01 02 03 Fabric of My Life: Festival of small projects - Day 3 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Festival of small projects - Day 3

Good morning - it's weekend! Let's sew something! :)

Today, it will be an easy, strip-pieced table runner

The beauty of this one is that it can be made for any season or occasion, depending on what colors you choose and it really is easy enough to do, even for a beginner!
Fabric choices and yardage: You need 5 different Christmas fabric that go together nicely and a border fabric (border fabric can be also one of the 5 fabrics). here is how I auditioned and choose my fabric:

I like these together but two reds are blending too much?

Just changed position of red and green and it looks better! This is my choice and order!

For the table runner you will need TWO  2 1/2" wide strips (along the whole width of fabric!) from EACH color, except the one in the middle - you will need only ONE strip from that color. Here are my strips, cut and ready:

Join all 9 strips together, LENGTHWISE, in the correct order, with consistent 1/4" seam allowance. Press all seams in the same direction.

All seams pressed in the same direction (this is important for later!)

Here is the strip-set all pressed and ready for cutting.

Now is the time to cross-cut this strip set!
Place the strip set on the cutting mat, right side down and first square-up and even one edge:

Place one horizontal line of the ruler on one of the seams to make sure it is straight and cut off salvages to make even, straight edge.

Once you have squared-up the edge, cut 2 1/2" segments from your strip-set. Cut as many as you have (usually 16 from approximately 40-42" long strip-set).

To make sure your segments are straight, when cutting them, always pay attention that one horizontal line of the ruler and aligned with one of the seams - as shown bellow:

 Here are cut segments, all nice and straight! :)
Now to create some magic!
Line up your cut segments to be sewn again, but so that each next one is shifted down by one color - as shown on the photo bellow:
Here is one important thing - because your seams were pressed all in the same direction, take every second segment and turn it around for 180 degrees - this will ensure that when you go to sew these segments together, seam allowances are oriented in opposite directions, giving you nice, nested seams! (as shown bellow)
Now simply join all these segments together, making sure each next one is shifted by one color and seam are nested. When you finish, you will have something like this:
OK - this is not a good shape for a table runner, right? :) Here is how to make it straight:

Place your sewn piece on the cutting board, right side up so that one end of it is ready for cutting. Place the ruler on the first row of squares that is FULL wight - as shown on the picture:

Place the ruler so it goes from corner to corner of the two outside squares (white ones) and cut!

Here is how it should look like:

WAIT! We will not discard this piece! It goes on the OTHER side of the table runner! Slide your runner on the mat to get to the other side and place this cut piece as show on the picture:

The piece you cut off from one side fits perfectly on the other side - just align it as show and stitch together (this will be the same as joining the segments before!).

Once you add that segment to the other side, you will have a straight runner! TA-DAH!!
At this point, runner is 47" long and approximately 14" wide. Yes - the edges are all zig-zag, but here is how to solve that: You can either put the runner on the cutting mat and straighten the edge but cutting off the "triangles" as shown bellow:

Place the ruler so that the first 1/4" line of the ruler is touching the top corner of the printed squares (this will leave you a 1/4" seam allowance so your squares will not have their points blunted!).


HOWEVER - if you just cut off the triangles, this will leave you with an OPEN BIAS edge to deal with when putting the borders on, and we all know this is not a lot of fun (it stretches!). So, alternatively, you cam place your border strip of fabric as shown on this photo. stitch the border down first (at least it is not an OPEN bias), and THEN cut off the extra triangles.

BORDERS: What kind of borders to put on your table runner is up to you! Here are two choices I was considering - border fabric or just print fabric and an accent narrow border:

I went with the border fabric! Either way, if you are making mitered borders and they are about 4" wide, you will need two strips that are 56" long and two strips that are 20" long. Carefully attach the borders, miter the corners and - VOILA - your table runner is done!!

It took me about two and a half hours to do this. Now on to quilt it - I will post picture of the quilted one as soon as I can - in the meantime, here is another one, in fall colors, all done and quilted:

Hope you will have fun making this one in many different colors, for all different occasions or gifts! Tomorrow we will make some place mats that go with it!
Happy stitching,
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