on the 1st day of joyfulness...

dottie angel shared with me
a 'terribly nice' table runner
(skill level : medium peasy plus a little bit)

gosh how i love the english language, how can something be terribly nice ?! it is the same as saying 'horribly lovely', however it is most fitting for our 1st day of joyfulness, for 'terribly nice' sounds so proper and there is nothing quite so proper than a table runner. i did not think i was the table runner sort, however an old english church pew has come to live with us and i do not think one can have a church pew without having a table runner. 
(slippery slope Tif, slippery slope)

now before we begin may i just say several things. 
first thing: 
i forgot some ingredients yesterday, please add to your list * cushion pad * yarn * decorative stickers ... it is highly likely i have forgotten other bits and bobs but it will surely be in your boxes of glee and stashes of crafty goodness. also i forgot to mention in the course of the '12 days of joyfulness' you may indeed see some dodgy artificial lite photos, even a bit of blurriness here and there. (gasp, shock and a bit of horror) yes indeedy, due to the time of year and the time of day (or night) i have been beavering away, i have left my fretting ways behind and relied upon artificial lighting, and by doing so, it all became far more joyful to work on.

second thing: 
today's 'how-to' is the most tricky dicky one of all, the rest i promise will not take as long nor require quite so much thought. i have offered this for day one not to make you fret and pack up your box of glee, muttering and weeping, but because i wish you to have more time to work on it. also more to the point, it is the getting started bit that takes the longest, once you are on the right track and know where you are going it will become most joyful i assure you

third thing:
my table runner is tres lacey, i do understand lace is not every ones cup of tea, so before you think about this not being for you and your craftiness, think about swapping out the lace for pieces of fabric which would be most spiffy me thinks

so with all that being said, here we go...


* several old lace table runners, an old net curtain or a length of linen if you prefer
* embroidery floss
* old napkins and other embroidered pieces which can be cut up
* lengths of narrow lace, ribbon or ric rac (trimmings basically)
* a trusty sewing machine and thread in different colours
* pins and scissors 
* a joyful disposition


* start by figuring out the rough length you wish your 'terribly nice' runner to be. you may wish to make it so long it drapes over the edges of your table, you may wish to make it so wide it runs all the way to the sides. if this is the case, really i think you are now working on a 'terribly nice' table cloth, which is 'a-okay' with me, but may take you till next gleeful season to finish. 

* once you have figured the size out, you are going to make your bottom layer (a bit wider than the size you wish for), by laying out overlapping lengths old lace table runners, pieces of a net curtain, and wide strips of lace or indeed just one piece of linen. do not be fretting about 'even ends' to your table runner nor fraying edges. once happy, pin in place and with the help of your trusty sewing machine stitch the pieces together with self coloured thread

* now the base of your table runner has been constructed we are going to be applying some nice layers of patched pieces 'a top'. this is where you will have to be brave and just start chopping and seeing where it leads you. place your chopped pieces down on your bottom layer and rearrange into a pleasing order and pin. stand back and ponder, if you are happy then start stitching them down with your trusty machine, this time you may wish to use some coloured thread. you may also wish to add some more layers of lace on this layer.

* the next layer is the detail layer, you may wish to add little doilies or embroidered pieces to certain sparse areas, also lengths of lace, embroidered ribbon or ric rac even. just keep on patching and piecing, always stepping back to ponder and see the 'whole picture'. continue stitching in place and layering as and where you please (remember it is about what you like and not worrying about what others may think). do not get caught up in trying to make everything straight and even, if you step back and see you stitched something down and no longer like it, then patch over it with something you do like.

* now to the 'cherry on the cake' bit. taking some happy coloured embroidery thread add a bit of hand stitched detailing. perhaps a row of cross stitching, a little bit of running stitch or even our beloved french knots. does not have to be fancy, just a bit of decoration 'tis all.

* if you wish to make this more suited to the season than mine, i would suggest appliqueing some appropriate wording like 'JOY' or 'PEACE' to your 'terribly nice' table runner, if not then hoppity skip this step

* the final step is to fold under the two longest sides of your runner and pin. then add a length of trimming or lace along the shorter ends (once again pin in place). with your trusty sewing machine, stitch around the whole outside edge of the runner. by the time you have done this and with all the layers built up and stitched in place, your spiffy 'terribly nice' table runner will have a 'quilted' effect

* place your table runner upon your table. perhaps add a few tea lights to its spiffiness, for that added bit of sparkliness. wait for admiring comments from your clan, do not tolerate those that push it aside so their laptop will fit better on the table. then again perhaps you should... better pushed aside, than find a laptop upon those peachy french knots

a church pew
(a slippery slope)

she'll be back with the 2nd day of joyfulness on sunday ~ Tif