Friday, December 5, 2014

Advent Banners


It was my pleasure to head up a committee to make new Advent Banners for my church, University Baptist in Hattiesburg, MS. The four banners were hung for the first Sunday of Advent, November 30, and were warmly received by the congregation. Many people wanted to know how these came about, so here is their story.

Our pastor, Rusty Edwards, brought a book home from a conference he attended last summer. The book, A Cut Above, by Sarah Brogdon, featured cut-away felt banners in many designs. I had never made anything like this but thought the project looked possible and agreed to lead it. We ordered four patterns, royal blue felt, and netting and I enlisted several people to help in the construction. Since the only sewing involved was one line of stitching at the top and bottom to create rod pockets, anyone who could cut accurately with scissors and/or a rotary cutter could help. Workers were Kat Spangler, Joy Dunbar, Connie Benedict, Nancy Ratliff, Ellen Hall, Rosanne Crockett, and Rusty Edwards. Yes, Rusty used a rotary cutter as well as a glue gun.
Ellen, Martha, Kat



This was definitely a team effort and if work can be enjoyed, this certainly was. We had four workdays with three or four people working around my large dining room table, which had been covered with a gridded cardboard pattern board and self-healing mats. We used rotary cutters for straight lines; sharp scissors were essential for tight curves. Since none of us had done this before, we frequently consulted the directions to be sure we were proceeding correctly.


The patterns were for wall hangings 24" x 36" and we enlarged them to 48" x 72" for the outside ones (angel and kings) and 48" x 96" for the center ones (shepherds and family). After cutting the felt, netting was secured to the back with hot glue guns. The netting is what holds the shape of the banner. Between workdays it was necessary to keep the work area covered with a sheet to protect from kitty paws, but Rah-Rah managed to find a finished folded up banner for a brief nap.

11 comments:

LynDee Lombardo said...

Absolutely beautiful. Our church has 2 large paper ones that are put up seasonally and I always look forward to seeing them. Good job!

Sally said...

Thank you for sharing---what a lovely contribution to your church.

Sally

Norma Schlager said...

What a lovely project. The banners are beautiful!

Ruth Powers said...

Martha, your banners are beautiful! I'm so glad I got to see them. I hope that your knee is doing better and 2015 will be pain free!

Francie Gross said...

Gorgeous! Congratulations to you and your assistants for creating such beautiful gifts for your church. I took a seminar with Nancy Chin many years ago and learned to make paper cut away banners, but have always wished for a way to make more stable and permanent pieces. I'm delighted to hear about Sarah Brodgon's book and website... it looks as though I've now found the way! Thanks so much.

Martha Ginn said...

Thanks LynDee, Sally, Norma, Ruth, and Francie for checking out the banners and commenting. I am so glad to pass on Sarah Brogdon's excellent instructions and hope that many others will find her techniques helpful.

Funky Diva said...

WOW, Martha, those wall hangings are absolutely beautiful. How amazing your Church must of looked. Maggie Winfield

Jeanne Marklin said...

This technique could make innovative art quilts. The banners are lovely!

Marissa said...

They are beautiful banners! What type of netting did you use for the backing?

Martha Ginn said...

Check Sarah Brogdon's links in the blog post. We ordered everything from her. We're making new Fall banners for Oct-Nov 2015.

Martha Ginn said...

Check Sarah Brogdon's links in the blog post. We ordered everything from her. We're making new Fall banners for Oct-Nov 2015.