Did you get a start on Christmas sewing last month during our Christmas in July Tour? I finally got a start this week. I was picked by Jaded Threads to sew up a strike-off (a.k.a. fabric printing sample) of her Chromatic Christmas Trees custom fabric. When she said I would be receiving a yard of 100% cotton woven, I knew I wanted to make a Bowl Cozy or two and then I put together a matching table runner for the holiday season! Keep reading for a free tutorial on the table runner.
I looked through my meager stash of woven fabrics for a coordinating solid and found a yard of this blue thatch print that matched nicely. Then I set to work cutting fabric and batting using the Bowl Cozy & Tortilla Warmer pattern. These go together so easily that I got both sewn after my big kids got on the bus and before my youngest woke up for the day!
When I quilted the blue fabric to the batting, I sewed through the center diagonally from each corner and then from each dart point and then from halfway between the two. It was easy peasy and the result is a starburst coming from the center of the cozy (which would be much easier to see if I’d used contrasting thread! lol).
I opted not to quilt the trees fabric to the batting because I didn’t want to take away from the beautiful print of the fabric. The corners of the cozy are excellent for carrying a hot bowl without burning fingers. I love that the cozies are reversible, but I’ll probably leave the blue fabric facing the bowl to try to avoid spilling on the gorgeous trees!
My middle son was more than happy to “model” the cozy and show how great those corners work for carrying! LOL
After finishing the cozies, I decided that a matching table runner was needed. Years ago, my mother-in-law taught me how to make a “10-minute table runner.” I went looking for a DIY site to link up to, but couldn’t find one showing exactly how I make them, so I decided to take some pictures along the way for a quick tutorial. I did not invent this idea, but am simply showing the way I make them.
I start out by finding two woven fabrics that coordinate. I cut my main print (in this case, the tree fabric) into a rectangle that measures 9 inches by the width of fabric from selvage to selvage. I cut the backing fabric 18 inches by the width of fabric. Using a 3/8 inch seam allowance, sew the two rectangles of fabric to each other with right sides together along the long edges, forming a tube. Press the seam allowances toward the darker colored fabric and then turn right sides out.
Flatten the tube and shift the fabrics until the main fabric is centered between even borders of the backing fabric (see photo A above). Press well, creating good creases down the sides of the table runner. Next, square off and trim both of the short ends of the tube so the fabric is even (sometimes one fabric is longer than the other) and finish the raw edges with a zig zag or serger stitch to prevent fraying (see photo B above).
Carefully fold the table runner in half lengthwise with the main print to the inside. Make sure the seams along the edges of the main print are matched up and pin together along the short end (see photo C above). Sew with a 3/8 inch seam allowance along the now folded short edge. Turn the fabric so the main print is out. Carefully press the seam allowance open and press the end of the runner flat, forming a triangular shape** (photo D above shows the back side of the runner at this point).
Repeat with the other short end. Press the triangle ends well to help them hold their shape!
**Tip: trimming the corner of the seam allowance at the folded end of the short edge will reduce bulk and help the finished corner to lay flatter and form a sharper point.
Turn the fabric over, press any wrinkles out, and admire your new table runner! These table runners are so quick and easy that when my brother got married, I made a monthly set of them as a wedding gift to decorate their table year-round. I love the pop of color that a table runner adds, especially when it’s as colorful as these Chromatic Christmas Trees (which, by the way, are available for pre-order along with several other prints through the Jaded Threads group until Sept. 5).
If you make some bowl cozies or decide to try out my table runner tutorial, I’d love for you to share your pictures for me to see in the EYMM Facebook group!
Happy Sewing!! ~ Joelle