Thursday, March 29, 2012

it's a month of runners and you will be going into circles with Rhonda on this Transformer Table Runner

Hey Y'all my name is Rhonda and I blog over at Quilter in The Gap. I live in the most amazing place called Cumberland Gap aka The Gap. Here in The Gap there aren't too many people - only 210 and of that 210, I don't know of any other quilters. Now there is a very good chance there is another quilter here, I just don't know who they are....if you happen to know who they are will you send them my way? Oh how quickly I digress....

When I was about 9 my mother decided she needed to have more children (at the time I wasn't sure why) and not being a woman to do anything in a small way she took me from being an only child to being the oldest of three...she had twin boys....ugh!!! As they got older they watched all kinds of gross shows like Dukes of Hazard, He-Man, and Transformers. Now I am not talking about the cool Transformers of today with the great effects but instead the terrible cartoon of the mid-80s. I hated boys TV but it does stick with you!!

So, when it came time to name this table runner that easily converts to placemats, hot pads, and even wall art if you so desire, Transformers were the first thing to come to mind! This Transformer Table Runner is super easy to make! Before we get started let me show you a Christmas version I make for Cindy:

Picture taken by Cindy
Here is the version we will work on today:

Cindy's picture is much more creative!! LOL
You probably noticed today's version only has 4 circles instead of 6. The choice is yours. You can make it as long or as short as you like. Think of the fun the kids would have with this runner if it were 10 or more circles long....UBER FUN!!!

Ok...let's get started...I have babbled on long enough!!

Supplies Needed:

1 yd. white solid or fabric of choice
1/2 yd red solid or fabric of choice
1/2 yd turquoise solid or fabric of choice
5 fat quarters Rendezvous fabric or fabric of choice
1/2 yd for binding
white thread and/or matching/contrasting thread
2 yds Insul-Bright Batting
2 yds lightweight fusible interfacing
3 fabric covered buttons & fabric to finish
3 "under" buttons (this will make sense later)
wire
embroidery floss or ribbon
rulers and rotary cuters choice


1.  First you need to decide the size of your background circles. I would start with the dimensions of your table. You don't want it to be too wide for you table or too small for your table. For me, 18" wide was just about right. So, knowing this dimension, cut your base circles this diameter. You need two circles for each piece (front & back). For today's runner you need a total of 8-18" circles. I cut 4-18" white circles, 2-18" turquoise circles, and 2-18" red circles.

2. Now you need your decorative circles. This is all about personal preference. You can cut as many or as few as you would like. I cut the following sizes: 13", 2-12", 11.5", 10.5",2-7", 6.5", 6", 2-5.5" 3.5". It is very possible (and quite probable) and I didn't use them all.

NOTE: I used the following rulers to cut my circles: Circle Cut by ezQuilting and Cut A Round. I would highly recommend the CutARound but I think I need more practice with the Circle Cut.

3. Lay out all your decorative circles (this does not include your background circles) on your interfacing. Be sure your fusible side is facing the front of your fabric. This will make sense later. Pin. Roughly cut around each circle.
Circles are face down and the interfacing is fusible side up!

Pin the circles to the interfacing and then roughly cut out so they fit in the sewing machine easier.
4. Sew all the way around each circle - do NOT leave an opening for turning.

5.  Trim tightly around each circle with pinking shears if you have them. If you don't have pinking shears be sure to snip into the seam allowance.

A circle trimmed all the way around with pinking shears.

Trimmed very close to the stitching line.
6.  Carefully pull apart the interfacing and the fabric and snip the interfacing enough so that you can turn the circles right side out.

Carefully cut a slit in the interfacing.

Turn circle right side out.
7.  After turning the circles right side out, carefully press them on a pressing sheet (I use a piece of parchment paper). Press them so that they are nice & round and there is no interfacing showing on the front.

Press on Parchment paper so it doesn't stick to your ironing board

No interfacing showing from the front.


