Today is the day I can finally tell you about my Top Secret Project. I’ll start from the beginning (because it’ll make more sense that way) and be prepared for a lot of photos!
A friend of mine lodges with a family. I sort of know the family through other mutual friends, but don’t really see them often. A while ago I heard that the daugher, Becky, was getting married. A little while after that her mum, Heather, got in touch with me and asked if I could do something special for Becky’s wedding day.
For Heather’s wedding (several years ago now!) she had been involved in arranging all the details of the day. But when she walked into the church there was a banner at the front that she knew nothing about. Some friends had designed and made it as a surprise for her. She said it was just so special and a wonderful surprise on a day when she thought she knew exactly what was going to happen and when.
So Heather wanted to do the same for Becky. I met up with her and found out what size she wanted and got some examples of the colour scheme from the invitation and some flowers that would be used to decorate the church. Not long afterwards I went shopping and managed to get fabric of just the right colour.
Then came the fun (and slightly scary) part – designing and making the banner. I’d asked Heather if she had anything in mind, but she didn’t. She said she’d be happy with whatever I came up with and she didn’t even want to see any plans before I started making it!
I decided to start with the lettering. I managed to find a font fairly similar to the one on the invitation. And the words I used (Forever In Safe Hands, along with their names and the date of the wedding) came straight from the invitation too. So far so good.
I then used my trusty (and very dusty!) light box to trace the words in reverse on to bondaweb…
…before ironing it onto the orange fabric.
I spent a long time cutting out all the letters, then arranging them with the ribbons on the white background.
After playing around with different layouts I decided that having ‘Forever In Safe Hands’ in a circle looked best. But how to make sure that they were properly in a circle and not wonky? A washing up bowl of course!
It was the perfect size. I drew around it with my magic vanishing pen, arranged the letters in the right place and got ironing. (You can see where I washed off the magic pen before ironing the overlapping letters.)
Then came the longest part of the process – stitching all the letters. I lost track of how many hours it took, and at times I wondered why I’d even started. But I was really pleased with how it looked when it was finished.
You can see the stitches more clearly on the back.
It was when I got to this point that I realised I’d missed a key component from the invitation – the fish! Becky and Scott are Christians and wanted that fact to be celebrated as part of their wedding ceremony and marriage. (And for those of you who haven’t realised, the first letters of Forever In Safe Hands spell out FISH!) I had to draw a fish, and managed to get it looking pretty good, and in a similar style to the text.
I played around with different placements for the fish, and finally decided that it should be swimming around at the top.
With most of the key parts in place, I sewed the ribbons around the edges. I decided to machine stitch them, which was a lot quicker than hand sewing!
I added the backing before adding one last thing – a flower on the opposite corner to the fish. The church will be decorated with lots of these flowers, so Heather had given me some to include on the banner if I wanted to. Originally I’d planned to have them across the top, but realised that they were too close to the lettering at the top. So instead I handed them back to Heather with the suggestion that they be draped across the hanging bar when the banner was in place. But I thought it would be nice to include at least one little flower on the banner itself, and I like the little splash of greenery in amonst all the orange.
And here is how it looks in it’s completely finished state:
I was really pleased with how it turned out, and so was Heather, so I hope Becky and Scott like it too!