Earlier this week I came across this picture – of the flag David put on the flag pole he installed for his Eagle project – and decided it would be a great introduction to a Flag Day post. So, Happy Flag Day!

I also figured this would be a good day to finally get around to sharing a craft I made a couple of years ago. It’s a painstaking and time-consuming project, but one I thoroughly enjoyed doing. Maybe I’ll do it again someday!

The idea started with a picture Michelle posted of this pillow, mentioning that it looked like something she’d enjoy in her home. At the time patriotic crafts were on my mind, and I wanted to do something for her, so I gathered my supplies – red, white and blue bias tape – and got to work. Here’s the link to the weaving tutorial. And here are some of the things I learned when trying it myself.

# 1 – The smaller the strips (in width), the longer it takes to complete the project. I used 1/2″ bias tape because that’s what I had on hand – at least in red and white, but I imagine 1″ would have worked better, especially for a pillow.

# 2 – You can’t always find exactly what you want at a store. I couldn’t find the shade of blue that I wanted in pre-made bias tape, which leads to

# 3 – There’s such a thing as a bias tape maker. And it’s actually not that difficult to make your own bias tape. Just cut your fabric into diagonal strips, thread through the little contraption, and iron into place. I found that pinning the end to my ironing board helped greatly.

The tutorial mentioned above is quite detailed and helpful, although actually going through the steps is important to really understand the directions. Basically, though, pin the strips of your first color to a foam board, weave the second color one direction (over two and under one), then weave the third color the other direction (also over two and under one, although it’s a bit more complicated “seeing” the correct strips to go over and under).

Fashioning a “weaving needle” was extremely useful, and I also discovered it helped a lot to use a second “pointer” coming from the other direction to assist in the process.

I never did take a picture of the finished weaving, showing see the ragged and uneven edges. The back of the project also looks really unique, but no picture of that either. In the end, the piece I made wasn’t really big enough for a pillow, although I figured it would be easy enough to add some fabric around the perimeter. I also knew, that because of the red, white, and blue theme, it may not be something Michelle really wanted in her minimalist home. So, before finishing the project and sending it off to her, I called and asked her preferences. She politely declined, and that’s okay.

I framed the piece and hung it on our wall, where it’s a continual reminder (at least during the summer) of not only her, but of patriotism, freedom, beauty, creativity and learning new things.

And now enough time has passed that I’m beginning to want to try this project again, and really make a pillow, in colors that will match Michelle’s couch. We’ll see if that ever happens!

Speaking of time passing, here’s the companion piece on the wall – a needlework project I did as a girl, which my parents framed and gave back to me many years ago. I love my country!