I finished a project today that's been six weeks in the making -- it's a Happy Birthday banner for my grandchildren. I love the idea of this being dragged out every year, the edges eventually softening and the corners curling up. It's not inconceivable that it could be hung as many as three or four times a year. It's been a real feel-good project. It's especially a feel-good for me because I was able to parcel it out and complete it in the midst of an exhausting travel month. The letters were hand-stitched on airplanes, in waiting rooms and even in a lounge chair on a Cancun beach.
One interesting observation for me was that when I cut the patterns for the letters out, I did it freehand and was surprised at how easy it was. The feel for shape and proportion from my calligraphy clicked in and transferred itself right down through the scissors. It was extremely fascinating to me. And when I layed the letter on the felt, voila, it had a built up or pressurized serif. Not very many people will enjoy that.
The banner is made out of felt squares about 8". The letters are also felt and are hand-stitched with 6 strands of embroidery floss. I ended up adding a back to the squares and machine-stitching around the edges and the top casing. I threaded them all on a strand of jeweler-decoration hemp and left 5 ft. at each end to use for hanging. Below is a picture of the finished banner and a detail of one letter.