Show ribbons are distinctions of honor, showing one's success in some sport or trial. But once you have collected a number of ribbons for showing a pet or competing in an event, storing them becomes an issue. One trend is to turn show ribbons into a quilt or a quilted pillow top or wall hanging. These one-of-a-kind quilts showcase your accomplishments in a decorative manner, and it won’t feel like bragging when your transformed ribbons are seen by friends or family.
Show Ribbon Prep
Preparing the show ribbons for quilting is very important. Since these ribbons are quick to fray if cut, all cut edges must be stitched under. This will help to add stability to the ribbons. Clean each ribbon prior to stitching to limit the chances the ribbons will bleed color onto each other after being sewn together. You may need to iron the ribbons before quilting. If so, use low heat so not to burn the fragile ribbons.
Simple Show Ribbon Quilt
A simple idea for a show ribbon quilt is a strip quilt. In a strip quilt the pieces are simply laid next to each other and sewn together. This may be the best way to display the ribbons while making sure they still appear to be show ribbons.
You can stitch the ribbons together by hand, but that takes a lot of time. A faster choice is to stitch the ribbons together carefully using a sewing machine. Line up the ribbons first before stitching so they can be rearranged with ease. Iron the back of the sewn ribbons so they lay flat, but be sure to use low heat and limit the steam as water may cause the ribbons to bleed.
Completing Your Project
The sewn ribbons can be used as a wall hanging, or turned into a quilted pillow or full quilt. Pick backing and border material that goes with the ribbons. Heavy material can stress the fragile ribbon fabric. Instead, choose lightweight cotton fabric or a stronger silk. Batting will add thickness to the quilt and some stability as well. When you stitch the backing material to the front, choose a stitching pattern that reflects the beauty and meaning behind the show ribbons.
Show ribbon quilts are beautiful and telling, but not all people have the talent or patience to create a quilt. Luckily, many quilters are willing to assist in the process. You can contract with a quilter to make a customized quilt from your ribbons. Prices for these quilts vary greatly depending upon the design and the size of the quilt.