Remember how you talked about the loveliness of making something for home, to be enjoyed daily instead of giving away?
My latest project was aiming for that lovely feeling and inspired by a Betz White tutorial that you can find here on Craftzine. I love her style and projects, and had pinned this tutorial months and months ago for the day when I would finally make something to spruce up our dining room. Along with my Project Organization craze, I decided to finally just do it and last week, I made that runner.
I picked my fabrics, very much red, and some natural linen too. The prints include Alexander Henry Starling in Natural, Heather Bailey Peonies in Red, and Joel Dewberry Lodge Lattice in Peony. I don't know what the fourth one is, I found a fat quarter of it during my birthday shopping excursion and just had to have it!
I kept the measurements the same as the original project but made 4 changes to Betz White's fabulous tutorial:
1) I used quilting cotton instead of canvas, because that's what I had on hand and what the prints I wanted to showcase were made of.
2) I skipped the rickrack embellishment.
3) Instead of 7 prints, I used 4 and arranged them in a mirror order.
4) Instead of using one large piece of fabric to border the prints and make the back, I used two strips of linen for the borders and a different print for the back (I also added a layer of flannel repurposed from an old sheet to add some bulk to those quilting weight prints.)
I love all the top-stitching in this project!
Now, the "just do it" philosophy is great and gets you to make stuff. But hand in hand with it (for me at least) comes that "let's half-ass this stuff to get it done!" attitude. I didn't really do a neat job cutting my linen strips, and as a result, the first seam wasn't quite straight and proper. I cleaned up the edge for the other side. I should have done it right on both sides in the first place, it would have saved me time in the long run and resulted in a neater final product. Lesson learned (yeah, we'll see).
The top of my runner ended up a bit... wobbly? I wonder why. I am thoroughly conscientious about ironing all fabrics before sewing, so it's not that. My guess is that either, I didn't quite cut with the "grain" of the fabric and/or I should have followed the pattern and sewn with one big piece that creates the borders AND the back for some stability. Hmm.
For attaching the lining (repurposed from an Ikea sheet), I used a yard stick to draw my seam lines with a washable fabric marker and pinned the hell of that puppy. The result seemed a bit less wonky and wavy, yay!
I top-stitched all the edges, trying to tuck the lining out of sight as best as possible. The result is decent. But clearly, I still have to learn how to sew in straight lines. Do you have some good tricks for that? I try to keep an eye on the little marks on the side of my machine foot, and I play with adjusting the distance between my eye and the fabric, but eh. I still get a lot of waves.
This project took me the length of two toddler afternoon naps, more or less interrupted with email and Facebook checks. Not too bad! I am pretty pleased with the result. Sure it's a little crooked, but it features some of my favorite prints and my favorite color, that nice vibrant cherry red!! I am also hoping that having something pretty to display will encourage me to clean up my craft messes.
What do you think? What's next on your "handmade for home" to-do list?
Jenny I love the fabrics you chose! I have my "Soulemama" fat quarter pack from Sew Mama Sew and there are several pieces I could use in this project. I love runners for our dining room table, since it's handmade and quite beautiful I hate to cover it up with a tablecloth. But a runner gives just the right amount of color when you want to add a little something to the table. Can you tell me more about the length? I've seen some that cover the table and hang off the ends, some that fit exactly, and some that don't quite cover the length of the table. Next on my list is going to be curtains for our new living/creative space! I'm on the lookout for some fabric with gray, red and maybe a little green in it. Let me know if you see anything (especially on sale, since I'll have to buy quite a bit!)
Here are the measurements:
* Total finished size: 14" wide x 41" long
* Prints for patchwork: cut 7 rectangles 7" x 9"
* Linen strips: cut 2 strips 4" x 42"
* Lining: cut 1 rectangle 15" x 42"