Let me start out by saying that you can make this table runner any size you like. Mine happens to be 8 1/2" x 50" because that is the size table it will be going on. But the pattern is very basic so once you get an idea of how to do it, just alter it to fit the size you need.
So you will need a red print, a white print, and a blue print. I used a Fat Quarter of Red and white and a yard of Blue. (I also used the blue print for my binding and backing :)
From your red and white fabric cut 6 strips each measuring 3" x 22" (That will use up all of your fat quarter.)
Lay your first strip (red one) on your cutting mat with right side up. Now lay your second strip (white one) right side up and place it so that the edge of the second strip overlaps the first strip by 1". (A little different than normal right sides together, but you will get the hang of it :) Now lay your ruler 1" up from the edge of the second strip. This creates your cutting area.
With your rotary cutter, cut a wavy line through both strips in the 1" overlap. the wavier you cut the more curvy, so if curves scare you just do a really gentle wavy line to start. The piece of the second strip (white one) closest to you becomes scrap and the piece of the first strip (red one) under the second strip becomes scrap as well. Go ahead and remove them.
Now, gently lay your first strip over onto your second strip so that now the right sides are together. Don't bother trying to match the edge up because it won't. Just overlap the second strip edge (white one) 1/4" from the edge of the first strip (red one). This is where you will begin stitching and you be stitching a 1/4" seam down the length of your 2 strips.
Now I don't pin when stitching curves. Especially these improv. curves. The nice thing is that you will be trimming when you are done so you don't have to worry about being perfect. This is a great project to practice curve piecing.
So, start your 1/4" seam where you overlapped your 2 fabrics. I like to stitch 2 stitches and then back-stitch. (This isn't necessary but I pull on these pieces a little more so I like the extra security ;) Now if you have never done curved piecing, there are a few things that knowing will make it a lot easier. So here they are. Only worry about lining up the inch or so before your presser foot. Don't look at where your needle is sewing. Just focus on the fabric right before it goes under the front of our foot. That is the only place you need to line up. Once you get that down it is super speedy and super fun!
Line up an inch, then stitch an inch. Then line up another inch, then stitch another inch. If you can only get 1/2 an inch to line up (which is often the case at the top of the curves) then only line up and stitch a 1/2 an inch. And don't worry about the bubbles forming away from the seam. They work themselves out.
Creases that come close to your seam will often work themselves out as they go through the presser foot so don't stress about them much either. Just remember, line up a little, stitch a little. Keep doing this until you get to the end of your strip. And remember, this is a very forgiving project so have fun with it. Trus me, by the end of it you will feel way more confident about your curve piecing.
Once you finish stitching the length of your strip go ahead and press your seam to the darker fabric. And notice how my strips don't line up at the end. No worries :) That's why we trim.
So now you are ready to repeat the process. Add the third strip, overlap, cut stitch :) You get the idea!!
Keep adding strips until you have enough strips to equal double the height of your desired table runner. (Mine was 11 strips but yours could vary depending on how large you cut your curves ;) Go ahead and give your entire curved unit a good starching. This will just get it nice and flat before we start cutting it up :)
Now lay your piece onto your cutting mat and cut it into 4 pieces as follows. I cut mine into (4) 8 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles. (You can adjust accordingly if you want it wider or shorter.)
Now it is time to add some blue. Cut 5 strips that are the height of your pieced block. (mine was 8 1/2" x 2 1/2") And while I had my blue out I also cut (3) 2 1/2" x WOF strips to create my binding strip.
Now go ahead and lay your pieces out as follows. Sew the 2 rows together adding the strips to the blocks first and then sewing the blocks together. Once completed sew the second row to the end of the first row to create one long runner.
Like so :) Don'y you just love how it is all wavy!! But just wait, it is going to get even better!!
From the blue print, cut out some stars and applique them to your runner like so. You can print off stars from any Word program and I did mine in varying 1/2" sizes from 2 1/2" to 4". If you have never done applique before please refer to Step 5 of this tutorial (one of my MBS ones). It will walk you through how to do it :)
Now you are ready to finish it up :) Go ahead and make your quilt sandwich and then baste it.
Now it is ready to be quilted. I did a mini stars and loop pattern in matching thread colors of the fabric. I love how it turned out :)
And lastly, take those strips you cut previously and sew them into a binding strip and then bind your table runner :)
And Ta Da!!! One super adorable Star Spangled Table Runner!!!
So that's it :) I so hope you enjoyed this tutorial. It really is a super fun project that goes together quick and is very forgiving :) And if you make one, I would love for your to add it to my Inspired by Happy Quilting Flickr Tutorial Group. I just love seeing your take on my tutorials :)
So that is what I was doing New this last week . . How about you??? Link on up :)