Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sports Team Patchwork Table Runner Tutorial

I have thoroughly been enjoying doing some sewing this year with sports team fabric! Remember my Dallas Cowboys table runner?

After that project, I decided to make another (slightly different, slightly better) runner for a housewarming party. Who doesn't love stuff with their favorite team on it?! I sewed this runner in about 3 afternoons and added a cute, melamine chip and dip platter to go with!

Here's how it's done...

1/2 yard each, 2 pattered fabrics
1 yard solid fabric for inner border (mine is white)
2 1/2 yards solid fabric for outer border and backing (mine is dark blue)
Sewing machine
Thread, pins, fabric scissors, etc
Water-soluble marker

Iron fabric, and start cutting the pattered fabric into 5 inch strips. Since it's only a half of a yard, you'll use it all with the strips. 

Pin patterned fabric strips together, right sides together, and sew. Be careful to make sure you pin the fabric pattern correctly together. You'll want to make sure the pattern faces the way you'd like it to, once it's sewn.

I wanted all my Gator fabric to face the same way, as seen below.

After sewing your 5 inch strips together, cut at 5 inch intervals. This will give you 5 inch blocks, of the two fabrics. We're getting there! 

Now, start piecing and sewing together the blocks, making a four-patch. 

Start sewing all the blocks together, to make one long strip. 

At this point, I realized that I wanted to add in a third row. I don't know of any quick tricks to do this, so I just sewed together the leftover 5 inch squares, alternating fabrics, to create a long third row. 

Then, I sewed the third row to my top two rows, completing the patchwork portion of the table runner. My runner is 16 blocks by 3 blocks, but you can always decide to make it a tad smaller.

Now it's time to add in the borders! 

Iron inner border fabric (mine is white), and cut 2 inch strips. Feel free to sew together the 2 inch strips to make really long strips.

Pin and sew the top and bottom borders, then the side borders.

Now we're ready for the backing fabric! Woot woot! Almost there!

At this point, my patchwork squares and inner border measure about 76" x 16.5" in total size.

You'll want to measure and cut the backing fabric about 2" larger on all sides. For me, that meant my blue backing was about 80" x 20.5" in total size.

Go ahead and pin the backing fabric to the inner border, all around, right sides together.

You'll notice that because the backing fabric is larger, the fabric will stand up a bit (see next two photos). This is so that when we sew, there will be an outer border on the front of the runner.

For sewing the corners, I've developed a technique that is difficult to explain. I've searched online for better tutorials, but no luck. Basically, you'll realize that you have extra fabric around the corners. Piece the corners together with the inner runner, and fold the excess backing fabric over. Sew over them as normal. This will allow your runner to have nice folded corners, when we turn it right-side out. You might have to play around with it, to get it just right.

Sew all around, leaving an 8 inch gap on one short side. Turn runner right-side out. Press entire runner.

Lastly, I would sew around the inner borders, just to stabilize the piece and make sure nothing moves over time and use.

And that's it! What do you think? This runner was quite large! My finished dimensions were 77" x 18".

Hope you like!

Happy sewing and happy football season!

 photo AEE9CDC010348191FC652CBA68E0D666_zps1c1578b9.png

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