Machine English Paper Pieced Table Runner

Machine English Paper Pieced Table Runner

Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. A couple of months ago I received my fat quarter club in the mail from Annie’s, and this was a pattern that definitely went on my list that I had to make. I was very inspired by the pattern, the black, white, and yellow bee fabric. To make it even more fun, it has hexagons. Now we’re going to do this all with machine piecing, no hand sewing, and I’m allowed to share my take of the pattern with you. Black and white fabric, yellow fabric, script fabric, and fabric with some nice big fat bumblebees on it. The fabric lineup is from Timeless Treasures. The kit was from Annie’s Creative Quilters Fabric Club. This is a fat quarter club kit that comes in the mail once a month. You get five fat quarters and you get a bonus of a free pattern. For this particular one there was a great pattern to make a pillow with all these lovely hexagons. I’m going to turn this into a table runner. In the pattern these hexagons are English paper-pieced, but we’re going to do a new technique that takes no hand sewing at all. The first thing we need to do is choose a background fabric. I’m going to choose the lightest one, which is this white script fabric. The pattern has two borders around it. I’m going to do the black border and the nice, fat bee border. Those are the first things I’m going to cut. From there I’m going to be able to cut my hexagons out. I want to be able to get the biggest pieces from the fabrics first, then get the hexagon pieces from what’s left over. You can make the table runner any size you want. If you want to make it a little smaller you could do placemats. Because I was using fat quarters, I’ve cut a piece 14″ by 21″. My first border is cut at 1½”. I’m going to be able to put that 1½” in all the way around. The second border is going to be a nice, fat 3″ border. This is really going to make a nice size for the center of the table or for a really big placemat. We can now make the fun hexagons that are going to go on top. If you like traditional English paper-piecing you can definitely do it that way, but I’m going to use a different method so there’s going to be no hand sewing. I’ll put in the description two handouts. The handouts are going to give you twenty of these large 1″ hexagons and a lot of these little hexagons. A really quick way of making these hexagons is by using a stabilizer. The stabilizer I will be using is from Ricky Tims. You can tear the stabilizer off or you can leave it on. It washes very very soft but it’s stiff to work with, which gives us the best of both worlds. It is non-fusible so you’re going to put that right in your printer and you’re going to be able to print out your shapes right on this interfacing. From here we get to cut out all of these shapes. Once all the hexagons are cut out we’re going to be able to put it on our fabric and we’ll be able to glue them. I think you can use any fabric glue you want. You can even use a child’s glue stick as long as it’s washable so it’s going to come out in the wash. I’m going to glue these shapes on the back of the fabric. Some of the fabric I’m going to be able to fussy-cut. I can have the middle of the flower, or I can have a bee; anywhere that I want to put this will be fine. Just put a little bit of glue on the back of that hexagon—you don’t need a lot—and place it where you want it to be. I want to get this nice, fat bee. I’m going to just glue that right on top of the place that I want. Then I can cut it out. But I do want to cut out so that I have just a little bit more than ¼” all the way around. I’m not going to measure it. I’m just going to cut it out. Once that stabilizer is on the fabric I’m going to glue the edges onto the stabilizer. Just run a line of glue along the edge of the fabric; it doesn’t need to go on the paper. Then you’re going to be able to fold the fabric over and this edge of the stabilizer is going to keep the edge of that fabric nice and straight. Rub it down. Just work your way all the way around, using the edge of that stabilizer to fold the fabric over. You really cannot get too much glue because we’re going to machine stitch this and the glue will wash out. Just go all the way around. All those edges are glued down. It doesn’t matter the size; the largest one and even the smallest one will work the same way. You can get them all done at the same time. The pattern has these little corners that look like partial beehives, but I’m going to take the hexagons and I’m going to put them on another piece of this stabilizer. it gives me a nice straight edge to start with, and I’m going to be able to do my layout. I’ll glue these on the layout position that I want. Put a little bit of glue on the back and I can glue my first piece on. From here I can just keep gluing until I get the shape of that broken beehive. I can lay them out in the position that I want, then I’m going to be able to pick them up and glue them together. All of the edges are matching. We don’t need a lot of glue; just enough to hold them down. From here we’re going to machine-stitch all of these together with just a little zigzag along the seams. I like to do the individual pieces first, and then I can go down and do those centers. The stabilizer is just going to hold it for me, and I’ll be able to take most of the stabilizer off after. I will be using a very small zigzag. On my Bernina I have a foot that has a nice big opening there; it’s 34D. I’m using just the regular zigzag stitch number two but I’ve changed that stitch so it’s very narrow to 2.6. Your machine will be slightly different, but that’s basically what we’re looking for; a nice little zigzag. Now I can sew these hexagons together. I’m not going to worry too much about stopping and starting and knotting, because we will be quilting this later so that it’ll all stay together. My foot does have a line down the center so I’ll have that line go down the middle of those two pieces. Just start stitching them together. I’m going to be able to stitch right off, and that stabilizer is going to hold my