We are all glued to the news and wondering how Ukraine is faring. The news is changing daily and I expect it to get worse before it gets better. Any time there is a crisis in the world, Chef Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen is there. Over 660,000 Ukrainians have fled since the attack began, with that number expected to rise dramatically. The journey is daunting, with many Ukrainian families traveling for days without food. World Central Kitchen is serving hot food, feeding not just weary bodies but souls. We’ve sent in a donation and you can too- here is the link
Of course, there are many other worthy organizations helping to ease the plight of these proud and fierce people. NPR has put together a list-
Another great place to check is local social media. There was a big stuffed animal drive in my area as a Polish American with family ties near the border organized a way to give refugee children a bit of comfort.
We feel at times that our small steps don’t make much of a difference but imagine the joy of a hot bowl of nourishing soup after an arduous journey or cuddling a stuffed animal while trying to sleep in a strange location. We might not see or hear how our actions helped but we can know they did.
I’m an avid “stress stitcher”. Working with thread and a needle is a way to calm anxiety and create something of value. I’ve been inspired by Clare Hunter’s Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle. Banners and buntings have been used to raise awareness and bring about change through many periods of history. Both are easy to make.
Bunting is one of my favorite ways to celebrate a season. Quick and easy to put together its a great way to use up fabric scraps and is a sustainable way to decorate and avoid celebrating with a bunch of plastic. Once a holiday is over, tuck the bunting away- if it’s been outside pop in the laundry first and you can use bunting for many years.
Simple Steps to Make Bunting
-gather together all your materials including fabric, scissors, cardboard to make a template, needle and thread and ribbon or string. You can sew bunting by hand or use a machine. Making bunting is a great family/kid project and can be put together entirely by hand using the running stitch. We have a blog tutorial all about the running stitch here-
-decide on the shape for your bunting. Triangles are traditional but rectangles or squares can be easier to cut. You can make single layer bunting but putting two pieces together- with the pretty side showing each way makes your bunting sturdier. If using two layer stitch together.
-cut a length of ribbon, twine or material. I’m working on using up my fabric scraps so I’ve been using lengths of fabric, folded with the wrong sides together as my twine. This is also super easy to sew so it’s great for kids. Place your bunting pieces on your fabric length and stick. Again you can do by hand or machine.
-You are done! Hang and enjoy.
I made my banner using mostly scraps, the blue was from an old fitted sheet. I did need to buy some yellow as that’s a color I didn’t have in my fabric stitch. The blue goes on top representing wide skies and the yellow on the bottom for wheat fields. I added appliquéd shapes- hearts and peace sign cut from bits of fabric. I tend to trace shapes on scrap paper first and then use as a guide for fabric. It’s also a good idea to baste the shapes to the banner before doing your permanent stitching. Basting is a very loose running stitch and holds better than pins. Hem around all the edges. You can make a casing (a wide open at both ends hem) to insert a rod for hanging if you want. I just used a few nails top and bottom to hang my banner.
It’s great to be inspired by the work and skills of others but don’t get intimidated. It’s ok to make mistakes or make something wonky. One of my bunting strings is completely wonky, everything is off kilter. Once I hang it up and it blows in the breeze no one will notice.