Monday, July 30, 2012

Striped Table Runner

The Trinity Schoolhouse Quilt Shop had a Christmas in July open house.  I want to take a class this fall or winter, so I went by to see if they were going to schedule one I wanted to take.  I met my friend Doris there.  We both no longer work for the library, so it was fun to catch up.  We both agreed that we were NOT there to BUY anything.  Just to see what was new.  Best laid plans and all that...

There was a demonstration on making an " Easy" Striped Table Runner.  They had some new fabric that was bright and beautiful and looked like stained glass.  There was also a new and very cool triangle ruler that I also HAD to have.  There was even a cool way to use the scraps to make place mats to go with the runner.  I HAVE to have them too!  Then I found a gorgeous fabric for the back.  Cool!  I made myself put back the other fabric and backing I found so that I could make several different sets.  I can always come back if this works out and I like them well enough to make a lot of them.


So I walked away very much poorer, but with a project that will only take and hour.  And it will make great Christmas presents!  I may be naive and an easy touch, but even I knew THAT was not going to happen.

As it turns out, I was right.  It took an hour just to figure out what part of the fabric to cut and then get up the courage to slice into the fabric with out an instructor reassuring me.  THIS is why I take classes.  Then I spent another half hour deciding which stripe was on the inside and which was on the outside!

I cut two 8 1/2 inch strips the length of the fabric..  The instructions called for 1 1/2 yards, but I wanted to make a bunch of place mats, so I got 3 yards.  This meant there was some folding, unfolding, deciding and shifting going on.

After you get the two strips lay them out to see if there is a pattern repeat you need to worry about.  Place the strips right sides together.  Then use the triangle ruler to cut two full triangles on each end.  You will cut two full triangles with one half triangle as scrap (two thickness) on each end.  You save the one with the outside stripe ( which you ALREADY agonized over, so don't change your mind now!) on the base of the triangle.  The half triangle and the two pieces you don't need for this project, set aside for the place mats, etc.


Now lay out the six pieces and make sure the lines are going to line up and that you like the way each end works.  I switched one set of triangles for the other set because I liked the way the flowers matched up better.

Place the triangles on the long pieces, right sides togethe, line up the stripes and pin.  Sew them together.  Press the seams on one side of the runner towards the triangles and the other towards the center.  Then sew the two halves together.  And doesn't it look great?  But no celebrating.  You have to cut the piece for the back and the batting which you will cut a bit larger than you need..


Make a sandwich with the batting first and then the backing, face up.  Place the completed top face down. Smooth them out and pin.  At this point I had to switch to the walking foot.  Sew a 1/4 seam all the way around leaving about 6 inches open to use to turn it right side out.  Cut off any excess fabric and clip the corners.

When I turned it, the corners weren't as sharp as I wanted, so I used the eraser end of a pencil to push it to a sharper corner.  Iron, being careful to reach in through the hole you left and push the seam so that the fabric can lay flat without a lip around the edge.  Hand sew the hole closed. 

I just did a moderate amount of quilting.  I came in a bit more than 1/4 inch all around the perimeter to avoid catching the excess fabric now on the inside.  Then I did some "stitch in the ditch" on all the seams.  More pressing and voila!  I like it. 


I wish I could feel a sense of completion, but now I have a bunch of place mats to make.  That's OK.  It will only take an hour!!!

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