“Jingle bells, jingle bells…” I think you know the rest… Yes, it’s almost that time of year (at least according to the supermarkets it is!). In the UK, the colder weather is settling in as we move inevitably towards winter (in the Antipodes no doubt getting warmer).
Last year at this time, I made the hugely popular Santa Table Runner and two of the Christmas Stocking Santas . This year, I decided to add some extra pizzazz to my Christmas decorations by making the Christmas Mantel Runner .
I had a few Christmas fabrics sitting in my fabric stash left over from previous years (don’t we all?). There was just enough fabric to make up the larger flags. As I have been lucky enough to visit Scotland a few times this year I also decided to include some tartan fabric for the small flags as a reminder.
Here’s my selection:
I used the instructions for the 6”x10” hoop, which gives a finished runner of 40”. For this size, you make 7 large flags and 6 small flags. There are 3 embroidery designs for the large flags, so you can decide how many of each you want to make. If you want to make a larger runner, it is easy to make extra flags and add additional fabric when making up the final project.
Since the fabrics for my large flags had gold metallic printing, I decided to continue the theme by using gold metallic thread on the red fabric. I used red metallic thread on the cream fabric, so the embroidery would stand out against the busy gold design. Let’s face it, you can’t have too much metallic at Christmas, can you?
The stitch out is straightforward and doesn’t take too long for each flag as there are no thread changes required unless you want to be sparing in your use of your metallic thread (if that’s what you choose to use).
Once the stitch out has completed, I recommend you do as recommended in the instructions and trim back the wadding (batting) from the seam allowance as this makes turning the flag the right way out easier. It is also worthwhile trimming back some of the seam allowance at the apex of the triangle as this will help reduce bulk and help you to get a sharp point.
For the second style of flag, I used cream and gold fabric with red metallic thread. I particularly like the “jewels” created by the stitching.
The smaller flags are left plain, so they stitch out very quickly. For mine, I used tartan fabric
For my layout I chose to use the red, harlequin hatch flags on the ends, a red flag with stars (the third design) in the middle, with pairs of cream flags in between. The small flags sit between each of the large flags.
The mantel runner can be made as long as you need. Just keep on making the flags. You could also make them into festive bunting – or for any time of year or event by using different fabrics. It’s a flexible design to have in your stash.
Next, I pinned the flags together and stay-stitched on my sewing machine.
As I didn’t have any more of the red or cream fabric after having made the flags, I auditioned two additional Christmas fabrics I had in my stash:
As you can see, the red fabric I have is a different shade from the flag and really doesn’t gel. I rather like the contrast of the green fabric and that’s what I chose to use.
Be sure to follow the instructions, so that your “sandwich” is correct. Be sure to pin/clip the quilt sandwich together – I also pinned the centres of the flags to make sure nothing moved.
Once the sandwich has been sewn on the sewing machine (leaving the back open), the flags are turned through and pressed. Next, press a quarter-inch seam all around the open edge and stitch closed.
Finally, I added small bells to each of the flags.
I love the final result!
The flags are all made in the hoop and then they are joined and the mantel section added with your sewing machine. There are 3 different large flags with quilting on them and 1 smaller flag with no quilting.
They are quick and easy to sew making them perfect for craft markets stalls, gifts or your own home.
- 6×10 = 112cm long (45″)
- 7×12 = 126cm long (50″)