Monday, December 08, 2014

Free Utility Table Runner How-To Tutorial by Sylvia of "Pieces From My Scrapbag" Blog

Utility Table Runner Tutorial

This is a utility table runner, that uses 3 fabrics plus about a half yard for the backing. It's a quick and easy one, looks good done up in "guy" fabrics if you are doing it for a son or father or uncle. The fabric needs are minimal, using about 14" of 3 different fabrics. If you want one of them for a border or binding (which is what I did) you need more. This one is made from scraps left from my Christmas table cloth quilt. The big quilt goes on the couch and this runner on the coffee table with a pillar candle on it. It's NOT a raving beauty, but a sturdy little pony type that just keeps going and going. This one is already 12 years old and going strong.

Start with 3 contrasting fabrics. You need a LIGHT, MEDIUM and a DARK. Although you see it works with red and green as long as they contrast. You need at least 14" of each fabric X ***14-15" wide*** WOF (width of fabric)***YOU do NOT need WOF unless you want a bigger runner or more sections to play with***.This amount will make a runner that is 16" X 20" without borders. If you want larger, you'll need to make additional sections.


Dark: cut 1 4.5" strip, 2 3.5" strips,and 3 2.5" strips. Stack separately. Then from the Medium: cut 6 2.5" strips. From the Light: cut 1 4.5" strip, 3 2.5" strips and 2 1.5" strips. Now you've got 9 little piles of strips *VBS* Keep them separated, they tend to fight.

That's it for the cutting. Keep in mind you might want one of these fabrics for the ends (borders)or binding.

Table Runner Project ~ Part 2

Here are the fabrics I've chosen for this runner. The green plaid is possible border on the ends and binding. Correction to my previous post: When cutting, your fabric doesn't need to be WOF(my mistake)This really is a modest fabric requirement project. You only need about 14-15" wide as well as high. So FQ's would work fine..sorry about that. What you'd get from more sewn is the ability to make the runner bigger by making more sub-sections. I'm going to.

Here are my strips...all cut and ready to sew.

This is SECTION #1. Label as such. Sew 1 3.5" dark to 1 4.5" light. Add 1 more 3.5" dark. Press to dark. Set aside labeled #1.

Section #2: Sew 1 medium 2.5" strip to 1 2.5" dark, add 1 2.5" light, and then add 1 2.5" dark again. Finish up with a 2.5" medium. Press to the dark. Label #2 and set aside.

I'll be back with sections #3 and #4. If you are anxious to do more before I get back here, I can tell you that EACH SECTION will get sub-divided into EIGHT(8) 1.5" strips. Be sure to keep the section label attached to the 1.5" strips you cut from the long sections. Isn't this fun?? And fast!

Table Runner Project ~ Part 3

This is Section #3. Make it by sewing: 1 1.5" light to 1 2.5" medium. Add the 4.5" dark strip, followed by a 2.5" medium and then a 1.5" light. Press to dark. Label as section #3. Set aside.

Section #4. Zipping right along, sew 1 2.5" light to 1 2.5" medium. Add 1 2.5" dark, 1 2.5" medium, and finish up with 1 2.5" light. Section #4 is now complete. Press to dark. Label as section #4. Set aside and get ready to SUB-DIVIDE !

The mini-mystery directions call for cutting each section into EIGHT(8) sub-sections of 1.5" each. That is what is pictured in the table runner I showed. Today, because I screwed up and sewed the full WOF, I'm going to cut mine in 2" sub-sections. It will be larger than the 16" X 20" original pattern. It's a good chance for me to see how much bigger, etc.

Now, if you are zipping along, and you have ALL your sub-sections of 8 1.5" strips cut, you can start joining them up *VBS* You are going to be making EIGHT(8) sets of strips. Taking one from each WELL LABELED pile, join a #1 to a #2, then add a #3, and finally a #4. This is now one subsection. It should be approx. 4" X 10"...not sure if that includes the seam allowance or is the finished measurement...I have it written on the pattern in pencil. Just a reference point as to size.

If you've gotten this far, hopefully you are TIRED, or have to make supper or pick up the kids and I will have time to sub-cut mine and get back to you.

Once you've got your 8 sections made and pressed don't do anything but play around with them...LOL I'll give you the final directions in my next post, as to which sides you sew together. Or if you are as clever as me, and as good at ignoring directions, please go ahead and "just do it"...*VBS*

Table Runner Project ~ Part 4

Sew, sew, sew...such a busy day! Here is one of my completed sub-sections. I have all 8 of them made, pressed and the edges straightened up.

