Banner Day

Back in the spring, the girls were in a musical production at church. When I found out that some help was needed with props, I volunteered and was assigned the task of creating banners. Other than general dimensions and being told that there needed to be a lion on one of them and “something else” on the other, I had a lot of leeway. Because these banners were to represent two different armies, I turned to heraldry for inspiration. I asked the girls to explain the scene to me on the way to school one morning and they said that the lion was for the good guys, so we needed something appropriately sinister for the bad guys.

“A dragon!” Rana suggested. “With ten heads!”
“No, just three heads, “Granota countered. “We don’t want to make it too hard on Maman.”
I’m glad she was looking out for me.

After dropping them off at school, the boys and I headed to the fabric store. Costume satin just happened to be on sale that week! The lion should look regal and what’s more royal than purple? Especially set on a bright white field. Well, it goes without saying that the bad guys needed a black banner. After much debate, I ended up choosing green for the dragon, not, as might be assumed, because dragons are green, but because it just happened to look the best of the available options.

Next step, choosing the design! With vague ideas in my mind of what I wanted, I did a search on lions in heraldry and found a handful of suitable lions. I let Konik choose which lion would go on the banner. Then, to appease the girls, I did a search on three-headed dragons and found a really cool image of a dragon with three long, writhing necks. Then I saw the same image printed on a t-shirt. And there it was again and again, and why does that guy have it tattooed on his arm? A little investigation and…

Oh. “Game of Thrones.” Guess I’d better not use that dragon.

I settled for a regular ol’ one-headed dragon, but he looks sufficiently ferocious in my eyes. Using the pictures I had found online as a guide, I drew my lion and dragon silhouettes on tissue paper. Before cutting them out of the satin, however, I fused some lightweight interfacing to the back of the purple and green to keep the shapes from fraying once they were cut out. That was a bit of genius if I do say so myself.

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To cut the banners themselves, I used my brand new (ok, Christmas new, but inaugural use) rotary cutter and self-healing mat (Thanks, Mom!). That was kinda fun. I need more stuff to cut all zippy like that…

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The sewing was, y’know, sewing. Basic applique kind of stuff, then seaming the edges of the banner, turn right-side out, yada yada. To construct the standards, I had two sizes of dowels, the sizes of which I have forgotten now. Aren’t I helpful? Ah, but look! I just found my Lowe’s receipt. It says: two 3/4″ oak dowels — those were the poles; and one 7/16″ dowel that we cut in half to put the banners on, like a curtain rod (I say “we” because Mr. Gren cut the dowels down to the right sizes). On the ends of each of the skinny dowels, we screwed a little wooden button to keep the banner from sliding off. On the tops of the thicker poles, Mr. Gren screwed in an eyelet. Then I used a length of cord tied to each end of the skinny dowels and wound twice through the eyelet to hold the whole thing together.

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Result was some pretty nice looking banners. Konik and Granota demonstrate how well they turned out. They looked great in the kids’ play, too, but it was too dark for my little camera to get any good pictures during the performance. And apparently, I didn’t take any photos of just the dragon banner, which is a bummer. But hey, at this point, we’re all just glad I’m writing again, right?

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