pattern + project // a new thing banner
This banner was begging for me to make it. No really. It sort of planted itself in my brain and I HAD to make it. And then sequins. That might not make sense, but back in December I found that sequins soothe my soul and I jokingly decided that my new year needed more of them. And so, this banner is here to encourage me, and hopefully you too. I'll explain more at the end of this post, but first, let's do some making!
I've included the pattern for the words "I am doing a new thing", but you could very easily make a banner with your own favorite pattern, phrase, or just about anything. Ready? Let's do a new thing!
Here's what you need:
Large skewer or thin dowel rod
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy or tracing paper
Rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat (optional, but helpful)
Utility shears (optional, but helpful)
I Am Doing a New Thing embroidery pattern PDF
Cut a piece of felt to about 8-1/2 x 10 inches.
Print or trace the pattern onto the Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy or tracing paper, and then embroider the design through the material, centered on the felt. I used six strands and back stitch for the entire design (apart from the french knot to dot the "i". When you're finished, soak away the Fabri-Solvy or tear away the tracing paper.
If you've soaked the embroidery, allow the material to dry flat. You'll probably want to gently iron the felt.
Make sure your felt is trimmed nice and straight, then fold it in half vertically. Cut a diagonal line from the lower outside corner to about 2 inches up from the bottom along the fold. A rotary cutter makes this super easy.
This makes the little points on your banner, and there's nothing too precise about this. In fact, you could make the diagonal cut the other direction so that you have a point hanging down in the center. Make sense?
Now it's sequin time! I wanted mine to look like someone had just tossed some at the banner and they stuck that way. How did I do that? I randomly sprinkled the sequins on the banner while it was laying flat. A few of them landed in really bad spots (like on the embroidery, which I didn't want), but most had just the look I was going for. I took a pic with my iPad, and then used that as a rough guide for sequin placement.
To attach each sequin, I used 3 strands of embroidery floss in a blue that matches the felt. You can use glue or the traditional method of sewing these on with beads, but this method works well. Just make sure you have a needle that the floss will fit through, but that will also fit through the center of the sequins.
Come up from the back and thread a sequin onto the needle and down to the felt.
Wrap the floss on the needle two times, then poke the needle back through the sequin and felt. Basically, you're making a french knot that will hold the sequin in place.
Stitch your sprinkling of sequins, and feel very pleased with yourself. If sequins aren't your thing, I'd recommend replacing them with french knots, perhaps in a color that will not compete with the color of your text.
Cut three 3-inch circles from card stock and use glue stick or a pin to attach them to the back of the fabric. Cut out around the circles, leaving a 3/8-inch allowance.
Stitch around the circle with needle and thread. Use a medium-length running stitch. Pull the thread to gather the allowance tight on the back, but without curling the paper inside, then tie a knot.
Iron the backs of the circles to flatten the gathered allowance, then remove the papers, fold the circles in half and iron them again.
Pin the three half circles along the top of the banner, sandwiching the felt in the circles. The fold of each circle should be about 1/2 inch up from the top of the felt, and the two sides will stick out slightly on the ends.
Stitch around the scallops with running stitch, making sure that you don't go past the felt. You'll want to keep the top of the scallops open so they form a hanging channel.
If you're using a large skewer, you'll need to cut the pointed end off. A utility shear is great for this.
Carefully slide the skewer through the scallop tabs.
You can also use the utility shear to make some little grooves in each end. These will help prevent the hanger from sliding off.
Cut a 16- to 18-inch piece of embroidery floss and tie it to each end of the skewer.
Now you can hang your banner and be reminded of all the newness. The newness? Sure. Let's go with that.
Now, may I share with you the importance of this banner? Or at least how it came to be?
I'm still feeling this new year, and I probably will for a while. That's good and bad, I think. It might be artificial, but this is a time of lots of "new", and we hear that word a lot right now. It actually started to get to me and in a time that should be hopeful (A blank slate! A fresh start!), I nearly let it get me down.
The blogging world has been sharing all of their goals and their new things that they're working on. They look like they have it all together, and I have a feeling that a few of them actually do. I don't have it all together.
I have moments of doing things well, but most of the time I'm behind schedule, stressing, and starting emails with "I'm so sorry for the delay...". What new things was I going to be working on in this new year? I didn't know, and I couldn't even start to think about that, because it felt like a failure. And then these words:
"See, I am doing new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." -Isaiah 43:19
They just sort of came to my mind and I nearly gasped. I don't need to worry when I'm not able to do new things in my life. God is doing new things as he always does, and that's far more than enough. Over the next week or so, even as I was stitching the pattern, I heard several other sources make reference to this verse and the new things God is doing and making.
So I'm hanging this banner where I'll see it every day. Because I just have this feeling that I'm going to need to remember every day that God is doing a new thing.