Inspiration straight from the Girl friend squad

Many of my friends here in NH know that for the past several weeks, I’ve been working on the staff of a new quilt show here in New England, the Connections Quilt Festival.  One of the things I did for the show was to create the Viewers Choice ribbon…and I had such great feedback on it, I wanted to turn it into a blog post for this week…it’s so much more interesting than blogging about spreadsheets and layouts!

This isn’t my pattern – the basic idea came from a post on my timeline on Facebook early last week.  Nancy Myers did a post about the basic ornament last week on her blog, Patchwork Breeze.      That post credited a tutorial that she had found on Nancy Zieman’s site, and given the news of NancyZ’s passing this past weekend, it seems to come full circle.  The basic pattern for this uses 5″ squares as the source of the triangles (although NancyZ’s tutorial works for several sizes);  given the color scheme that Connections was working with, and my stash of turquise blue batik fabrics, this was actually quite easy to make up.

The ribbon is shown pinned to the quilt that won the Viewer’s Choice…and things like this always look better against a great background.  What doesn’t look better against a quilt?

To make the basic ornament,  I pulled my turquoise/blue/scraps out of the shelving, and selected three that worked well together (and that were big enough to work with).  Although I didn’t have

the templates that were referenced in the video, I did find that for my purposes, a blank CD worked well (and hold that thought!).  The instructions (linked above) call for cutting (12) 5″ squares out of the fabric you’ll be using, and pressing them once on the bias, once again in half, and then a third time in half…you wind up with all the raw edges  along one side, and tucked into one another to make the pinwheel shape shown.  It doesn’t matter which way you make them spin (in both pictures I am spinning to the left).

That CD above served as a great makeshift template for the circle of interfacing which is hidden in the center of the star, and I was able to draw the registration lines on with a pen.  You do wind up needing some sort of button for the center to cover where the points meet. I dumped my button collection out on my cutting table and found a clear one that covered the raw edges,  and then a smaller blue button to lay on top of it.

At this point, I had the button – now how to turn it into the ribbon.

  1. I used two of the fabrics that are in the star (marked as A and B), and cut each into 2 strips of fabric, 3½” wide x  12-15″ long.  This is a scrap project, so the dimensions are vague. This was a batik project, so I wasn’t worried about the right vs wrong side so much – in a woven project, stack the fabric strips with the right sides together.  Using a ruler with a 45º angle, cut once through the short end of each stack, and then move to your sewing machine. You’re going to sew around three sides of the ‘ribbon’, leaving the short straight end alone so that you can turn the ribbon right side out.  Press well.  Repeat for the other set of fabrics, so you now have two.
  2.  The CD used above now has a useful purpose for this project.  It’s going to serve as the back of the ribbon.  Lay the ribbons made in step one on top of the CD, and make sure you’re happy with the length and orientation of both of them. In the picture above, my ribbons are shown with the points of the ribbon facing in…this is another bit of personal preference.  Once you are satisfied with the ribbon and the ornament, secure both with white glue and let them dry.  I used what I had in the cabinet (Elmers), but any clear drying glue will do.
  3. There are a number of ways that you can mark or tag what your ribbon is for…I was working on a very short timeframe, so this is what I came up with…Picmonkey.  Simply, I have a photo of mine of free  motion quilting I did, uploaded it into Picmonkey, tinted it, shrunk it, added text to the front of it, printed it and then trimmed it with pinking shears…I tucked it up under the ornament and secured it with more Elmers.  Ten minutes – and I’ll do a tutorial on that for next week!
  4. The final step is to attach a pin back to the back of the CD so that it can be attached to the winning quilt.  I found that for this, you need SuperGlue – Elmers would not adhere the CD to the metal pinback.
  5. Enjoy! 

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