Friday, November 11, 2011

Holiday How-to Series / W2: Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner and Giveaway Winner!

Echinops and Aster
It's week two of the Holiday How-to Series here at Echinops & Aster. If you missed last week, I posted a tutorial and pattern for making your very own "Merry Mushroom" felt ornaments. I also have a giveaway winner to announce at the end of this post, so stay tuned. :)

This week I have another great tutorial and embroidery pattern to make a wintery-themed table runner for your holiday feasts or for everyday during these colder months. The Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner uses easy piecing and simple embroidery, making it a great project for a beginning quilter or someone new to embroidery. 

Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

Detail of the Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner Tutorial

  • Primary Fabric (for piecing the front and for backing) - 1 yard
  • Secondary Fabrics (4 coordinating prints or solids) - less than a fat quarter a piece 
  • Embroidery Base Fabric (mine is a solid cream) - one fat quarter
  • Binding Fabric - about a quarter yard* 
*I was actually able to use the remainder of one of the fat quarters of the secondary fabrics to make the binding. Just make sure to measure first, to know if you have enough.

Other Materials and Tools:
  • Batting piece (around 20" x 45")
  • Interfacing (light-weight, fusible such as Pellon Shape Flex)
  • Thread (for piecing and for quilting)
  • Perle Cotton or Embroidery floss/thread (in the colors and sizes of your choice)
  • Removable/Erasable fabric pen (I use a water-soluble pen made by Clover)
  • Embroidery needle(s) & small hoop
  • Scotch tape (to tape together your embroidery pattern pieces)

Sewing Stack for Holiday How-to Series

Use the diagram below to cut your fabrics and interfacing into the appropriate sized pieces. I recommend using a rotary cutter and mat because it's precise and quick. The table runner uses a 1/4 inch seam allowance for all piecing, which has already been figured into the cutting diagram. This diagram is also useful for when you begin to piece together the top, so feel free to come back and reference it is as you go along.

Sewing Instructions:

Piecing (part 1) for the Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

So now that you have everything cut and ready to go, we will start with making the embroidered blocks that go on either end of the table runner. (1) Grab your embroidery base fabric, interfacing, and 2.5" squares. (2) Start pinning your squares together into strips, right sides facing, making sure to be consistent with the order of the fabrics and colors. For instance, you may want to go "color a, b, c, d, repeat" or randomize the squares so that no two same colors are touching. Each chain will have 8 squares and should have two squares of each color. (3) Sew the chains of squares together using a 1/4" allowance and (4) carefully press the seams open.

(5) Following the instructions provided with your interfacing, fuse the interfacing pieces to the wrong sides of the embroidery base fabric pieces. If you are using a solid fabric like I am, just designate one of the sides as the wrong side and go from there. (6) Pin your sewn strips of squares onto the long sides of the embroidery base fabric pieces, right sides together. Carefully sew together making sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end of each seam. Also try to keep the open seams flat while sewing, which will make pressing much easier. (7) Press the new seams away from the embroidery base fabric and towards your strips. At this point, check to make sure the sides of you blocks are square and even before proceeding. You may want to trim slightly if anything is off. You now have two completed blocks ready to be hand stitched!

Embroidery for the Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

(8) Download and tape together your embroidery pattern pieces, using the provided instructions and guides to line up the right and left sides of the pattern. (9) Center and line up your first embroidery block on top of the embroidery pattern. Using a light box or a window (as shown) trace the embroidery pattern to the right side of your block using your removable/erasable fabric pen. 

The snowflake embroidery pattern can be downloaded here:

Snowflake Embroidery PDF

Prior to printing your pattern, make sure in your printer settings that your page scaling is set to "none" or 100% to ensure the pattern pieces print true to size. Follow the provided instructions to attach the right and left pattern pieces together. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about the pattern, especially if anything is confusing. 

(10) You can stitch up your embroidery pattern using a variety of sizes and colors of perle cotton or embroidery floss. I used four colors in two sizes of perle cotton (#8 and #5) to make my snowflakes. I also used only a backstitch to embroider the entire pattern; however, many other stitches would work equally well mixed in and would look beautiful! Feel free to play around with the pattern and make it your own by personalizing the stitching. (11) Use a small embroidery hoop and move it from snowflake to snowflake as you stitch, being careful not to warp the fabric or damage the completed embroidery stitching. (12) Embroider the second block in the same manner as the first. After you have finished with all the embroidery, remove your pen markings. I used a water-soluble pen, so I removed mine using water and a sponge. Just make sure that with what ever kind of marking you use, you remove it thoroughly before pressing the blocks to prevent your markings from being permanently set.

Piecing (part 2) for the Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

(13) Now you'll want to grab your primary fabric pieces for the front: the 2.5" strips and the large front piece. (14) Taking your finished and pressed embroidered blocks, (15) pin the 2.5" strips of your primary fabric to the BOTTOM of each embroidered block, right sides together. Sew your seams making sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end. Once agan, try to keep the pressed open seams flat while sewing. (17) Pin and stitch the large front piece to the TOP of each of your embroidered blocks (right sides together), also backstitching at the beginning and the end of the each seam. You should now have a completed table runner top! 

