This week it’s all about Birthdays! On Wednesday my little nephew was born! He weighed 3kg, via caesarean section. Going to visit them this weekend to meet the little man!

Now it’s about what today’s post is about. My sister from another mother, she is married to my baby brother, (the one who had the baby is married to my husband’s baby brother) has a party business called Quirky Queens. Follow the link to see what she gets up to! I’m getting to it! Well she asked me to make a colourful “Happy Birthday” bunting. I will give you the rundown of how I made it.

Happy Birthday Bunting
Finished size 110” x 7½, excluding the extra 20” either side, to tie the bunting up @ the ends

Fabric requirements
15” x 44” of seven colours for the front and the back of each flag
7” square piece of fabric for the mouth and the eyes
I bought 6 colour x 1 yard each of pompom braid (it is to much, you only need about 3 yards or 2.7m in total)
4.5 yards of 1” (2.5cm) wide white Twill Tape

Sewing machine – oiled and in good working order, Walking foot (optional), ¼” foot, open toe embroidery foot (check my tip on machine appliqué), Appliqué paper, neutral cotton thread for sewing and black for the appliqué, Iron and ironing board, big fabric and paper scissor, stitch and tear (optional), rotary cutter, inch ruler and cutting board, pencil and general sewing supplies.

For the wording I used Microsoft Word, font Cooper Black and enlarged each letter to 530 – 550 its original size – if you use 550 you need to cut your blocks bigger. Remember to trace each letter from the reverse (wrong side) if you trace them from the front (right side) your letters are going to be the wrong way! Hope this makes sense.

Here is the heart and happy face in PDF format. When printing the pattern set the printer on actual size.

Iron and cut out 32 – 7” x 9” flags. Cut the length (selvage to selvage) of your fabric into 7” strips then cross cut in to 9” blocks. Two of the colours you will need 3 flags = 6 blocks to make up the front and the back and the other 5 colours you will need 2 flags = 4 blocks to make up the front and the back, in total 16 flags.

Trace each letter from the reverse side, onto the smooth side of the appliqué paper, leaving at least ¼”between them then cut them out roughly – there is no need to be accurate at this stage.
Select the colour of fabrics for each appliqué letter and iron the letters to the wrong side of the fabric. When they are cool, cut out the shapes accurately on the pencil line.

Remove the backing paper from the appliqué letter and position each letter in the middle of the right side of each of the 16 of the 9” x 7” flag using a ruler, it’s about 1½” from the top and the bottom the left and right side will differ for each letter. Iron them in place when you are happy with the arrangement. Don’t forget the two happy faces and heart!

Pin a piece of stitch ʼn tear underneath picture to be appliquéd, this is optional.

Outline appliqué in satin or buttonhole-stitch.
Tips when machine appliquéing
• I move my needle to the most right position, then I use the edge of my open toe embroidery foot as a guide.
• I also bring my bottom thread to the top to prevent a mess at the back.
After all the stitching has been done carefully remove the stitch ʼn tear and press.

Place each appliqué block right sides facing to a matching colour and sew the long sides together using a ¼” seam allowance, clip the bottom corners.

Press a seam allowance into the bottom of each block. Turn right side out and press each flag.

Sew a piece of pompom braid to the bottom of each flag.

Now sew the flags onto the tape to make the bunting.

Fold the tape in half and start sewing the two halves together, sew about 20” (50cm) of the tape together before you place your first flag inside the two halves of tape, and then just sew in each flag into the tape leaving about ¼” between each flag, starting with a happy face then the letters making up “HAPPY”, a heart, then the letters making up “BIRTHDAY” and ending with a happy face. When you have sewn in your last flag sew about 20” (50cm) of your tape, this creates a tail on either side of your bunting to enable you to tie it up.

Happy bunting!


15 thoughts on “Birthdays!

  1. They’re lovely, better than the typical triangles, and I know how difficult it is to get the buttonholing so neat around the curves! Well done ;0) And the tutorial is clear as well, and a good way for this kind of applique.

  2. Nikki, This is so special — it is cheerful and bright and colourful and so well done. Thanks for sharing. Jo-Anne

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