The Last Minute Table Runner Tutorial (Using just one piece of fabric!)

Need a table runner? Do you need it right now? Well this is the tutorial for you. This is super quick and easy to make and involves just one piece of fabric. Perfect for that special occasion like Christmas, Halloween or Thanksgiving.

last minute table runner tutorial - quick and easy

To make this table runner you’ll need just one piece of fabric. We recommend a sturdier type of fabric, something like you would find in the furnishing section of your fabric store. Having said that however, we did successfully make one of these using quilting fabric, it’s just not going to be as sturdy, but hey, this is a last minute table runner and it will still look great on your table top.

How to Work Out the Fabric Size for your Table Runner

To work out what size that piece of fabric needs to be cut at, work out how wide and long you want the table runner to be. For example, in the video tutorial, we chose 15″ as the width and we decided to go with a length that pretty much measured the width of the fabric which was around 63″. So  we settled on a finished size of 15″ x 60″.

Once we have the measurements, we need to multiply the width by 2″ and add 1″ for the seam allowance.  For the length we just need to add a 1″.


Example 1:

Here are our calculations for a finished 15″ x 60″ table runner.

For the width – (15″ x 2) + 1″ = 31″

For the length – (60″ + 1″) = 61″

So now we need to cut our piece of fabric at 31″ x 61″.


Example 2:

Here’s another example for a 16″ x 40″ table runner

For the width – (16″ x 2) + 1″ = 33″

For the length – (40″ + 1″) = 41″

So we need to cut our piece of fabric at 33″ x 41″


  • Once your piece of fabric is cut, fold it in half with right sides together and sew along the long edge with a half inch seam.

last minute table runner tutorial

last minute table runner tutorial

  • Move the seam to the middle of the fabric tube and iron it open.

last minute table runner tutorial

  • If like us, your selvedges are still attached, now is the time to trim them off.

last minute table runner tutorial

  • Centre the open seam in the middle of the fabric. Just line it up your mat to find the half way mark or you can eyeball if you wish. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Pin and sew the edge with a half inch seam.

last minute table runner tutorial

  • Repeat the process for the opposite end but leave an opening of about 4″ to enable you to turn the table runner through.

last minute table runner tutorial

  • You can see how the opening will look in the image below.

last minute table runner tutorial

  • Clip each of the 4 corners taking care not to cut through the stitches. This will provide for sharper corners when you turn the table runner through.

last minute table runner tutorial

  • Reach into the opening and pull the fabric through.

last minute table runner

  • Iron the table runner.
  • Top stitch around the entire edge of the table runner with a quarter inch seam. This will seal the opening.
  • Top stitch a second stitch approx 1 ½” inches from the edge.
  • You can use decorative stitches if you prefer.

last minute table runner tutorial

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL

Quick & Easy Strip Placemat Tutorial Using Jelly roll Strips

We love ‘quick and easy’ sewing projects and this one certainly fits the bill. This placemat goes together with just a few strips of fabric (you can use jelly roll strips) and some backing fabric. This is a great one to use for special holidays like Halloween or Christmas by simply changing up the fabric.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

***Watch the video tutorial for this project at the end of this post***

What You Will Need

  • 6 strips fabric – 2 ½” x width of fabric (we used Moda Jelly Roll strips, but you could cut your own strips.
  • 2 strips for the sashing – 1 ½” x 12 ½”
  • 1 piece for backing – 19″ x 14 ½”
  • 1 piece of batting – 19″ x 14 ½”
  • 2 strips for binding – 2 ¼” x width of fabric

  • Take your 6 strips and sew them together using a 1/4″ seam.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Trim off the selvedges at one end.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Cut at 17″.
  • You will have enough in this sewn strip to create two placements so you can cut another 17″ section from your strip.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • From that 17″ piece, cut 4 ½” from one end and then another 4 ½” further from that cut.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Take the middle piece and flip it.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Now it’s time to add your sashing pieces. Simply sew each piece onto the rectangular pieces with a quarter inch seam.
  • Then sew all three pieces together.

  • Create your quilt sandwich, pin the quilt and quilt. Place your backing fabric face down, add your batting and then your quilt top face up.

  • We quilted the placemat using straight 1″ lines and we drew the sewing lines with a Frixion pen which disappears after ironing.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Once you have finished quilting, trim the edges and attach the binding.
  • You are done!

 

How to Machine Couch Without a Couching Foot

how to couch without a couching foot

Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch the video tutorial.

What is Couching?

Couching is a technique where you lay yarn, thread, ribbon etc on top of you fabric and stitch them in place with a zigzag or fancy stitch, either in a similar thread or a contrasting thread.

Couching adds interest and texture to your projects. I love playing around with different wools, threads, embroidery thread, lace, wool roving, and assorted cords to make my projects pop.