NOTE:  Don't skip using a pressing sheet or parchment paper because at this point the fusible part of the interfacing will be on the outside and if you aren't careful you will press it to your ironing board!

8.   Carefully place each circle where you want them on the front and back. Remember you will be stitching through all the layers so you might want to think about how that stitching will show through the various layers. I used pins to show placement. I didn't want my stitching to cut through a circle like this:

Test project where the stitching cuts through the circle. YUCK!!!
Instead I wanted my circles to be more concentric like this:

Much prefer the a more concentric look - again the choice is yours!
(please ignore ugly stitching - my machine hates me!!!)
I use the pin method for placement. Let me explain... I put pins in the perimeter of the circles. The allows me to see where I can/need to place the circles on the other side. Does that make sense? Maybe pictures will help....

Place pins around the circle on the top side.

On the backside the pins without heads (the ones not holding the background piece on) are the ones you would want to stay within the perimeter of. 

9. After placement has been worked out, press them where you want them. This is why you wanted the fusible to be on the outside - it does away with pins through all those layers which will cause ugly bumps. Now, stitch all the circles down using a walking foot. I stitched very close to the edge of each circle because I liked the look of that. I stopped there. You may decide to do some more decorative stitching or maybe even some hand stitching (I did hand stitching on the Christmas version above).

Circle after stitching, prior to trimming and binding.

10. Trim each circle and bind using your favorite method. Here is a great tutorial on bias binding - which is needed for these circles.



11. Let's make our buttons! First cover your 3 buttons by following the directions on the package. Your three "under" buttons should be a bit smaller than your fabric covered buttons but not too small. they are the buttons that will really be used. The fabric covered buttons are only for decoration.Using a piece of wire that is about12" long run it through the fabric covered button and then through the "under" button leaving a space of about an inch between the two. Run the wire back through the "under" button and wrap that inch long piece of wire several times. Snip wire once you have a strong enough piece. Tie off a piece of embroidery floss or ribbon and wrap the wire so as to hide it. Glue down the edge using Fabri-Tac or glue of your choice. See collage below for what I hope will be clarification. NOTE: you are essentially trying to make cuff links.


12. Now to turn these circles into Transformers!!! Each circle needs two buttonholes and they need to be directly across from each other. This allows them to used in any configuration desired. The button holes should fit the "under" buttons NOT the fabric covered buttons. Lay your circles out and decide where the buttonholes should go - they should be directly across from each other.



You are done! Phew!

BUSTED!!!! Standing on the table for that one shot!

Even the backs are cute...so essentially you have 8 circles!

My sad attempt at an "artsy fartsy" shot...so, not a photographer!!!
I sure hope you will try making your own Transformer Table Runner. Since you used Insul-Bright Batting you can unbutton your runner and use the individual circles as potholders or hotpads. They can also be used as placemats. The choice is yours!

A great big THANKS to Madame Samm for having me over for a visit today! You are much appreciated for all you do in blogland!

I would love to have you stop by the The Gap sometime. We have a grand time there! We are getting ready to start a new round of the Finish A Long with some spectacular prizes....come check it out....UFOs be done!!!

97 comments:

  1. Rhonda i am loving these....very cute idea....thanks for all the pics they will help..have a great day!

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  2. woot, woot, cute tut! I am imagining two young boys using these like frisbees while setting the table--hey, kids will do anything they perceive as fun so this is an awesome idea for work and play!

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  3. I love these! Thanks for the detailed tutorial with all the pics-just what I need. :)

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  4. Good Morning Rhonda....get out of here....this is sew simply ingenious...love it love it...I am seeing dots...simply put you rock, no that is not it..you are like those bubbles we blow outside in the spring...but you are giants...love this...I will be making this..you can count on it

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  5. Hi, it's Rhonda correct. I adore this project, soon to be on my growing runner list from this blog. I never know what I will be seeing. Ladies you do so much for us all, thank you kindly. Dana in Mexico

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  6. Fun colors! Love the tut, especially how to do the fusible, sew then turn. The photos are a big help. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. What a cute table runner! I liked the way it looked hanging up on the line too!

