Category Archives: Table Runners

Falling for You Autumn Table Runner

A couple of months ago I read about some fun table runners over at Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life.  Wendy had been pattern testing for a friend and actually made two versions of the runner.  I really liked the simplicity of the pattern and immediately hopped over to Craftsy to purchase the pattern. Designed by Vicki of Vicki’s Crafts & Quilting, it is a fun pattern and a quick project.  My kind of sewing!!

So, I had the pattern and I pulled some fun autumn fabrics from my (currently very messy and unorganized) stash for the runner. I cut out the pieces and got ready to start. Then I had to set it aside because this happened!

Isn’t this an adorable picture??

Once the wedding was over, life returned to it’s regular routine and I was able to make the table runner.

When I did the appliqué, I used Steam a Seam for the first time.  I loved it!  Prior to this, I usually used any fusible product such as Wonder Under.  But Steam a Seam works so well and it can be repositioned if needed. Really good product ( no affiliate here – just a recommendation). I didn’t do any appliqué stitching until I put the front and back together. I chose not to use the usual batting and binding process that the pattern called for. Instead, after piecing the top, I sewed it right sides together, to the backing, leaving an opening to turn it right side out.  After trimming the four corners to get nice, crisp corners, I turned it right side out.

Once I had it pressed, I top stitched the outside perimeter at 1/8″ to close the opening and define the edge.  Then I top stitched the other edge of the border and also along the sashing between the leaves.  Finally I did a raw edge appliqué stitch around the edge of each leaf.

The backing is a fall leaf print I picked up at a thrift store a long while back.  I have used it in a number of projects as I really like the color (and I think the piece I bought was several yards in length.)

I am very pleased with the finished project.  It is fun to have a few seasonal decorations to put out each holiday and this works perfectly for this time of year. I highly recommend Vicki’s pattern, especially if you are in the mood for a pretty autumn addition to your table. I noticed she has several other holiday patterns in her Craftsy shop that are super cute too.

Have you seen the October Blogger Bundle?

Remember the October Blogger Bundle is on sale in the shop, 20% off through the end of today. Have you hopped over the Persimon Dreams to enter the giveaway for the October bundle?  If not, please do – it is such a pretty collection of fabric.  Giveaway is open until Monday, October 15th.  Good luck!!

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Upcycling a Vintage Caftan

This post is picture heavy and contains just a bit of sewing related info so if you aren’t in the mood, I totally understand!  As you might already know, my son and his fiancé were married on Saturday.  As the parents of the groom, we hosted a rehearsal dinner on the Friday night before the wedding. The couple wanted a Mexican dinner which we had catered by a local Mexican restaurant.  I don’t usually do this but it worked out well for us.  I had so much going on and not cooking the meal myself was so helpful.

When my husband and I thought about the dinner, we really wanted to have it outdoors.  Our front yard is so pretty and very private because we live on rural property and don’t have neighbors close by.  Again, I went the simpler route and rented tables, chairs, dishes, flatware and wine glasses.  This really made for an easy party because we didn’t have to wash dishes afterward.  All that was required was to stack the dishes, glassware and flatware in restaurant style racks and they picked it up in the morning.  With the wedding the next day, it was great not to have to deal with lots of clean up that night.

The fun part was thinking about decorations.  My first thought was I needed two brightly colored table cloths and table runners for the center of each table.

1970’s Caftan

My frugal self sent me over to the thrift stores in town to hunt.  I didn’t find any table cloths but did find a fun vintage caftan.  I decided to use a harvest gold table cloth I already had and a red one belonging to my mom.

My thought was to utilize the stitching somehow by taking it apart and reassembling it.  I cut the bottom off, leaving a border of the green.  I hemmed it all the way around and that created one runner.  For the second runner, I cut a large swath of the solid fabric from the center of the dress.  Then I cut the sleeves off so I could use the decorated portion of the sleeves. The width of the second runner was determined by how wide the stitching was on the deconstructed sleeves. I attached one section of the decorative stitching to each end of the solid color fabric so it ran vertically on each end.  I did have to block the runners and starch them to get them to lay (mostly) flat.  These had been laundered and worn quite a bit so the fabric was not at all square.

