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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!