August 20, 2019

A Fruity Table Runner



Nothing says summer like bright colors, fresh flowers, and fruit off the tree. This Sew Fruity collection by Michael Miller fabrics captures that summer feeling perfectly. With its bright colors and fruity motifs, this fabric screams summertime and picnics, which is exactly what I had in mind when I made this table runner.

Table runners, pillows, and other small projects are a great way to get your feet wet when it comes to quilting. Making larger quilts is a big investment of time and money, which can intimidate some beginner sewists. For this project, all you need is small cuts of fabric, some backing fabric, batting, and a little knowledge of basic quilting techniques (how to use a rotary cutter, how to sew a straight line, etc.). If you can master all of that, keep reading and I'll tell you how to whip up a cute and easy table runner like this one!

Supplies Needed

  • 1/4 yard cuts of several different fabrics (or fat quarters)
  • 1/4 yard of binding fabric
  • 1 yard of backing fabric (or more depending on how big you want your runner)
  • Batting (if you are going to buy some, buy the Craft size or crib size package)

Sewing Instructions

  • Determine how big you want your runner. If you want to keep your investment small, consider making one that only requires 1 yard of backing fabric, make your runner 42" long or less. A yard of fabric measures approximately 36" x 42". 
  • This runner will be made of rows of 5 1/2" squares. Divide the length of your runner by 5 to get the number of rows you will need. Multiply that number by 4 since each row will have 4 squares. That will tell you how many squares you need to cut.
    • FOR EXAMPLE: To make a runner 40" long by 20" wide:
      • 40" / 5" = 8    (For this example you will need 8 rows)
      • Each row has 4 squares so...
        • 8 rows X 4 squares = 32 squares total
      • Cut the yard of backing fabric into a 22" x 42" rectangle
      • Cut the batting a little smaller than the backing but a little larger than the top. In this case cut it approximately 21" x 41".
  • If using 1/4 yard cuts, cut the fabric into 5 1/2" strips x WOF (width of fabric)
    • Subcut the 5 1/2" strip into 5 1/2" squares
  • If using fat quarters, cut 5 1/2" x 21" strips and subcut into 5 1/2" squares
  • Sew the squares together in pairs. Sew two sets of these pairs together to give you a row of four squares. Make as many as desired for the length you want. For the above example, sew 8 strips of 4 squares each. 
  • Whew! Stand back and admire your work:
  • Arrange your rows in a way that makes you happy. Press the seams of each row in the same direction. Press the seams of the next row in the opposite direction.
  • Place the two rows right sides together, nesting the seams. Pin at each seam.
    • What does it mean to nest seams? When you press the seams in opposite directions as above, you can butt them up next to each other on the right side. This ensures nice sharp points when you sew them together.

  • Press the seams of the rows open as shown below:
  • Sew your rows together and again stand back and admire your work:
  • Place your backing fabric face down on a flat surface (I use the floor!). Place your batting on top of that, then place your patchwork runner face up on top of the batting.
  • Baste in place. For this project I used basting spray by ThermOWeb. I love it! It's much quicker than pinning, and it works great for small projects like this one!
  • Take your runner to your machine and quilt as desired! I quilted diagonal lines from the square corners. I did not mark my lines, I just went for it! I set my stitch length to about 3 and used the walking foot for my Janome Skyline S7. I love this machine!
  • After I finished quilting it, I trimmed off the excess batting and backing fabric.
  • I cut my binding fabric into 2.25" strips and sewed them together to make my binding. I machine stitched it in place (I almost always hand-sew my binding, but because this is a table runner, I thought machine stitching might be more durable in the wash). I'm sorry I don't have a tutorial for the binding, but they are easy to find online!

  • After I finished the table runner, I used the border print from this fabric to make some tea towels as well. I love how the white of the border fabric pops against all the colors in the runner!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Happy sewing friends!
-Stephanie-



August 10, 2019

Renaissance Fabric: Inspiring New Projects



It's funny how the fabric can inspire the project. Sometimes when I have fabrics in my hand, I just know what they were meant for. Rarely do I buy fabrics for a specific project. More often I buy them, look at them, play with them, and then come up with something to showcase the prints and how I feel they can best be used. Some fabrics look great in quilts, some fabrics are meant for home decor, and some fabrics, like these, scream "make me into something pretty." So, that's just what I did.


Renaissance fabric is a new line by Michael Miller Fabrics, releasing to stores this month! When Susan from MMF asked if one of us Brand Ambassadors would do a feature on these fabrics this month, I gladly accepted. I knew exactly what these fabrics were meant for.

A few years ago I discovered a talented designer named Carla. I fell in love with her cute but useful patterns (and her absolutely perfect sewing!). She had a pattern for sale in her Craftsy shop at the time for a Ruffled Wristlet. I bought it and made a few...or a dozen...I loved making them for me, for gifts, and for different occasions. They are quick and easy and look much more complicated than they actually are to make. Which is a good thing, right? When I got my shipment of Renaissance, I wasted no time deciding what to make with them. I got out my pattern from Carla and started sewing.




I added stylish metal zippers and leather "Handmade" tags to add just a little extra something. And then for even something more, I made bow scrunchies with some of the scraps! (I grew up in the 90's. Super excited about the return of the scrunchie! Slouch socks and tight rolled jeans? I hope THEY never make a comeback!). Anyway, if you've never made a scrunchie you should totally do it. Super easy and fun. And the bow just adds a little extra fun.


I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to work with fabrics that are a little out of my norm. They inspired me to make something new (the scrunchie!) and to make something for myself that just makes me feel special. Thank you Michael Miller designs for the opportunity to work with you and for creating such beautiful fabrics!



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