For me, a festively laid table is as much a part of the tradition of Christmas as a magnificently decorated Christmas tree. Without these two decorative elements, I cannot get into the festive spirit. I therefore like to think about the right table decoration in advance. I don’t just rummage around in my boxes – I get drawn into the city by the first Christmas ornaments in the shops like a mosquito is drawn to the light! And once there, I also get the best ideas for things that I can make myself. Do you have those moments too, when an idea catches your eye?
For this year’s table decoration, I have chosen these placemat runners – a funny name and I don’t even know if that’s what they are called…. Anyway, they are not difficult to make and can also be used on other occasions, so you don’t have to wait until next Christmas to take them out of the box. Maybe my instructions will give you inspiration for other colours or designs – I’m curious to see!
Materials for a placemat runner
- 150 cm x 55 cm half-linen
- Matching sewing thread
- Madeira Rayon thread for the decorative stitching
- Patchwork ruler in centimetres
- Marker pen
Before you start sewing, you’ll need to press the edges of your runner. To get an even edge, use a marker pen to draw lines at a distance of 1 cm (seam allowance) and 5 cm (hem edge) from the respective cut edge (so the distance between the two lines is 4cm!).
Half-linen is easy to fold over to form an edge even before pressing. This preliminary work helps to achieve a precise edge when pressing later on! Simply fold the fabric along the marked lines with your fingers….
This is what the underside of your runner will look like after pressing. The seam allowance of 1 cm has been pressed down and the hem edge has been pressed 4 cm from this.
Now you have to fold over the bottom hem edge and the side seam allowance edges and put a mark with your pen where the hem edge meets the seam allowance. In the picture below, you can see how the short side of the placemat runner is folded up and the marking is made on the right side of the seam allowance.
And here, the right hem edge of the runner has been folded over and the mark made on the narrow side of the seam allowance below.
When the two edges are folded open, you can now see two markings each on the sidelines of the seam allowances (bottom and right in the picture below).
Next, you fold the two edges together, so that the two marks are on top of each other, and secure it in position with a pin.
After you have secured the markings in position with the pin, you can now stitch across the corner. Sew in a straight line from the mark through to the “folded corner” of the hem edge created by pressing. The seam should be secured at the start and end.
If you do not have a patchwork ruler, rotary cutter and cutting mat to hand, then draw a line leaving a seam allowance of 1 cm and cut along it to remove the protruding corner.
You then have to cut off the corner at the bottom edge of the seam allowance, as shown in the picture below.
Press the seam allowance open.
When you turn the edges the right way, you have a mitred corner!!!
Doesn’t it look incredibly beautiful and elegant?!?
Spoiled for choice – selecting the stitch pattern
On my BERNINA 330, I have a card with 40 different decorative stitches to choose from. In order to see what the decorative stitches look like on the fabric, you can take an offcut and try out all the decorative stitches you might use for topstitching. Which one you choose is then a matter of taste….
I decided on No. 36 – a star pattern. Perfect for Christmas!
To make it especially festive, you can use a fancy yarn, such as a metallic thread or at least a rayon thread (shiny machine embroidery thread). I have used rayon thread here. The thread is subject to a lot of stress when sewing these long areas of stitching with small patterns containing a large number of stitch points. I therefore recommend that you check your needle beforehand and, if necessary, change it!
In order to ensure a good, even fabric feed, I have used Walking foot No. 50.
Stitching the pattern requires a bit of patience, but hang in there, because the result is really beautiful!
The pattern width here is about 5 mm. In order to stitch the pattern precisely along the edge of the seam allowance, I drew the edge of the seam allowance on the fabric face with my marker pen beforehand. This was then an indicator to line up the pattern edge precisely with the seam allowance, as you can see clearly in the bottom image.
I hope you like my suggestion for a festively decorated table and you are inspired to use my instructions to make your own placemat runner or just some normal-size placemats.
I wish you and your families a wonderful Advent season and a merry Christmas!