stitches for me. I just want to catch both edges of those hexagons and go right off. Do the next one. It’s very easy to follow that line and have that zigzag come right off the fabric. I’ve used red in the back but be sure to use a color that’s going to blend in. Once all the short pieces are stitched I’m going to be able to stitch all the way down one row. Start off of the fabric, onto that stabilizer, and just have that zigzag stitch them together. Pivot, and zigzag. Continue and stitch all of these pieces together, but you don’t need to do the outside; just all of the inside seams to hold it together. Once all of my pieces are stitched together I’m going to be able to trim off my threads. but I am going to leave some tails on that thread. Because they were not knotted, I do want to have a little bit of extra along the back and those threads will be on the back. You won’t see them. On the right side I can also trim off some threads. I’m going to tear whatever I can away. Some of it’s going to stick on because I did glue the back on, and that’s fine. I just want to take off some extra. It will rip off quite nicely. We can take all these threads that we stitched extra and glue that thread down so it stays out of the way. Once all those threads are glued to the back, I have my appliqué shape ready to go. I can make my little bumblebees the same way. I can make them in a long chain and then trim them separate/ These are small enough I don’t even need to glue them. I’m just going to do one bee right after another. That stabilizer’s holding it firm for me so I don’t have to worry about anything stretching. Once I have one wing, on I turn it around and I can sew the next wing on. Just do one long rope. We can trim these off after and glue those threads onto the back. Take off that stabilizer so we have the same thing; they’re just going to be smaller. I now have all my little bumblebees done. I have my little bees, my two corners done, and the background fabric done. Now I’m going to be able to lay these out. At a close look at the pattern you’ll see that you have two corners on one side and then these little bees circling around a little heart shape. This is a nice suggestion but we can lay it out any way we want. I’ve decided to change the layout and have them on opposite corners. These are already stitched together so this is going to be easy. I have my little bees ready to go. Before I stitch anything down I want to fill in the center. If we want to do a shape we can do it on paper first. To find the placement of anything that I want to put in the center I want to draw it out first, so I want to use something that I can see through. Something like tissue paper or, in this case, wax paper. Now I’m going to be able to draw on the wax paper to see if I like what it’s going to look like. With the wax paper it is hard to draw on so you’ll have to use something like a marker. I have a heart shape that I want. The heart ends go underneath the beehives. To speed things up, I don’t want to do any hand-stitching at all. So I’m going to use marker stitching. Place your design on top of something white. That’s going to make it so that you can see through it better. Test to make sure that ink is not going to transfer. Put this placemat right over top of our design. You’re going to be able to see through it if you have a white surface. I’m going to be able to just move the top of this until I have it in the position that I want. These are not stitched down so you can always move them. I can see my lines right underneath. I will be drawing my stitching line with a black marker that is made for fabric and is permanent. From here I can duplicate my stitching lines. Do the design all the way around. Once my artificial stitching lines are done I can put any words that I want on. I’m going to take that piece of wax paper, place it back on top, and I can do any writing that I want. We can do that writing first and then do this all at the same time, or you can do it in different order. The words on the pattern are “in Love,” but I’m going to use my own writing. I have it back on that wax paper and I’m going to put that underneath and find a nice location for it. Once I have filled my artificial sewing in I’m going to be able to glue on these ends. I’ll only need a little bit of glue. I’m going to put a little bit in each of those hexagons, making sure all of my threads are tucked inside. Glue it in the location that I want. Do the next side. The next I’ll be able to glue on my little bumblebees. In the pattern they have them flying around the stitching line. I can now glue on my little bumblebees. I have used a total of twenty-six of these 1″ hexagons and I’ve used seven bees. Once we’re happy with the front we can now iron it. The ironing is going to help set that black magic marker and it will hold everything in place. From there I’ll layer it to get it ready for quilting. For my quilting I’m going to make it very simple. Put the walking foot on and I’m going to go all the way around the outside shape. Then do a few lines inside just to hold that center down. I’ll do that also to the side ones. Then I’m going to follow my drawn line, then I’m going to go around my hexagon, and then finish the line. I keep following the line until I hit a bee. I’m going to stitch him down and keep going. After the main pieces have been quilted on, I just continue the theme with a hexagon pattern just to fill in all the spots. One more thing: I’m going to trace over top of my original lines to give them an extra coat of ink and also to cover any of the threads that stitched over my fake sewing lines. Once it was all quilted and trimmed I had enough fabric left over to do the binding. Annie’s Creative Quilters Fabric Club had this really cute pillow I’ve used this as inspiration and have made a nice big placemat—or it could be used for a centerpiece on the table. I love the look of the English paper-pieced hexagons, but I also like not having to do all the hand-sewing. A special thank-you to Annie’s for allowing me to share the pattern with you. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!

