Monday, April 23, 2012

First Holy Communion Banner

I have to warn you this is a long and detail post!  My oldest son, Ryan, is going to be receiving his First Holy Communion this coming Saturday.  We were asked to make a banner as a family.  Ryan and I roughly sketched out all the elements that he likes to have in his banner.  Jake helps me crank the Big Shot and makes sure that I listen to his opinion.  My husband cuts the wooden dowel to size.  And I learn how to work with fabric like never before!

I like to use as much SU! products as possible as it helps me coordinate and design easier.  The end result is a little bit different than we envisioned, but we love it! I use the Deck The Halls fabric collection from SU! for the last name and the mountain-like scenery.  As you can see for this project, the Big Shot becomes part of a helping hand!  I use the Serif Essential Alphabet Die for the last name.  Working with letters is probably the most difficult thing for me as fabric does not hold up its shape like the way paper does.

Since we don't have too many choice of fabric selection yet, I pull out my stash of fabric that I received from my husband's friend and customer, Shirley Anderson.  Shirley does custom sewing for the interior and according to my husband, her work is absolutely awesome!  Since I rarely use fabric, I was pretty nervous about cutting into these beautiful, and to say, expensive, fabric that Shirley generously showered me with.  Thanks, Shirley!  Since I can't hand-cut very well, the beautiful pattern of the fabric becomes this gorgeous-looking stained-glass cross as my main element that I built around. The mat for the cross was hand-drawn and hand-cut.  I started out with the oval shape, but end up with the egg shape instead!  I rather like the idea as the egg represent the beginning of life which is the opposite of the cross. 

The host, chalice and fish are made from Circle #2 Die.  The fabric for the chalice and the fish is from the small scraps of precious fabric designed by Mariano Fortuny.  According to Shirley, how the fabric is made is still a secret and it's very expensive.  So I try my best to preserve and make art out of them.  The largest circle from the die is cut into 3 pieces for the chalice.

I was going to make a fish, but Jake insists that I have to make 3!  A little mistake in cutting the tail from the blue fish becomes double-tail fish.  I can say, it's meant to be!  I re-insert the circle back to the die with slight shift away from the circle to get the moon shape piece.

Although I wish that I got the Elegant Bird Die from the Occasions Mini Catalog, I decide to work with what I have and I discover how much fun it is to make die-cut art on fabric too!  I use the Scallop Circle #2 for the tail, Island Floral for the body (yes!), and, get this, Leaves #2 for the wings (no kidding!).  I love it!

I use the smallest circles from the Circles #2 Die to create the grapes.  The leave is from the Leaves #2 Die and the swirl is from the retired Tulipe Die.  The bread is made from the Ovals Die - nice and dark like chocolate for my 4-year old Jake. :)

A sentiment from the Crosses of Hope stamp set on one of the Lots of Tags Sizzlit Die finishes off the whole banner.  I really love all the elements considered in this banner as we see how bless we are to receive all that is given by God - from the sea, the plain, the mountains, to the sky!  The Tasteful Trim Die is also used to make the separation between these elements.  Finally, the burlap background lends itself to an earthy feeling which I love!  When working with fabric, I have to consider fraying is part of the natural process which adds to that earthy feeling too!

I hope you enjoy seeing the details of the banner as much as I enjoy making it.  Have a very blessed day!



  1. beautiful! A very special gift!

  2. This is a very beautiful banner and I'm sure Ryan will cherish this gift for a long, long time. :-)

  3. Lovely! I'm sure you'll cherish this and the memories associated with it forever.

  4. Dear talented Shirley Anderson passed away this past July

    1. Oh, no! I am so sorry to hear this and for your loss. Even though I've never met Shirley, she had been very friendly and sweet whenever we had a correspondence. She will be in my prayers.


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