Sunday, February 7, 2010

With so much running going on, you'd think there was a marathon underway . . .

. . . and in a way, there is.

You may remember the set of table runners I made (see blog post here).

I thought you'd like to see how I finished 'em.

First, I cut a piece of contrasting flannel (green) the same width as the runner, and a 1/2" longer at both ends.

Then, I pinned and sewed the two long ends, right sides together, leaving the ends open. I turned the runner right side out and pressed.

Next, I turned in the ends and pressed. You may wonder why didn't I just sew around three sides and only have to turn in one end?? I did that on some of the runners, but I didn't necessarily care for the kinda rounded corners at the sewn end. Turning and pressing both ends gives me nice square corners.

Let me say, "I thoroughly dislike hand-sewing!!" That said, let me proceed.

I want to attach a hanging sleeve on these runners, just in case the owner doesn't want wine spilled on 'em and would rather hang 'em on the wall than lay 'em on the table. So, I cut a piece of muslin 8" wide and the width of the runner. I fold and press the short ends twice, then stitch 'em down.

I insert one long edge into the folded and pressed opening at one end of the runner, and pin in place. Then, I topstitch through all layers all around the runner.

Since there is no batting, and I'm only concerned with keeping the two layers together, I stitch-in-the-ditch between the blocks. First, I stitched the long vertical row right down the center of the runner, keeping the hanging sleeve free.

Next, I turned under the long edge of the hanging sleeve and pressed it. Then, I folded the hanging sleeve to the back of the runner and positioned the pressed edge of the sleeve beyond the proposed stitching line (since my blocks are 6" square, I placed the pressed edge about 6-1/4" from the end of the runner). I smoothed out the muslin (it kinda sticks to the flannel), turned the runner over, and pinned the muslin in place.

Then, I stitched the short horizontal columns along the length of the runner. The stitching caught the pressed edge of the hanging sleeve, and I didn't have to hand-stitch it down (did I mention that I don't like hand-stitching??). Run a rod through the hanging sleeve and hang the runner as you like, or place it on your table (if you're brave)!!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment and follow this blog!!


  1. Nice finish Raymond! I wanted to give you a tip to get nice, square corners.

    When you sew the corners, do a triple stitch to reinforce (so when you get to the corner, backstitch 3-4 stitches, then stitch forward again to the corner. Turn the corner, stitch forward 3-4 stitches, backstitch again, then continue stitching forward. Do this at all four corners, and leave a wide enough opening so you can get your hand & arm through when you turn it.

    Then... clip the corner at an angle, close to the seam, and then clip a wider angle off each side of the corner about 1" long. Basically you are removing the bulk from the corner seam so that when you turn, there's room for the corner to pop out.

    As you turn, you want to fold the opposing seam allowances away from each other, so they are not trying to stuff themselves into the corner! Work one corner at a time when you turn it out so that you can form each corner nice & square. I use a point turner to poke out the corners, but you can use anything narrow enough (but blunt) that fits in the corner to poke it out.

    It takes a little practice, but once I learned to do it I've limited my hand stitching to just the opening for turning. And even then, sometimes I will use a decorative narrow stitch on the outside so that I catch the opening as I am stitching around... and eliminate the handstitching altogether! :)

  2. Thank you, Ebony!! That's sounds like a great technique!! I especially like the triple-stitching at the corners. I usually trim the corners at an angle, but hadn't considered trimming the seam allowances further. I'll have to give it a try!!

    (and here I thought I was giving YOU a lesson . . . LOL!!)

  3. Raymond you are always teaching me something! I don't think there's enough room in my head for all the things I have yet to learn from you. :)

    One thing I have learned, even very experienced quilters and seamers (sewers? I don't like that one...) are challenged by square corners. I saw an ad recently in a very prominent quilt publication, featuring a VERY prominent teacher, showing a stack of her quilts... and the corners on them were AWFUL! :P

    The triple stitch is great just in case you get a little scissor happy (I only needed to learn that lesson once...)

  4. Wow... Now I'm learning something in the comments..