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  8. This is very clever - although my gransons would see it as a great place to race their cars! A super job with your tutorial.

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  9. Very cool idea! The buttons are ingenious.

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  10. I have to laugh at this. I love the colours and hanging on your line made me think of how my boys would love to grab them and start throwing them. lot's of talent here, thank you for sharing yours with me.

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  11. How funny, I had just clicked over to Rhonda's website yesterday to listen to one of her podcasts. I saw the picture of this on the blog but didn't realize she was making it for here!

    Innovative idea and perfect since I've been trying to figure out how to incorporate a runner with placemats. This is perfect!

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  13. These are sooooo creative, Rhonda! I love them!

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  14. Great idea - great name. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. OK the FMQ the circles kind of scares me, but I love the way they look!!

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  16. This is so fun, and the construction is very clever, thank you for the tutorial.

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  17. Cute runner! Not what I expected from the name though -- I immediately thought of the transformers my son played with!

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  18. Totally up my alley and I am going to make this! Love the circles! Thanks Rhonda

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  19. Thanks for the tutorial Rhonda! I loved this runner when I saw it on Cindy's blog!

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  20. Very cute project. Wonderful directions, too!

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  21. I will have to give quilt as you go another try. you make it look easy and the project is beautiful.

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  22. That is such a great idea and I love the circles.

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  23. This is really clever. I want to make right now. Thanks to Madame Samm to ferret out you wonderful, clever quilters.

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  24. Very fun design and I love the buttons that allow you to use the table runner different ways!

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  25. What an interesting way to use circles. Great tutorial. Ming (mdai97@yahoo.com)

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  26. Oh this is fabulous! I have a snowman table runner with 4 circles and this could be a summer version! thanks for the great tutorial!

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  27. These are really neat - I think I need to add these to my bucket list of things to do. Thanks.

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  28. Rhonda, I so love circles, and this one is great! I'm thinking the circle patterns would make a lovely quilt!

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  29. Oh great tutorial and wonderful idea. Thank you.

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  30. Very fun, different take on a runner. Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Great unique idea and tutorial! Love the name Transformer! Thanks for sharing.

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  32. What an amazing concept. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  33. THANK YOU SO FOR A WONDERFUL TUTORIAL! THIS IS A KEEPER!
    HAPPY STITCHING!

    msstitcher1214@yahoo.com

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  34. Really neat idea. Looks like I need to add another project to my list. Thanks for the tut.

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  35. Rhonda, this transformer is awesome! I'm feeling quite the village idiot here...I got so lost in the instructions and can't figure out what you did after making the decorative circles. However, I'm resourceful enough to take inspiration from your creation and work it out in some way to come to basically the same end result. I've seen smallish holiday garlands made in a like manner, but as a table runner and such it is much more appealing to me! And it has such a fun look too. Great job!

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  36. The circles are adorable and the tutorial makes them look easy. Thanks.

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  37. What a creative idea for a table runner. Thanks for sharing.

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  38. Wow what a great tute. Thanks for doing this!!

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  39. Wow, I´m impressed! Maybe I´d try.to sew one of these!
    Gun, Sweden
    gun@lapp.se

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  40. Love those bright colors! Thanks for the tutorial. (marshudson at comcast dot net)

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  41. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but I think of Dr. Seuss when I look at this runner (it's a good thing, I promise!). It's completely adorable. Great job!

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  42. Love the way you have done those circles.

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  43. I like your technique with the interfacing to make circles. I could use that on lots of things.

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  44. So unique! Thanks for showing this to us!

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  45. This is an awesome tutorial! Thanks so much for this!

