Saturday, November 15, 2014

Handmade Hanukkah: Table Runner Edition

In continuing the holiday theme, I present......

Hanukkah Table Runner

As part of the "Handmade Holidays" series, I searched for fun, fresh handmade projects to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.   It was a bit of a challenge. 

I did find this blog post, with  wonderful handmade Hanukkah cards.   I love the idea and the design so much, that I needed to make it into some kind of hand-sewn project for the upcoming Jewish holidays.

photo courtesy of

The kind folks over at BagelsandCrawfish gracious provided permission for me to use their cards as inspiration for my projects.  Hop over here to read more about how they made these delightful cards.

What you'll need:
  • 1 fat quarter for background
  • assorted scraps for candles
  • 5" square of orange for flames
  • large scrap for menorah
  • iron on fusible such as Steam-A-Seam Lite or similar
  • 1 yard or 2 fat quarters for table runner
  • backing 20" x 63"
  • matching thread

To begin the project, I selected a white background from my fat quarter stash collection, and spend a few minutes poking through my scrap bin to find some bright, colorful pieces for the candles.  It really evoked my memories of the brightly colored candles we used when I was young, and still use today.   
The candle scraps  were about 1-2: wide and about 6" long.    For the menorah base, I sue a fat quarters I'd been saving for something special - this project definitely qualified.

Prepare your background by marking the center.

For the menorah base, cut a piece of fusible about 4-6" wide x 12"  long
Fuse to the WRONG side of the fabric,
From the fused fabric, cut the pieces for your menorah base as desired.
Arrange your pieces, centered on the bottom 1/3 of your background.

Once you are satisfied with the placement, remove the paper backing and fuse the pieces to the background following the manufacturer's directions.

For the candles, iron fusible to the scraps you selected and cut them to about 1" x 6"
Cut one slightly large candle for the center "shamash" candle.
Finally, cut 9 teardrop shapes for the flames - this is much easier when the fabric is pre-fused (ask me how I know)

I wanted to really highlight the "handmade" look seen in the cards, so I paid special attention to making the candles not appear perfectly straight.

Once all of the candles and flames are firmly fused, you can do a number of creative things with your fabric menorah.  I decided on a table runner.

Trim the menorah block square; mine turned out to be 20: x 20"

To complete the table runner,  I then added a 20"x 20" section of novelty fabric on each side.   Two fat quarters could be substituted also
I backed it with leftover holiday fabric sections measuring 20" x 63", leaving a 6"-8" section open for turning.
Finish off by whip stitching the opening.

I will be quilting the table runner, so I left one short side open to allow for batting.

For more information about the Jewish Holiday of lights, and the traditional prayers said over the candles each night, click here.

Happy Hanukkah!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oooh, Look! Sparkly!

It's that time of year again.

We're getting a little tired of Pumpkin Spiced anything,  and the poor Thanksgiving turkey is sobbing in the corner because he got squeezed out between Halloween and the looming Christmas festivities.

And those of us who celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights,  often wonder where "our" holiday decoration are.

So this year, I'm doing something different!

In searching for inspiration, I came across a lovely paper piecing pattern by Marsha Hohn at Quilter'sCache for this "menorah" block*. At first, I noticed how many little pieces there were!   But following the numbers in this pattern, it went quickly, and easily.....
and turned out looking wonderful!

After completing the block,  I did some stitch in the ditch around the menorah and candle.   To add some texture, I did some free-motion quilting to the background in a matching tread,
I decided it stood very well on its own, so I simply added a facing, instead of the more traditional binding.
It turned out  great, and will make a darling mini wall hanging to add some special sparkle to our house this Hanukkah!

*Permission generously provided by Marsha Hohn of