Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tutorial - the 20 minute table runner...

About two years ago I bought many yards of Robert Kaufman's Essex Linen to see what it was like.
I use a similar cotton & linen blend fabric for most of my stitcheries, something we call Hanky Linen in Australia (though it is more of a tea towel weight than a hanky weight), but there was a bit of buzz about Mr Kaufman's linen and my curiosity got the better of me so off went an online order and within a week a lovely parcel arrived from the USA.

It's lovely, truly, and I did stitch a few designs on it, but it is a closer weave than our Australian hanky linen and not quite as easy to embroider on, especially if like me you have some osteo-arthritis in the fingers.

So Mr Kaufman's linen blend has been sitting patiently in my large box of stitchery background fabric for quite a while waiting for me to find some good honest use for it. Like I said, it's LOVELY! 
But just not right for me and what I do for a living.

Until yesterday.

It occurred to me that the solid weight of the Essex Linen would be perfect for a non-quilted table runner, or even smart tea towels. In fact, it's kinda fancy when you think about it, and totally elegant if you choose the right fabrics for trimming.

One yard of the linen will make four of these table runners.

Shall we start?

Divide the yard of linen into four fat quarters, and let's begin with the first fat quarter.

(If you're using a different fabric I'd cut any size you think you'll need for your table, or of you need specifics try a piece of white fabric 18" x 22")

One end has a selvedge whilst the other three have raw edges. Think of that selvedge as one end of your table runner, and sew a doubled 1/4" hem down both sides of the fabric.

The opposite end of the selvedge side will still have a raw edge. 
Cut two co-ordinating strips of fabric 2 1/2" wide and one inch longer than the width of your table runner.
I chose some leftover jelly roll strips from my Tilda scrap box...

Lay one piece right side down along the wrong side of the raw edge end of your table runner. Sew the fabric and linen together with a 1/4" seam.

Press the fabric away from the linen.

Sew your second piece of fabric along the edge of your first and press the seams open.

Press a 1/4" hem along the edge of the second fabric, and down the sides of the two fabrics.

Fold the fabrics over to the right side of your linen and press.

Choose you machine threads carefully. My linen was white so I chose white thread for my bobbin.
My fabrics had a lot of aqua/green so I chose that colour for the top thread.
This meant the back of my table runner would be completely white when I finished it.

Sew a 1/4" line outside the edge of the runner and either side of the seam between the two fabrics. 

Cut a piece of cotton lace the same width as your table runner and position it just inside the top edge of the second fabric.

Carefully sew the lace and fabric hem to the linen runner.

Sew a single length of 2 1/2" wide fabric to the other end of the linen table runner, right side of the fabric to the wrong side of the runner (as you did in the beginning).

Fold a hem across the top of the fabric and down the sides. Press and fold over to the right side of the runner. Sew across the top and sides with a 1/4" seam.

Here's how it looks from the back. Nice and white because I used white thread in my bobbin.

I loved how this turned out...

...so I made another straight away!

You could use any fabric to make yourself one (or more) of these very simple and quick table runners, but I do love the clean lines of the white Essex linen in these two so I'm going to make more as Christmas gifts.

I think they'd be wonderful for fetes, Mothers Day, or a craft stall at the local market too, don't you?

I bought my Essex Linen at Fabric.com and it was about $9 a yard.
It comes in loads of colours so I may venture online and get some more in pastels...mmm.
Will I, won't I??? Decisions!

Mr E's Jeep has developed a severe case of 'car troubles' so here were are into the third of his four week holiday break and still no road trip. 
Parts are being flown in from Germany, the USA and Melbourne but are yet to reach Mr E.
That's why I'm blogging more than I thought I would be during October. We simply haven't gone away.

Praying they arrive tomorrow, or the next day...and then he'll spend time fixing the Jeep With No Name (first car Mr E's owned that he's not given a name) and if we're very blessed we could find ourselves hitting the highway, or a forgotten track in the Misty Mountains this time next week.
Like I said, we're praying. 



Christine B said...

What a lovely little gift this would make. Quick and easy to make.... thank you! Christine x

Anonymous said...


This is just LOVELY!

Thank you!!

You know some people love to peruse/read cookbooks, romance novels, play computer games...not me girl! lol I like to enjoy your web site with all its loveliness!!!

Marie said...

Comme j'aime ,rapide est trés joli,vous avez choisi de beaux tissus!
Merci pour ce tuto sympa.

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Windows 10 seems to be working well!
Things are looking great on this blog!
Thanks for the tips/links!

Take care,

Kiwifruit said...

Wonderful tablerunner Jenny!
Hopefully your husband Cannes fix the car and the things he need arrive quickly.
I can really recommend the Misty Mountains!
Greetings from Germany to down under

Jude said...

Thank you Jenny, your table runners beautiful and a great idea for gifts, needing to make up a 70 birthday parcel for special friend and your table runner tutorial arrived just in time and gives me ideas for selecting fabrics, could also use your idea for end of bed runner, also, and love the idea of matching kitchen accessories. Thank you for the inspiration and I hope you and Mr E get to go on a road trip before he returns to work. Will also be checking Fee's gift tutorials for birthdays and Christmas gifts. All the best, Judithann :-)

Unknown said...

The table runner is another example of your awesome creativity.

Brenda said...

Good Morning Jenny! You have written an excellent tutorial once again and filled my crafty quilt mind with the desire to create once again! Thank you for sharing this beautiful project with us. I hope that Mr. E's parts arrive quickly and that the repairs are quick and easy for Mr. E so that the two of you can enjoy a fun filled trip together! Have a fantastic creative day!

Baa. xxx said...

So lovely and pretty Jenny. And I have to say your tutorials are always so clear and I love them as they have both the written and the visual which means they are always so easy to follow. Praying for that Jeep. Maybe it is sulking.....Mr E should give it a name! Ha!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful idea. I have this in several colors that I bought for my crazy quilt project this year, and I'm pretty sure at least a couple of them will have pieces left over, plus I bought the white for embroidery. I do like your hanky linen better, but that's hard for me to get now that you aren't selling it. It works okay, though, and is what I've been using for the postcards. Thanks, too, for the heads up on Fee's blog. I haven't been there lately, so I need to drop by and see what she's been doing. Thank you for another great Christmas gift idea.

Águeda said...

Thank you very munch for the great tutorial. Have a blesseda day.

janice15 said...

This is lovely Jenny very pretty. Id like to make one of these.. Happy weekend with love Janice

Dani said...

Your runners are so beautiful! I'm inspired to make a couple myself. And I'm praying for you and your hubby. I hope the parts come in quickly and y'all get away for a bit.

RoseMary Baty-Willcox said...

Just Gorgeous!
But would to see them opened up. so I can understand
what I am seeing.

JES said...

Good morning! Just a little note to let you know that this post has been *** featured *** today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! Thank you for joining us and have a lovely week! :)