Monday, October 3, 2011

Stunning Runner

Give your dining room a mini-makeover with a sumptuous hand-appliquéd table runner. Start with felt for the appliqués––it's easy to cut, has body, and doesn't fray. Then embellish with a whipstitch by simply looping embroidery thread around the edges of the felt in evenly spaced stitches. Attach the chiffon to the linen with just a few beads to give the appliqués a light and airy look. When you’re finished, your table will be dressed to the nines!

To make the runner, you will need:
2 pieces of icy blue linen fabric, 17"x72"
(fits a four-foot long table)
3 pieces of brown wool felt, 6"x6"
3 pieces of sheer gold chiffon, 8"x8"
3 pieces of sheer gold net, 8"x8"
Icy blue thread
Black embroidery thread
12 square black glass beads
12 icy blue glass beads
8 golden brown glass beads
12 black glass beads
Sewing needle
Embroidery needle
Straight pins
Sewing machine
Photocopies of leaf patterns
Tape measure

How To Make the Appliqués:
Step 1
Cut out the leaf patterns from the photocopies. Pin one pattern to each felt square.

Step 2

Cut out the felt leaves to serve as appliqués.

Step 3
Pin one leaf appliqué to the center of each square of gold chiffon. 
Step 4
Using the embroidery thread and needle, whipstitch the leaf appliqués to the chiffon squares. 

Step 5
Center one chiffon square on one piece of blue fabric and pin (to find the center of the fabric, fold it in half and mark with a pin). Pin the other chiffon squares on either side of the center one, leaving a four-inch space between each square. 

Step 6

Pin a square of gold net on top of each chiffon square. Attach the squares to the blue fabric by sewing a square black bead to each corner.

How To Finish The Runner:
Step 1
With the right side of the blue fabric face down, fold the raw edges one-half inch all the way around and iron the edges down. Repeat for the other piece of blue fabric.

Step 2
Pin the appliquéd fabric to the other piece of blue fabric with the good sides facing out.

Step 3
Using a sewing machine and the icy blue thread, stitch the front and back of the runner together one-quarter inch from the edge. Sew all the way around.
Step 4
Using the icy blue thread and a sewing needle, string together three icy blue beads, two golden brown beads, and three black beads. Sew one bead-strand onto each corner of the runner.

Tailored Tip: For a custom-fit runner, measure the length of your dining room table before you head to the fabric store. Your runner should be long enough to hang twelve inches over each end of the table.

Right Turn
To turn a square corner while machine sewing, keep the needle in the down position, raise the presser foot, and turn the fabric ninety degrees.

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