‘Tis the Season, Part 2: Patchwork Runners

Yes, it’s a few days after Christmas; technically, however, it’s still the season.  Celebrating the holiday kept me from posting these two runners I made using Moda charm packs.  With pre-cut squares, these simple runners were a breeze to make.

My very nice mother, who occasionally sends me a surprise package, started the whole thing when she sent me, among other goodies, two different holiday Moda Charm Packs from Chickadee Shops in Gainesville, Florida.  (Even if Chickadee weren’t a wonderful little store–which it is–Mom would shop there anyway because it’s just down the way from my brother’s place, Great Southern Music.)

"Flurry" Charm Pack

Naturally, like any good sewist, I got right to work on some patchwork projects.  (By the way, Dad, I’m really sorry about those pants I was supposed to hem for you. I promise I’ll get to them soon!)

At left is one of the charm packs, called “Flurry.”

 

 

 

Just to review, a Charm Pack is comprised of 42 squares, each measuring 5″ x 5″.  I decided to combine them into two different holiday runners.  Since runners are generally 12 – 14″ wide, I designed mine with three squares across.  With half-inch seam allowances, my runners are 12″ wide.  Selecting from the two packages at once, I laid out the squares.  Mixing colors and patterns, I finally came up with two patchwork designs I liked, in two different sizes.   My first runner is three squares across and twelve in length, measuring 12″ by 48.”  The colors are traditional reds and greens.  The second is three by sixteen square, measuring 12″ by 64,” with softer tones of greens and blues.

Constructing a patchwork row

Since the number of squares in the length of each runner was divisible by four, I constructed them in sections of four rows, with three squares each.

 

 

Wrong-side view of patchwork seam allowances

When sewing patchwork, it’s important to press the seam allowancess on each row in alternate directions, so that the seams turn out smooth.  Two seam allowances sewn together can create unnecessary bulk, affecting the smooth lines of your project. Alternating the directions of the seams allows the rows to “nest” into each other nicely, and makes a huge difference in the finished result.

 

For the backing of my first runner, I used a red-and-white floral print from my stash–also, coincidentally, from Mom.   In this view of the shorter runner, you can see how well the patterns coordinate.

12" x 48" runner top with backing

The second is backed with a green-and-white patterned cotton from one of JoAnn’s quilting collections.  In the second runner, you can see how the colors are less “Christmasy,” but still festive and very appropriate for the holiday.

 

As a finishing touch, I added ball fringe to the edges–red for the first, and soft green for the second.  I’m very pleased with my work!

Red and green runner with ball fringe
Green blue and red runner with ball fringe
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