Here are 4 of them placed as they would go in the table runner. Join the side with the biggest light(#1 section) to the same side of another unit. You'll get 4 pairs of them that you then join to another unit on the long side. Now you've got 2 units of 4 each. Join those 2 together and you have the bulk of the table runner. Add a border strip (any width that suits you, I usually use a 4.5" piece. Whether or not you choose to add one on all 4 sides is up to you. I like it with just 2. Layer and quilt as desired. Bind if you like, or do a pillowcase turn to avoid binding.

** Because mine sub-sections were cut at 2", you can see more of each fabric I used. Varying the width of the sub-section is up to you. But sewing WOF(even by mistake) enables me to get more than one runner(if I cut at 1.5", or make a bigger one.

This is so fast and easy you certainly can play around with it. I'll show you my 'put together' table runner tomorrow. Thanks for sewing along with me *VBS*

**Found the camera!**Right where I left it *VBS* So here's the picture of MY table runner sewn together. I cut my sub sections at 2", rather than the 1.5" in the I have a bigger runner. It's 20" X 24".I will be adding a border strip to each end..probably a 4.5" strip, and not the green plaid I had thought I might use. It's just too different.

Just for the heck of it, here is a picture of an 'everyday' runner I use under my sewing machine so it doesn't slip on the table surface. Again, it's about 12 yrs old and going strong.

And this is one of the original ones I made 12 years ago...nice that they don't take much yardage to make up.

Please respect Sylvia's TERMS OF USE: You may make the table runner for personal use or sell for a small personal profit. You may also use my tutorial version to teach a FREE class. Paid classes are prohibited. You may not copy, reprint, email, or redistribute my tutorial version in any manner without my permission.

Original Quilting Pattern Designer - Unknown.

Tutorial Version Created and Written by Sylvia of Pieces From My Scrapbag blog. Sylvia is an experienced quilter who has been quilting for over 30 years. Please visit Sylvia's Pieces From My Scrapbag blog at .

Folded Star or Somerset Patchwork Trivet Free Tutorial by Jennifer Richards of Bronze Wombat Blog

I first fell in love with folded quilting when my Mother made her first "folded" quilt pillow years ago. She loved them so much she made "folded" placemats, quilts, wall hangings, pillows, etc. So, of course, when I saw Jennifer Richards folded star or somerset patchwork trivet tutorial on her Bronze Wombat blog I knew I'd have to make one. I hope you enjoy Jennifer's tutorial.

Folded star or Somerset patchwork

Recently Debbie showed a pretty trivet that she received. Many years ago I learned how to do this technique, and finally I have had time to make this tutorial. It's a lot of fun, and not difficult. I will spread it over a few posts as there are lots of pictures - a picture tells a thousand words! - which will show the steps to making Somerset patchwork.

You will need to decide on fabrics. I used Christmas fabrics from my stash as I plan to use it on our Christmas table, but of course it will look good no matter which fabrics are used. There are four rows in the star and each row can be a different fabric, fabrics can be repeated, or more than one fabric can be used in a row. As you can see, my light coloured row uses two different fabrics - the colour tones are the same, but the prints are different. You will also need fabric for the backing and binding, and a piece of muslin for the base. The finished star can be used as a table mat, hot food trivet, pot holder, or on the front of a cushion or bag.

 Fabric 1, centre: Cut four, 3-1/2in (8.75cm) squares.

Fabric 2, first round: cut eight, 5in (12.5cm) squares.


Fabric 3, second round: cut eight, 7in (17.5cm) squares. I used two different fabrics for this row as I found that I couldn't get all eight squares from one fat quarter.


Fabric 4, third round: cut eight, 6in (15cm) squares.


Base fabric: cut one, nine in (22.5cm) square. Fold it into quarters and press, open out then fold diagonally and press. You will have four pressed lines. If preferred the lines can also be drawn using a ruler and marking pencil. This is inside the finished star and will not be seen.

Backing: you may prefer to wait until the top is finished before cutting fabric for backing, as you may wish to alter the size from the dimensions given here.

Binding: you may also want to wait before deciding on a binding width. I cut two strips 1 in (25.4cm) but only needed one for binding. In hindsight they could have been wider, say 1-1/4 in (3.2cm) or even 1-1/2in (3.8cm).

Thread: thread to match each fabric. Points are stitched down by hand so thread will need to match fabrics, outer edges are sewn by machine but as this thread won't be seen in the finished star the colour doesn't matter.


Depending in the fabric used, you may be able to finger-press; this will result in soft folds and points. For crisp sharp folds you may prefer to use an iron. I chose to press my fabrics using steam, as the gold metallic designs on some of the fabrics made them stiff.

Take one piece of fabric 1 and fold in half; press. Fold one corner to the middle and press; repeat with the other corner, to make a triangle shape. Make sure the point is on the folded edge, not the open edge.