65 thoughts on “Machine English Paper Pieced Table Runner”

  1. Thanks for your easy to understand directions! How did you quilt those extra hexagpns on the background fabric so perfectly!? Its so cute! I love bee themed quilts and projects!

  2. I love this! I just can't do the hand stitching in mass quantity anymore, so machine stitching is the way to go. This is fantastic. Great tutorial! <3

  3. What a lovely piece of art. I am just wondering how much time it took to make it , looks very time consuming.

  4. Beautiful! Love the method and the fabrics are wonderful. Wish I knew how you quilted the hexagon shapes though!

  5. You always come up with such wonderful tips and different ways to get things done! You are so good Laura!

  6. Laura, this is so nice….. I’ve hesitated so often doing these hexies…but this is really an easy way to do….love it !

  7. VERY nice! The pace (thanks to your professional editing) is fast, instruction clear, ideas are great! I would probably print a full sheet of hexagons all fitting together (as the finished product) so not to waste stabilizer. If you can show machine settings it would be nice for those of us who don’t hear so well. Thank you so much for a wonderful video tutorial. Thanks also for showing your beautiful quilting. Perfect finish.

  8. In describing the printing of the hexagons, you are talking about the stabilizer but say you can put the interfacing through the printer. Close to the end you make reference to the paper. This confused me. I do EPP, use the paper hexis but take all the paper out after the hexi is totally enclosed. Will you clear this up for me? Did you print on paper? Do you take the paper out prior to stitching down? Thanks for clarifying.

  9. That is an amazing piece of work…. wow. Something I won’t tackle . But it’s beautiful 😍 🌹❀️🌹❀️

  10. You’re a great teacher and so pleasant to listen to. I love your tips for this project and for sew many of your other ones.

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  12. This is awesome! You make it so easy & I love the pattern & fabric! Thanks Laura. Once again you Rock It!

  13. Is it possible to get the original pattern, I love the heart that was added to the center of topper and the slight changes you made.

  14. This is very cute, thank you! I can't find the pattern anywhere? All I see are hexagon templates. Is there a pattern and instructions for all the cutting dimensions somewhere? ps. When did you take the paper out of the hexagons, o r did you sew the paper right into the quilt. Thanks for you help. Loved your quilt when it was finished πŸ™‚

  15. Great video, although it would be nice to see a finished image of the quilt at the beginning so we have a reference of what your making. Thanks

  16. How did you quilt the hexagon pattern? Did you have to back stitch? Would you make a quick video demonstrating this? Thanks.

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