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  46. Transformers...more than meets the eye...sorry couldn't resist that. Having 2 boys I heard that theme often when they were young! What a cute project and how creative! I never would have thought about making it changeable. I love the circles and a big thanks about your warning when ironing after making the circles and turning them right side out. I could see myself ironing them to my ironing board!

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  47. Very cool design. thanks for sharing.

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  48. Gorgeous! Have never tried circles, I'm scared!

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  49. I love this method of making circles. Although I'd like to make a project with circles, I've been avoiding them. I think that this might motivate me to give them a shot. Thanks.

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  50. Endless possibilities for your runner. Thanks for sharing.

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  51. I lived with boy cousins who loved Transformers and - so did my little sister- Now I have the song stuck in my head :) I was not expecting circles- I was expecting robot type squares and rectangles! I love them! Thanks for the fun tutorial!!

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  52. Whoo hooo! I follow Rhonda at her blog - lovely things going on there! Thanks for the great tutorial and the chance to win, too!

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  53. How cute is this? A million different ideas depending on the fabric you use......spell out a child's name for their door or wall?

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  54. Adorable project...thanks for the fun tutorial!
    ~Terry~

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  55. Fun idea, I like the originality of it :) thanks for sharing!

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  56. Rhonda--great tutorial. Maybe someday...circles frighten me!LOL Great idea Thanks for the clear instructions.

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  57. So cute Rhonda! Glad to see you here. I've followed you for a long time. Love this!

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  58. Fab tute Rhonda, and it was an inspired idea from the start :-)

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  59. Thanks for the tutorial , great job!

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  60. What a clever idea to do circles! It would be so cute turned into the Hungary Catapillar for a birthday themed party. Nice job.

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  61. What fun! I will definitely be making this one!!!

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  62. Not to my taste, but I suspect my boys would love them; as frizbee's rather than table toppers though, lol.

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  63. Loved your Christmas runner and this Transformer too! Thanks for a clear tute and such a fun and useful item :)

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  64. Great tutorial.....thanks a bunch as they sure help to inspire me!

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  65. Awesome! Love the fabric buttons :)

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  66. What a nifty idea, Rhonda. My GGrands will love them. Thank you.

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  67. So cute!!! Thanks for a great idea!!!

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  68. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I am a little less intimidated.

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  69. Super cute project, thanks for the tutorial!

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  70. What a creative idea! I didn't realize when I saw this in the Modern Christmas Table Runner swap, how much work you had put into making it.

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  71. The circles are so cute and different!

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  72. very cool idea!
    Spring is bubbles and these remind me of bubbles
    Pattiarb@hotmail.com

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  73. fun looks like three sets of eyes peeking through the bushes
    in stitches

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  74. What a great idea! Thank you!

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  75. Clever idea. Love the buttons and being able to adjust the size of the runner needed. Great tutorial and thanks for sharing.

    Thank you for the giveaway and a chance to win a super gift.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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  76. I love how these all connect . . . or not! Great idea! :)

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  77. Rhonda, I've wanted to try a project with circles but, as a beginner, I've been hesitant. But your tutorial has me thinking I could do this. Thank you!!

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  78. What a clever table runner - so versatile and smart! Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  79. Great tutorial for your table runner.

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  80. The button method to attach those circles in so creative. My nephew collected Transformers way back. They were so difficult to find. Thanks for the sewwequilt post.

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  81. Thanks for sharing your tutorial with us.

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  82. Wow Rhonda! This is an awesome idea! I can see my grandies loving these, made up in their own favorite colors. thanks so much for the fun (and funny! LOL!) tutorial.

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  83. Really great innovation! Thanks for the tute!

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  84. How fun! Very clever, Rhonda. Such a versatile project. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring tutorial with us.

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  85. Rhonda, thank you for your wonderful tutorial. You make things seem so easy.

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  86. Your tutorial is great - I love the idea of using them as individual placemats rather than a table runner.

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  87. Tansformative tut thanks for the great idea and fun process

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  88. Thanks for the tutorial. I love the button idea and the look of the circles.

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