Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas burlap table runner

I made myself a Christmas table runner because I now have a dining room that can actually accommodate my table extended to its full 10-foot length!  I added all the leaves for the Thanksgiving dinner we just hosted (with my parents, both siblings, brother-in-law, and niece) and it was all kinds of awesome to have a table runner than ran nearly the length of the table.  Of course, I didn't have it bound just yet, but I put the quilted a trimmed version on the table just for fun.  Here is how it looks all done and laid out:

It was simple to make, and I would have been done ages ago if my sewing machine hadn't been at the shop for a week and a half in the middle of the process.  I simply cut the burlap the width I wanted it, sewed two pieces together to get the final length, spray basted the top to some felt, spray basted the backing to the other side of the felt, quilted with crisscrossed lines, trimmed it, and bound it all up.

Finished, that sucker is 81" long!  If I had all of the leaves out of the table, the runner would definitely hang over the edges.  Too bad I didn't get a good shot of the awesome Santa that Aunt Janet made me four years ago.

[Man, I really need to paint that room.  The previous owner of this house had a penchant for bland colors, brass, and wallpaper, and I hope to change a lot of that soon!]

Binding is fun, but I'm still not so good at it.  There are several spots on the back where I didn't quite catch the back fold, and I am going to go back and hand-stitch those places when I get enough gumption.  I just cut four-inch strips of fabric with the grain rather than on the bias since I wasn't going to be going around any curves.  I read somewhere recently that you don't have to bother with that whole bias thing if you're binding only straight lines.  That seems to be true!

I quilted the burlap diagonally between the silver polka dots, but you can hardly see it.  Probably a good thing since I didn't draw guide lines and just sort of tried to keep the foot between the lines of dots while I sewed.  It looks okay from the back, but not perfect since I was having tension issues (most of the quilting was done before I took my machine in to be serviced -- now the tension is perfect!).

The backing is the same Kona cotton red as the binding.  I didn't take a reverse shot, but it's not hard to imagine the red with the tan stitching crisscrossing it.

This was fun to make, but damn is it hard to handle something so long when you're trying to get it quilted!  I can't even fathom how people quilt bedspreads on their home machines.  I know some people do it, but I think they must be nuts.

Thank you again to Amanda, who gave me this awesome burlap.  I think it was from Jo-Ann's, which has a very fun selection of printed burlap that I noticed last time I was there.  Burlap sheds all over the place while you're cutting and sewing it, but it looks awesome once sewn!

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