Image 16Autumn is my favorite season of the year.  Whenever I think of fall I think of beautiful earth tones of red, orange, gold with a hint of green and brown.  I enjoy watching from the window in my sewing room the leaves swirling and falling. Raking leaves, now that’s a different story.


In celebration of my favorite season I made this table runner featuring Crossroads Denim and fabric manipulation techniques from Amy Barickman’s new book dimensional denim


book cover

Crossroads Denim offers a wonderful selection of feel good denim perfect for casual home dec projects including some beautiful earth tones for fall projects.


Indygo Junction’s book dimensional denim by Amy Barickman provides the inspiration and techniques to make a wide variety of projects for the home as well as fashion apparel.


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Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread is a wonderful complement to the Crossroad Denim and perfect for these projects adding subtle texture and beautiful colors.  Use Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP All-Purpose thread in the bobbin. Whenever you want to add texture and depth to a project think of heavy threads.


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The Falling Leaves Table Runner uses Crossroads Denim, Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread and 2 techniques from the book dimensional denim; the Strip Wave Technique and Strip N’ Stitch.

I wanted to give a sense of movement from the waves in the trees or tall grass if you prefer, to the leaves free falling down the table runner. I have mixed and matched fabrics and threads reflecting the mix you find in a pile of leaves.

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For this project you will need:

Fire Red Denim, 1 yard

Mustard Seed Denim, ½ yard

Sweet Potato Denim, 1/4 yard

Midtown Moss Denim, ½ yard

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Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread:

# 2820, Barberry Red

# 8450, Dark Khaki

# 8150, Spice

# 7450, Dark Khaki

Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP All Purpose Thread – # 2680, Red Cherry

To Prepare Fabrics:

Fire Red Denim panel, 12” x 38”; Cut 1

Mustard Seed Denim strips. 2” x 38”; Cut 2

Mustard Seed Denim strips ,2” x 14”; Cut 2

6” squares in various denim colors; Cut 7”

2” strips of Midtown Moss the width of fabric; Tear 2

1” strips of assorted denim the width of fabric; Tear 4-6

The instructions and drawings in dimensional denim are easy to follow with step by step instructions suitable for beginners.  Photographs on the front and end covers show finished projects.

Below you will find abbreviated or modified versions of her instructions for 2 of the fabric manipulation techniques in the book.

The Strip Wave is easy to do.  Tear two 2” strips of denim the width of the fabric. Fold in half; don’t worry about hiding raw edges you want them to show!  I modified the instructions for this project to space the waves every 4 inches instead of every 3 inches. Mark stitch lines with an erasable marker from side to side along the long edges. Pin torn strips the length of the fabric 1 ½” and 3” from one side.  Stitch the length of the strip 3/8” from the folded edge.  Waves are created by turning back sections of the strips along the marked stitch lines.

Strip ImageThe waves on the table runner are spaced farther apart so three rows of stitching may be used with three different Coats Heavy threads.  Each row of stitching continues to the opposite side of the runner creating an attractive grid.

Remember when using heavier threads to use a larger needle, lengthen the stitch length and adjust the tension. Practice before you start! For easy step by step instructions refer to dimensional denim.

The second technique I wanted to experiment with was the Strip N’ Stitch. In the book squares and rectangles are used for this technique. I wanted to see how this technique would adapt to shapes other than squares and panels.  The key is to make the base first then cut out shapes.  See below.

Image 10To make the leaves cut 6” squares of denim in a variety of colors for the background panels. Cut at least 7 squares.

Tear 1” wide strips of denim the width of the fabric in contrasting or matching colors. Place strips on the diagonal spacing strips a scant 1/8” apart allowing the base fabric to show. When pinning strips extend the strips beyond edges as shown.  Use Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy thread to stitch down the middle of each strip with a narrow zigzag stitch.

Strip blockTrim away excess fabric.

Cut out paper leaf patterns. Pin leaf patterns so that strips are either horizontal or diagonal across the leaf. Cut.

To make the leaves pop cut corresponding leaf shapes from solid fabric.

These will be placed under and slightly off center from the Strip N’ Stitch leaf.

Download Indygo Junction Falling Leaves Table Runner Leaf Patterns here.

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Play with the placement of the leaves on the table runner. Pin in place once you are satisfied with their arrangement. Hint: small pieces of fusible adhesive may be used to keep the leaves in place while sewing in place.

To permanently attach the leaves use Coats Heavy thread to stitch around the outline of each leaf a scant 1/8” from the edge. Pull threads to the back of the base.

With a 1/2” seam allowance attach sashing pieces to the side first then to the bottom. Press.

With a damp cloth remove any markings from the front of the table runner panel. Press.

With right sides together pin the table runner to remaining Fire Red Denim. Trim away excess fabric. Sew front to back with a 1/2” seam allowance. Leave a 6” opening for turning. Clip corners. Turn. Press.

Hand stitch opening closed using Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP All-Purpose thread.

To finish the Falling Leaves Table Runner topstitch ¼” from outer edge with Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread.

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Care of Table runner:  hand wash or spot clean.

With a project like this you can always imagine other options. I can see ocean blue Strip Waves on a sandy beach with Strip N’ Stitch shells playing tag with the waves.

What would you do?  Snow balls and snow drifts? Hmmm that might work…

Well anyway, check out Amy’s book dimensional denim. There are more fabric manipulation techniques to explore!

Amy is giving away copies of Dimensional Denim, as well as a grand prize pack of the book, Crossroads fabric and Crossroads patterns. To win, click here and leave a comment to win. You can also purchase Dimensional Denim at 30% off using this code DDBT14 at checkout.


About the Author

Eizabeth Hill is a retired county extension agent who has taught countless 4-H’ers to sew. Elizabeth designs projects for Coats and Clark and she continues to share her love of sewing with youth in her church & community.

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