Patriotic Banner Project

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Happy Independence Day! We wanted to share a fun holiday weekend sewing project with you using our Half Square America pattern (available here). This banner is quick and easy to make and perfect for hanging on a door, wall or gate, outside or in. It finishes at about 16″ x 24″ as shown.

To create this banner, first make the HST star portion of the block as written in the pattern and trim it on the left and right sides to the quarter inch dashed line. Next, cut a solid blue HST triangle using the dimensions in the pattern and cut it in half. Piece these smaller triangles to the sides of your star and trim along the bottom, if needed. If you’d like a little extra wiggle room for trimming, you can cut your solid triangle with 13″ edges, instead of the dimension in the pattern. This will give you a little extra to trim off for squaring up (that is what we did below).

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Next, piece the stripes as written in the pattern, but make them at least 17.5″ long, rather than the various lengths specified in the pattern. Note: you will trim these at an angle as shown in the diagram below, so can make the outer strips shorter if you prefer a little less waste, or are using smaller scraps. However, if you prefer to keep your banner with a straight bottom edge, versus the point, make all your stripes the same length. Piece your strips to the top star portion.

You can now trim your piece to shape or you can quilt it first. We decided not to bind our finished piece, so at this point we layered the top with batting and did a little quilting. We then cut the top to shape.

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You can adjust the length of your stripes to fit your preference, but the diagram above shows the dimensions we used. Mark a line in the center of the stripes 16.5″ down from the top of the stripes. Mark lines 9.75″ down on the the left and right sides. Connect these points and trim along this line (this includes a 1/4″ seam allowance for finishing).

Since we were not binding our piece, we then laid the top RST on a backing fabric cut oversized. We sewed using a 1/4″ seam allowance around all the edges leaving a 3″ gap on a bottom angle for turning. We trimmed the backing to the edges, turned the piece right side out, pressed, and stitched the gap closed.

We chose to make tabs and use a dowel to hang our banner, but you can hang it like a mini quilt, or make a solid pocket at the top or on the back to use a rod for hanging also. To make each tab, use two pieces of fabric cut to the stripe width specified in the pattern x 6″. Sew them RST along the 6″ edges using a 1/4″ seam, turn right side out. We made five tabs for our banner.

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To sew the tabs into the seam, fold them in half matching up the raw ends so they measure 3″ tall and place them along the top edge of the banner aligning the raw edges with the top of the banner, having the folded edge at the bottom. Starting 1/4″ inch from the left and right edges to account for seam allowance, space the tabs evenly across and glue baste in place right along the top edge. You can then layer your backing fabric and sew together as instructed above.

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We used a dowel rod and laundry line to hang our banner, but think that an old yardstick or even a tree branch would be adorable! You can find dowel rods in a variety of sizes at most home improvement and craft stores.

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We aged ours a bit using this technique with black tea, steel wool and vinegar. You can also use some wood stain or paint.

We hope you enjoy this little project! Please share your projects with the tags #halfsquareamerica and #sariella. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us here. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

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All the RW&B and Half Square America Quilt Kits

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Good Morning, friends! Thank you for all the love on our new Half Square America pattern, we’re excited for you to sew along with us! We wanted to mention that your blocks do not have to be red, white and blue themed to join in the sew along. You can see another version that Nikki created here. Be creative! Perhaps even a rainbow flag for pride month?

If you are working on some RW&B flag blocks, we wanted to share some resources for all our favorite red, white, and blue fabrics.

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First, Pink Door Fabrics has created some quilt kits, look how cute! They include the fabrics needed to make the Fireworks or Chevron layouts, or any other layout of your choice with 6×6 blocks plus a border. There is a limited quantity and you can find them here.

They have such an amazing variety of fun kits (and yardage!) aside from this one, so poke around a bit while you are there! Plus, Chelsea is so sweet!

If you’re wanting a smaller bundle or just some yardage, we have some resources for that, too. Stash Fabrics has the cutest cotton + steel patriotic remix bundle (shown above), and they also have some excellent Kona solid bundles. These would be perfect for a mini, pillow or runner project.

We picked up some of that amazing Mammoth Flannel plaid shown above to back our quilt – isn’t it perfect!

If you would like to make your own mic of fabrics, Stash offers 1/4 yard cuts (and up) which I LOVE, and are perfect for cutting strips for this project. Below is a shot of our Design Wall from their website showing some of the fabrics we used, plus oodles more. You can click here or on the image below to link to our design wall. From there you can click on any of the images for a direct link to that fabric. Isn’t that a fun feature?

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We hope this post has been helpful and we cannot wait to see all your blocks! Stay tuned for info about all the fun prizes we’ll have for the sew a long and remember to tag your photos with #halfsquareamerica and #halfsquareamericaSAL.

Bye for now!
~ nikki & sari

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New Half Square America Pattern, Sew A Long, and Charity Quilt

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We’re so excited to share our new pattern, Half Square America, with you! With both of us being military wives, this is an idea we’ve been wanting to get out for quite some time. The pattern is now available for download on Craftsy or Payhip and we will be donating 50% of every pattern sale to Service Dogs for Heroes.

We’ll be hosting a casual sew along for the next month and will also be collecting blocks to make a quilt (or hopefully quilts!) to donate to The Wounded Warrior Project.

Pink Door Fabrics and Stash Fabrics will be offering quilt kits and we will share all the details of those here and on Instagram on Monday.

Read on for more information about the pattern and how to participate in the sew a long or charity quilt project!

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This modern patriotic take on a half square triangle block can be made without the star using traditional piecing only or with the star by using a combination of traditional piecing and foundation paper piecing. It is designed for the advanced beginner with basic knowledge of quilt block piecing and some paper piecing experience.

Make a single block into a hotpad or mug rug, make four blocks into a mini quilt, pillow or table runner, or make a full quilt perfect for summer picnics and firework watching!

The pattern includes directions for making the 11.5″ finished block, along with multiple quilt layouts with fabric requirements and cutting & piecing directions for each.

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Half Square America Sew A Long & Charity Quilt

We hope you’ll sew a long with us as we continue making blocks for our own projects, as well as for the donation quilt. There are no specific rules or guidelines for the sew a long, simply make some blocks, post some photos and inspire and motivate each other! Make your own quilt, a small decor project, a gift for a veteran, or simply some blocks to donate. Please share your photos with the hashtags #halfsquareamerica, #HSASAL, and #sariella.

There will be some fun prizes to win along the way simply for participating. Anyone who posts a photo with the hashtags will be eligible, and we will share more about those here and on social media as we go.

The SAL will run through July 31 and we will continue to accept donation blocks through this date as well. If you are interested in donating a block or blocks, please send us a message through our Contact page and we will send you all the specifics! Please be sure to contact us BEFORE making your donation blocks to ensure you are making the correct version that we need. Thank you!

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Keep in mind the stars and stripes do not have to be red, white & blue! Check out this fun version we made using Alison Glass Seventy Six fabric. So many fun possibilities. Here are just a few quick mockups we did using this single block.

We’re so excited to see what you do with this pattern and will be sharing some additional project ideas and pattern variations here over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

xoxo, nikki & sari

(Update: check out this post for half square america quilts kits and other links to our favorite red, white and blue fabrics!)

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