Thursday, 2 February 2012

Recycled runner

Mum and I like going to antique fairs, on the lookout for bargains!  There don't seem to be as much in the way of textiles as there used to be there, but it's always fun to see what we can find.

At the last fair we went to, I bought a hand-embroidered linen table runner for just £1.  It's an unbleached linen, and I would guess the design is from the 1970s, though if anyone recognises it, do let us all know!

The design at each end is the same, and here it is in close up:

However, I've arranged the photos carefully to show you the good end.  The runner as a whole was absolutely filthy, and was badly stained at one end.  I washed it well and did my best to get the stains out, but not only did I not entirely succeed, where some of them had been went into holes:

There didn't seem much point in trying to get the remaining marks out as not only might that cause more damage, but there wasn't anything to be done about the holes that had appeared already, so it was now useless as a runner (I have standards!).  Most of it was fine, however, so I decided to use what I could and make a cushion cover out of it.

I got a rectangular pad, but it was too long to centre the design on, so I did my best to get all the feather filling at one end, and machine stitched a line to hold it about 8cm (3") in:

The line of stitching's a bit wobbly as it wasn't the easiest thing to manoeuvre through the sewing machine!

I cut off the damaged end, and cut the remaining fabric into sections - one for the front, and two which will overlap for the back:

I want to use as much as possible of the embroidery, so I'm using the undamaged part from the damaged end on the back.

I overlocked the cut edges, and hemmed the edges of the overlapping back sections using bright pink thread and a fancy stitch on my machine:

Pinned, tacked, machined round the edges and turned right side out - from the back, showing the overlap I'll use to insert the cushion pad (no zips!):

And from the front:

And with the cushion pad in, on the armchair:

Nice and comfy!


  1. That works really well - a great piece of upcycling (dreadful word, but great idea!)

  2. It's a lovely and very unusual pattern - sort of a seventies take on a Glasgow Rose design? - but it looks fantastic as a cushion. :o)