I promised two Christmas tutorials this year - here's the second (you can find the first here)! A little appliqué to brighten up your table for Christmas lunch. I went with red and white for mine as I already have lots of table decorations to match, but you can go for any combination to fit in with your colour scheme (or something that isn't festive at all which you can use all year).
I cheated a little with this, in order to save money. Regular readers will know that I have a fairly substantial fabric stash, but I didn't have a suitable red fabric to make the runner from - my internet investigations told me it would be cheaper to buy a ready made runner than to buy fabric to make one from, so the red runner is an eBay purchase. You can very easily run one up yourself though - mine measures 40cm wide by 230cm long (I have a large table) - to make your own just add 3cm to each of these measurements and hem the edges by 1.5cm. You can see how to sew mitred corners in my earlier tutorial here.
So, you will need:
Red table runner (size to suit your table - either ready made or one you've made yourself)
8 strips of calico fabric - 4 measuring approximately 47cm x 4cm and 4 measuring approximately 47cm x 6.5cm
Sewing machine, scissors, pins.
Press everything then turn in and press the long sides of the calico strips by approximately 1.5cm.
Identify the centre point of the runner and mark with pins on both top and bottom edges.
Measure 8cm out from the centre pins and place one of the wider strips onto the fabric. Pin all round.
Alternate between wide and narrow strips with a gap of 5cm between each, repeat on the other side of the centre pin (so you have 4 strips pinned down on each side,
Stitch each strip onto the fabric, 0.5cm from the edge - sew right around each one as a rectangle, backstitching at the start and finish.
Fold over the excess fabric, pin in place then stitch right through 1cm from the edge. Trim away any excess.
Then give the whole thing a good press and you've finished!
If you like a more rustic look, you could leave the long edges unfinished to fray, or stitch them on with a zigzag stitch. You might also like the idea of contrasting stitching to match the runner rather than the calico strips. I like the idea of making some matching napkins to go with this (and might do so if I manage to find some time before the big day!).
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