Friday, September 9, 2011

Funky Peppermint Table Runner

I had originally intended to whip up this table runner in July, but September will do.  It's done before Christmas, that's the important thing.

The pattern for this project comes from Penny at Sew Take A Hike.  The "peppermints" are paper-pieced.

This time, wonder of wonders, I didn't have to re-watch the how-to-paper-piece video (though I thought about it).  I just sat and stared at everything for a few minutes and flipped things back and forth until it came back to me.  That's progress, I guess.

I traced the design onto regular wax paper.  I couldn't get a pen or pencil to work on the waxy surface, however, so I grabbed a good old-fashioned tracing wheel and used that to mark the lines.  Then, as an afterthought, I tried a Sharpie marker to number the sections, and wouldn't you know, that worked just fine and didn't smudge.  But I did like how the tracing wheel worked to make subtle perforated lines that were easy enough to follow.  

Wax paper is translucent, which makes things easier for this newbie, and tears away readily.  It's also inexpensive.  One downside is that it shrinks/wrinkles a bit if you press it with an iron, so I just finger-pressed the seams until the whole block was together, and then I went over everything with the iron.

I had a sewing machine wreck about halfway through making this.  I was winding the drop-in bobbin on my 1960s Singer when the bobbin, as well as the bobbin case, popped out, the needle jammed, and things came to a crashing halt.  It was really quite spectacular.  After I got everything unstuck and back in its rightful place, my machine started making a clattering sound as it sewed.  But it did sew, so I kept right on using it to finish this runner (which probably constitutes some kind of machine abuse, and certainly stubbornness on my part).  A day later, I sewed over something hard and broke a needle, and things got quieter once I replaced it.  So I'm not sure whether to take it into the repair shop for a once over, or simply carry on.  I'm leaning heavily toward the latter.  Call it denial.

The directions for this runner suggest flannel as a thin batting.  Instead, I used an interfacing-like material and doubled it.  Mistake.  Flannel is probably the way to go.  Mine turned out a little too poofy, although the quilting tamed it down some.

So, the Christmas table runner is done—but I'm not ready for snow and jingle bells just yet!


  1. That is so cute! Nice tips about the waxed paper and tracing wheel, too.

    I guess if you're going to have a wreck, it may as well be spectacular!

  2. So pretty Paulette:):) I love those prairie points wholeheartedly.

    Did you clean out some lint too maybe from your machine? That always helps too.

  3. Love the table runner .. I, too, would probably put off taking the machine in (however, I am always amazed how much better the machine works after it's been serviced).

  4. Your runner is gorgeous! Now I need to get to work on mine.... And probably when you broke the needle, something shifted inside the machine (maybe a piece of broken needle?) that was making the clattering sound and now it's ok! Hopefully - but if it starts again, take it in! It'd be a shame to kill the old girl!!

    Oh yeah - whoop whoop!!

  5. Whoop whoop, I like the runner. The fabric you used is darling. I can almost hear the sleigh bells.

  6. Sounds like you bent a needle. If the machine is working fine, I'd leave it too. How attuned are you to how it SHOULD sound? Certainly a lack of clicking or grinding is a good sign. :)

  7. I am really enjoying your creations and this one is no exception! You so inspire me.

  8. Your table runner is darling! And the prairie points are the perfect accent. Congrats on a wonderful finish!!

  9. Whoop! Whoop! I love that you just kept sewing regardless. That's bloody minded determination girl.

    Those prairie points are the perfect accent for the runner. The whole thing looks wonderful!

  10. I really like the blocks in your runner and the prairie points just set it off! Paper piecing is on my list of things to do. Thanks for the tips!

  11. Very cute! Just love the prairie point finish edge. Way to go P!!

  12. Are you kidding girl, I'm always ready for jingle bells!! ;)
    Very pretty table runner and festive! Your paper piecing looks awesome. I'm all thumbs when it comes to it. Just can't get it down. Thanks for sharing P.!

  13. That is just awesome! Those prairie points make it particularly festive. :-)


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