Hearts for Valentine's Day

Hearts for Valentine's Day

I don't know what it is, but I am seriously focused on setting a festive table for every single holiday and special occasion.

First of all, a nicely decorated table reminds me to keep the table clean and clear of day to day clutter. We all come home from the work or school or everyday shopping and drop everything on the table. I'm hoping to stop this bad habit. I just have to find a new "location" for all my stuff... 

Designing My Valentine was a fun way to transition from the Christmas and New Year holidays into a simple special occasion - Valentine's Day. I selected fabrics with bold shades, not a traditional red, white, and pink. Our Nuance Gradation batiks are perfect for this project don't you think?

My original plan was to create four place mats - but after sewing the strip segments together I decided on a full table runner instead. Our special "heart" is constructed from one of our Nuance Gradation shades - Fuchsia. It's fun to work with Nuance Gradations - there are so many shades within one fabric.

I'd like to share a few basics about each component of our My Valentine Table Setting.

My Valentine - Table Runner

The design behind this runner was easier than you think - but there is one twist. The black "grout" between the strips is a little twist. Some might say this strip is just a bit too narrow to sew. But once you have your quarter-inch foot set to just "shy" of a quarter inch it all comes into place easily!

Keeping the various Nuance shades separate was very important to me. I purposely envisioned the tiniest strip possible.

Here are a few steps I took along the way.

Only Nuance Gradation Batiks are used for the top of this project.  Seven (7) fabrics are actually 21 different shades! The "grout" is Nuance Gradation in the shade of Terra. Slim strips of fabric from selvage to selvage.
"Grout" is sewn to each strip of background fabric. Strip segments are cut from each background fabric.

Layout the background strips in a pleasing rotation. I simply put two strips of the same shade together. Keep the grout on the right side when laying out each strip segment.

 Sew the strips together. I love using the Pressing Strip to press these skinny seams. The Pressing Stick has a rounded top and guides the seams away from the center fabric.

The heart is prepared the same way as the background strips. We feature our Nuance Gradation - Fuchsia as the heart. I love the transition in shade from bright pink to deep wine.
I used a simple edge stitch to securing the edge of the heart to the background. We do include fusible if you wish to use fusible. Ready to quilt and bind!


I quilted our table runner on our longarm using a cute edge-to-edge heart design. The back of the table runner is our 115" wide Batik Cotton - Spray - Shazaam which is a mix of bright and fun shades. The thread used is a variegated thread from YLI.


Matching Cloth Dinner Napkins

Every table needs cloth dinner napkins. I love the extra special touch that cloth napkins give to a table setting.

I pulled the fabric of the heart from the table runner out to the napkin. This is the Nuance Gradation Batik in the shade of Fuchsia.

Here are the steps I followed to finish the napkins:

  • Prewash the fabric using Synthrapol
  • Measure and cut 4 rectangles measuring 18" x 22" each. Dinner napkins are typically 18" or 20" square. I decided to use the entire yard and not waste 2". This is why my napkins are a not square.
  • Set my serger to a 3 thread rolled hem
  • Threaded my serger with a 2 spools of So Fine that matched the fabric shade and a third that was much black. I love contrast to set off the stitching.
  • Engaged the knife and serged all four sides of each napkin.
  • Sealed the corner threads with Fray Check and clipped the threads.
  • Give each napkins a quick press and - DONE

If you don't have a serger - no worries. I recommend two methods of finishing the edges.

Using a rolled edge foot:  with your fabric wrong side up and under your presser foot, curl the edge of the fabric into the rolled edge foot. Stitch slowly around all four sides of your napkins. This does take a bit of practice, but it's a beautiful edge when completed.

A very formal method is a double fold, mitered corner, top-stitching finish. Now that's a mouthful!  We'll attack this method in another "lessons learned".


The Batik Charger Plate

How many rectangular place mat sets do you have? My answer is "lots". After setting the table with the My Valentine table runner in the center, the place setting looked unfinished. A traditional place mat would be overpowering and distracting.

Round - we need round.

I could have gone to the store and purchased matching plastic or metal chargers, but what's the fun in that. We who have fabric - so we Sew!


I quilted 1 yard each of two fabrics: Nuance Gradation - Hyacinth Violet for the top, wool batting, and Batik Cotton - Spray - Shazaam for the back. On the back side of the charger, draw a circle around your dinner plate with a fabric pencil.
Determine how much of the charger you wish to be visible under your dinner plate. I recommend 1" all the way around. Using your sewing machine, seal the edge 1" away from the pencil drawing.  Cut away the excess fabric. Bind the charger sewing the bias binding to the back of the charger.
Pull the binding to the top using clips to hold the binding in place. Top stitch around the binding using a decorative stitch.


In Summary

We hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit about our special My Valentine Table Setting. What will your table look like for this special occasion?

Keep Sewing, Smiling, and Sharing

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