The runners are different but coordinated.  (I didn’t take pictures of just the runners but this  sort of gives you an idea.

Here is the other one.

To finish things off, I potted little succulents in small clay pots gleaned from my garage and. my mother’s.  I added votive candles and small vases with Alstroemeria and dwarf Sunflowers. The vases are actually small pitchers I bought during a family vacation in Mexico a long time ago.  We also tucked in some lemon halves that had a large number of whole cloves inserted across the cut side because we read that it might repel the Yellowjackets.  (At this time of year, we often have yellow jackets and they are so annoying when we eat outdoors.  My husband put about 1/2 dozen open cans of cat food and tuna in strategic locations around the perimeter of the lawn and this proved to be a good distraction for the bees.  They were not a problem during the dinner). The lemons looked nice but I highly doubt their scent did much to help us.

Of course, way too much food!

The dinner was wonderful.

Toasting my son and his fiancé

We celebrated the bride and groom with toasts, laughter and great food.

Decorating the arbor on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we all headed over to the venue (maybe ten miles from home) and got everything ready.  My husband built an arbor for the kids to stand in front of for the ceremony.  Now they will have it to put in their yard as a remembrance of their day.  The bride wanted it draped with soft, flowing tulle.  I found two colors at JoAnn’s and bought 15 yards of each the Eggnog and the light Peach colors.  My husband patiently draped and re-draped it as we all stood on the ground giving direction. (You can imagine, right??)

It was a breezy day which was nice and it made the tulle float a bit.

My daughter-in-law’s Jackie O look. She is so funny.

Saturday morning was really a fun family time.  Everyone was so excited about the wedding and just enjoying each other’s company.

The guys set up the chairs while we decorated the arbor.

This guy loves being a father!

My grand daughter had so much fun running around but we had to keep close track of her because there is a creek running through the property and a large pond as well.

Time for coffee and scones.

Once the arbor was set up and the chairs in place, all we had to do was place the tables where we wanted them.  Then the wedding coordinator and the caterers came and set the tables.  I wish I had a picture of this before the ceremony started.  I am sure the photographer got some though.  I will share them when we get to see them (likely a several weeks from now.) Spending the morning of the wedding day together getting things ready was so much fun.

I will share some wedding pictures in a separate post.  Everyone has gone back to their real lives.  The bride and groom are taking their honeymoon in May so they are back to work now.  My plan for this morning is to tackle some housecleaning.  It is a complete disaster!  Then I need to get back to work.  I received a box of fabric yesterday and there is another scheduled to arrive this afternoon so I have lots to do.  If you have been waiting for Carrie Bloomston’s new line, Wonder, it should be listed by tomorrow, maybe late this afternoon if I can get to it!  It is just fantastic.

Linking to my favorites!  Including a new link up called Brag About Your Beauties, hosted by Michelle of From Bolt to Beauty. Come take a look – there will surely be something to inspire you!

 

 

Finishing Someone Else’s Work

Last November I found a treasure in a thrift store.  It was stuffed into a basket and was marked 50 cents.  You know me, I couldn’t just leave it there.  I posted a picture of it on Instagram asking what I should do with it.  The most popular response was to ‘finish it up as it was’. Then the holidays rolled around and it was pushed aside.

Instagram posting from last fall.

 

On Monday, after a very busy week with the fair, I decided to just play in the sewing room for a bit.  I was too tired to do much of anything and certainly didn’t feel like cleaning house (and truth be told, I still don’t feel like doing that!). I was poking through the piles of stuff in the sewing room and found this.  I had pin basted it and it was ready to quilt.

I took a second look at it and changed my plan. I decided to finish it without batting (like I did with the purple pansies runner I recently made). I really like the soft drape that last runner had without batting.  I thought it would work for this as well.  The piece was not terribly big, measuring just 14″ x 25″. So I removed the batting and pinned the pieced top right sides together with a piece of pink batik from my stash.  After I stitched the perimeter with a 1/4″ seam, I turned it right side out and pressed it.  I top-stitched 1/8″ in around the perimeter which closed that opening nicely.

