Saturday, November 8, 2008


'The husband' commented yesterday that if we didn't have doctors appointments, our calendars would be empty!  Lately that seems to be true.  Besides trying to keep a monthly calendar updated, here's what I do with all those appointment cards.

I've made a fabric (sometimes called) ribbon message board to fit a narrow wall space at the end of our kitchen cabinet area.

I designed my own version of the popular ribbon message boards using  C & T Publishing's Fast 2 Fuse (fusible) interfacing.  Here's another link for online purchases.  This product is a hefty fusible interfacing that can be cut to any size and even shaped into bowls and other vessels with heat.

The concept is really simple and you can customize it for any space.  
1.  Cut a piece of medium or heavy weight Fast 2 Fuse 1/2" larger than the desired finished size.
2.  Cut two pieces of fabric to fit the cut board shape.
3.  Fuse the wrong side of one fabric piece to the board, work out wrinkles if necessary.  NOTE: be sure to cover your pressing service with a Teflon press cloth to prevent the back side of the Fast 2 Fuse from fusing to your ironing board.
4.  Now cut narrow strips of Fast 2 Fuse in appropriate lengths to create a grid design to fit your size board, PLUS about an extra 1" length for each one.  (I cut the fusbile 1/4" wide)  Cut narrow strips (a generous 1/2" wide) of fabric in lengths to fit each piece. Fuse with the fabric just meeting on the wrong side of each piece of Fast 2 Fuse.
5.  Position the fabric strips onto the fabric side of the 'board', seam side down, and tack them at each intersection and end by machine, hand sewing, as I did, use beads to hold them in place.  I call this 'bead applique'.  The material is now quite firm so you'll need to work a bit when hand stitching on the beads....but it's doable and worth the effort!
6.  Next, fuse the 2nd piece of fabric to the wrong side (this finishes the back and hides/protects all the stitching).  Trim the piece to your desired size.  (Remember you cut it larger....which now allows the opportunity to straighten and tidy up the edges.)
7.  Prepare and machine stitch a double fold binding to the outside edges, just as if you were binding a quilt.  I hand stitched the folded edge to the wrong side, but you could machine sew it.
8.  Bead the outside edge of the binding using one of the many edging stitches in my book, "BEADING BUDDY'.
9. Attach a fabric sleeve to the back or two small curtain rings if the piece is small.

Detail of the beaded intersections and binding.

This piece appeared as part of a C & T exhibit 3 years ago in Houston.

Here's a detail of another one I made for a friend to hold pictures.  For a quicker approach, I used narrow grosgrain ribbon, attached with beads, instead of fabric covered strips.  And a wider ribbon was machine stitched to act as the binding. 

Have fun getting your life decoratively organized.


Anita said...

Great bulletin boards, Mary. The green one is my favorite.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this idea, Mary...good job explaining how to make it too.
We are enjoying our new life here in VA---WI seems a long way away, now!
Hope to meet you one of these days. Now off to get some supplies for my very own "Mary-Board". Thanks, Paulette

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this idea, Mary. Have to get my supplies & measure to make my very own "Message board by Mary".
We love it here in VA---Lake Geneva WI seems a long, long, way away now. Hope to meet you one of these days. I'm looking for a quilt group to hook-up with at least once a month. Paulette