I bought a selection of pretty fabrics in Frome a while ago and have been unsure what to do with them. I had half an idea of trying a kind of 'cheat's patchwork' but in the end decided to have a go at sewing together simple alternating strips. I've got quite a bit of it - two sets of strips are waiting to make cushion covers for some bench seats - but I had enough left over to do something with and decided to make a padded, heat-proof table runner.
Here's how it went ...
... I first cut the fabric into strips of the same width, then sewed them all together, alternating the patterns, until I had a long piece like this. I turned the long edges in by 1cm and ironed in place.
I then cut out another piece of fabric (this time part of an old Ikea quilt cover) slightly larger than my strip of fabric - about 3cm larger all the way around.
(In retrospect I should have turned the ends of the strip in by 1cm too as this would have given an even border around the outside, but you live and learn!)
With the fabric right sides together, I matched the long edges together, pinned and stitched along them both, leaving a 1cm seam allowance.
I then stitched along one short edge, stopping before I got to the corners. I pulled the long pocket of fabric out the right way and pressed it flat - neatening the corners by folding them into a sort of mitre.
Then stitched them in place by hand, making sure I didn't stitch through the back too as I still had to insert some foam padding.
I had a strip of foam that was the padding in an old ironing board cover. (I don't throw much away!) So I cut this to fit inside what was now a long fabric pocket.
Once inside, I put a few pins across and down the runner to hold the foam in place.
Then I took a deep breath and started quilting through the whole lot with the machine, creating a simple wave pattern from one end to the other.
I'd never done this before so it was a bit wobbly at times but great fun and will certainly do the job of holding the layers together.
To neaten the look, I stitched closely to the inside edge of the border fabric. One end was still open so I trimmed up the foam, folded in the hems and stitched across to finish it off - doing the same to the corners as I had before.
Finally, ironed on both sides, the runner is ready to go!
My new motto is 'don't let lack of experience or skill stop you from having a go'!