For some reason the fall is a time when I want to pull out my sewing machine and make something! So when Walmart gave me a Thanksgiving Craft Challenge and asked me to do a fall/Thanksgiving craft of my choice, I decided I just HAD to do a sewing project. But why do a project that would be good only for Thanksgiving? Why not do something that would be good not only for multiple holidays, but that would make a great gift as well–and thus was born the Multi-Holiday Reversible Table Runner!!!
This summer while we were vacationing in the Adirondacks, my mom and I stopped into a small quilting store. At the cash register just before we checked out a small laminated card caught my eye. It was about the size of an index card and had very simple directions on it for a table runner that they called “The Big Easy“. You were supposed to choose 3 coordinating fabrics, cut them into certain size strips, sew them together into a big rectangle, add a backing and a batting layer, and then cut the points and sew. Super easy, as long as you can sew a straight line. For $3.50 I had to pick it up (just so that I wouldn’t have to try to figure out the measurements later).
That table runner was the perfect project for my Walmart Thanksgiving Craft Challenge! Not being one to take things as they are I thought “wouldn’t it be cute if you made it reversible, so that for each runner you had two holidays? Halloween/Thanksgiving, Christmas/Winter, Valentines/Easter, Summer/Patriotic? Not only would it be great for my own table, but it would be a fantastic gift for both my Mom and my Mother in Law! And instead of using 3 fabrics, what if I just used two, a main pattern and then something less busy as a coordinating stripe? See–I told you I can’t leave things as they are!
So I headed off to my local Walmart to pick out some fabric. We are lucky–two of the 3 stores in my area have a nice fabric department! At this time of year I was able to purchase some lovely fabrics for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and a snowflake pattern for generic “winter”, as well as replacement cutter blades, batting and thread. I’ll have to purchase the spring and summer themed fabric later in the year when those come out!
I needed a few items of equipment to make my runners. First of course is a sewing machine. Although you could sew all of this by hand it would take it from a fairly quick project into something much more lengthy. If you’ve got a machine, use it! I bought mine about 10 years ago when my original machine finally died. It’s just a basic model. If you have been thinking of getting a sewing machine but assumed it is too expensive, Walmart does have a couple of very basic beginner machines for less then you might think: Brother 17 Stitch Sewing machine for $74.97, and the Singer Simple Sewing Machine for $97.44. Another item that will make this project go much faster is a Rotary Cutter and Rotary Cutting Mat. If you’ve never used a rotary cutter let me tell you–it’s the BOMB for cutting lots of strips or straight lines–that’s why quilters love them!
Then I just went assembly line style. I cut all my strips for all the fabrics. I pinned all of the contrasting strips to the center sections. I sewed all of those seams. I pressed all of those seams. I pinned the second set of strips on. I sewed all of those. That gave me the basic, unfinished runners.
Now I took the batting and set up what I like to think of as my “table runner sandwich”. First you place your two fabrics right side together. I used the coordinating strips to sort of line them up. Then you put the batting on TOP of that. My batting was about 37 inches wide (weird but whatever) so I used that as the length for my runner. I just trimmed off the extra fabric that extended past the batting.
I marked where the point was going to go, then measured an equal distance down each side (5 inches in this case) and drew a straight line to show me where to cut the angle. Then I sewed all the way around leaving a 4 inch gap to turn them right side out. I used a chopstick to poke the corners out, pressed everything (including pressing in the 4 inches of unfinished gap) and then ran a line of stitching all the way around 1/4″ in to give it a more finished look (and to cheat and catch the unfinished gap instead of hand sewing.
I’m very pleased with how they came out! I looked online for somewhere to refer you guys to purchase “The Big Easy” pattern (that is now a link to buy it!)–but the company doesn’t appear to be selling it anymore. I have an email sent in to them and will either let you all know where you can find the specific directions or hopefully get permission to reproduce the directions here!
Edited to add: Ok, so I got the info back from the creator of the pattern. They have them for sale online for $3.50 at this link “The Big Easy“.
Wondering what some of the other Walmart Moms made? De Su Mama made a Thanksgiving Turkey gratitude craft, MomAdvice made a Knitted Leaf Centerpiece, Cutie Booty Cakes made a Kids Hand Thanksgiving Turkey, Classy Mommy made Easy Indian and Pilgrim Crafts, Growing Up Blackxican made DIY Thanksgiving Placemats, Presley’s Pantry made Rice Krispy Turkey Treats, The Domestic Diva made a “Give Thanks” Chalkboard plaque, Wholesome Mommy made a Child’s Art Project Photo Card, Sophistishe made a chalkboard cutting board and serving set, Rockin Mama made a Thanksgiving Photo Centerpiece, Mommy’s Kitchen made Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies & Pilgrim Hat Cookies, Freelance Homeschool Mom made a Thanksgiving Journal, A Cowboy’s Wife made a Thanksgiving Wreath, and Green & Gorgeous made Thumbprint Thanksgiving Cards!