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Wednesday
Mar022011

Leftovers

Mark always tells me that I'm not one who really enjoys using up the leftovers.  This is usually true, at least when it comes to foods that go back into the fridge.  For some reason, it's just not the same the second time around.

However, there are some leftovers that I don't mind one bit--fabric leftovers!!  I think it's because scraps of fabric will never spoil in the back of the fridge...but that's just a guess on my part.

My recent project of lengthening the family room curtains left me with a considerable amount of leftover fabric scraps, but it didn't take me long to determine what I could use these scraps for.

Because I was adding fabric to the bottom of the pre-made curtains I bought from Ikea, I actually had to cut about 19 inches off of the bottom of each curtain panel so that the 24 inches of the extension fabric would look right.  (It's hard to explain, so be sure to check out the other post where I walk through it step-by-step.) 

Long story short, the 19 inch scraps that I had from each of the two curtain panels were just the right size to create some table runners that I can use around the house.  Here is the simple process I went through to convert the scraps into the table runners.

The first step was to trim off the edges that had already been hemmed so that all four sides of the fabric had a matching finished edge.

Next, I took the two pieces of fabric to the ironing board to iron out all of the wrinkles.

Once the wrinkles were calmed, I used my measuring tape and yard-stick to measure a 1 inch hem line around all four edges.  (Note: be sure to draw your lines on the back side of the fabric, unless you are using marker with disappearing ink.)

Then I placed the iron-on hem tape against the hem lines that I had drawn, using them as a guide for folding the fabric, and pressing the hem with the iron.

To give the thicker corners a stronger seal, I cut small triangles of hem tape, and bonded where needed.

Once all of the hems had been pressed with the iron to create a good bond, the runner was looking something like this:

This could have been a good stopping point, however, I wanted to add a bit more bling to the runners.  I decided that a simple stitch with a 1 inch offset would add just the finishing touch that I was looking for.

Viola!  A simple, no hassle, no headache, even if you can't sew-you can sew this table runner, that took me only about an hour to put together. 

Here are some shots of the end result:

If you don't have a sewing maching then just use the iron-on hem tape to create the finished edges.  I think adding the stich around the edge really makes it look nice, but it looked just fine without it too.

Have any of you used some leftover materials to create something else you could use?  I love it when I can really get the most out of the materials I've purchased.  It saves a lot of money, and by using similar fabrics throughout the room, you're creating unity within the space.  It's a win-win situation!

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