I’m a huge Ray and Charles Eames fan. Working at a museum I’m lucky to have a bit of Eames in my work day more times than not. Ray herself loved color. She contributed a lot of the color and style direction to the Eames duo. Watching the Eames’ collection of films, you’ll see how important color was to their design approach.
When challenged with creating a project around Windham Fabrics’ Colonies Solids by Nancy Gere, my mind went immediately to Ray and Charles. While the collection is described as being great for “any historic or traditional project and be amazed how well it coordinate with the many projects on which you’re about to embark,” the bold, solid colors made me think of the same powerful palette of Ray and a simple, pleasing approach for today’s entertaining needs.
I created a solid-centered tablecloth with some of my favorite colors from the New Colonies collection. For this project I used:
- Chrome Yellow
- Poison Green
- Madder Red
Assembly of the tablecloth is simple – long strips of fabric are pieced together and hemmed at the end. (Easy, right? Yep.). The finished size is roughly 58×70.”
Tablecloth Tip: Never made your own tablecloth before? Take a look at a store-bought cloth that you like and seems to be a good fit for your table. Take measurements and use that as your go-to size for future projects. Adjust this project to fit your own size needs.
Cut the following pieces. Sew each cut pair into one long strip. (Sew two pairs of the orange fabric.) The yellow fabric is cut into two solid pieces:
- Orange – Cut four 8×30″ pieces
- Red – Cut two 10×30″ pieces
- Green – Cut two 10×30″ pieces
- Purple – Cut two 10×30″ pieces
- Yellow – Cut two 15.5×60″ pieces
A few notes…
- I had about 1-2 yards of each color as a coordinating table runner (another project with New Colonies is coming next!) will go with this.
- If you don’t want hems in the individual colors, buy additional fabric to account for the lack of a seam. A longer cut will eliminate the seam and give you extra for future projects.
- I wanted staggered seams in the center colors only (there are no seams in the longer yellow pieces), so I made the orange pairs a bit longer and trimmed to the size of the finished cloth.
Piece together each section with 1/4″ seam. Press the seam over with a hot iron. Secure the seam in place by topstitching the center of each seam. I like to use a contrasting thread color for colorful projects like this.
Once all color pairs are sewn together, it’s time to hem the raw edges of the tablecloth. On the shorter ends of the cloth, fold the cloth 1/2,” pin or clip and sew down. Repeat this for the longer sides of the cloth.
Working with the shorter sides again, fold over the edge one last time and sew down. Trim any excess fabric from the corners and sew the longer sides of the cloth.
Trim excess threads and press the entire cloth before setting your summer table.
After you wash your tablecloth for the first time, trim any additional threads that might have frayed from washing.
The samples I was sent from Windham were a great quilting weight. They feel sturdy but not heavy, making them ideal for a tablecloth. Pressing the fabric is a breeze, which is especially important as tablecloths are meant to be used, washed, ironed, and put on the table time and time again.
If you’re looking for some project inspiration straight from the source, take a look at this project brochure.
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Eames-Inspired Summer Stripe Table Runner