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FreeSpirit-Rowan 10&10 Series: Elegant Runner, Napkins & Ties in Victoria & Albert/Godwin

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In medieval times, when the local castle was home not only to the landed aristocracy but also many of the surrounding townspeople as well as extended family and friends, the great hall was where just about everything took place, including meals. The very first tables were literally just large boards. When not in use, the board was hung on the wall. When ready for a meal, it was brought down and balanced on the knees of the diners. If you've ever wondered where the "board" of room and board came from... now you know; it meant a place at the table or board. This historical preamble seems apropos given today's table linen fabric is Godwin from the Victoria & Albert Museum collection by Rowan Fabrics. Godwin is based on designs by Edward William Godwin, an English architect and designer who, during the mid to late 1800s, was known as a progressive and experimental artist, one of the first to introduce a Japanese influence to the European design repertory. You can see this in the "Bamboo" fabric used in our elegant table runner.

In addition to the long patchwork table runner, we've created generous reversible napkins with pretty ribbon wraps. You get three projects in one today, as well as a history lesson!

Our thanks to the great folks at FreeSpirit and Rowan Fabrics for sponsoring these four weeks of Resolution Inspiration from ten of their amazing designers. 

And, our thanks as well to The Ribbon Retreat for providing the beautiful metallic ribbon for the napkin wraps.

Victoria & Albert's Godwin collection debuted in December of 2012. Check out the Westminster Fibers Retail Locator for shopping options near you. Remember, not all shops take delivery and/or display fabrics on the same schedule, so actual in-stock dates may vary. Also, you can always ask your favorite local independent fabric retailer to special order fabric for you.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

      

Right: Runner Ingredients; Left: Napkin and Ties ingredients.

Our table runner uses FOUR beautiful fabrics from within the Victoria & Albert Godwin collection. For our cutting and assembly instructions, we will refer to them by name: Bamboo, Ironwork, Orb and Lily.  As with all our tutorials, but especially for patchwork projects, we recommend reading through the instructions at least once or twice before you dive in.

Our sample was made for a 100" long table. To that we needed to allow for approximately one foot on either end for the drape. To shorten or lengthen, we suggest adjusting the two main "plain" panels as shown on the diagram below in the Getting Started section. Each panel would need to be adjusted by the same amount to keep the balance intact.

Our napkins are generously sized and each SET of TWO napkins requires ¾ of a yard of two coordinating fabrics. The napkin ties are created from scraps from the runner construction.

The yardages shown below are appropriate for our table length and four napkins. The amounts are generous and allow for fussy cutting. You can get by with less and the final amounts will depend on your table size as well as the number of napkins and ties you choose to make. If unsure, use the cut sizes shown below and draw out a little yardage diagram to plan your exact yardage requirements. 

ONE RUNNER

FOUR REVERSIBLE NAPKINS AND TIES

NOTE: As mentioned above, each PAIR of napkins requires ¾ yard of two coordinating fabrics. The napkins are a generous finished size of 20" x 20". 

FOR ALL PROJECTS

  • All purpose thread to match fabrics and ribbon
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Tape measure
  • Seam gauge 
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

NOTE: For all the blocks, take the time to fussy cut your fabric to center a pretty motif in each. If you are new to fussy cutting, check out our tutorial.

  1. From the fabric for the backing, binding and napkin ties (Lily in our sample), fussy cut the following:
    ONE 61" x width of fabric (WOF) rectangle, then cut this in half to yield TWO 61" x 22" pieces
    SIX 5" high x 20" wide binding strips
    TWO 5" high x 22½" wide binding strips 
    FOUR 4" high x 7" wide strips for the four napkin ties
    NOTE: We will mention again the importance of careful fussy cutting for a beautiful finish. This is especially critical for the binding strips.
  2. From the fabric for the main center panels and highlight triangles and diamonds (Ironwork in our sample), fussy cut the following: 
    THREE 14½" x 14½" squares, then cut ONE of these squares in half to create TWO triangles
    TWO 10½" x 10½" squares, then cut BOTH of these squares in half to create FOUR triangles
    TWO 20½" high x 20" wide blocks
  3. From the fabric for the main center diamond and highlight triangles (Bamboo in our sample), fussy cut THREE 14½" x 14½" squares, then cut TWO of these squares in half to create FOUR triangles
  4. From the fabric for the end highlight diamonds and binding (Orb in our sample), fussy cut the following: 
    TWO 10½" x 10½" squares, then cut BOTH of these squares in half to create FOUR triangles
    FOUR 5" high x 10¼" wide binding strips
    FOUR 5" high x 21½" wide binding strips
  5. Cut the batting into TWO 24" x 61" rectangles
  6. From the fabric for side A of the four napkins (Starlight in our sample), cut FOUR 21" x 21" squares.
  7. From the fabric for side B of the four napkins (Bloom in our sample), cut FOUR 21" x 21" squares.
  8. From the interfacing, cut FOUR 1½" x 6" strips.
  9. Cut the ribbon into FOUR 30" lengths.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

RUNNER

Paying special attention to seam allowances is important in every project, but is essential in quilting, because your seams need to match up perfectly. Therefore, you need to be very careful to make sure all allowances are consistent. For this project the majority of our seam allowances are ¼". A Quarter Inch Seam foot is very helpful. In the few instances where this is not the case, the alternate seam allowance is listed in bold. 

