Monday, March 4, 2013

Dining Room Table Runners

I finally finished sewing the dining room table runners! It's taken days because working with the linen was really frustrating, so on this particular project I became really distractible. Anything—even laundry and dishes—seemed more fun than finishing these runners.
It seemed like it took forever to cut them out, because I was being anal careful to make sure they were nice and "square." I even pulled threads to make sure the edge was nice and straight, which was not easy since this particular linen is fairly nubby and the threads kept breaking.
And I was frustrated when after "cutting" out the first runner for the dining room table, it turned out to be 2-inches too short. I don't know how that happened . . . I was being so careful with my measuring. (Too much thread pulling?) So, I had to make a second. (That linen strip will not go to waste—it will be used elsewhere.)

Then I needed to iron what felt like a mile of edges to turn them to make the mitered corners. There was a lot of scorching of fingers as I measured and held down the fabric the right amount and then set down the steamy iron next to my fingers.

This was a bit of a learning process. I got better at the mitered corners and the final hemming as I went along. Maybe I should have started on the dresser runners first, because they won't get seen as closely, but the dining room runners happened to be at the top of the pile.
As shown in the photo, I deliberately made these runners a bit shorter than the store-bought ones; I wanted to make sure they cleared the tops of the chairs as I don't like getting tangled up in table coverings when I'm getting up from the table. The stencil does still fit on that short overhang.

But, now that I've learned what a hassle these are to make, I don't think I want to apply my not-so-smoothly-cut stencil. I might need to hold out for the stencil cutting machine, since I'll probably end up buying one. And I have now exhausted my linen supply so if I need to make a new set for some reason, I'd have to buy more of this matching linen.

So, after posting this post, it occurred to me that if I wanted to be able to use these with a family gathering, I would have to make a longer one for when the table had the leaves in it. So, there you go, I'll have to make another long one and perhaps another short one. I am going to have to buy more linen the next time it goes on sale. Hopefully, with my newfound skills, I'll be able to whip it out a bit more quickly and less grumpily next time. =)