Updated Stars and Stripes Wreath

My Stars and Stripes wreath had been hanging maybe ten days and I realized the stars needed some reinforcement. WreathStars 03

The stars, especially at the top, were starting to flop over. So, as I sort of expected, they needed the heavy craft stabilizer. Fortunately I had some on hand.

So I took the three floppiest stars off the wreath and laid them out on the stabilizer.

WreathStars 01

Once again, I put my Teflon pressing sheet on top of the stars and fused the stars to the stabilizer.

WreathStars 06

Then I cut them out with very sharp scissors.  I cut all the angles from point into the center because the stabilizer was too stiff to pivot the blades at that corner.

I also did my best to bevel the stabilizer, undercutting it so it would be less obvious from the front.

WreathStars 08

From the side, the thick white stabilizer is visible. A matching Sharpie could be used to make it less obvious.

And you can see what a difference it makes. The white fabric print and the blue and the red are the stars I reinforced. The red star on the left of the photo, and the blue star on the lower right. are still floppy. I didn’t have time to do all of them, mostly because, as casual as it looks, it’s takes time to mix and match the stars to look just right on the wreath.

WreathStars 10

Now that I know it does what I want it to, I’ll take time to apply it to all the stars.

WreathStars 09

With the sturdier stars they could easily be tacked to a ribbon or cord and become a garland. They could also be attached to a hair clip, headband or ponytail holder to brighten up a patriotic outfit.

I can think of at least a half-dozen ways to use a stack of red, white and blue stars. How would you use them?

Do you have plans for a holiday party or picnic?  How will you decorate for the event?

I don’t think I have anywhere to hang it, but I’d really like to make a stars and stripes garland.  I’ll let you know if I get it done.

Jan

PS – Looking forward to my next wreath, which I plan to get done by August.  Stay tuned.

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Summertime Stars and Stripes Wreath

Ta da!

Here’s my Summertime Wreath. It’s to celebrate Memorial Day, National Flag Day (June 14) and the Fourth of July.

Patriotic Wreath 1

This is made on the same Styrofoam form I’ve been using since Valentine’s Day and  St. Patrick’s Day.

For this wreath I used quilty scraps of blue and red, patriotic strips, fusible fleece, Heat’n Bond Hem Tape, white muslin, ribbon, and straight pins.

I wanted a wreath full of stars, which is exactly how it turned out.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Fusible fleece is what keeps the stars from flopping over. I pressed fabric to the fleece before I cut out the stars.  I thought about using the cardboard-stiff craft stabilizer, but started with the lighter-weight Pellon 987F. This one-sided fusible fleece worked great.

I placed and fused the fabrics right next to each other so some stars are in one fabric and other stars are pieced, using two fabrics.

To start, I cut a star template out of a file folder.

Making Patriotic Wreath 03

Actually I made two, so I could interlock them and get the best use of my fabric.

I kind of winged it making the pattern and started with a pencil sketch on paper.  I erased and redrew the angles until I liked the look.

If you don’t want to wing it, search for Christmas star ornaments and find a star template you can print and copy.  Star size is up to you. You can go with a variety of sizes, but I was impatient to finish this so I stuck with one size star.

With the pattern cut out, I traced the stars on the fabric. I used a white fabric marking pencil on the dark fabric and an orange colored pencil, which just happened to be handy, on the white.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Don’t worry about being precise with the outlines. You’ll cut out the stars on the inside of the line so none of the pencil lines will show. You could use a regular pencil if that’s all you have.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

The raw edges were obvious on the pieced stars. I planned ahead and found my collection of red, white and blue ribbon to cover this. Literally.

Since I had decided this was a no-sew project, I used Heat’n Bond Hem Tape to fuse the ribbon over the join.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

At this stage, unless you’re very precise with an iron, you’ll want to use a piece of wax paper or parchment paper to keep from fusing the hem tape to your pressing surface or the face of your iron.

Or, this is when you would use your Fons & Porter handy-dandy Teflon pressing sheet. I have one, but hadn’t thought to use it until I realized I was about to fuse that sticky stuff to my ironing board and my iron.

I put the stars on the sheet, and then flipped the other end of the pressing sheet over the  top.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Worked like a charm.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Then I trimmed the ends off the ribbon from the backside.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

I had one little glitch with the first star. I accidentally scooched the ribbon off the mark just a smidge and the raw edge was exposed. So that star got two rows of ribbon.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

By the way, and this is VERY important, the stars on the red grosgrain ribbon are painted or printed on the ribbon, and they WILL MELT if you touch them with the hot iron. So, if you use this kind of ribbon, it’s essential you use a pressing sheet of some kind, even a scrap of leftover fabric will do.

If you touch a hot iron to the stars, they will melt onto the surface of the iron, and then streak or smear across the underlying fabric ruining your whole project. I’d show you what that looks like, but then I’d have to clean off my iron before I could use it again.

You can tell by looking at the ribbon, the stars are sitting on top of the ribbon and not embedded into the fibers. So pay attention to this detail.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Got it?  Good.

I didn’t plan the design or count my stars. I just made them until I thought I might have enough.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

To assemble the wreath, I first took apart my spring flower wreath. Then I wrapped the Styrofoam form with white fabric. Use anything you have since it shouldn’t show. It’s just to tidy up the background if it happens to peek through. I think I used a a six-inch strip of leftover muslin quilt backing.

Then I started attaching the stars.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

I matched the color of the pin heads to each star so they’re not obvious on the wreath. I roughly laid the stars out in batches of red, then white, then blue. I needed to alternate the colors so you can see the shape of the stars.

When I’d used all my stars, there seemed to be a few gaps so I added a couple of loops of ribbon here and there. In addition to a few short pieces of ribbon, I wrapped a whole spool of ribbon around the wreath pinning loops in places where I needed them.

Patriotic Wreath 1

What do you think?

If you don’t have a stash of red, white and blue scraps,  buy 1/8 – 1/4 of a yard of a few favorite prints, a couple of spools of ribbon, and about 3/8 yard of the fusible fleece.  It will only take about half of it to make a wreath this size.

By the way, the fabric doesn’t have to be stars and stripes. A collection of red, white and blue calicoes will also get the job done.

While choosing your fabric, pay attention to the color of “white” in your choices. I realized some of my favorites use an antique ivory-colored white that doesn’t go with the true white I used here. Those red, ivory, and blue fabrics will play nicely together in another project.

Anybody else making a patriotic wreath for the summer? I’d love to see what you come up with.

Jan

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