Friday, 17 June 2016

Birthday Block Banner

To celebrate a year since the publication of her Farm Girl Vintage book, Lori Holt has designed a 'Farm Girl Layer Cake' Anniversary block and she and the Fat Quarter Shop are sharing versions of the blocks made by lots of sewing bloggers (full list in the FQ shop blog post) and I am taking part.  Check out the link here for the free Layer Cake pattern download from Lori.   The block can be made in two sizes, I opted for the smaller 6" size and added some wider sashing to make the block suitable for a birthday banner flag.

July is a busy month for birthdays in our house and I thought a banner flag that came out for family birthdays would be a cute bit of decor.  It's easy to do and the method could be applied to any size quilt block.

How to Make a Birthday Block Banner

In addition to the usual materials to make the smaller block you will need:

  • 12" square backing material
  • Some extra background fabric
  • ribbon, twine or ric rac for hanging
  • a stick- I used a gardening bamboo cane cut to size
1.  Complete the block following the instructions up to adding piece R- we will cut these a little larger!  Cut the following replacement pieces for R to enlarge the block slightly:
  • One 3" x 8 ½ rectangle for top
  • One 3 ½"x 8 ½" rectangle for the bottom
Sew these to the top and bottom of the block.  Press the block, starch if that's your preference!
Fold the block in half lengthways.  Cut the block to make a banner shape using a quilting ruler with a 45 degree line, line up with the fold and the edge of the block as in the photo below.  Trim excess fabric with a rotary cutter to create the banner point.  You can always mark with pencil or chalk first on the reverse to check your shape.

2.  Cut the backing fabric by placing the banner front on to the backing fabric, right sides together.  Use the banner front as a template, cut around it using quilt ruler and rotary cutter.    Mark ¼" seam intersections in pencil at the lower corners and point on the front banner.  Whilst banner front and back are still right sides together, pin around the edge.
Leaving a 3" space along the centre of the top edge, sew a ¼" seam all around the banner edge.   Trim corners and points.   Press the top seam open, including the gap to create a fold in the opening fabric.  Turn the banner through the gap, right side out.  Poke out corners carefully and press.  Use slip stitch to close the opening. 

3.  Fold your fabric over at the top creating enough room for your stick to slide through comfortably- it should not be too sung.  Pin and baste into place making sure your basting stitches are parallel to the top edge as you will be using these as a guideline for your top stitching.
4.  With a contrast thread- maybe even something thicker, I used Aufil 12 wt, stitch along the top of the banner, following the basting stitched and creating the hanging stick casing sleeve,  then continue the stitches around the edge of the banner.   With thicker threads it is often neater to finish the loose thread ends by hand.  Thread the hanging stick through.  Tie twine or ribbon or ric rac to the stick ends to hang the banner, tuck the ends into the casing sleeve.

Hang and enjoy on every birthday occasion!

Fabrics Used:
  • Background: vintage fabric
  • Cake: Lecien small gingham
  • Cake filling Atsuko Matsuyama floral
  • Cake Heart: Ayumi Takahashi for Kokka, Lighthearted  Swedish Kitchen text print
  • Cake Stand: Denyse Schmidt Sweet Ruby floral, tiny Japanese strawberry print and Cosmo cricket sketch print.
  • Backing fabric: Lecien Od New 30s Deer print by Atsuko Matsuyama 
  • Top Stitch Thread: 12wt Aurifil 1231 Spring Green
Check out the other bloggers taking part here:

Vickie from Spun Sugar Quilts
Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane
Kelly from Kelbysews
Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Renee from Sewn with Grace
Sinta from Pink Pin Cushion
Lisa from In the Boondocks
Dana from Old Red Barn Co.
Melissa from Happy Quilting
Kim from Persimon Dreams
Marni from Haberdashery Fun
Jacque from Lily Pad Quilting


  1. Hello from the tour.. This is adorable! - Marni

  2. Oh, this is just perfect! I'm going to make one for my Granddaughter's first birthday! Printed out the pattern this morning but wasn't sure what to do and you've saved me!

  3. This is just precious! I can't wait to make one! 😊

  4. The banner is such a great idea! I love making things that can turn into traditions ... hmmm ... perhaps this is what I"ll do with my block!


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