Since delivering the artwork for my upcoming book, My Bed to the publisher, I’ve had time to catch up on overdue gifts. Like this baby banner for Xavier, the newest member of a family of dear friends. He is now a toddler, and I hope the banner is something he won’t ever outgrow.
I make banners for friends and family that commemorate special events like weddings and births. You can see others I’ve made by scrolling through the archives here. They all feature 2 of my favorite things; embroidery and handwriting. When I form letters in wire, I think back to that day in 3rd grade in the Woods Hole School, when Mrs. Cleveland called each student up to her desk, one at a time, to show us how to write out our names in cursive handwriting. I was transfixed, watching her make a line of loops and bumps that magically spelled my name, without lifting her pencil off the paper.
I use floral wire to make the letters, because it’s covered with green thread that provides a non-slippery surface to wrap embroidery floss on top of.
I usually use variegated floss to wrap the wire, which can look like stripes on the 2nd pass. The wire ends are bent over and wrapped, so that no raw ends are hanging out. It’s similar to the technique I use to make doll limbs in my how-to book Felt Wee Folk.
Out of my stash, I selected bone beads to make a decorative separator between the names and birth date.
And what better than a bead to dot the i.
A little chain stitch never hurt, either.
Writing out the letters in wire sometimes follows a different path than actual handwriting, especially for b’s.
Over the years, I’ve adapted my handwriting on paper as well as wire to a personal style that’s part cursive and part block letters.
I went through my collection of driftwood, picked out a bumpy piece, and cut it to the right length with a saw.
Many years ago, I bought these beach stones with drilled holes. I use them sparingly on special projects.
This shows how I sew the wrapped lettering to the felt banner piece.
For a hanging cord, I braided pima cotton made by Caron.
I have lots of Wee Folk Studio labels left over from when I made felt purse kits, so I sewed one to the back of the banner.
I attached the cord to the wood bar with knots and stitched it to the banner at the top corners.
This banner will soon hang on Xavier’s bedroom door. Welcome to the world little Xavy and congratulations to his parents, Mark and Cal!
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