Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tutorial: Bunting

I have posted a tutorial about bunting before back in January of 2008. It has been a while since I have made bunting but Bunny #1 has a school fair coming up and I offered to make bunting for the event.
They requested rainbow bunting - I made 5 reams of approx 30 yards (90 feet) each (total 150 yards/450 feet). Bunting is so easy to make - and such an effective decoration - I wanted to update my tutorial with what I learnt this time.

Simple Bunting
You will need:
  • Triangle template and pinking sheers
  • OR 
  • Ruler and rotary pinking blade (for large amounts of bunting I highly recommend investing in a ruler and rotary pinking blade)
  • Bias tape (I make my own - you can make yards and yards of it very easily and cheaply)
  • A selection of pretty fabrics
  • Cotton for sewing
1) Cut flags using a template and pinking sheers OR
Cut flags using your ruler and rotary pinking blade.
Fabric typically comes in widths of 44-45". Fold your fabric in half and lay it on your cutting mat. With a standard (straight) rotary blade cut the fabric into strips 8.5" wide. Then using your pinking rotary blade cut the 8.5" strips into triangles as per the diagram below. Each 8.5" strip of fabric should yield you 11 flags in total. The end 6th flag cut on the fabric fold will have to be unfolded and trimmed to the correct size. If you layer your folded fabric (I cut 3-4 fabrics at a time) you can make hundreds of flags in next to no time.
Note: I did not remove the selvages from the fabric first - any selvage visible on the tip of the 1st & 11th flag was covered up by the bias tape.

2) Fold the bias tape and sew at least 14"+ of the bias tape together before adding any flags. (This will ensure you have enough tape on the end of the bunting to tie it up)

3) Add the flags one by one leaving the same spacing between each flag. For indoor bunting you can leave a smaller space (approx 1"+) between flags. For outdoor bunting you can leave a larger space (approx 3-4") between flags.

Note: I used a plain straight stitch - but you could use a decorative stitch if you wanted to.

3) Ensure you leave at least 14"+ of the bias tape without any flags at the end of the bias tape too!

4) Give the bunting a firm press with a steam iron. If you have a large amount of bunting you might want to wrap the bunting around a wide piece of cardboard to keep it flat.

Info about this project: I used 2 yards each of 7 different fabrics to make all the flags. The red, purple and yellow fabrics were all plain cotton broadcloths, the green fabric was Goodnight Spot Stars Green, the violet fabric was Michael Miller Mini Mikes Tiny Gingham Purple, the orange fabric was Michael Miller Apothescary Spooky Spots Pumpkin and the blue fabric Nursery Rhymes Stripe Royal Blue. I tend to buy most of my fabrics from Fabric.com. All the flags cut from this material required approx 5 more yards of fabric made into bias tape. This yielded approx 150 yards+ (450 feet+) of bunting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lemon Recipes

What is it about lemons that makes you feel summery? Their refreshing scent? Or their bright sunny appearance perhaps? Here are two recipes you shouldn't be without this summer.

Lemon Yogurt Cake from Bon Appetit
While this cake is baking make a lemon syrup - 1/3 cup lemon juice with 1/3 cup sugar - heat over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. As soon as you pull the cake out of the oven use a skewer to make holes all over it and pour the lemon syrup over the loaf - leave until cooled before taking the cake out of the pan. I like to serve this loaf with heaps of summer berries on the side. This cake is so delicious - perfect for afternoon tea, or a desert or as a breakfast bread. I have also used orange instead of lemon and this worked really well too.

Paula Dean's Lemonade
I have always been a skeptic of homemade lemonade - but this recipe seems to be a big crowd pleaser. The kids love it as do the grownups - and certain men have been known to mix it with beer to make it into a summer shandy ... I still find the recipe to be too strong and sugary - but I fill up drink dispensers or jugs with ice, sliced limes and sometimes some mint before adding the lemonade mixture. The drink seems to get better as the ice melts. Yesterday bunny #1 and I made a huge batch and put portions into the freezer - we are officially ready for a sunny afternoon in the garden!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Websites and Your Privacy

I would say that I am a pretty private person. My blog is about as 'out there' as I get. Recently I discovered that my name and contact information (personal e-mail, a former address & cell phone) was out there in the public view and available for anyone to access because I own a url/domain (www.rachaelrabbit.com). I was told by my website provider that there is a public database called 'whois' - this tells anyone who wants to know the current contact information linked to a website/domain name (there are many search engines that access this database - if you want to check your/a url I was referred to this search engine http://www.betterwhois.com/.) For a small fee (of course) I could have this information blocked - but it shocked me to know that my information was/has been so easy to access. I have recently been receiving a huge increase in all sorts of spam - both via e-mail and on my phone - this easily accessed information must explain some of this. I just wanted to post this information in case you have a website and have not had your personal information blocked by your host - perhaps you want to consider doing this too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Art Smocks in Action

Just a very quick post. I have much to share and seemingly not enough hours in the day ...

Here is a picture I received of my most recent art smocks in action.
How cute?