fabric project, home decor, sewing, Uncategorized

Autumnal Table Runner

With the fall season approaching, I’d decided to create an autumnal tablescape for my sofa table. Since June I’d been thrifting, something I’d never done much of before, looking for pretty and elegant items to coordinate with things I already had.

What I didn’t have was a table runner. My first thought was ‘What could I make using what I have?’, then remembering I’d stashed a narrow piece of white Essex Linen leftover from making napkins. Perfect!

While the piece was WOF, it wasn’t long enough to drape over the table ends, so I trimmed the fabric to 9 1/2″ wide by 34 1/2″ long giving nice coverage for my table that measures 11 1/2″by 38 1/2″.

I planned to hem and top-stitch, but after pinning one side it was apparent that it’d be too bulky so I left the edges flat and ran a zigzag stitch all the way around, giving it a bit of a rustic look.

Since the linen was white and not fall-like, I decided to tea dye it. This wasn’t something I’d ever tried before but it was so easy and rather fun! I quickly found a YouTube video with all the info I needed.

Because the runner is a bigger piece of fabric, I doubled the recipe for dyeing: 5-6 tea bags to 2 cups of boiling water (this doubled, using black tea). If you’ve never tea dyed before, just boil the water, add the tea and let it set for 15 min. Remove the tea bags and place your item in the bowl, making sure it’s covered. Allow it set for at least 15 minutes, or until the desired color is achieved. I soaked mine for 2 hours, occasionally turning the fabric. NOTE: Tea dyeing works with natural fibers only.

Once it’s the color you want, remove and rinse with cold water. I gently rolled mine in a towel to remove the excess water. After unrolling and smoothing it flat, I placed it in the sun until dry.

On the first day of autumn I set up everything and am really pleased. 🙂 It’s a lovely display for fall and will do nicely through Thanksgiving.

This is a great way to give your space some seasonal vibes, and if you’re a thrifter, it’s fun to go on the hunt for just the right things.

fabric project, how to, Uncategorized

Fun Rag Wreath Projects

When we quilters make a quilt we also create a lot scraps—it’s seems to be a never ending cycle. Other than making scrappy quilts, there’s always the question of what to do with scraps, especially if they’re not very wide. While scrolling Pinterest, I found the answer—a rag wreath.

Not only are they pretty, they’re easy and fun, and they use up a lot of scraps! What I especially like about this project is anything goes…from the wreath size to the color scheme. There are plenty of options, too. You can make it all one color, make one for a particular holiday or season or create a completely scrappy one using what’s on hand.

To get started, choose a wreath frame (one with 4 wires) and gather scraps.

Because I’d never made one before, I needed to know what else was involved so I watched a few YouTube videos. After that, I decided on the 12″ size because making an 18″ wreath would have required more strips than I had and I didn’t want to create even more scraps. 😉 Also, 12″ would be better suited for a 30″ interior door.

I purchased the frame at Michael’s for $3.99 + tax. Through videos I found others went to the dollar store and got theirs for a dollar!

YouTube makers offered different suggestions on strip size. I opted for 1 1/4″ wide by 8″ long.

They also showed various methods of tying on the strips. I decided to go with the most popular way that’ll give the fullest wreath. Here’s how: tie one strip into a knot over two pieces of metal, tying on one side, then the opposite, then tying one in the middle. This process continues within each frame section.

Here’s what the back looks like.

Mine has several different fabrics (from quilts made long ago) giving it plenty of color.

All in all, I’d say it took me the better part of a day to make this from start to finish. And how many strips did it take you ask? 190. That’s a lot of strips!

Since I enjoyed this project, I decided to make a larger one in red, white and blue for the summer holidays. This time I went to the Dollar Tree and purchased a 14″ frame for $1.25. 🙂

I cut my strips from left over fat quarters, 2 1/2″ strips and yardage. Because I was using only two colors that had prints, I opted for at least 6 different kinds from the red and blue fabrics. I used all solids for the white. I think it ended up with a nice variety without too much repeat. This wreath was a bit larger than the other; totaling 232 strips!

I enjoyed watching these wreaths come together, and it was a pretty relaxing project to do. It’d also be a good one to take on the go. If you’re ever in need of a fun, handmade gift, I think a recipient favorite-colored wreath would be an excellent choice.