Painted heraldic banner

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made a banner with my device (which has yet to be approved…) for the Artisan’s Village at Sargeant Trials. I have a super-quick post today to show off the making-of.

First attempt – silk

Transferring the pattern to grey cotton canvas

Transferring the pattern to grey cotton canvas

I started off with the intention of making a silk banner – I had expected to have the “village” outside, and thought a pretty fluttering banner would be lovely. I used silk salvaged from a used blouse. This is the same silk blouse I re-used for my earlier Jorvik-style silk hood earlier this summer.

The design was enlarged on a photocopier and paper was taped together to make a large version. I transferred  the design using chalk transfer paper and a rotary transfer tool. It worked pretty well, and I hoped to cover all of the chalk lines with my gutta.


Painting gold gutta on white silk

Painting gold gutta on white silk

For my resist, I used gold gutta from a tube… I had thought I had black gutta at home, but I didn’t. After this point I actually went out to the art supply store and bought some black, but I figured I’d stick with the gold….

I used an embroidery hoop – having to move it a few times because my design was larger than the hoop.


Testing the gutta with plain water - lots of leaking :(

Testing the gutta with plain water – lots of leaking 😦

Once I had my design fully resisted – I tested the lines using plain water and my brush – but there was spreading on ALL of my gutta lines! None of them were going to hold back the dye! I wasn’t sure what was wrong – but thought perhaps there was fabric softener or something on my fabric, so I figured I’d gently wash it in the sink……….

Big mistake. I guess I needed to press the gutta first, because as soon as I washed it – all the gutta started to peel off!

So, I abandoned the silk banner project for the time being (I might try a silk meant for painting; hopefully that will work better too!) and decided to go for acrylic paints instead of silk painting.

Painted banner

Beginning to paint the grey canvas with acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium

Beginning to paint the grey canvas with acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium

I transferred the design the same way to some grey cotton canvas, and mixed regular acrylic paints with textile medium, and painted it on the canvas.

I didn’t totally love the look – it seemed a bit ‘soft’ without the gutta resist, so I took the black ‘puff paint’ similar to the stuff we used when we did the silk painting class at Coronation, and went over the lines.

I also made a soft linoleum block of the ermine design for the “counter-ermine” print in the black area.

I cut the device out with pinking shears to hopefully resist ravelling, and strung the banner up on a rectangular wooden “dowel” kind of thing, with eye hooks on either end to string up. Initially I thought it would hang outside my pavilion, but instead it hung off the end of my table. I realized with that – that it’s a bit small… but I think I’ll wait until the College of Heralds passes my device before printing up another, larger (and perhaps silk) version.

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

The finished banner on display at the Sergeant Trials in August to the left. The large banner hanging behind my display is the banner for the Emerald Rose – part of the regalia I have on loan as the current Arts & Sciences Champion for Montengarde.

SCA devices

My proposed Device

My proposed device

When I figured I’d need a name for an SCA persona (in progress) I joined the heraldry Facebook group. While I’d gone there for help with a name…. I ended up seeing all of the beautiful devices, and after some time, decided I’d really like one too perhaps…

(Despite the fact that the Viking Age is pre-heraldry…)

Article about heraldry for Viking personas 

talks about images and colours 

What do I LIKE?

Colours (or rather, tinctures)

Gold/Yellow – Or
Silver/White – Argent
Red – Gules
Blue – Azure
Green – Vert
Purple – Purpure
Black – Sable


I mostly like silver, blue, and black. Red would also be ok.  The sources suggest that single-colour identification and bi-colour identification is more common in Viking Age artwork (shields, sails, etcc) with a preference in bi-colour for red and white.  (Source: )

There is an unofficial RGB guide to the colours through the FB heraldry group.

This is another image-heavy page.. so I suggest not going further on a mobile device! (It’s also more for me to organize my thoughts and ideas than much of anything else…) I’ve also hotlinked a bunch of stuff (with links to the originals) just to keep things clean for ME in my image library until I pick something for sure…

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Hand-made felted iPad Sleeve


iPad and felt sleeve

iPad and felt sleeve (What’s that on the screen? Why, my sewing music! Metal from Finland – Stam1na!)

Just before my recent trip to Hawaii I bought myself an iPad, largely because I wanted something I could type on with relative ease, but that was lighter than my laptop for travel.

With a new iPad, of course I needed a case to protect and carry it easily, and after spending hours shopping for one for my mum, I knew exactly what I liked – and what I didn’t. Unfortunately the one she had picked up was no longer in store, but I could still order it online. Worse still, I didn’t really have enough time to order it before I left on my trip.

iPad and felt sleeve

iPad and felt sleeve

So, although I knew I’d end up buying the case I really liked, I needed something in-between, so in a morning before heading off to an appointment, I whipped up this simple and easy felt sleeve. Of course, I had to personalize it just a little, so chose to quickly do some needle felting with some burgundy roving I had on the front.


Want to make one of your own? Here are the steps:

 Cut your pieces

  1. Cut two pieces of wool felt to the size and shape of the device – plus a little extra to go around the width and for seam allowances. This can get trimmed down later. I used one piece of grey and one piece of burgundy felt.
  2. Cut a number of narrow strips of wool felt – these will be the binding for the sleeve as well as the straps. I cut mine to an inch wide.


Close-up of the felting

Close-up of the felting

  1. (optional) Needle felt any design or be totally random on one side of one of the pieces of felt. Alternately you could applique, stitch, embroider, etc…


  1. Use a straight stitch to sew the two large pieces of felt together, wrong sides together, along three sides (in my case I stitched along the two long sides and one short side, but this would really be your personal choice. Most sleeves seem to be constructed this way though.)
  2. Slide your iPad or device in.
  3. Once your iPad or device is in, you’ll be able to see the fit. You might need to tighten it up a bit by sewing along one of the side seams. The fit should be relatively snug, but you should be able to slide the device in and out.
  4. Trim all of the seam allowances. Since I had cut my binding strips to one inch wide, I trimmed my seam allowances to less than half an inch.

Make your strap & continue

  1. Measure the height (from the sewn end to the open end) of your sleeve, an cut two strips to that measurement plus 3-4 inches. This will be your strap and closure. Sew these two together along the long ends, then fold over one edge approximately 1 inch, and top stitch in place. This is where your closure will go.
  2. Position the raw (not top-stitched) edge of your strap to the bottom of your sleeve, on the back of your sleeve, and stitch in place. Cut a slightly wider narrow strip (the extra width will be needed to accommodate the strap bulk as well) and bind this seam covering the raw edge of the strap.
  3. Bind the top edge of the front of your sleeve.
  4. Bind the top edge of the back of your sleeve, and stitch the strap into place at the top of the binding while attaching the binding. A short amount of the strap should go past the top of the sleeve to create the closure.
  5. Bind the two sides of your sleeve using the narrow strips of wool felt.

Fix the closure

  1. Hand-stitch snaps onto the top stitched edge of your strap. Alternately you can use Velcro. (I hate Velcro though, and use it as infrequently as possible)
  2. Fold over the strap and mark where the receiving ends of the snaps need to be stitched. Back the front of the case with a small piece of felt inside the case, and hand-stitch the other sides of the snaps in place.
  3. Done!
Back side of the felt sleeve (and of my iPad!)

Back side of the felt sleeve (and of my iPad!)