Although I am a fan of empty space and clear surfaces, my empty table-top has been bothering me lately.
I blame it entirely on my husband, Matt.
See, the problem is, Matt is known for buying me beautiful flowers on a somewhat regular basis. His flower-buying habit does pretty good things for our marriage, but it makes the emptiness just scream at me. So, I wanted to fill the void. Although I’m a pretty huge fan of flowers, I absolutely did NOT want to put a fake flower arrangement on my table. I want no part in discouraging my husband’s loving gestures, so I came up with an alternative.
I wanted a natural look that was significant to my family. My family has a favorite tradition of movie nights on the weekend, complete with homemade popcorn. I found this fun blue glass jar at the store and decided to fill it with popcorn kernels, so we could have a reminder every night at dinner of our weekend fun. I also wanted something not too tall, so we could just leave it in place during dinner and still see each other.
As for the table runner, I wanted to use burlap for the awesome texture. I don’t like long table runners for every day use because I’d have to move it at every meal for one of my kids to sit on the end of the table. My husband’s love of chess was my inspiration for the checkered look. This was so easy to make, I finished it within an hour one night. This is how I made it:
1) I cut 4 strips of fabric, uniform width (3.75 inches). 2 strips were navy burlap and 2 strips were brown burlap. If you decide to make this using burlap, prepare to not have anything perfect. Burlap is stretchy and hard to cut perfectly, so I just decided to go with the flow.
2) Then I sewed the 4 strips together, alternating in color. Make sure all the rough edges show up on the same side. (Allow 1/4 inch seam allowance through this whole project.)
3) Iron to smooth it all out.
4) Then I cut 9 strips from that (3.75 inches), cutting width-wise. If you want a longer runner, you will need to cut more strips.
5) Next I sewed all of those strips together, rotating each strip so that it creates a checkerboard pattern. Iron it after to smooth it again.
6) I used leftover curtain fabric for the backing. I put the two “good sides” of the checkered pattern and the curtain fabric pushed together, with the batting against one of the “bad sides”. I sewed around the edges, except for an 8 inch gap on one of the ends.
7) Through the gap, I turned the table runner outside right. Then I sewed around the edge to close up the gap and to make it look “finished”. I like the thick, quilt-like table runner, because I like it to be able to double as a hot pad during dinner.
And there you have it, my table-scape is complete – simple, colorful, and full of texture. And when Matt gives me flowers, I’ll just set the jar of kernels on my kitchen counter.
Empty table no longer! What do you think?
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