Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rags to Riches Fall Table Runner and Napkins

Hello Everyone!
Life is seriously getting in the way of my Thanksgiving and my Thanksgiving blogs.  My plan for this post and the next post was to show you how to make a table runner out of flannel shirts and an old sheet along with the matching napkins and then to show you how to make a cornucopia out of bread stick dough along with two amazing cheese ball recipes. I was also going to show how awesome the table was going to look set with all the table decorations from the last few posts.  Only some of this is going to happen.

My husband went out to search for ingredients for my cornucopia and cheese balls.  He went to four different stores and could find no Pillsbury Bread Stick Dough canisters anywhere.  I went online and it looks like no one can find them.  I hate it when things you love are discontinued.  So, until I find a recipe that I like for bread sticks, my cornucopia will be on hold.  Which is a shame because it is an awesome way to impress your relatives and was going to be my center piece to show y'all.
I also realized that I am not going to be able to show you the set table because my table, along with my good china, is quarantined away in my pub/library.  (We are currently trying to get rid of moths in the pub/library, so we have all the doors taped and sealed while the poisonous vapors do their work.)
However, I am not one to back away from a challenge, so I have done my best to show you what the table would look like.
Here is a picture containing the napkins, napkin ring, candle holder, and table runner.  The plate that I used is my daily plates because my good china is currently trapped.  The burlap charger was my one big splurge for my table.  They cost $3.00 each at Hobby Lobby.

Flannel Napkins

I wanted to create an elegant table, but I also wanted it to be rustic.  I thought the best way to do that would be if I used flannel shirts in coordinating prints and colors to make napkins.  With the leftover scraps, I would decorate the table runner and I would have matching decor for my table.

2 flannel shirts (I did not have any old plaid shirts so I got mine from Goodwill for $3.00 each)
Sewing Machine (You can do the seams by hand, but it would take forever)

1.  Cut of the sleeves and collars of the shirt so that the fabric will lay flat.

I couldn't find two flannel shirts that had colors and prints that coordinated, but I did find this little flannel jumper and I made that work for me.
This is the jumper with all the seams and elastic cut away.
Flannel shirt with the collar and sleeves cut away.

2.  Lay down whatever you are using for your napkin pattern.  There are two distinct sizes in napkins.  14 inch and 18 inch.  I did not have enough fabric in my jumper to make a 18 inch, so I am making 14 inch napkins.  Fortunately for me, I have a napkin that size already and I used it for my pattern.  Because I was limited in the amount of material, I knew that I could not do a regular hem, which is when I decided that I would fringe the edges of my napkin.  Pin the pattern to you material and cut.  Be careful not to cut your pattern and make your lines as straight and even as possible.

3.  Remove the pattern from the fabric. Using a  sewing machine or hand stitching, sew around the edge leaving 5/8 of an inch going all the way around the fabric edges.  (If you do not want to do the fringe, make your napkin about one inch bigger on all sides and then hem the edges.

I tried to show that I am following the 5/8 line on my machine but I don't think that you can see it.
4.  After the edges are sewn, use your fingernails to lift the the threads going across up moving all the way down the edge.  This will help to loosen the threads.  Then start pulling the threads going across away from the vertical threads leaving the stitches you sewed as a guide.  I had to trim my cross threads every once in a while to make them easier to manage. Don't panic if it looks bad at first.  As you go along, it does get better.

It does not look pretty when you first start out.
But it gets better as you go along.
5.  Once you have the threads completely pulled, another stitch the edge again using a 5/8 stitch.  Repeat on all sided until the napkin is done.  

Repeat these steps until you have as many napkins as desired.

NOTE:  Keep the sleeves of the flannel shirt.  I am going to show another SUPER EASY project with those in the next few days.

You will now have leftover scraps from your shirt.  You will use these scraps to make the leaves for your table runner.

Falling Leaves Table Runner

This project is not hard, but it does take more time than most of the crafts that I have posted so far.