 

Do You Need a Special Couching Foot?

A specialized cording foot is great machine accessory if you love embellishing your fabric projects. But what if you don’t have a couching foot for your machine? Well that’s okay, you don’t need to have as special foot to do this.

What Can I Couch On?

  • You can couch on just about any type of fabric, always do a test first to make sure your machine can handle it.
  • If you are using quilting or lightweight fabric you will need to add a piece of batting or some sort of stabilizer to the back, otherwise the fabric will pucker and ruin the look of your piece.  If you are using denim, canvas or a heavyweight fabric you may not need to add stabilizer. But do make sure that you do a test piece to start with as you don’t want to ruin your project.

  • You can also add the backing if you are making a quilt or bag. The couching stitches will help to keep the quilt backing into place. If you don’t want to have the couching stitches show through on the backing piece, then leave it off until you have finished couching.
  • Some project’s won’t require a backing fabric but finer fabrics will always need stabilizer.

So What Do You Need?

  • An assortment of wool, cord, wool roving, ribbon, lace and even thin strips of fabric will work. In fact you can use just about anything that your machine will handle.  Make sure the wool is not too thick. Up to about an 8 ply works well. You need to be able to zigzag over the wool etc.
  • Check your machine’s manual to make sure you have the right foot attached. It needs to be the foot that you use for zigzag stitches.

What to do Next

  • Select the zigzag stitch on your machine.

  • Place the cord, wool etc on top of the fabric, have it extend about 2″ past the edge of the fabric.
  • Line the cord up with the centre of the foot.
  • Manually test the the zigzag stitch is going to go right over the cord and that the needle isn’t going to come down in the middle of the cord and split it. You can do this by turning the hand wheel on your machine. This will also ensure that your needle doesn’t hit the foot.
  • Adjust the length of the stitch to what appeals to you. Bear in mind that you don’t want it to be too narrow as it will totally flatten the cord, and we want it to be puffed up so that it sits nicely above the fabric.
  • Once you are happy with the stitch placement, sew down the length of the cord.

  • You can just sew straight lines or do some gentle curves.
  • Geometric lines look great as well.
  • You can even draw or trace a line drawing onto the fabric and couch around it.

couching, quilting, sewing,

So as you can see there are so many options to how you can add couching to make your projects look great.

Magic Pillowcase Tutorial (AKA Burrito Pillow/ Roll-Up Pillow)

magic-pillow-thumb-600

This is such a easy project with beautiful results. The Magic Pillowcase is made with a unique process  that results in a  professional looking finish with no seams showing, especially if you follow along with us as we sew  it together using a french seam.

Watch the VIDEO TUTORIAL at the end of this video.

What You Will Need

  • Main fabric – 1 piece at 27″ by the width of fabric
  • Cuff fabric – 1 piece at 9″ by the width of fabric
  • Trim fabric – 1 piece at 2 ½” by the width of fabric (you can adjust the trim size to suit you)

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Start by folding the trim piece in half lengthwise and iron to form a crease.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Open up each fabric to the full length and lay on a table.
  • Place the cuff piece on the bottom with the pattern side facing up.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Place the main piece face up on top of the cuff piece.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Place the trim piece on top of the main piece.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Pin all three pieces together. Pin from the top as this will make it easier in the following steps.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Now roll up the main fabric from the bottom.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Keep rolling until you get close to the trim. Don’t go over the trim though, we don’t want the main piece to get caught up in our seam later.
  • You should see your cuff piece appear.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Lift the cuff piece and bring it up and over the rolled fabric until it meets the top of the trim piece.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Remove each pin and repin to take into account the cuff piece.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • All the layers should now be pinned together.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Now you need to sew down the sandwiched fabrics with a ¼” seam (as per the  red marks in the image below)

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Once sewn, grab the main fabric from the middle of the tube and start pulling it through.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • It should open out into one single piece with the trim and cuff sewn in.
  • Iron this to form a nice crease along the cuff.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Fold the fabric in half lengthwise.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • At one end, line up all of the selvages and pin to keep in place. We will be trimming this side eventually but not just yet. Just pin it for the moment.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • At the other end, trim the excess to ensure that all three fabrics line up.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Return to the other end, and trim that as well. You will only need to trim enough to remove the selvages.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Now that both sides are trimmed we can sew up the sides.
  • You have a number of options here. You can:
    • sew with a regular 1/4″ seam and zigzag around the edge to prevent fraying
    • use your serger/overlocker to create a serged edge around the pillow
    • sew using a french seam – that’s what we will be doing with ours
  • To create a french seam, fold the pillow over with the pattern side facing outwards.
  • Sew along the seam line with a 1/4″ seam as shown by the white lines in the image below. You don’t need to sew all the way around the pillowcase – just the one side and the bottom.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Once you have sewn the edges, it’s a good idea to trim them a little. This will help with the next step as it will ensure when you sew the next 1/4″ seam, that this seam is encased in the outer seam.  Okay, that may not make sense now, but it will when you get to the next step.
  • So trim down the seams that you just created using about a 1/16″, or maybe a little more. You need to do that for both the bottom and side seam.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Turn the pillowcase inside out.
  • You should be able to feel the seams on the inside of the pillow case.
  • Roll those seams with your fingers so that they are smooth and iron down around the entire edge of the pillow.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Now you need to sew around the side and bottom edge of the pillow. This will encase the seam that is still showing on the outside of the pillow case.

