Happy Birthday Table Topper

The past week has been devoted to creating this Christmas gift for my niece, Jennifer. After I made the Halloween topper for my sister, Mary, I had this idea to make a birthday topper that Jennifer could use for all three of her adorable children (Max, Oliver & Marjorie). At first I thought of using some of my vintage book illustrations, but then I remembered this fantastic piece of 1940s fabric I purchased on Etsy. It’s a 36″ wide Waverly Mother Goose piece that is decorator weight — I think it’s cotton, but it has an almost linen feel.

I designed the patterns for the borders by utilizing the ribbon and floral motifs from the vintage print. All of the pieces on the border are cut from solid fabrics and applied with fusible web. At first I planned to paint the names, but in the end I decided to use the same technique as the flowers. It’s a bit tricky cutting those little letters — I was trying to make the names match the lettering on the nursery rhymes. The light blue ribbon didn’t show up very well, so I added outline embroidery to those pieces, as well as the peppermint sticks.

The printed red check used for the little border and binding was also used for the back. Because I wanted to do a little quilting in the print fabric, I added an old flannel sheet as a thin batting. It provides some dimension, and you don’t have to worry about close quilting — I only quilted the ribbons, the outline of the motifs and around the edge of the Waverly fabric.

I’m pretty happy with the way this turned out. I debated a long time about the background color for the borders, and now I’m glad I took Gordon’s advice and used a neutral cream color.

Bizzie Vintage has another piece of this cute fabric in her Etsy shop for only $14.

Happy Birthday Table Topper
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2010
45″ x 45″

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