Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nautical Shabby Chic Runner

I just finished this runner and really like how it turned out. It's made of natural burlap, woven with jute and appliqued with  gauze-like linen waves. I wanted the look to be very raw and all natural looking.

Here's how it was made:

I started by measuring and cutting my piece of  burlap. Then I created a paper template of waves, pinned it to my gauze, which I had backed with a fusible fabric stabilizer, and cut it out.

I then pulled out a couple strands and wove in a piece of jute the full length of the runner on each end. Taking a large embroidery needle, I wove in a couple strands of an off-white burlap for some contrast.
Next step was to pin the applique waves in place. And, with my machine set at a very small, tight zig zag, I sewed the applique to the runner. This was a bit tricky with all the twists and turns.

Last, all the edges were zig zagged to lock the weave in place so it will not unravel. I then apply a light starch with a hot iron to flatten and add body to the material. The look is just what I was after -- shabby chic, beachy, nautical and natural! Hope you like it. It's for sale in my Etsy Shop,

Friday, May 23, 2014

Inspired by being lazy!

I got this wonderful citrus colored fabric, Robert Allen's Beach Bongo, for making a couple of pillow covers. This is an indoor/outdoor fabric, which I love. After I cut my pillows out I noticed I had a chunk of fabric left over that had some of the seashells on it. I decided to cut the seashells out and make them into appliques, which I then stitched on to pieces of bright green burlap.
Well, now what. I thought about sewing them on to pillows, but I already had pillows. What about a runner that could be thrown over an outdoor table that would look great with the pillows tossed on to accompanying chairs. I just happened to have enough bright orange burlap. What luck!
I cut the runner, and placed the appliques when I realized I didn't have any orange thread.  I didn't want to sew the appliques on to the runner and be able to see a different color thread on the backside.
Here's where the lazy part kicks in -- I was too lazy to drive to the fabric store to buy orange thread, so I decided I'd sew the appliques on by hand using strands of the orange burlap. 
Liking the look of this, I then wove some of the green burlap threads along both long sides to frame the appliques. But now I had to figure out how I was going to 'lock' the long edges so they would not fray. This is normally where I would have sewn them by machine, but again, no orange thread.  Well, I remembered my cross-stitching from years ago and decided this was going to be the solution. I love the look, but the problem with cross-stitching is that IT TAKES SO DARN LONG TO DO!

Oh well, as I mentioned, I was too lazy to drive to the fabric store to buy orange that's how this particular runner was designed.