Repeat with all squares. If using more than one fabric for a round you may like to layer the fabrics alternately to keep them in order.


Using fabric 1 and with the lines on the base fabric as a guide, set the four triangles with the points touching at the centre and the folded edges touching to make a square. Using thread to match fabric 1, stitch the four points to each other and to the base fabric. Stitching just inside the outer edge of fabric 1, sew a row of stitches by machine to hold the square to the base fabric. This row of stitching can be seen in the picture below.


Using fabric 2, start the first round. Place the point of a fabric 2 triangle 5/8in (1.5cm) from the centre and pin in place. Continue to place the remaining fabric 2 triangles with the points 5/8in (1.5cm) from the centre point, alternating placement so the points line up with the fold of the square below and with the join between the four sections of the square. Arrange the triangles so they alternate over and under each other. Using thread to match fabric 2, stitch the points to the base fabric, and machine a row of stitches just inside the outer edge as before.


Continue to place the next two rows as before. Using fabric 3, make the second round as previous row but with points 1-1/4in (3.1cm) from the centre point. Stitch points and outer edges. Using fabric 4, make the third round with points 1-7/8in (4.7cm) from centre point. The final row will be partly off the edge of the base fabric.


This is the time to decide on the finished size. I trimmed my star to make a 9in (22.5cm) circle, but any size from 8-9in (20-22.5cm) diameter would be fine. You can also trim the excess points and leave an octagon shape. If making a circle you will use bias fabric for the binding - if making an octagon or square, you can use straight binding. I used a bias tape maker to make fold lines on my binding.

Trim to shape and size desired. Cut backing fabric the same size - this can be placed on the back of the star, wrong wides together, and trimmed at the same time as the front. It is then ready for binding.


With right side of binding to right side of star, pin and stitch. Fold under 1/4in(6mm) on the end of binding so the fold will overlap the join. Stitch all around.


Because of the many layers of folded fabric, the edges are bulky. I trimmed some of the bulk away to make it easier to fold the binding to the back. Stitch binding down on the back by hand.


In hindsight I would have cut the binding slightly wider to make this step easier, and also for the appearance of the finished piece.


Now make a cuppa, sit back and enjoy your handiwork! When I looked at these pictures I realised that I had made a mistake in the light coloured row - the 'under and over' overlapping didn't quite go right at one point. But in the overall scheme of things it doesn't matter.

If you have any questions or comments I would love to have them.

Please respect Jennifer's TERMS OF USE: My tutorial and articles made from my tutorial are intended for personal use only. Commercial use of my tutorial or products made from my tutorial are prohibited without my permission. However, articles made for charity where no payment is going to the maker may be sold as long as  I am credited with the design.

Copyright © 2008 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Jennifer Richards of Bronze Wombat blog at .

Christmas Ornies by Julia Camilleri

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would take some time to make up some little Christmas ornaments for gifts and ornie swaps.
This is a really easy one to make, with a bit of help I think even the little ones would have fun making these up.

If you don't want to do the cross-stitch, just fussy cut out special sections of Christmas fabric, decorate it with glitter glue and assemble together.

How easy is that!

Plastic milk or juice bottle tops with O-ring seal (washed and dried)
Small pieces of plain fabric (3 ½ inches square) or 14 count Aida cloth for cross-stitch
Threads, ribbons, beads, charms any bits and pieces to embellish the decorations
Thin card to back decoration
Braid to go around the outside of decoration
Narrow ribbon to hang decoration
Clear drying craft glue
General hand sewing requirements
A little time and imagination and just have fun.

Embroider or cross-stitch your design onto the centre of your fabric piece. (Keep the design small so it will fit on the bottle top)
Embellish the design with tiny seed beads, metallic threads, ribbon bows, glitter fabric paint or anything you like.
Place the embroidered design over the bottle top, then place the O ring seal over the top.
Push the seal down as far as it will go to hold the embroidered fabric in place.
Smooth out any wrinkles.
Trim away the excess fabric.
Cut a cover for the back out of the card by tracing around the top and glue to the back.
Starting at the top, glue braid around the outside of the top to cover the plastic ring.
At the top where the braid joins, glue a piece of narrow ribbon long enough to hang the decoration.
Add a little bow to cover the braid and ribbon ends.
Let the glue dry overnight

The decoration is now ready to hang on the tree.

Looks great on door knobs as a decorator piece.

Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved — Written By Julia Camilleri on her "Julia's Place" Blog - For more crafting tips and techniques visit Julia's "Julia's Place" blog. Julia is a seamstress who specializes in crazy quilting, ribbon embroidery, and all things Victorian.  For more pictures of Julia's creations please visit Julia's Flickr site -