Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Savor a Selah >>> A Kite Banner Tutorial

How often do you purposely pause each day?  How often do you take a moment to just breathe and reflect?  Would time still pass as quickly as it seems if we took the time to truly stop each day?  Most of us need help to push the pause button in our lives. And that is where a "Selah" enters the picture.

Selah is a Hebrew word which comes from the book of Psalms and means simply "to pause".  Our family has adopted the word as a reminder in this hustle and bustle kind of life to take the time to turn our thoughts heavenward.  When we "Selah" we pause to reflect on the good things we've been blessed with and give thanks.

We've had a hand written Selah sign hung over our table for awhile and it truly causes us to pause and give thanks, especially at meal time.  Since it's become such a meaningful part of our lives, I wanted to create something more permanent than paper and also more pleasing to the eye.  Thus was born the Selah Kite Banner.


This is a banner in the shape of little kites appliqued with the letters to spell Selah.  I chose the kite shape because it speaks to me of lifting our eyes from the immediate circumstances around us, up toward the heavens where we express our hearts to Abba Father.  It was a joy to create and I hope you will enjoy making one too.

Here are the supplies that you will need to make a Selah banner:

>> 2 copies of the Selah kite template: one printed on paper and one on cardstock found here: Selah Kite Template  The template has a 1/2" seam allowance marked by the dashed lines.
>> 1 copy of Selah letter template found here: Selah Letter Template 
>> 6 different fabrics: I used a combination of fabrics that I had in my stash, remnants, and clothing too small or not needed.  For each kite you will need two 10 1/2" x 8" pieces of fabric.  The 6th piece of fabric is for the lettering.  You can fit the letters on an 11" x 4" piece of fabric.
>> Wonder Under by Pellon (or your favorite fusible web product) (also 11" x 4")
>> 16 1/2" of 3/4" wide lace or ribbon for hanging loop and tail
>> ribbon, lace, trim or string to hang up your banner (length will be determined by the area you decide to hang the banner)


Print out the Selah Kite Template on paper (easier to pin), cut out around the solid border, and pin to your fabric.  Cut the fabric along the edges of the template which includes a 1/2" seam allowance.

For those who love all the colors, choices, and possibilities of fabric combinations this is going to be a lot of fun because now... you do this a total of 10 times so that you have 5 coordinating fronts and backs.

My first kite was made from this fabric which has some cheery cherry blossoms set against the ice blue cold of winter.  I was so excited to finally bring this beauty out and off of the shelf.

After cutting out the kite shapes, you need to make the applique letters.  I used the 6th piece of fabric (red with polka dots) for the letters.

Print and cut out the Selah Letter Template.  I've included both forward facing and backward facing letters on the template, but only used the backward ones for this project.  The forward facing letters are included for reference only.

Place your backward facing letter on the smooth side of the Wonder Under (fusible web) and trace around it.  Then cut it out and iron the rough side onto your fabric according to the directions included with the Wonder Under.

Cut out the fabric letter and peel off the paper backing from the Wonder Under.  Now place it facing the correct way onto the front of your first kite piece (centered between the two side points of the kite like picture below) and iron according to package directions.

Now take your appliqued front kite piece to your sewing machine and zigzag around the letter.  I did this with a matching thread which you can see if you look closely in the picture below.

Now take the second copy of the Selah Kite Template (on cardstock) and cut along the dashed line which marks the seam allowance.  This will be the template that you use to iron your 1/2" seam allowances shown in the pictures below.  

**Note: you might want to use the dry setting on your iron for the seam allowances to avoid burning your fingers with the steam (like I did!).  You can switch to steam to help set the creases once the initial folding is done.

Place the template in the center of your appliqued front kite piece.  Begin to iron the seam allowance along the top section.  One section will fold over the other to make the top point.  Then iron the point at the bottom up to make a straight line crease.  Finally iron over the remaining two sides.  One section will fold over the other at the bottom point. 

Now remove the cardstock template.  Cut 3 1/2" of ribbon for the hanging loop.  Iron it in half and place it at the top point of the kite sticking above the point about 3/4".  Cut a second piece of ribbon that is 13" for the tail.  Place it at the bottom point of the kite as shown in the 1st picture below.

Iron the seams for the back piece of the kite (pink and white striped piece) as described above and place this piece on top of the front piece.  Carefully match the points and pin it together.  Topstitch a 1/4" seam around the entire edge of the kite.

Now cut three pieces of scrap fabric to decorate the tail of the kite.  The pieces I used were approximately 5 1/2" x 3/4".  I left them with raw edges because I liked the fluttery look it gave.  If you sew seams they will look more stiff.  Tie them on in a loose knot evenly spaced on the tail.

I used a pretty pink and white trim that I had in my stash to string up the kites.  You simply thread the trim through the loops you created at the top point of the kite. 

Repeat the steps until you've made all five beautiful kites.  Don't they look so sweet hanging together and...

...all of that hard work comes with an added bonus.  The kites are completely reversible.  I decided not to applique the other side of mine, but you certainly could.

The door is open wide to the creative possibilities for this little banner.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  If you have questions or comments use the comment section below or contact me over on the side bar.  I'd love to hear from you.

May you savor a Selah today!