I used a gold thread and did more top-stitching here and there. I ran a seam around the three little two inch squares in the center of each block as well as along the edges of a few of the borders.  This will keep things together should I ever need to wash it.  (Though, I would likely hand wash this because I suspect the colors will bleed – these reds are really red!)

I think this is so pretty and very different from what I usually would make.  I wonder how it ended up in a thrift store?  Maybe the maker decided she didn’t like the colors? Who knows?  But I really like it and love how it looks on this old sewing machine cabinet I have in my entry way.

This backing was perfect for this bright little project.  The colors are gorgeous and have a Moroccan look to them.

I was very happy to finish this up and it was the perfect project to allow me to continue to avoid any mundane housework! I wonder how long I can keep procrastinating???

Reminders:  There is a giveaway open over at From My Carolina Home – you should hop over there and enter to win the August Blogger Bundle!!  Also, the sale on this bundle will continue through the weekend with 20% off of both the fat quarter and the 1/2 yard bundle.  Click here to shop!

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Purple Pansies Table Runner

When I was in Vermont at the beginning of the month, I noticed the table runner on my daughter-in-law’s dining table.  It was really simple and didn’t have any batting in it.  I liked the flexible, casual look of it.  I decided to give it a try and grabbed my stack of charm squares.

I have a rather large collection of Benartex charms. Have you heard of the Fabric Club at Benartex?  (No affiliation – I just think it is kind of a fun subscription.). For $25 per year, Benartex sends the subscriber a newsletter and a set of 5″ squares from a new fabric line every three months.  It is a rather inexpensive and fun way to see what is new with Benartex. Each set has a minimum of 20 charms, some have more than that depending on how many pieces are in the line.) The newsletter usually has a suggestion or pattern for the charms.  I did this for quite a while (maybe two years?) and as a result have a number of these sets.

For this project, I decided to use a set called Pansy Noir.  It is a rich collection of shades of purple, gold, black and green. Using a set of charms like this can be satisfying because the designer has already made sure there are a variety of scales and values in the set.

In this set, I love the contrast of sweet pansies, such a simple flower, with the rich swirls of purple and black. How do these designers come up with this?

I didn’t add anything to the set and made the runner with 21 of the 22 squares in the pack.  So it measures about 14 x 30 inches. Using a silvery Sulky thread, I stitched straight lines going down the column (at the seam line) and across the rows (again at the seam) to hold it together when laundered. No binding makes this a 1/2 hour project.  The backing is a pale lavender fabric from my stash.

This was a fun project to whip up during a time when I am getting very little sewing done. This summer I have noticed a large uptick in the orders rate at my shop. It is really rewarding to see this happening now that I have been in business for 18 months.  Of course it takes away from my sewing time which is a trade off!

Otherwise, summer has been busy with house projects, gardening and taking pictures of Julia and Olive!!  The fair is in two weeks so Julia has been really focused on training Olive for showing her at the fair.

Julia and Olive walking in the yard.

To increase stamina and muscle mass, Julia has been taking Olive on long walks.  For much of the summer she would walk Olive around the perimeter of our property which was a nice long walk.  Well, Olive is a very smart pig and learned that route quickly.  Soon as she knew she was close to the end of the route, Olive would take off running to the pen (her source of food and mud!)

Strolling down the street!

Julia decided to mix it up and started walking her in our neighborhood, much to our neighbor’s delight.  It is hysterical to see Julia and a pig strolling up our driveway and down the road. But Olive does really well.  She is sometimes a bit startled by a horse or dog and it is nice to see Julia can redirect her when this happens.  I think they will do well together in the show ring.

Heading down the driveway for home.

This weekend I am hosting a bridal shower for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law.  Her parents are coming up here for the weekend which will be fun. I have met her mother only once and haven’t yet met her father.  We will enjoy getting to know each other.  Once again, another no-sew weekend – Such is life!  Whatever your plans are, enjoy your weekend.

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