Have you noticed wool is on bolts in quilt shops? I am used to seeing small pieces of it that cost almost as much as a yard of fabric, but not whole bolts of wool. How awesome is that?! Wool is trending. It must be because plaids and flannel have been showing up in apparel for a few years now. I don’t use wool all that much, but it definitely has its place in my creative bubble. I love using it for pin cushions and I used it in this Sugar and Spice Halloween Table Runner.
One of my favorite Halloween decorations is a table runner that I have had for more than 15 years. I believe the gifter bought it from Crate & Barrel and it was given to me for my birthday… which is… yep, Halloween. This table runner has definitely aged and now has stains on it. Now is the perfect time for an upgrade, so I created this loose tutorial on how I made it. It’s my birthday present to you, templates and all. You can download all of the templates for this Sugar and Spice Halloween Table Runner by clicking here.
Stacy West has pulled together a beautiful fall color palette for Riley Blake Designs. Her Woven Wool Collection contains weaves that create patterns of herringbone and houndstooth. Timeless iconic patterns. Today I am diving into the blacks and oranges, but the greens and greys are so good, too. I can see them with purple. Yes that would be dreamy! Hmmm . . . that will be added to my list of things to do. Maybe a whale. We shall see; so many creations waiting to be made.
Materials needed for this Raw Edge Appliqué Project
Floss – I used black, cream, orange, and green
(I used about four blacks, four creams, one green of embroidery floss, and a spool of orange chunky thread)
Wools – 2/3 yard of Houndstooth Black Gray cut into three pieces of 16 x 16
half a yard of Herringbone Orange cut into 1 pieces of 16 x 16
half a yard of Amber (yellow) cut into 1 pieces of 16 x 16
Wool Fat Quarters – cream
Wool Fat Eight – Houndstooth Red, Licorice (black), Plaid Green
Scissors for fabric and paper
Printed Templates (5 pages)
Backing – One yard
NOTE- I am basing my yardage on 36″ wide fabric. I am not sure if a store will offer fat quarters or what size they will be.
Print out the template pages. In the Sugar and Spice Halloween Table Runner digital PDF file, there are five pages. Be sure to print at actual size and measure the grid on each page to ensure size accuracy. At the bottom of the tutorial I added some tips on printing pdfs. Each block has its own set of templates. I duplicated some of the templates and the ones that are doubled have the same name. I.e. stars are the same on all of the pages. I hoped it would be easier to find all of the templates this way even if you only wanted to use one block for the whole table runner.
General tips for the
Sugar and Spice Halloween table runner
- I usually use double-sided fusible pellon when working with raw edge appliqué. However, I didn’t have any and I didn’t want to make a special trip to the store because of the pandemic, so I used spray basting adhesive to keep the pieces in place while I stitched them. They did shift a little, but I am not going for a perfect look. I am going for a handmade, hand stitched, vintage aged imperfect look. I am also not going to wash this project.
- Because the wool is woven, some of the places where I hand stitched lost their shape and got a little wonky. I just gave the block a good spraying with water and ironed it out.
- On the skull, I used one straight piece of floss and I didn’t like how it looked. I ended up going over my stitches so it was more noticeable. On all of the other pieces, I doubled up the floss.
- I didn’t plan very well, so I had to sew two pieces of fabric together to make the backgrounds for my orange blocks. Because of this, I had trouble with achieving a crisp flat seam so I used seam adhesive to keep the seam from rising up.
- It’s alway a good idea to stabilize fabrics like knits, wools, and rayons that will unravel or lose their shape after use of the item, so I fused a light interfacing to the back of each block by ironing it on.
Cut out the templates. Trace them to your fabrics and cut them out. I just pin them to my fabrics and cut around the shape, but tracing them is more accurate.
Place the correct pieces on the appropriate block. Decide on the layout that you like and adhere them to the block.
Cat Block: Cat Template, Big Star (S-1), Medium Star (S-2) two times, Small Star (S-3), Cat Eye 1 (CE-1), Cat Eye 2 (CE-2), Cat Nose (CN-1) and Center Cat Eye (CE-3) two times
Skull Block: Skull Template, Big Star (S-1), Medium Star (S-2) two times, Small Star (S-3), Skull Mouth (SM-1), Skull Nose (SN-1), Skull Flower Eye Big (SF-1) Skull Flower Eye Small (SF-2), Skull Eye (SE-1) two times
Bird Block: Bird-1, Bird-2, Flower Outside (F-1), Flower middle (F-2), Flowers inside (F-3), Big Star (S-1), Flower Stem (FS-1), Bird Stem Long (BS-1), Shorter Bird Stem (BS-2)
Candy Corn Block: Candy Corn Top (CC-1), Candy Corn Middle (CC-2), Candy Corn Bottom (Candy Corn Template-3), Big Star (S-1), Medium Star (S-2), Small Star (S-3)
Ghost Block: Ghost Template, Moon, Big Star (S-1), Medium Star (S-2) two times, Small Star (S-3), Ghost Eye (GE-1) Ghost Eye (GE-2)
Finish the edges the way you prefer. This is what I did.
Ghost Block – Moon, Ghost
Cat Bock – Eyes, Nose, Cat Face
Bird Block – Bird one and two, Flower inside
Skull Block – Nose, Mouth, Skull
Candy Corn Block – Candy Corn
Cat Block – whiskers
Skull Block – teeth
Bird Block – stem of flower, stems of birds, middle flower circle
Cat Block – ends of the whiskers
Skull Block – Skull Flower Eyes
Bird Block – Flower in the bird block
I approximated the center of the star point and stitched each half at an angle.
I really need to practice my hand stitching. Here are some books that are on my wish list and would be helpful in making this project even better.
Stabilize your block by adding a fusible interfacing. Trim down blocks so they are all the same size. Mine ended up being 14 1/4″ x 14 1/4″.
Sew your blocks together alternating the light and dark blocks, using 5/8” seam.
Lay the table runner blocks on top of the backing RST. Stitch around the edges of the table runner. Leaving 4” unsewn. Trim the corner edges.
Pull the table runner through the 4” unsewn hole. Work the edges so they are full and points show. Iron. Hand stitch the hole closed.
The past week has really cooled off here in Tucson. I am loving it and welcoming fall into my life. My sewing room is cooling off, too, which makes me sew happy!! I have more wool projects planned so stay tuned for pin cushions.
Printing PDFs – PDFs can normally be opened and printed through Adobe Acrobat Reader which is a free software. Adobe Acrobat, which is not free, will open PDFs and edit them. A PDF can be opened on both Apples and PCs. When saving the file, make sure that you keep .pdf as the file extension (Example filename.pdf). When you select print you will get a pop-up window. Go to Page Sizing and Handling and select Actual size.