1 flat sheet
Flannel scraps
4 tea bags
Spray Craft Glue
Needle and Thread
Copper Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
Yard Stick
Leaf Template

1.  Take one flat white sheet and lay it flat.  My sheet was one that I had leftover from when I worked at a hotel.  Hotels will frequently throw away sheets when they are stained and can no longer be used for guest rooms.  I would keep some of these sheets and use them for various craft projects.  For this project, I chose a sheet that had white on white strips and was a little thicker than your average sheet.  Measure 25 inches and cut along the length of the sheet, leaving the length of the sheet the same.  (If you do not cut the length of the sheet, your two ends will be hemmed and that is less sewing that you have to do.)  Cut with scissors, being careful to cut a very straight line until you have a complete 25 inch wide length of fabric cut.

As you can see, I had already cut into this sheet to make something else.

The pets love to craft with mommy.

2.  My sheet was white, and I did not want it to be.  I wanted it to be more of a cream color.  So I decided to tea dye it.  If you have never tea dyed anything, tea dying is great if you want to antique a piece of cloth or subtly change the color to a slight brown or cream. 
Here are the steps to tea dye.
             A.  Put water in a large pot and add four tea bags.

You may have noticed that I have used a clothes pin to clip my tea bags to the pot.  This is so that I don't have to fish them out of the scalding hot water.
              B.  Let you tea steep until your liquid is a lovely rich brown color and then add your fabric.

              C.  Soak fabric for at least one hour.  If you wish it to be darker, steep it longer.

              D.  Once fabric has achieved desired color, remove fabric from pot and place in an ice bath.
                    Rinse the tea out, gently wringing with your hands.

On the top is a slice of the original sheet.  You can see how the color has darkened to a lovely cream color.
Ice bath.
                  E.  Place in washer and dryer and clean of any remaining tea.

2.  After you have tea dyed the sheet, hem the edges.  I folded my to 5/8 inch and ironed along the edge.  Then I folded to 5/8 inch and ironed again to create a double hem and to have a nice clean line running down my table runner.  (This is another area where having a striped sheet was very helpful.)

3.  Using a sewing machine or hand stitching, sew your hem using a 5/8 marker on the sewing machine.  (You can also use hemming tape.  I don't because I have a machine, but this is the best solution if you do not have a sewing machine.)
4.  Now you can decorate your table runner.  I used the scraps of flannel that I had left over from my napkins so that I would have a matching table setting as the material for my leaves. You can draw your own leaves, but why reinvent the wheel when Martha Stewart has already done it for you?
Below is the link for the Martha Steward Leaf Template:

Pin the templates to the fabric and cut out as many leaves as you desire for your table runner.  I cut out four each of the oak and redbud and decided that I would trace around the maple and paint the maple leaf.  (I did this because flannel is very thin and it very hard to cut around when you are using a pattern.  To do the maple was just more of a challenge than I felt like taking on.

5.  Once the leaves are cut, figure out the layout you would like for your table runner.  I decided that I wanted to keep it simple and just have the leaves run down the middle of the runner.

You may notice that the maple leaves are white.  This is because I have not yet traced around the leaves and painted them, but I wanted you to see the layout.

6.  When you know where you want the leaves, spray the back of the leaves with glue and stick to the runner.  This will help keep the leaves in place when you do your outline stitching.
7.  Using a contrasting thread from your material, stitch around the outside of the leaf leaving about 1 centimeter between the edge and the stitch.  
8.  Using three strands of embroidery floss, stitch the veins in your leaves.  I wanted to match the copper I planned on using for maple leaf, so I used a coppery orange embroidery floss for my veins.  (You can paint the veins in first and then stitch so that you have a guideline.)
9.  Repeat steps 7 and 8 for all of your fabric leaves.

Front View

Back view.
10.  Using a pencil, trace around the maple leave template.  Paint with copper acrylic paint.  I could not find copper fabric paint, but I know, from experience on my own clothes, that acrylic paint does not like to come out of fabric, so I decided to use it for my runner.
11.  When the paint is dry, use three strands of contrasting embroidery floss to make the leaf's veins.  I used a dark brown embroidery floss.
12.  Repeat steps 10 and 11 until all of your maple leaves are completed.

Put on your table and garnish with delicious plates of food!

Well, that's it for table decorations for Thanksgiving.  I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful and I will be back soon with some more holiday posts!

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