It also helps to lay out the fabric cuts in order so you can see where everything goes before you get started; this also helps you keep track of all the pieces.

The two outer panels

  1. For each outer panel collect the following:
    TWO Orb triangles
    ONE 14½" Ironwork square
    ONE 21½" x 20" Ironwork block
    ONE Ironwork triangle
    TWO Bamboo triangles
  2. Place one Orb triangle right sides together along one side of the 14½" Ironwork square. Pin in place. The tips of the triangle should extend beyond the ends of the square by ¼".
  3. Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance. We're using our Janome Quarter Inch foot to maintain accurate seams throughout. 
  4. Gently press the seam allowance towards the Ironwork square. Because you have a bias cut, your triangles will have a tendency to stetch. Be careful when pressing to not stretch the fabric. 
  5. Place the remaining Orb triangle right sides together along the side perpendicular to the side you just stitched. The points of the two triangles will overlap as shown below. Pin in place, and stitch together. 
  6. Place one Bamboo triangle right sides together with one of the remaining raw sides of the Ironwork square. The point of the triangle will overlap the orb edge ¼". The opposite point will lay flush with the end of the square. 
  7. Pin in place and sew together. Gently press the seam towards the Ironwork triangle.
  8. Place the remaining Ironwork triangle and the remaining Bamboo triangle right sides together. Pin along the inside edge. 
  9. Stitch together. Gently press the seam allowance towards the Ironwork triangle. You now have a two-triangle piece that is the mirror image of the two-triangles already stitched in place. 
  10. Place the two-triangle piece right sides together, aligning the long horizontal raw edges of both pieces. The center seams should be aligned and the seam allowances should be going in opposite directions.
  11. Stitch together. Remember, all these seam allowances are ¼".
  12. Find the final piece of this outer panel, the 20½" x 20" Ironwork block.
  13. Place one 20" side right sides together with the raw edge of the Ironwork triangle (ie. not the Orb end of the pieced unit). Pin in place.
  14. Stitch in place to complete the outer panel.
  15. Repeat to create the opposite outer panel 

The center panel

  1. Find the 14½" Bamboo square and the four small Ironwork triangles.
  2. Place one Ironwork triangle to the top of the Bamboo square and one Ironwork triangle to the bottom of the same Bamboo square. The triangle points will extend beyond the ends of the square and will overlap themselves in the center.  Pin in place.
  3. Stitch both triangles in place. Gently press the seam allowances towards the triangles.
  4. Repeat to attach the remaining two Ironwork triangles to the remaining two raw sides of the Bamboo square. 
  5. Gently press your finished center panel.

Assembling the three panels

  1. One outer panel goes on either side of the center panel. 
  2. Place the two panels right sides together. Pin in place and stitch.
  3. Repeat for the opposite side. Press flat.

Backing and batting

  1. Find the two 61" x 22" rectangles of Lily backing fabric. Place them right sides together along one 22" side. Pin in place. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam allowance flat.
  2. Find the two 61" x 24" batting pieces. Butt them together along one 24" side. We hand sewed our pieces together. You could also machine stitch them together with a wide zig zag stitch. 
  3. Place the batting flat on your work surface. 
  4. Place the runner top on the batting, right side up. Center the runner on the batting; the batting will extend beyond the edges of the fabric on all sides. Place a large safety pin in each triangle, pinning through both layers.
  5. Trim the batting close to the edge of the runner top on all sides.
  6. Carefully roll the top/batting and place it to one side.
  7. Place the seamed backing fabric wrong side up and flat on your work surface.
  8. Carefully move the top /batting back over and unroll it across the batting. The batting side should still be facing down and the top facing right side up. 
  9. Center the top/batting on the backing and smooth it so it lays nice and flat. 
  10. Open up each safety pin and re-pin it through the backing, securing all three layers.

Quilting

  1. Run your quilting stitches ¼" to either side of all the seams. The diagram above shows you the stitching pattern. 
  2. As you can see, there will also be a line of quilting stitches ¼" from the edge of the binding. This will be done after the binding is applied to insure accurate spacing. So, start and stop all quilting seams that terminate at the edges of the runner, ½" from the raw edge.
  3. When all the quilting is done, on all four sides, trim away the backing fabric as well as any additional batting so all three layers are flush, as shown above.

