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Monthly Archives: October 2015

White Horse Kite Flyers, UK – Design Your Own Feather Banner


Our challenge – how to create individual feather banner artwork for 14 kite flyers who all want something uniquely different?  What works for one, won’t work for another, simply because we all have our own likes and dislikes.  This workshop was going to be fun and provoking all in one.


WHKF workshop

Choosing banner artwork which means something special

Alan’s wasn’t difficult; he simply wanted to add two more China Lady designs to the feather banner he’d made in 2013. Alan already knew the routine and just needed the set of pre-cut fabric pieces.


Newcomer Philippa hadn’t attended our workshop before, and opted for a mini-mural (set of 3) featuring the “Aquarium” design with angel, clown and dory fish. Was she challenging everyone present by attempting to make three banners in just one day?


WHKF featehr banners

Chillies, peacocks and… ??

Don shared with us a caricature representing himself as a young lad with a kite. We chose an outdoor scene by adding some fresh-air elements to create the appearance of him running to keep his kite aloft.


Keith was keenly determined to challenge himself by combining the intricacies of coloured stripes with a message in serif typeface. This banner was to become a dedication to his own kite group, so it needed to be stunning.


WHKF feather banners 2015

Keith with serifs, Malcolm has chillies

Malcolm started early with his planning, 14 months early to be exact. His use of chilli images to mark his kite territory are apparently well known. He even arrived to the workshop wearing a chilli-decorated waistcoat. Knowing that the workshop was “design your own feather banner”, Malcolm simply asked for… chillies!


Sheila’s advanced sewing skills meant that although she was a first timer, she was more than ready to tackle a single “Aquarium” design.  At the end of day one, she was already close to completion, having taken the heat-weld technique in her stride.


Team Alison & Richard returned after their 2013 success with a desire to feature a male peacock in full show-off mode, as seen in an image from a beach towel. With some artistic licence and blending of colour shades, their audacious design featured no less than 50 individual pre-cut fabric pieces!


Feather banner Day of the Dead

A Scottish take on Day of the Dead

David’s design came from the heart.  He requested four components – symbols to represent his family of four.  For his wife who is a Cancer survivor, one daughter named “Holly”, another daughter named “Jenni” (the Jenny wren as featured on the farthing, old currency), and finally “Rocky Horror Show” lips signalling David’s fascination for the show.


Team Andrew & Kathleen erupted into the workshop room with their kitchen sink (almost) by unloading an industrial sewing machine with extra tables and multiple boxes of sewing equipment.  Not bad for residents of Scotland driving down to Swindon for a 2-day workshop weekend. Their decision to make a total of nine banners was to benefit their daily work – a kite business with featured outdoor displays.  A series of nine colourful banners will be crowd-drawing, attracting more customers for them.


Swindon Feather Banner workshop

Feather banners flutter once finished

Team Sandra & Andrew already had their theme, as currently seen on one of their kites.  It was the decorated skull from “Day of the Dead” celebrations, to feature on a solid black background.  They were faced with much consternation vs. even more patience, but this married-almost-one-year couple sailed through with flying colours.  Pun intended.


Stuart presented the most challenging of our design tasks. “Start with my jacket” he said, where the photo he’d sent featured a warrior face (featured on a Japanese Rokkaku kite) surrounded by purple and white waves and rope-like scrolls.  Translation = make a square peg fit in a round hole!  But, as Stuart put the last stitches into place at 5:15pm on the final workshop day, his grin was so large he put the Cheshire Cat to shame.


Feather banner Japanese style

Stuart’s hapi coat is transformed onto his feather banner

In summing up… designing the right feather banner layout definitely requires experience and understanding of the medium. This is something we’ve studied, practised and enjoyed since 1998.


When you’re not sure what it is that you want, we’re more than happy to help make your own square peg fit into something we know a lot about!


To grow your business, you need to be SEEN!!  Think… peacock!