanted my blocks to have a bit of weight to them so I decided to add batting to each block. Here is what you do. First take one cut fabric block and measure it. Using this measurement, cut out one batting block for each block SET you plan to have for your bunting. (Example; I had 14 individual fabric blocks but I am pairing them together so I only needed 7 batting blocks. Get it?) Now we are going to layer all three pieces together so we can turn out each block to get clean finished edges. Here is how you do it.
(1) Lay down your BATTING block
(2) Take your FABRIC BACK piece and lay it on top of the batting, so you are looking at the RIGHT-SIDE of the fabric
(3) Take your FABRIC FRONT piece and lay it on your previous layer, so that you are looking at the WRONG-SIDE of the fabric
You should now have what Gemia calls a "fabric sandwich" and what I call a "birthing". No matter what you want to call it you need to pin it together so nothing shifts when we stitch it.
Next you are going to sew around the edges of your sandwich, leaveing a three inch gap on your fourth edge. This gap is how you will turn your "fabric sandwich' inside out or "birth" it. I leave my gap in the center of the fourth edge so that my corners stay crisp. To do this you must start a 1/4 of the way up from the bottom of your fourth edge, continuously sew the other three edges, and then finish 1/4 from the top on that fourth edge.
Before you turn-out the blocks, clip each corner 1/4" from the corners point. This will create a perfect corner. We now have to turn-out the blocks. You can reach your hand into the gap and gently pull the fabric out of the gap. Take a chop stick, or something like it, and push out each corner so that it looks square and even.
You now have your block nearly ready! Sadly you have a gaping hole on one side of the block.  Fold your open edges together making sure that your batting is inside the block then press your block with a hot iron. Now top-stitch around the entire block, so that it is uniform and beautiful. It is complete! You are going to repeat this process (from the "fabric sandwich" to the top-stitch) for each block set you created. Once you have complete all your blocks you will need to figure out how you want to hang your bunting. This week I choose to use little metal hooks that I attached to twine. They are simple and easy to change out. 

In a few weeks I will be making a Fall Bunting in this same way but I plan to add gromets to each block to change things up a bit. So, you better be sure to come back and see how that turns out. In the meantime, enjoy what is left of your garden. About all we have left are raspberries, a few tomatoes, a pepper or two, and sweet yummy memories!

Happy Harvest!

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