I have a secret to tell you. I have a guilty pleasure and it is Gilmore Girls. Truth be told I have a few guilty pleasure TV shows but a girl needs to keep her secrets and dignity so I won’t tell you about all of them….just yet. There are many things that I love about the show and most of those involve me living in Stars Hollow, the fictitious Connecticut town that is filled with colourful characters and endless fetes and events. For those of you who have not seen the show it centres around a mother and daughter. In one episode, Loreiai (the mum) fills her daughters room with flags and pennants from Yale before she goes to college. Without me giving you a very long back story you may not know why it is such a nice thing for her to do, but trust me it is a magical mother daughter moment. I wanted to bring a little bit of Stars Hollow magic into Sebastian’s world so I created 3 flags for his room that all have a significance to him.
The key to creating art for your home is KEEP IT PERSONAL. It is so easy to take somewhat overused phrases and turn them into a poster but they are generic and making your own is the ideal opportunity to make something that is pertinent to you and your family. Okay so if ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ is your little one’s favourite book then buying one of the many prints that say “I Love You To The Moon And Back” is ideal but the chances are there is probably something more personal that is just you to pop on your flag.
I made three flags each with their own personal tale. Uh Oh was Sebastian’s second word, his first word was bear although it took us a little while to work that out as his diction is not spot on yet so we thought he was saying there. After him repeatedly using the word whilst pointing to a bear we worked it out, stupid mummy. The Flag with the bear on is simply because Seb always had a bear pram suit and we would sing Now You’re A Bear every time we would pop him into it. The paper plane stitched drawing is a homage to The Great Paper Caper, a book that combines paper planes and a bear. We also spend a lot of time flying back and forth from Paris to Yorkshire, amongst other places and Sebastian had clocked over 12 flights in his first 6 months so it seemed fitting. I hung the finished flags whilst Sebastian slept, it really warmed my heart to see his face in the morning pointing, smiling and saying the word bear.
As you will be making your own personal flags I will simply talk you through the methods I used and you can adapt them accordingly.
you will need;
to add painted text to a flag
I used this method on the UH OH pennant and the bear flag. I have a confession although I would love to excel at hand lettering and I practice I am not so great. I found fonts that I liked scaled them to the desired size and print them out. Place the text under the fabric and trace the lettering using the fabric marker I mentioned above. If it is trick to see tape the text and the fabric to a window, (during the day of course), with masking tape before tracing. Carefully fill in the lettering with fabric paint, allow to dry and seal according to the manufacturers instructions, this usually involves a hot iron.
to add applique to a flag
The key to this is choosing a shape that works as a silhouette, I love that word it sounds delicious. The best way to test this is to make your line drawing on copy paper, cut it out, if you can still see what it is then it will work. I have stated that bondweb is optional but I never work without it as it makes the whole process go smoothly, quite literally as it holds the fabric down flat whilst you stitch around the shape so you don’t get any puckering. Use the copy paper template to cut the shape from fabric. Bondaweb is a double sided fusible mesh used to attach fabrics. It has a paper backing that you can draw the shape onto, remember it will be reversed so bear this in mind. Iron the bondaweb to the wrong side of the fabric you are using for the applique with the paper side up. This method helps you cut nice crisp lines for your shape. Once you have cut it out peel the paper backing off and place it on the flag and iron it down. You need to stitch the shape down further using a running stitch or blanket stitch around the edge.
to add hand embroidery to a flag
I hand drew the paper airplane using the fabric marker that I mentioned in the materials list. I just used back stitch for solid lines and running stitch for broken lines. I changed the thickness of the lines by adjusting how many strands of embroidery floss I used. You can get some interesting marks this way using the simplest of stitches.
I hope that you are inspired to make some personal art for your home and as always if you do I would love for you to send me a picture.