Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quilt Show Ribbons

Hi Everyone!

Last week I alluded to a big project that I wanted to share with you but that I was having trouble getting good photos.  Well, thanks to my good friend, Trish, I have finally got some reasonable pictures.  Her suggestion was to pin them to burlap, and that worked perfectly!

Our guild is having a show at the end of October.  I signed up to be on the committee so I could get to know some of the other guild members better.  I ended up becoming the chair of one of the smaller committees.  Our small committee meets and I take our information to the "main" meeting.  Our committee is responsible for having demonstrations throughout the show, acquiring and distributing the door prizes, and the viewer's choice voting and ribbons.  Let me just tell you that my committee has some amazing women on it.  I think we have over 80 door prizes and the demos were booked up months ago.  My particular responsibility was to make the prize ribbons.  Our show is called "Fallin' for Quilts" and the logo is a leaf quilt block.  My vision for the ribbons included having a leaf block in the center.  I also wanted to use coordinating fabric in a variety of colors.  Luckily, I found the perfect fabric line right away.  Harvest Moon by Kansas Troubles featured some wonderful tone on tone leaf prints.  I got blue for first place, red for second, and gold for third.  I got a second color for each "place" ribbon for the leaf in the block.  Here, let me show you the photos so you can see it better.

So I chose a pumpkin/russet color to go with the blue for First Place
Brown went nicely with the red for Second Place

And green went beautifully with the gold for Third Place
The vision I had for these was to construct a leaf block, which I did, and then another member of our committee was gracious enough to embroider the numbers on them.  After that, the vision clouded as I wasn't sure how to proceed.  I did a lot of googling and reading the few blog posts/tutorials that I could locate.  One of them mentioned using a CD inside the ribbon, to form a nice circle. 
Completed and embroidered blocks.

Trimmed to a circle

One blank CD

Topped with a circle of batting

I ran a strong basting thread around the edge of the circular block, laid the block on top of the batting and CD, and drew up the basting thread as tight as possible and knotted it.  I had to fuss a bit to make sure the leaf was centered.
I don't seem to have photos of any more of the steps.  Next I made a ruffle by cutting a strip of the leaf fabric at 1.5" by wof and a strip of streamer fabric 2" by wof.  I sewed the two strips together on the long edge, and then folded the new strip in half.  The back half of the strip is all streamer fabric, and the front half has mostly leaf fabric with an edge of streamer fabric--when gathered up, it looks like a double ruffle.

I cropped one of the other photos, so it is a little blurry, but you can see the idea.
I'm going to mention here that I really, really don't like pulling up gathering threads and adjusting everything so it is even and fits.  But I did it anyway.  The first one I attempted to hot glue in place, and discovered almost immediately that it wouldn't work.  It just cooled and peeled off.  So a break in the process occurred from June until late August when I finally remembered to buy the best/strongest fabric glue I could find.  I glued on a few ruffles at a time, weighing them with heavy books to keep everything nice and flat while the glue dried. 
Next I made the streamers, which were easy enough once I figured out the length and width that I wanted.  And then I hit the biggest stumbling block, the center streamer with the wording on it.  I tried many different ways to make them.  This is already a long post, so I won't bore you with all the details.  I practically was bald, though, from yanking out my hair in frustration.  My end result was done on Printed Treasures.  I did them in Power Point and although it doesn't look like it in the photos, I colored the background a light tan.  They used lots of printer ink, but it was worth it. 
I laid two colored streamers side by side, pinned the printed streamer centered over the middle, and gathered them up and glued it to the bottom back of the ribbon center.
Now I had a great looking ribbon from the front, but the back was a mess.  I cut a circle of tan fabric larger than a CD and ironed on a piece of fairly stiff interfacing that I had cut out by tracing around a CD.  I sewed a pin back onto the middle of the interfacing, then used the
CD and gathered this circle around it like I did the front block (only omitting the layer of quilt batting.)  

So yes, there are two CDs in each ribbon.  And yes, my husband did wonder where a good part of his stack of blank CDs had gone.  I bought him some new ones, though, so all is good.   
I then used most of the rest of the bottle of glue to attach the back covered CD to the front covered CD.  To hold them in place and together I used the new, large, green wonder clips.  They worked great!
I let them dry overnight and the ribbons were done!  I rejoiced to have such a big project off my to-do list.  There are three places in three categories:  bed quilts, wall quilts, and "other."  So I had nine of them to make.
Have a great day!


  1. They are BEAUTIFUL but sound like a major league pain in the butt!! You really put a ton of work into those pretties. Guess that's why my guild just orders them from a ribbon company. HA

  2. Good job, and something the recipient will treasure!

  3. Wow! Those are awesome! I know it caused you a lot of stress...but I'd say they are worth it in the end! Great job. FYI...I joined our quilt guild show committee too! Yikes!

  4. Excellent - they will mean more to the recipients because of your time and effort.

  5. The ribbons will be a treasure! You really did an amazing job on them, JoAnne!!

  6. Beautiful! I'm filing this idea to use someday. Thanks!

  7. I think you deserve a ribbon for making the ribbons for the show! They are awesome! You did a great job... you just may be asked to chair this committee again...!

  8. Fabulous ribbons!! Well done on nutting it out :-)

  9. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing

  10. A really good idea! You did a great job. I am sure all the winners are happy to have the ribbon itself; as well as their winning quilt...

  11. Wow - I've never seen a nicer ribbon! What a lot of work and creativity - they really look great!

  12. I had no idea so much work went into making the ribbons for shows, but they turned out beautifully. You put a lot of thought and effort into them and it shows. I hope the show goes well and you get to take one of them home for yourself!

  13. Your ribbons are amazing! I'm sure they would win an award in a "ribbon" contest. Pat yourself on the back...they are awesome!

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