A table runner has a dual function. You can use it to help protect your table when hot dishes are placed on it, but it can also serve as a focus point in your room. Here are instructions to make a basic runner followed by some ideas if you want a more decorative style.
MAKE IT PLAIN
Suggested cloth – IL 019
To find the amount of linen you will need measure the length of your table adding on a drop at either end. Then decide how wide you want your runner to be. To both of these measurements add ½” (1.5cm) seam allowances. You will need two strips of cloth.
As an approximate guide a table measuring 58”(148cm) x 44”(112cm) would need 2 pieces of linen each 78” (198cm) x 15”(38cm). This allows for a 10” (26cm) drop at either end. To all measurements add seam allowances.
You will also need
Squared or graph paper.
Steps To Prepare
1. Make a pattern by cutting the entire runner in paper. Decide how deep you want your pointed ends to be, then draw them on each end of your paper pattern and cut it out.
2. Place the pattern on your two strips of linen and cut them out.
Steps To Sew
1. With right sides together pin the two strips together.
2. Now baste the edges together so they won’t slip while you are sewing.
3. Sew around the runner making sure you leave a 10”(26cm) opening along one of the sides (diagram 1).
4. Trim the fabric close to the stitching making sure you include the pointed ends.
5. Turn the runner to the right side through the opening. Carefully press the seam allowance on the opening to the inside and slipstitch the edges together.
6. Press the runner firmly so the surface is smooth and even. Then finish with topstitching. To do this, first set your machine to a slightly longer stitch. Then take a piece of tailors chalk and mark your stitching line ½” (1.5cm) from the finished outer edge.
7. Following the chalk line complete the topstitching. You can choose to do this in a contrasting colour if you like and match it with your tassels.
8. Finish by sewing a tassel to each pointed end.
MAKE IT FANCY
Stitch lengths of ribbon along your runner and finish the ends with a bow for a decorative finish.
Follow above instructions for Materials ( omit the tassels) and Steps to Prepare. You will also need lengths of ribbon.
Steps To Sew
1. Collect together lengths of co-ordinating ribbon no wider than ½” (1.5cm),
use an electic combination of spots, ginghams and plains.
2. Take one of the runner pieces and on the right side mark lines with tailors chalk the entire length and an equal distance apart.
3. Take one piece of ribbon and place over a chalk line and pin in place.
4. Set your machine to zig-zag stitch and working slowly, machine along the centre of each piece of ribbon to hold it in place. Continue with remaining ribbon strips (diagram 2).
5. When all the ribbons are in place press. Continue making the runner as shown above.
6. When it comes to the pointed ends use pieces of 1” (3cm) wide ribbon 27” (68cm) long. Stitch the centre of each strip to the ends and finish by making a bow
Using appliqué is one of the best ways to add colour contrast to a plain strip of material. Here we’ve used overlapping circles of different coloured linen as a central decoration for the runner. Co-ordinate the circles of colour to the scheme you’ve chosen in your room for visual impact.
Follow instructions given for Materials and Steps to Prepare. You will also need fusible interfacing and small pieces of differently coloured linen.
1. Using a cup or glass cut a circular template using stiff card with a 3 ½”(9cm) diameter.
2. Place the template on your pieces of linen and cut out at least ten shapes.
3. Then, cut out the same amount of circles in fusible interfacing and iron them to the wrong side of your shapes.
4. Take one of the runner pieces and mark the centre. Working 4”(10cm) away from this centre point place your linen pieces in a circle overlapping them as you go. Arrange the appliqué pieces in a design that you like.
5. Now pin the circles in place then follow this by basting each one in position (diag 3).
6. On a scrap of spare material practice your machine appliqué. Set your machine on a zig-zag and stitch round the circle. Once you feel confident stitch all the circles on the runner in place.
7. Finish the runner as described above and sew tassels on each end to finish.
To get the end of your runner to produce a perfect point, first turn it to the right side. Then gently pull out the point by using a pin. Never be tempted to use scissors to push points out as you are very likely to make a hole or rip your work.