Binding

  1. Collect all the binding strips. 
  2. To create each side strip, you will stitch together seven alternating strips end to end as shown in the diagram above: Orb 10¼", Lily 20", Orb 21½", Lily 20", Orb 21½, Lily 20", Orb 10¼". Press all seams together and to one side. 
  3. Press each finished strip in half, wrong sides together, so you now have two strips that are each 2½" x 121".
  4. Place the runner back side facing up and flat on your work surface.
  5. Place one binding strip along each side so the raw edges of the binding are flush with the raw edges of the runner. Pin in place.
  6. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch each binding strip in place along each side.
  7. Press the binding up and away from the back.
  8. Then flip the runner to the right side and fold the binding over to the front, encasing the raw edges in the fold and covering the ¼" seam with the front of the binding. Pin in place.
  9. Topstitch along the front within the binding, keeping your seam ¼" from the inside folded edge of the binding. 
  10. To bind the ends of the runner, find the two 5" x 22½" Lily strips. 
  11. Fold a strip in half right sides together. Pin along each short end. 
  12. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch each end. Clip the corner.
  13. Turn the strip right side out. Gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp
  14. Repeat to create the binding strip for the opposite end.
  15. Flip the runner to the back again. Pin one binding strip along each end. As above, the raw edges of the binding should be flush with the raw edges of the runner. The seamed ends of the strip should be perfectly aligned with the edges of the side bindings. You want a pretty 90˚ angle at each corner. Pin in place.
  16. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch each end binding in place. 
  17. Press the binding up and away from the back.
  18. Then flip the runner to the right side and fold the binding over to the front, encasing the raw edges in the fold and covering the ¼" seam with the front of the binding. Pin in place. 
  19. Topstitch along the front, keeping your seam ¼" from the inside folded edge of the binding.
  20. For an extra finishing touch, hand stitch the ends closed.
  21. As mentioned above, you can now finish the final quilting seam lines by stitching ¼" from the inside folded edge of the binding, completing the ends you left open during the first round of quilting.

NAPKINS

  1. Place a napkin front square and a napkin back square right sides together. 
  2. Pin around all four sides, leaving a small opening in the middle of one side for turning. 
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all four sides, stopping and starting at either side of the opening you left for turning. Remember to stop at each corner, with your needle in the down position, and pivot.
  4. Clip the corners at a diagonal, but be careful not to clip into your stitching.
  5. Turn the napkin right side out. Using a long, blunt-end tool, such as a large knitting needle or a chopstick, poke out each corner so it is nice and sharp.
  6. Press well, turning in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin opening closed. 
  7. Stitch around all four sides of the napkin, keeping your seam ¼" from the edge. Remember to pivot at the corners. You may want to lengthen your stitch for a nicer look to the topstitching. This stitching will close the opening left for turning.
  8. Repeat for each napkin you're making. Press all the napkins flat when done.

NAPKIN TIES

  1. Find the fabric strips for the ties, the interfacing strips and the lengths of ribbon. 
  2. Press a fabric strip in half, wrong sides together, to set a center crease. 
  3. Open the strip wrong side up so the crease line is visible. 
  4. Place an interfacing strip on the wrong side so the bottom of the interfacing aligns with the center crease line and there is ½" of fabric extending around the other three sides of the interfacing. 
  5. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place. 
  6. Fold the interfaced strip in half right sides together. Pin all three sides, leaving an approximate 2" opening along the long edge for turning. 
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all four sides, stopping and starting at either side of the opening you left for turning. Remember to stop at each corner, with your needle in the down position, and pivot. 
  8. Clip the corners.
  9. Turn the tie right side out. Using a long, blunt-end tool, such as a large knitting needle or a chopstick, poke out each corner so it is nice and sharp.
  10. Press well, turning in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin opening closed.
  11. Increase the stitch length and topstitch ¼" from the edge around all four sides, remembering again to pivot at each corner. The topstitching will close the opening. Press again. Find and mark the exact center of the tie, side to side and top to bottom. 
  12. Find the exact center of a 30" length of ribbon. Match the center of the ribbon with the center point of the tie. Pin in place.
  13. Hand sew the ribbon in place with a large decorative "X" stitch. Fold or roll your napkins and wrap the tie around; loop the ribbon around twice and tie a pretty bow in front to secure.


Contributors:

Project Design: Alicia Thommas

Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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Comments (54)

GypsyThread said:
GypsyThread's picture

This would make a wonderful, and generous, housewarming gift! Excellent.

mpistey said:
mpistey's picture

Gorgeous!  This fabric collection is just beautiful.  And I've been looking for a nice table runner pattern.  Any chance you'll be doing a table topper, for a round table?

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