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What Is the Banners of Hope Project?

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Banners of Hope Booth at Craft and Hobby Association trade show
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Banner display at Craft and Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim, Calif.

The Fabric Arts Council, which is a brand-new section within Craft and Hobby Association, is dedicated to expanding the reach of fabric-related activities to the consumer both within traditional sewing areas as well as through the craft industry. The Banners of Hope project was developed by the Fabric Arts Council to meet this goal. The concept started with the idea of fabric-based banners with messages of hope. These small fabric-based banners are meant to express messages of hope and encouragement in a subtle artistic format and are intended to be displayed in public locations to benefit those in challenging circumstances. Although the size and fabric base are uniform, no other restrictions are placed on materials used in the completion of the banners. The overall program is not linked to any particular cause or charity; it is artistic expression that can be adapted to fit a variety of causes or charities.

Using those guidelines, the Fabric Arts Council debuted Banners of Hope at the CHA trade show in Anaheim this past January. Professional designers working within the industry were asked to create banners that were strung clothesline-style across the Banners of Hope booth as the show opened. A "construction zone" provided attendees the opportunity to create banners on-site using donated materials from a variety of manufacturers. Sewing and die-cutting machines, as well as fabric, buttons, trims, stamps, stencils and more, were available for use in the creation of banners. The banners were strung around the booth as they were completed. In total, 150 banners were completed before and during the show. At the close of the show all of the banners were donated to Charity Wings, which will coordinate a traveling exhibition that is headed to hospitals, veterans' homes, and children and women's centers.

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