The Making of Our Banner

by Claire Todd

Banner230nwThe Ottawa Valley Guild of Stitchery hosted Seminar in 1994, and felt that it would be fitting to make a banner for the event.

In 1992, the Guild had held a logo competition, at which time an independent graphic artist chose one of the four submitted logos as the winner. The triangular logo shape was chosen by the designer, Claire Todd, to signify the Peace Tower, and the upturned thimble and the scissor blades and needle represent Ottawa's signature tulips.

In 1993, Susan Woodhead, a very experienced quilter and stitcher agreed to design and execute the banner. She decided to use the logo as the central motif, and put out a call for Guild members to embroider flowers to appliqué around the logo. In no time at all, 35 flowers in all manner of techniques were forthcoming. There were flowers in bargello, cutwork, cross-stitch, goldwork, petit point, Brazilian, ribbonwork, canvaswork, crewel and even a bobbin-lace one.

A group of members met at Susan's house to decide on placement of all these flowers. Many of them had to be edged in buttonhole stitch so that they could be cut out, especially the cross-stitched ones. Susan chose a black polyester-cotton twill fabric as the background, and each flower was hand-appliquéd to it. The leaves and curving vines were made from bias strips of satin, all hand-sewn to the black fabric. The letters and logo motifs were cut from a gold twill fabric and machine-appliquéd with a narrow satin stitch—an exacting job, and beautifully executed by Susan.

She then machine-quilted close to the shapes through a thin layer of batting and through the self-fabric backing. The logo shape was of gold cord, hand-couched to the background. The whole piece measures 40”x45”, and was bound in black. A rod pocket allows it to hang on a rod from a pole made by Susan's father, a gifted woodworker.

Our banner is displayed at each meeting, and is taken to any show that we mount. We are very proud of it, as it was truly a group effort by Guild members.

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