First strip completed!
Repeat sewing and flipping (and ironing) steps from Part 1 to add each subsequent strip.
Verify the design is straight by checking after completing each strip that the square point aligns with the crease on the foundation fabric as shown in Photo 2.
Speed Sewing: “Railroad” the sewing of the squares to the rectangles as shown in Photo 3. Line up the square/rectangle sets and sew them all at once (Saves time – and thread!)
After the first strip, each square is sewn to the next darker color rectangle.
In no time at all, all the strips will be sewn to the foundation fabric…
FOUNDATION FABRIC DISCUSSION:
Why use a foundation fabric? When sewing fabric on point (at a angle), the fabric is “on the bias”. Fabric on the bias stretches. Bias fabrics the length of the table runner tends to stretch oddly and deform! The foundation fabric is “on the straight grain” and will help keep the design straight and true!
Step 5: Preparing Design for Borders
Lay the design portion flat on a large table or the floor.
Admire your work!
Love the colors and how they seem to blend across the length of the runner!
Using a less than 1/4″ seam allowance, sew across the opened edge of the last strip to secure it to the foundation fabric.
Please note that my foundation fabric is narrower than the suggested 24″ width. My mistake. I got carried away with the ripping!
Warning: Fractions ahead! Skip down to Math Free Version if you like. It is really only a 1/4″ or so difference.
Lay a ruler across design as shown in Photos 4 and 6. Place the upper edge through the points of the squares. The outer point of the center square will be at some measurement (round off). On mine, the measurement is 5 5/8″.
Verify that the point on the other side of the square is the same distance.
Add your pressure foot seam allowance (3/8ths” is what I rounded mine to) to that measurement.
The resulting measurement should be in the neighborhood of 6″. But will vary SLIGHTLY depending on what your pressure foot seam allowance is.
Math Free Version: If all these fractions are making your head hurt, just use a distance of 6″ from the center points of the squares. The 1/8″ and 1/16″ measurements are not all that important – and certainly not worth getting a headache over!
Draw a line at that measurement across all the strips. I have a great fabric marker that fades within 24 hours of use, but since I could not find it, I used a colored pencil. The line will not show, so most any fine tipped writing utensil will work – but I would recommend against permanent markers.
This is not a seam line mark, it is where the edge of the border fabric will line up – so it will not show.
Measure the length of this line (round up to the next inch) and write it down on a small sheet of paper and pin that paper to your ironing board. If ten fabrics are used the measurement should be in the neighborhood of 46″ – 50″. More fabrics would result in a longer measurement.
Step 6: The Inner Border
Using a rotary cutter, cuts 1.5″ strips of one of the lighter fabrics. Four of the strips should be approx. 8″ – 9″ long. Two other should be 4″ longer than the length written on that sheet of paper pinned to your ironing board.
As seen in Photo 7, Stash fabrics may not be quote long enough for the longer strips.
No problem: Piecing the border is simple.
Lay two pieces together at a right angle (a corner of an index card will help ensure the right angle) and sew from corner to corner.
Trim seam allowance and iron open.
If the angle thing is troubling, just sew the pieces together straight across. I could never discern why piecing required an angled seam – one of those questions that was always answered with “Because it does!”.
Sew the shorter border pieces to the edges of the last dark strips – as if the border pieces were just another set of strips – just without the squares!
Flip and iron (but you already knew that).
Align long border piece edge to line drawn on strips and sew through all layers using pressure foot edge to define seam allowance (See Photo 9).
Flip and iron.
There are options at this point.
If the strips “shadow” through the border fabric – and that is not satisfactory – follow these next steps.
If the border fabric is dense enough to prevent shadowing skip down to Section 7.
To prevent shadowing, the excess strip fabric will be trimmed away. Flip right side of border fabric back against the design (the same way it was when you sewed the seam – before you flipped and ironed it). Use the edge of the border fabric as a guide, rotary cut through all layers.
This will trim the foundation fabric as well, so another foundation fabric will have to be added.
No problem. Sheets are plenty wide. Rip another 26″ – 30″ wide by 80″ piece of old sheet/tablecloth/fabric.
Crease center lines as done with first foundation fabric.
Lay foundation fabric flat and place design piece on top – right side up. Carefully align center square points with creases. Pin center square. Smooth outward from center, pinning every 4″ – 6″. Continue smoothing and pinning until the entire design is pinned to the second foundation fabric.
Starting from the center square points, sew just outside the border seam through all layers.
Step 7: Outer Border
Using Rotary Cutter, cut 5″ strips of the fabric chosen for the outer border. Four of these should be approx. 9″ – 10″ long. Two others should be 10″ longer than the number written on the little piece of paper pinned to your ironing board.
The longer strips can be pieced the same way the inner borders were.
Also cut two 5″ squares from the darkest fabric.
Sew the strips and squares as if they were another set of squares and rectangles in the design portion. Flip and iron.
Align the long edges of the inner and outer borders and sew through all layers.
Flip and iron.
Lay the table runner flat.
Admire your work.
Love the colors!
The piecing is complete!