magic-pillow-case-tutorial

  • Turn the pillowcase through and you are done!

magic-pillow-26

 

 

Fabric Journal, Book Cover Tutorial

journal-cover-thumb-600
These covers are so handy for keeping your journals and your favourite soft covered books nice and clean.

The instructions are suitable for any sized journal or book,

What You Need.

  • Journal or book – at least one cover needs to be flexible. You may have trouble trying to put a hard covered book into the cover.
  • Tape Measure
  • Batting
  • Fabric for Lining
  • Fabric for Cover
  • Fabric for Flaps
  • Ribbon – two  lengths.

journal-cover-1

  • Measure the journal from the edge of one cover, right around the spine of the journal and ending at the edfe of the other cover.
  • Write this measurement down and add 1″ to the measurement.

journal-cover-2

  • My cover measures 12 7/8″ so I will add an inch and my material will measure 13 7/8″.

journal-cover-3

  • Measure the cover from the top edge to the bottom edge.
  • Write this measurement down and add 1″ to the measurement.
  • My cover measure 8 3/8″ so I will add an inch and my material will measure 9 3/8″

journal-cover-4

  • Cut your fabric for the  front, lining, the flaps and the batting to the measurements you have written down.
  • I have cut all my pieces to 13 7/8″ x 9 3/8″.

journal-cover-5

  • Take the fabric for the flaps and cut in half.
  • Fold each piece in half and press.journal-cover-6
  • On the folded edge, sew 1/16″ in from the fold.
  • Sew 1/2″ from the line you just sewed. You can make this as big or as small as you like, or you can even omit this step altogether,  it is only decorative and it does give a nice finish to the flaps.

journal-cover-7

  • Take your cover fabric and fold in half across the the width.
  • Just finger press.
  • Alternatively you can measure the half way mark and draw a line.  We  simply want the half way mark so that we can line our ribbons up along this line.

journal-cover-8

  • Line up one piece of ribbon with one edge of the fabric
  • Lay it along the line and pin.
  • Sew the ribbon onto the fabric, just in from the edge, along both sides.

journal-cover-9

  • Lay the second piece of ribbon along the line
  • Sew the ribbon onto the fabric, just in from the edge, along both sides.
  • Press.

journal-cover-10

  • Press the ribbons back over themselves and pin. This is just to make sure the ribbons stay lined up and don’t move while we assemble the piece.
  • Don’t pin too close to the edge.

journal-cover-11

  • Lay the batting on the table.
  • Lay the lining, right side UP, on top of the batting.

journal-cover-12

  • Lay the flaps on each side making sure that the open pieces are facing out to the edge. We want the folded edge facing into the centre of the piece.

fabric-journal-cover

  • Lay the cover piece on top, right side DOWN, making sure the ribbons are gathered into the centre well away from the edges.
  • Pin everything in place making sure everything is even around the edges, and that you catch in the edges of flap pieces.

journal-cover-14

  • Sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam leaving a gap of approx. 4″ on the bottom edge. This is so we can turn the cover through to the right side once it has been sewn.

fabric-journal-cover

  • Turn the cover through just to make sure that all the fabric and that none of the ribbon has been caught into the seams.
  • Turn the cover back to the wrong side  and trim the corners. Also trim away some of the bulk at the corners.

fabric-journal-cover

  • Turn the cover back to the right side.
  • Push out the corners.
  • Turn under the seam allowance at the opening and press everything, taking care with the opening to make sure it’s pressed down nice and neat.

fabrcicjournal-cover

  • Topstitch 1/16″ around the outer edge to close the opening and to finish off the cover.
  • If you have too much bulk in the corners, just lift the foot a little at the start of the corner until the machine gets going.

fabric-journal-cover

  • Put your journal into the cover and decide how you want the ribbons to look.
  • You can cut them short and just tie them at the edges, Or you can wrap them around the book, bringing both ribbons to the front, cutting them to the same length and then cutting a V in the edge of each ribbon to finish it off.

fabric-journal-cover

You can watch the video here: