Stress-free Celtic Tablerunner
Nancy Chong, Instructor
1 yard of ATTENTION-GETTING FABRIC. (1/2 yard for Celtic bias strips, and 1/2 yard for binding.) 100% cotton fabric works best.
In Lesson One, I will teach you a wonderfully fast, easy, and inexpensive way to make your own bias tape. If you wish to use your own fabric for this method, the sky is the limit for your fabric choices. Each fabric will behave a little differently, depending on its stiffness, thread count and general fabric thickness. I love to work with the finely-woven cotton batiks that are readily available on the market.
Have fun with this choice; be as wild and crazy or as polite and subdued as you want. Choosing the right bias tape can be an adventure. You will be surprised at how different a fabric will appear once you have made the bias tape. Look at some fabric choices below and see how different they appear once the bias tape is made.
1 yard of fabric that contrasts in value or color with the fabric you chose for the bias tape. (1/2 yard for tablerunner top, and 1/2 yard for backing fabric.) Since you chose an attention-getter for the bias tape, you will want this background fabric to be calmer, to set the stage for the bias tape.
If you use a light background fabric, transferring the design onto it is usually an easy process. You can use a window or light box to see through your fabric and trace the design with a chalk pencil onto the background fabric. This is the easiest method (unless, of course, your background is so light that you do not even need to use the light source to see the design through the fabric). In Lesson One, I will give further instructions on using the light box.
Light background with dark Celtic strips
If you choose a very dark background fabric, there are several products on the market that you might like to use for tracing the pattern onto the background: Clover Chacopy, Dritz Wax Free Tracing Paper or Saral Pattern Transfer Paper, available through our Web site: www.prqc.com. These are all coated papers (coated with a chalk-like substance) that are totally reusable, come in different colors and are available at your local quilt shop or online.
The basic idea is to trace your pattern though the chalk paper, causing the chalk to mark the right side of your dark background fabric. You do not need both chalk-coated paper products, just one will do. In Lesson One, I will give further instructions on using the chalk-coated paper.
Dark background with lighter hand-dyed Celtic strips
I strongly suggest that you avoid using a busy print for your background fabric. Busy prints are nearly impossible to mark so you can see where to position your appliqué bias strips, and busy prints visually call attention to themselves. You want your Celtic knotwork design to be the first thing people see, not the background.
Less than quarter yard of fabric which is a different color or value than both bias tape and background fabric. In the samples shown, I have not used fabric inserts, but in Lesson Two we will explore that possibility. In stained-glass fashion, you will learn how to insert fabric pieces that are sewn into the individual shapes created by the Celtic knotwork design.
45" x 18" thin batting (cotton or poly-cotton blend). The batting can be joined to make this size.
Clover now makes two types of bias tape makers: one for applying fusible web during the ironing process, and one that just makes the bias tape. Either type will work for this project; just be sure you do not buy any other brand (Dritz or Collins). I will not be teaching you the fusible method, so do not bother to buy fusible tape for this project, just the 1/4" bias tape maker itself.
You can hand or machine quilt this tablerunner. You can be as creative with the thread color and fiber contest as you desire. We will explore quilting options in Lesson Three, but no specific instruction will be given on how to hand quilt or machine quilt.
If you are using pattern transfer paper to mark your background, you will not need a marking pencil. If you are using a light box, you will need to make sure the lines will not be permanent. I recommend using the Clover Water Soluble Pencils. They come in white, blue and pink, so they will show up on most light and dark fabrics. They do not require a lot of pressure to make the mark show on your fabric, and they generally begin to rub off as you work across the fabric surface. They will wash out with cold or hot water, with or without soap, making them very versatile and reliable.
There are many other brands of marking tools you can use as long as you make sure they are not permanent on your fabric.
* Items marked with an asterisk are available for purchase on our Web site www.prqc.com