Wednesday, December 16, 2015

If you can have Christmas in July...

Last week I was zipping through the local Salvation Army thrift store and, low & behold, they had a new small section of fabric!  This sweet little patriotic stripe that had been in someone's stash since 1995 or so, found a new home at my house.  And about 3/4 yard of navy with tan stars came home too.
I could hardly wait to start making a table runner with a 4th of July patriotic theme, and here it is, December in Minnesota.  Well, if they can have a "Christmas in July" sale at the fabric store, I can have "July at Christmas" can't I?

Finished table runner
41-1/2 x 17 inches
This was so easy to make!  Two seams plus a border.  Seriously!

Here's a quick tutorial if you come across a fabric with wide stripes and want to make your own table runner.

The stripes in this fabric are exactly 1-inch wide, so the math to figure out the proportion for the blue star field was pretty easy:  A rectangle cut 6-1/2 x 10-inches worked out perfectly.

The fabric was 66-inches long and I cut a 7 1/2 inch strip for each runner:  four full red stripes, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance on each side for a total of 7 1/2 inches.

I was able to cut 5 table runners out of this one 66-inch length of fabric, so I'll have a few on hand for hostess gifts and door prize donations.  Sweet!
Next, I measured down 9 1/2 inches from one end of the strip
and folded the fabric back on itself to that line. 
 Cut along the fold.
Trim the most of one red stripe off the shorter piece,
leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
This gives you 13 stripes total.  Perfect!

Lay out your three pieces as shown.
Sew the blue stars to the shorter stripe piece.
Then, join that piece to the longer stripe piece.

Cut three 2 1/2-inch WOF (width of fabric) strips of a border fabric.  Add to the long sides first, then the short ends.  Cut three 2 1/2-inch WOF (width of fabric) strips of a binding fabric.  Cut one piece of backing fabric 18 inches by WOF.  I used two layers of flannel for the batting (1 yard).  

Quilt a triple zig-zag stitch at longest and widest setting on your machine along each of the stripes.  Quilt the field of stars in a diagonal straight stitch.  Quilt the border with a simple meander or stipple.

When stitching your stripe fabrics together, pay attention that you stitch right on the color line so it looks like seamless fabric when you're done.  If the seam is a hair too deep it's not a problem, but too shallow will give you a teeny extra stripe in there that you don't want.

Use a natural fiber batting in case someone sets a hot casserole or something on the table runner. Polyester batting could melt or get a 'flat spot' from excessive heat.

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