Friday, December 29, 2023

Red & White Table Runner with Baby Lock Sashiko

Every year, from October to now I feel like I am in full gear between three birthdays in my family, Thanksgiving, parties, all the preparation leading up to Christmas and Christmas celebration. Phew... it is definitely fun and exciting, but it can be a bit exhausting. I bet many of you feel the same way. And guess what? Next up is New Year’s Eve!

In Japan, New Year’s Eve and the few days of celebration following New Year’s are very special. I am not very traditional, but I still remember how my family deep cleaned the whole house (yes, in Japan we do a special year end cleaning called Oosoji instead of spring cleaning) on New Year's Eve to welcome the New Year. My mom prepared special meals for New Year’s Eve and Osechi for New Year.

We exchange Nenga-jo (it's like Christmas cards), watch TV shows just for this season, visit Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines to make wishes for the New Year. I get a little nostalgic before New Year and want to carry on some of the traditions in my family. It is safe to say that I do it through my cooking. To enhance the celebratory feeling, I wanted to make a red and white table runner to set my table. I had some design ideas in my head and now it is time to make it happen with my Sashiko Machine!

* You will need
Red fabric 2/3 yard for the top
Fabric for the back -- You could use the same red fabric or something different 2/3 yard
Interfacing --- I used Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece, but it is personal preference
White thread for the Sashiko machine --- I used Gutermann 100% cotton thread for this

* How to
1. From 2/3 yard red fabric, but two 10 1/2" wide x width of the fabric strips. Usually, fabrics are sold 44" wide, but cut off the selvedges. Sew these long strips together to make it longer. Open the seam and press with iron. I did this to save money, but if you don't want the seam in the middle of the table runner, you could buy the length of the table runner you desire.

2. Iron the interfacing to the fabric strip you made in step 1.

3. Draw Sashiko Design on the fabric. On the center of the fabric I drew a 9" x 9" square first. Then I drew three more squares on both sides with 1/2" spaces in between. The both ends of squares are 9" x 8", but this all depends on your desired length of table runner. As far as sashiko design goes, I googled some of the traditional sashiko designs and I made some of them up.

4. Make satisfying sashiko stitch with Sashiko!

5. Right sides together, pin front fabric and backing together. With 1/4" seam allowance, sew all the way around the edge of the table runner. Make sure to leave a 5" opening for turning.

6. Snip the corners to a cleaner finish. Turn the fabric inside out. Use a pin to pull out the corners neatly.
7. Press the edges with iron.

8. Close the opening with slip stitch.

It is all done. I was able to finish the whole table runner in two days because of the sashiko machine, but I know it would take a lot longer if I was doing this all by hand. The table runner has good stiffness to it and I love how it turned out!

I love to think about table arrangements. I am going to do a low key flower arrangement...

Accompanied with red and white tableware.
I hope your 2024 will be filled with love, hope and much happiness. Happy New Year everyone!
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