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Astar's craft - Embellished table runner, autumn flowers - 11 June

Linen bead embellished table runner

I'm planning a bit of a do for the girls and need a new table runner. In one of my overseas magazines I spotted a gorgeous pearl and bead table runner and just had to have one to dress the table. My search resulted in nothing, so I've resorted to plan B - make my own.

Things to gather
- From Spotlight either purchase a linen table runner or make your own from linen in a length and size to suit table.
- Sewing machine pins and matching thread.
- Several bags each of half-round, half-oval and half-teardrop-shaped plastic stones or pearls in various colours and finishes.
- Clear-drying washable fabric glue - Gem-Bond
- Kebab stick with a knob of beeswax attached. The waxy end makes for quick and easy application of stones to fabric. You simply stick waxed end onto bead, lift then deposit onto spot of glue.


To make runner
- Take linen to iron and turn over 0.5cm all edges.
- Press, then repeat.
- Sew edges.
- If you want to further enhance work - Spotlight has a great selection of cotton lace which could be used to trim all edges.
- Pin lace then stitch.

To embellish
- Lay out beads and begin to arrange them in a pattern to suit.
- Work from the top left hand corner, across then down.
- Once you have your desired pattern, dab a spot of glue on fabric then position each bead.
- Allow to dry flat for 24 hours.

Autumn floral display #4

What a great 4 weeks, and who would have imagined there was such an enormous array of material available to design with at this time of the year?

Each week I see more and more forms which I know I could turn into visual floral magic.

This week it's all about combining rust-coloured chrysanthemums with red cotoneaster berries and magnolia leaves reversed to reveal their lovely suede like finish.

Things to gather
- Medium-sized green floral wreath frame. Use the one that comes with a plastic backing.
- Big fat bunch of magnolia leaves.
- 10 stems of standard rust/orange chrysanthemums.
- Cotoneaster berry branches.
- And if you can find any: Several small orange pumpkins or gourds, or clusters of small mandarins.
- Wire and kebab sticks.

- Soak wreath frame and allow to drain on an old towel or paper towels.
- Cut all foliage, flowers and berries to a stem length of around 6cm.
- Mark the top, bottom and side sections of wreath and although the completed wreath is to rest on a table surface, establishing these points make for quicker and easy construction.
- Cover base with magnolia leaves.
- Work in the section groups as marked.
- Fill each section evenly with a couple of chrysanthemums, clusters of berries, and 1 or 2 gourds. 
- As each section is completed repeat pattern in the next working your way around until wreath is filled.
- A large central candle will immediately make for a wonderful table display for winter dining.