One of my favorite projects from the book is this Graphic Table Runner (below) from designer Lindy Cline of Plytextiles. A big thanks to Chronicle Books for allowing us to share the project here! Just click the link below for the full step by step instructions.
GRAPHIC TABLE RUNNER
3 recycled wool sweaters in 3 different colors or three 9-by-12-in/23-by-30.5-cm
Sheets of wool felt in different colors
Sewing thread in coordinating colors
5 ⁄8 yd/60 cm fusible web,
17 in/43 cm wide
1⁄3 yd/30.5 cm of wool-blend felt,
36 in/1 m wide, for backing
Graphic Table Runner Template
Iron and ironing board
Decide on colors to use for the table runner. If using old sweaters, felt them. (Note: you can read Amy’s felting tips on Amazon. Just click “look inside.”)
After the sweaters are felted and dry, cut them apart: Cut the sleeves off first in a straight line, then cut the side and shoulder seams of the body, then the seam of the sleeve. Depending on how much the sweaters shrank, you should have 4 good-size pieces to work with.
Cut 1 1⁄2-in/4-cm strips of the felt. Use the Graphic Table Runner Template to cut out the diamonds. Line up the template with parallel sides of the strip and use a rotary cutter to make angled cuts. Cut out a total of 48 diamonds, 16 in each color.
Lay out the diamonds in a pattern you like or follow the one pictured. You can play with the pieces as if they were tiles. Remember: The pattern is meant to look deconstructed. After you have selected the pattern, take a picture so you can refer to it later. The following directions explain how to piece the table runner that is pictured; it can also be used as a guide if you want to sew the diamonds together in a different pattern.
With 1 diamond of each of the 3 colors, sew the 3 diamonds together to create a hexagon using a wide zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, like this: Lay 2 pieces flat, right next to each other, and sew them together using the zigzag stitch through both pieces. Then sew the third piece to the joined pieces, by fitting one of the shallow points into the V created by the joined pieces. Zigzag the abutted edges. Repeat with the other diamonds until you have 16 hexagons.
With all the hexagons facing the same direction, start to zigzag the sides of the hexagons together to create strips. For this runner, create 3 separate strips of hexagons: one strip with 3 hexagons, a second strip with 5 hexagons, and a third strip with 6 hexagons. There will be 2 hexagons left, which will be used in Step 7.
Place the strip with 5 hexagons on top of the strip of 6, and offset the top strip so that it hangs over the edge of one end of the bottom strip. Abut all the edges that fit together and join them with a zigzag stitch. Place the 3-hexagon strip below the strip of 6, offsetting the smaller strip so it sits toward the left edge of the longer strip. Abut all the edges that fit together and join with a zigzag stitch. Place one of the remaining single hexagons along the top edge of joined pieces, in the second V from the left. Zigzag in place. Then place the last hexagon along the bottom edge of the joined pieces, in the second V from the left, and zigzag in place.
Lay the runner on a piece of fusible web, and trace around it. Cut the fusible web slightly smaller than the runner and place it onto the felt for the back of the runner. Then place the pieced runner top over the fusible web, making sure that all of the fusible web is covered and sandwiched between the top (pieced) layer of felt and the backing layer of felt. Following the fusible web instructions, use an iron to fuse the pieces together, taking care not to singe the wool.
Use sharp scissors to trim the felt backing to the same size as the pieced runner top.
Run a straight stitch along the border of the runner, about 1⁄8 in/3 mm from the edge
And you’re done! Thanks to Chronicle Books for the review copy.