There's a whole big story behind today's project, and sometimes I think that it's even bigger than I think it is. It's hard to know where to begin, so it might be best if I start somewhere and then loop around as needed.
Hope. This isn't a banner that is about "I hope you have a nice trip!" or "I hope I get that new job." This is a bigger hope. And it's one that I've been thinking on for the last month or so.
Our church had its 10th Celebration of Hope, a 3-week time of getting to know about global needs, and how we as a church can partner with people around the world to help bring real change...real hope. We're talking about micro-loans, education, peacemaking, and more.
Here's a little loop in the story. For Mother's Day, I made this banner for my mom. Eucharisteo is a Greek word that means giving thanks in all things, but it's bigger than that. Bigger than I have room for here today. But it's a word that you'll encounter a lot if you read anything from Ann Voskamp.
The banner hangs in our kitchen now, but I thought it would be nice to make another. Maybe you'd want to make one too. But maybe with a different word? Hope came to mind.
And to connect hope and banners and Ann Voskamp, last week she shared a post on her blog about ISIS. I'd highly encourage you to read this post, but be prepared that it is a hard read. Terrible, terrible things are happening in our world, and as I was reading, I kept thinking, something needs to be done! But what? How do you bring hope to people who's lives have been literally torn apart?
The answer is love. A ministry called Preemptive Love has been working in Iraq for about 10 years, and they've been bringing hope, and they're in a place where they are able to help people pick up the pieces that are left of their ISIS-attacked lives and find hope. It's simple really: Help women create businesses and help children get in school.
So I made a banner. And I helped support hope through Preemptive Love and a micro-loan through my church, and I will continue to look for ways (both financially and otherwise) to share hope. I'd love it if you considered doing the same. Starting with a banner?
You will need:
1/4 yard linen
1/4 yard floral fabric
1/4 yard fusible interfacing (I suggest Pellon WonderUnder)
Large skewer or thin dowel rod
Basic sewing tools, including an iron and sewing machine
Hope Banner Template PDF
Note: The PDF includes the complete alphabet so your banner can say whatever you want it to. Simply adjust the length of the banner to fit the word you choose.
Trace the letters and the chevron onto the paper backing of the fusible interfacing. The letters are reversed so that you can trace them this way.
Iron the interfacing onto the back of the floral fabric, then cut out the pieces. Cutting out the letters is pretty easy, as long as you have good scissors, and keep a steady hand.
Join the two banner template pieces, then cut out two banner shapes from linen. Iron the floral chevron to the bottom of one of the linen pieces.
Arrange the letters on the banner, then iron them down.
This part is optional, but it's super cute. Cut out a heart from the felt, and stitch a little face on it. Then, stitch it onto your banner with perle cotton and running stitch. I placed mine at the top of the floral chevron, but go with what you like!
Cut a 3-1/2 x 6-1/2 inch piece of floral fabric, and press the short ends in AT LEAST 1/2 inch. Press the entire strip in half the long way. You can see the creases in the photo. This will be the hanger for the banner
Place the front of your banner face up. Place the folded and pressed hanger at the top, with the fold facing in and the raw edges aligned with the banner. Place the back of the banner face down. Pin the edges.
Sew around the banner with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning (be sure to back stitch the ends). Carefully trim the corners.
Turn the banner right side out, and poke the corners into place. Iron the banner, making sure that the seams are nice and open. Take care around the opening so that the seam allowance is pressed as straight as you can.
Stitch around the banner with perle cotton and running stitch, starting and ending on either side of the heart (if you added that). To get to the starting point, I tie a knot in one end, then go in through a side seam and come up at the place I want to stitch.
Since going around the banner takes a long piece of thread, I recommend coating it with Thread Heaven. You could also work with shorter pieces, and start/stop more often.
Cut off the skewer or dowel rod to the width of the banner. Slide it through the fabric hanger, then tie perle cotton to the ends.
At this point, you may also want to iron it one more time. Otherwise, it's ready for display!
Hang this banner in your home as a reminder of hope. As a reminder to bring hope. Or maybe gift it to someone who needs a reminder.
And then look for ways that you can give tangible hope.