So fish out the remnants of that sheet we made the tablecloth from. Then find some fat quarters, half yards, or pieces that are close to fat quarters and half-yards. Or some jelly roll strips.
Here's what I pulled out.
Trim your sheet fabric so that you have a long rectangle by removing the curved portion.
Then remove the side and bottom seams.
Now, I have to warn you. This is where you have to use math. I know. I'm sorry. Aren't you glad I'm not dropping this in your lap on a Monday morning before you had your coffee?!
Measure the table you are making the table runner for. I did mine for my dining room table, which is about 61" long. Now decide how long in relation to the length of your table you want your runner to be. I wanted mine to be most of the length of the table. Since I like numbers that are simple, I decided I wanted my runner to be about 3/4 that length. Forty-eight (48) is roughly 3/4 of 61, so I cut the sheet fabric to 48 1/2". This includes a 1/4" seam allowance. I did this by placing the fold at 24 1/4". The photo shows 25", but I'm sure you get the idea. Cut the open end at your 0 line of your cutting mat.
Then, you need to cut the fabric you will use as trim around the outside edges. And here's more math. I really am sorry...
First, measure your fabric. This is the fabric I had originally decided to use. You can see from the photo that it's 33" long by 13" wide.
2L + 2W = P
For mine that works up to be
[2 times 49.5] + [2 times 9] =
99 + 18 = 117"
This is great because:
I know - you are shouting "WAIT A MINUTE! WAIT A MINUTE! There are two different equations in that photo!"
Here's how it all fits together. I want my strips to be 2 1/2" wide. My fabric is 13" wide. By dividing the width by the width of the strips, I'll get 5 strips when I cut. That's a decent number of strips! So far so good, right? Ok, these 5 strips are 33" long. When I sew these together, I need to know that when they are all combined, they will be long enough to go all the way around my table runner. I need 117", and with this piece of fabric, I've got 165". That's more than enough,even with seam allowances.
When I looked at my table runner, though, it just didn't seem wide enough for my taste. I upped my border to 4 1/2". Guess what - this piece of fabric wasn't going to be big enough. So I found one that was. If this is the case at your house, there are options. You can do what I did, which was find a bigger piece in my stash, so my border would be all one color. You can also use oddments of fabric to make a patchwork border. You can do the sides one color and the ends another. It's your table runner, so you decide what you like best. If you need to, audition your fabrics BEFORE you cut them. Take the extra few minutes to be sure that you will get your desired results.
So back to our project!
I cut 4 strips of fabric, 40-ish" long and 4 1/2" wide. I sewed them together, two at a time, using chain piecing. If you've never heard of this technique, you will LOVE IT! It can save you so much time when you are piecing quilt blocks, projects using jelly roll strips, and all kinds of other places. I even use it when I'm making the body part of Little Dresses and the legs of Little Boy Shorts when I'm doing a whole bunch of them at once. Like I said - it can be such a timesaver you will find new and creative ways to apply it to your sewing. Oh, and it also saves you a boatload of thread, which also saves you money. BONUS!
Chain piecing means that instead of stopping your sewing, cutting the thread, and then starting another piece, you simply do a few stitches after you go across the end of one set of pieces and start the next set of pieces. It looks like this.
Pin this edge if desired. To stitch, you can use just a plain straight stitch, a zigzag stitch, or a decorative stitch. I chose a decorative stitch, and stitched the border in place with the right (front) side facing. How you sew this closed will be up to you. Trust your judgment - you'll make the right decision.
We are going to repeat this procedure on a smaller scale for the ends. Use one of your small leftover pieces from your side borders, and center it on one end of your table runner. Fold in the sides to make a more finished edge. Pin in place, and sew the seam with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Press the seam towards the border fabric, and press a 1/4" hem on the raw edge, just like the long side. Fold in half and press, just like before.
Now this is where you can do this a few different ways. You can straight stitch the seam. You can zigzag it or use a decorative stitch. Also, you can choose where you stitch. I chose to only do the decorative stitch in the center because I am also using it on the outside edge as well. You can decide where and how you'd like to stitch. Don't you feel so empowered?!
This is what mine looks like at this point.
So let's discuss a few options that we haven't already talked about. Don't have the leftovers of a sheet? Use fabric from your stash, cutting it and seaming it in the center if needed. You can also use a pillowcase that's been cut apart - remove the side seam and about 1/2" off the center fold, and also the hemmed end. Similar to what we did for the Little Dresses. We already talked about making a pieced/patchwork border. Feel free to change up the size based on what you like and what you have on hand. We talked about stitching options - use matching or contrasting thread, whichever you'd prefer. I loved how this baby pink thread added to the vintage feel of the rose fabric. I could very easily have used the "Boy Scout Pants Green" I used on the tablecoth originally. Make yourself a bunch of these, one for every season. Make them smaller to use as placemats. Use a sheet to make a rectangular tablecloth, and use this technique to add a fancy border. Use this border technique to add a fabric hem to a denim skirt, or an apron.