Table runner has been made. Why oh why do I insist on sewing ruffles and pleats? I love the look of them but man, what a pain to sew.
I did come up with a trick for sewing pleats today. After I had sewn, unsewn, resewn my first attempt.
The actual runner itself was easy. I bought three yards of flax colored linen (a cotton/linen blend actually) that was super cheap. $3.99 a yard at Hobby Lobby.
I trimmed the ends and selvedges using a straight edge I've appropriated from Rick's garage. It looks totally greeby but I prefer it so much over the plastic Omnigrid ones. Since I rarely quilt, and therefore rarely have to cut small pieces, the heavier metal straight edge works better for me. Mainly in that is stays put when I am cutting. I can't tell you how many times the plastic one has scooched while I was cutting.
Plus I think I can square things up better with it.
I cut two 3" wide strips from the end for the pleats. Then I just sewed the long edges together to make a tube and then turned the tube inside out. I pressed it so the seam was centered down the back of my runner.
Then I started fiddling with the pleats. And fiddled some more. First I pinned the pleats in place and sewed them in but they wouldn't stay straight and I didn't catch the back layer when I was sewing. So I unsewed. Twice. I repleated my strip and then - here is where my brilliance kicked in - I used scotch tape to hold down the pleats so I could stay stitch them before sewing them to the ends of the runner.
After I stay stitched them I positioned them between the layers and, once again, taped them in place. On both the front and the back. Then I just stitched through the tape. It was easy enough to remove after I was done sewing.
Maybe this is a well-known pleating trick but it was new to me. I suppose if you have a super duper fancy Bernina you may not want to risk gumming it up with tape. But then again if you have a super duper fancy Bernina you probably aren't coming to my blog for sewing tips.
This fabric was a dream to sew with. Washed and dried with minimal wrinkles and irons beautifully.
I had to do a trial run of my Thanksgiving tablescape (forgive the cellphone picture). I wanted to find a white pumpkin or maybe even a ceramic turkey but didn't have any luck. So I just used my little quail pot. I'm still going to look for something a little more Thanksgiving-ish. I think the floral arrangement with the greenery and candles looks too Christmasy.