Fa La La Christmas Bunting

Hi I am Lynne, a UK quilter who blogs at Lily’s Quilts.  In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to make a quick, easy and fun Christmas bunting.  If you do make bunting, Christmas or otherwise, from this tutorial, I would love you to come and show me the pics in my Lily’s Quilts Flickr group.

One charm pack and 1 1/2″ yds fabric for backing and binding.  If you made the Union Jack Shabby Chic Wall Hanging, you will have charms left over to make this bunting.  If however, you did not, you will need to cut two extra 5″ squares from your binding and backing fabric to make the 44 squares needed.  You will cut these at step 2 of the instructions.

1. Sew together 30 background charms into pairs and then sew those pairs of charms into one long strip.

2.   Take a strip of wadding roughly 12″ deep and 75″ long.  If you need to join two pieces end to end – butt up the two edges and run a wide zig zag across the seam.  Make a strip of backing roughly 12″ deep and 75″ long – you can do this by joining two 13″ WOF strips of backing fabric and trimming to size.  You can cut your extra two 5″ squares from the ends of this strip of fabric.

3.   Baste as preferred to make one long skinny quilt sandwich.  Take a small bite.  Ooh silly me, this is a fabric recipe not a food recipe.  Do not take a bite.

4.  Mark zig zag lines along the quilt sandwich as shown in this picture.  I am using washable felt tip pens – these lines will disappear into the bunting binding so go wild and pick the clashiest colour you can find.  Go on. Live a little.  I chose green.  The safe choice for Christmas bunting.  I’m British.  We don’t do wild so much.

5.   Sew a long stitch basting line (on the machine) 1/8″ of an inch from the top and the border of each triangle to hold the three layers together until binding.

6.  Print out or draw out the letters HAPY CRISTM or the letters you need for whatever else you want your bunting to say.  I opened a Word document, chose the font Adamsky Outline SF, enlarged the letters to 400 and printed the sheets out.  For a more informal look, mix up upper case and lower case letters or perhaps choose letters from different fonts.  Hold your printed letters up against the triangles to check that they are big enough but do not come too close to the edge of the triangles or the edges will get lost in the binding.

7.  Trace the letters IN REVERSE onto a fusible webbing.  Hold up to the window or place on a lightbox if you cannot see the letters clearly enough.  For those of you with advanced spelling abilities, you may calculate which letters you need to trace more than once.  For the rest of us, you need to trace A, P, H and S twice.  (Can you see I ran out of space and had to cut one of my “S”s in half?!

8.   Cut out the letters roughly and fuse to the back of 14 green charm squares.  Cut along the lines.

9.   Fuse the letters to the bunting fabric, aligning them within the triangle shapes made on the fabric with your zig zag markings.  The bottom of the letter should be toward the pointy part of the triangle.  For a more informal look, place the letters at slight angles rather than dead straight.  I like dead straight for Christmas.  Perhaps for a children’s party bunting, I’d like a bit of wonk though.

10.  Sew around the letters in the stitch of your choice.  I have used a straight stitch about 1/8″ inside the shape of the letters.  If you do not have sufficient contrast between your letters and background fabric, you might wish to sew this line in a thick satin stitch to provide a clear edge to the letters.

11.  Cut along the zig zag lines to makes lots of triangles like this one.

12.  Cut 7 1″ WOF strips of binding fabric.  Cut each strip in half so that each is 22″ long or thereabouts.  Bind the two points side of the triangle.  First sew the binding strips to the first edge of the front of the triangles stopping 1/4″ short of the point and doing a few reverse stitches for strength.

13.   Fold the binding strip up aligning it with the edge of the triangle as shown in the picture and then back down again.

14.  Sew along the second side of the triangle once again attaching the fabric with a 1/4″ seam.

15.   Fold the bunting to the back and pin from the wrong side of the bunting and then sew down.  Since my bunting hangs against a wall, I cheat here and do not fold the binding under and hand stitch as I normally would with a quilt but machine sew it down from the right side.  OK the back isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen but I won’t be seeing it when it’s hung up on the wall.  If your bunting will be hanging so that you can see the back or if it is a gift or being made for sale, you may prefer to fold the bunting under and hand stitch it down as with a regular quilting binding.

16.   Trim the hanging ends of binding from the tops of the triangles.

17.   Now cut four 1 1/2″ WOF strips of the fabric you have chosen to go along the top of the bunting which I will call the hanging ribbon.  Sew into a long strip using diagonal joins as you would do if you were making a quilt binding.

18.   Press in half along the length and then fold in the sides and press again to make one long double-folded strip.

19.   Pin the bunting triangles into hanging ribbon starting about 15″ along from the end of the ribbon and leaving roughly 1″ spaces between the triangles.  Sew along the top side of the hanging ribbon as close to the edge as you dare, aiming to go through both layers of hanging ribbon as well as through the triangles

VOILA – one Fa La La charm pack Christmas bunting.  Take it outside in the summer sunshine, hang from some gates, take a photo and pack it away into the Christmas decorations box for a few months.

Then, in December, go into the attic, get down the Christmas decorations box, pull out your Christmas bunting, don your gay apparel and deck the halls with boughs of holly.

One Fa La La La La Christmas bunting decoration.

Lynne Goldsworthy
{Lily’s Quilts}

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