Birthday Bunting!

It’s my thirtieth birthday in less than two weeks, and I’ve decided that I am going to craft some decorations to celebrate.

The first project that I’m starting with is a birthday bunting using fabric that I had leftover from a couple of projects. The yellow in the bunting is actually from my very first quilt, which looked a little bit like an ad for IKEA, with its primary blue and yellow. The rest of the fabric is from the tied lap quilt that I made for Nick and Jenn. #Stashbusting

There are a lot of blogs giving tutorials on bunting, because it has reached a surge in popularity.

Some examples:

The Daily Telegraph’s Diamond Jubilee bunting: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/the_queens_diamond_jubilee/9261935/Queens-Diamond-Jubilee-street-party-how-to-make-bunting.html

Homemade & Happy’s Bunting: http://www.myhomemadehappy.com/tutorial-how-to-make-bunting/

Glorious Treats’ Bunting: http://www.glorioustreats.com/2012/06/how-to-make-a-fabric-bunting.html

And even WikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Bunting

The things that I did a little differently from other people were skipping the step of drawing triangles on the fabric and going right to cutting, and also using a pointed pen cap to flip the sewn triangles inside out (or rather… outside in). I found that a pencil didn’t work well for me, and I don’t own specialized tools that you can buy for the purpose.

I started by measuring out an isosceles triangle out of a piece of cardboard (okay, part of a French Toast Crunch cereal box). This size determined the ultimate size of the triangles on the bunting.

After cutting out the cardboard rectangle to use as my template, I cut triangles from the fabric. Each triangle needed a front and a back, and I used matching fabric, although you could also make a double-sided bunting. Maybe a girl baby shower bunting on one side, and a boy on the other to re-use among friends?

I found that I could get more out of each fabric by flipping my fabric triangle from the pointed part upwards to downwards while I was cutting with a rotary cutter (being careful not to cut away the cardboard, which would lead to a dull blade and wonky triangles). I cut each triangle immediately and then flipped the template to save time and because it seemed less fussy than drawing the triangles on the fabric first.

Once I had what looked like enough triangles, I flipped matching sets over so that the patterned (or “right”) side of the fabric was facing each other.

Then I sewed around the long sides of the triangles, leaving the short and flat side un-sewn (open).

I used the quick method of simply sewing one triangle after another and then cutting the threads apart at the end.

After I had a bunch of triangles sewn and cut apart from one another, I flipped them inside out.

I used the pen-cap side of a pen in order to carefully work the tips of the triangles out, so that they looked a little less misshapen. Sometimes I have to use the tools I have lying around on my desk.

When I was done, I ironed (sigh… always with the ironing) the triangles. Then I grabbed a length of pre-made binding in a complementary brown, which I already had for another project. If desperate, I would have cut and ironed my own, but having some already made was a nice time-saving bonus.

I slid the open side of the triangles inside the binding in a simple repeating pattern that I liked. I think my helper liked it too.

I pinned the pieces in place, in between the opening in the binding, but I wouldn’t bother pinning it again. The pins basically caught on my skirt, and weren’t really necessary. I ended up pulling them out and simply putting in one triangle at a time before sewing the binding closed with thread that matched the binding, trapping each triangle inside in a row.

In the lead up to the party, I decided to hang the bunting up in my room, as a bit of a decoration because it’s pretty bland.

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