I had another hair-brained idea to use sliver strips and scraps. I thought it would be fun to create a “canvas” for a new out-of-the-box applique idea and make a quick Thanksgiving table runner.
I gathered up a bunch of rust and plum fabrics, these are mostly small amounts left over from other projects. I cut random-sized strips ranging from 1¼” wide to 2” wide, all of them WOF or selvage to selvage.
I opened the strips to a single layer and cut the right end off at a 60-degree angle using the Creative Grids Large 60-degree Diamond Ruler. I staggered the ends, as shown, and pieced two strip sets together with as many strips as it took to get the whole strip set to measure 8½” wide.
Using the triangle lines on the ruler, align the bottom edge of the strip set with the 8½” dashed line and the flat tip of the ruler with the top edge of the strip. Cut the first 8½” triangle like this, then rotate the ruler 180 degrees to make the next cut. You should get eight triangle cuts from each strip set for a total of sixteen (you will only need 14).
Arrange the triangle cuts, as shown, with six in the middle creating a complete hexagon, and each end being made up of four more. The random size of the strips gives the table runner an improv scrappy look without fussing about matching seams.
Sew the triangles together into two rows: a top row, and a bottom row. Then, sew one final seam down the middle. Press all seams open for the flattest results.
Okay, now for the crazy part. I bought a few spriggs of those fake silk flowers with pretty fall-looking leaves on the stems. I peeled the leaves off their plastic stems and pressed them out flat. You have to use a steam iron so the leaves won’t melt or shrivel.
Off to the longarm! I quilted up the table runner using my favorite ¼” lines and scattered the freshly pressed leaves around to give it a tossed random look. You could use a strip or two of Steam a Seam to hold each leaf in place, or even a little spray baste would work great to keep things from moving too much during quilting.
I thought I'd just wing it and hold each leaf in place with my fingers as I quilted them down. It worked surprisingly well on my longarm, but I think it would be a lot harder on a domestic machine. I stitched down all the little vein lines and then around the whole outside of each leaf.
What a cool look! I had no idea these leaves would be so easy to appliqué.
I got a little carried away with the leaf buying, so I went out and found a nice woven fall plaid fabric to use up the rest of the leaves. I placed all the leaves down the middle, overlapping them a bit to give it a garland look.
In no time, I had two Thanksgiving table runners and the second one took one-tenth the time! Haha! So if you need something super fast, do this version! I just love how they came out. This idea would also make a cute Christmas table runner with holly leaves and poinsettias.
Happy Sunday everyone,
Follow all my quilty adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Visit my YouTube channel for free tutorials and tips. If you like my patterns, you can buy them on Etsy, and here on the website.