sew: shapely new years resolution

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New year resolutions are never really my thing. I'm the year-round gym-goer (I actually avoid the gym in January). I spring clean every weekend. I make time for drinks with friends weekly. I (now) have the perfect job and when I didn't, I was looking everyday. And I made the decision a long time ago that cooking will just need time.

But I will in fact take on a new resolution - one that incorporates those Pins, keeps me creative and maintains those friendships - committing to homemade birthday gifts to my family and friends this year!

The first project of 2014 was created in my head months ago and it was time to get it out. I love octagons and I wanted to create something that incorporated fabric, pattern and complexity. From the Silhouette, I cut the shape on heavy cardstock to use as a template (about 6" wide) and picked out 2 complementing fabric prints from my on-hand stash (spring cleaning all of the time).

Here are the supplies that I used for this project:
  • 1/4 yard of gingham red fabric
  • 1/4 yard of printed fabric
  • 1/2 yard of white fabric (you will need a long, full piece for the back side)
  • 1/2 yard Fairfield Fusi-Boo quilt batting (optional)
  • tools needed: template, cutting board, cutter, scissors, sewing machine, thread, iron
I cut 15 octagons of 1 print, 14 octagons of another print, and 2 pieces that were a little more than 1/2 of an octagon (see picture below). Obviously, I have an issue with control and the pattern went as such, but if you want longer and more prints, this project can be done a million different ways!

I laid out the pieces until my perfect pattern was created and started the sewing process, sewing each 'row' at a time. Important: press each row after sewing with an iron to create crisp edges.

Then sew the rows together. Patience is key here. Take your time to slowly sew each edge together and press your edges so that your fabric lays flat. You'll see after pressing if the edges were done incorrectly and you can fix the problem before it's too late.

After sewing all of your rows together, give it one final press and lay your patterned masterpiece out. Step back and admire. 

I used solid white fabric on the backside to keep it clean. Simply lay your finished top piece on the fabric and cut an identical outline of the solid fabric.

For this project, I'm going to cushion it a bit so that it can also serve as a buffer between a hot plate and a table. I used leftover Fairfield Fusi-Boo quilt batting from our t-shirt blanket project last year. Like the solid fabric, I followed the same pattern but left a 1/4 inch space between batting and fabric edge.

Put your batting to the side for later. Once all three pieces are cut and ready, I followed the pillow system: face the front of your patterned piece to the front of your solid piece so it's technically inside out. With a handful of pins, secure your two pieces together throughout the center of the fabric. Get to the sewing machine and start sewing those edges, leaving one straight edge open.

Before getting too excited to turn inside out, cut the points of each shape. Then go ahead and turn that baby right side out and use something sharp to make the points pointy. Then use your iron to flatten those edges to crispy heaven.

Now, you may prefer to leave your runner just the way it is without the batting, and you can close up the open edge (pillow style). Boom you're done. But if you prefer to use batting, this is the tough part (seriously) - get the batting inside the runner and line up the points in each of the octagons. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Once you wipe the sweat off your brow, follow the instructions on the batting package and steam/press the three pieces together. The beauty of this batting is that the heat just takes care of fusing the three pieces together, therefore saving you a late afternoon workout. Once all three pieces are connected for life, finish off the open edge (pillow style).

Done! Now I have a cute little table runner that can protect a table from hot takeout food or to add color to a Spring table. This project is going to a special friend for her Spring birthday!

1 comment:

  1. What a darling runner you made.

    I don't make resolutions because I am a "doer". My major goals for February were to make a new tabletop for our table - done, turn the guest room into a creative space for me - done, and have our patio redone - the workers arrive on Wednesday.

    January is almost done so you can get back to the gym.