Sunday, September 15, 2013

Burlap Table Runner

A friend and co-worker asked if I'd make a burlap table runner for her new farmhouse table.
I immediately said, "YES!" as I've been looking for a new project, and this one is definitely right up my alley.  She sent me a picture of what she wanted, and based on the picture she and I selected the fabrics and the amount of each to purchase: 3 yards of burlap and 1/2 yard of muslin.
Michelle's table is 7 feet long; the runner would run the length of the table with 6 inches overhang on each end.  Just look at this table! What a fabulous inspiration!

Michelle delivered the materials to me and I could hardly wait to get started.  Because I wasn't making the runner at Michelle's house, I wasn't able to reference the table.  Michelle and I talked about the details of the project: finished edges or frayed?  2 ruffles or 3?  15 or 18 inches wide?  We finally decided to go with an 8-foot, 4-inch-long by 15-inch-wide runner with finished edges and 2 muslin ruffles on each end.  

I cut the length of the burlap to 8 feet, 4 inches.  Then cut the width to 17 inches.  One thing I love about burlap is that you can get a consistent width by pulling the threads until one comes out the complete length of the fabric.  You can then be confident that the fabric is straight and even.

A very narrow zig-zag was stitched along all raw edges to lock the weave in place.  

I then folded the reinforced raw edges of each side over 1 inch, pressed with a steam iron, and sewed in place.

With the runner basically finished, it was time to start on the ruffles.  I began by tearing the end of the fabric to get a truly straight edge.  You can't rely on the cut of the fabric from the store to be straight. 

Once I had a truly straight edge, I measured, and tore 5-inch strips.  I then cut them to twice the width of the runner with 4 additional inches to allow for the ruffle to wrap 1 inch over each side of the runner.

I roll-hemmed one length and both sides of each of the 4 ruffle strips.

I then gathered the strips and attached them to the runner.
When I sew the double row of baste stitches to make the gathers, I use contrasting thread.  The contrast makes it easier to remove the gather stitches when the ruffle is done. 

I added the second row of ruffles about 1 1/2 inches above the first.

Once in place, I folded both ruffles over the stitches and ironed in place.

I just had to see what the finished runner looked like on my own table.  It looks nice but...

on Michelle's table it's simply smashing!  

Finished with a blue Ball jar and daisies, the burlap table runner has found its niche in Michelle's country chic dining room.

Photos by Paulette Rodriguez and Michelle Harvey.

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