Basting for the Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

(18) To prepare for quilting, you'll want to grab your completed table runner top, your backing piece, and your batting and layer them to make a quilt sandwich. Lay you backing piece down first, wrong side up. Then lay down your batting, making sure to square it up with the backing. Finally place your pieced top onto the batting, leaving a fairly equal margin of batting & backing around the edges (at least an inch on all sides) while smoothing everything flat. (19) Pin baste your layers together, being careful to catch all three layers with each pin (20) while keeping everything smooth and wrinkle-free.

I then quilted my table runner with my regular sewing machine, using my walking foot attachment, in rows of straight stitches (about 2" apart) across the width of the quilt sandwich. I adjusted my quilting to make sure I didn't stitch through the embroidery or the pieced squares, but feel free to quilt your table runner however you like best.

Binding for the Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

The final step is to attach your binding to your quilted quilt sandwich :) and make everything all nice and finished. Start by cutting 2.5" strips of your binding fabric. I cut mine straight rather than on the bias, however either method will work. (21) Sew these strip into a long, continuous piece using 1/4" seams. (22) Press your connecting seams open and fold your binding strip in half length-wise, pressing this fold as you go. (23) Pin the non-folded edge of your binding to the edge of your quilt top, at least 10-12 inches from any of your corners (I started pretty much in the middle). 

(24) Start sewing your binding to the quilt sandwich using a 1/4" seam. You'll want to start sewing about 6" from the end of your binding and stop about 1/4" from the corner, backstitching at the start and finish of each seam and making mitered corners as you go. If you are unsure about how to do this step, Elizabeth Hartman at Oh Fransson and Rebecca Johnson from Chasing Cottons both have great, in-depth tutorials to help with binding (and everything else to do with quilting!). Once you have sewn the binding pretty much all the way around the quilt sandwich, you'll again want to stop about 10-12 inches from where you first started stitching to leave space to join your binding ends together. Then finish sewing the last bit of the binding, over the place where you joined the ends. (25) Once the binding is completely sewn, you'll then want to carefully trim off the excess batting and backing. (26) The last step is to sew your binding to the back of your quilted table runner. I hand stitched mine using a slip stitch all the way around, but you can certainly machine stitch the binding onto the back as well. 

And that's it! You now have a completed Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner! Let me know if you have any questions about the pattern and instructions. 

Also feel free to add your project to the Echinops & Aster Flickr group. I would love to see your finished project!

Embroidered Snowflake Table Runner

This tutorial is for personal, non-commercial use only. All text, diagrams, and photographs belong to Jenelle Clark.
 Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.


And now that you have made it this far, I have the lucky winner of last week's Benzie Bazaar giveaway to announce!

Who said, "I would choose the Jelly bean colours"

Congratulations Angela! I hope you enjoy your lovely felt. :)


Linked up with:

Thirty Hand Made Days

 {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge CreationsSew Happy GeekFresh Poppy Design

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  1. Oh wow!! Your hand embroidery is so beautiful. Great job on this runner!

  2. Your runner is beautiful, Jenelle! I love your wintery-but-not-too-Christmasy color scheme, and the embroidery adds a great touch. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. The runner looks wonderful, fantastic colours and embroidery. Will be book marking, thanks for sharing.

  4. Very cool table runner! I think my wife would love one and now I have great directions on how to make her one. Keep up the great work!

  5. This is a very thorough tutorial and very beautifully done handy work!

  6. What a beautiful runner and the embroidery is wonderful!

  7. Wow... this runner is amazing! Seriously beautiful... perfect fabric, great design and the embroidery is so pretty. Your tutorial rocks too! Stopped by from Think Pink Sunday :) AJ@queenofmynest

    ps. pinned it & new follower

  8. I love the colors of this! I'm here from Modern Monday and i'll definitely be back!

  9. Beautiful! That color palate is gorgeous and I LOVE the touch of embroidery. :) Thanks for linking up to {Sew} Modern Monday and have a great week!

  10. thanks for the tutorial. Those colors put such a modern spin on the traditional Christmas table runner.

  11. What a great tutorial! We are currently doing a Holiday Gift Tutorial where we have different bloggers do projects like this, we would love to add you to our list? In the future, we would love if you linked to Fabric Tuesday's at

  12. Thank you very much for a great tutorial. Your table runner is very pretty. :)

  13. Fabulous Tutorial Janelle!! Love this pretty runner - the combo of the quilting and embroidery is darling! Thanks for linking up to Think Pink Sundays - I featured you today!

  14. That is a beautiful runner, love it in those shades and fabrics.


  15. Thank-you soooooo much for the great tutorial. I just love combining quilting & embroidery. This one is on my To Do list for sure!

  16. Thanks for sharing this lovely runner.... I enjoy embroidery too, and this is perfect. Am going to bookmark this one!


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