To Burlap or NOT to Burlap!

Monday, November 28, 2011
Burlap -- it is EVERYWHERE. I really thought I was going to jump on the bandwagon. After all, you all are making such wonderful things with it -- all you have to do is enter the word burlap in the search on Pinterest and you'll get a bazillion ideas for gorgeous things to make with it. I bought yards of it on sale at Joann's Fabric a few weeks ago thinking I would do a table runner or two to use with my Christmas decorating.

This PIN was my inspiration!

Only problem was when I actually went to work with it -- I HATED IT!! Really, I found it stinky and scratchy and I didn't like it one bit -- I feel better for saying that but hope I haven't alienated you burlap loving folks! I won't let what I bought go to waste - I'll find some way to use it in the garden next spring. But now I was left with no inspiration for my tabletops.

I really didn't want to spend any more money so I opened my craft cupboard and started rooting around. What I had there was a stack of these......

I buy these dish towels in bulk from Colonial Patterns for my embroidery work. I love these simple, red-striped cotton towels. Could they be turned into a runner? Well, I lived with that idea for a couple days and then I started cutting and sewing. I am very happy with the final product -- well, that should read products -- my sideboard, kitchen island, dining table and upright grand piano top are all sporting runners. I think they capture the old farmhouse feel I adore!

Joining the lovelies Susan and Marty for Met Monday and Tabletop Tuesday!


  1. Vintage Gal said...:

    Oh my ~ I think your runners are absolutely perfect~! Wow, LOVE them and I feel the same way about burlap. I sneeze when I work with it. I must get some of these. They are perfect for that farmhouse feel. ;-)

  1. Mecky said...:

    Ok, I will admit that I don't really care for burlap. I have never been one to jump on the bandwagon with new things people are doing.
    I totally LOVE what you have done with the toweling. PERFECT. That is so much more my style. In fact, I have got to buy some. It would look wonderful on my hoosier enamel top. The material reminds me of the kitchen towels I bought from Williams Sonoma. Love the material but totally hate their towels. They wash up to be mis shaped.
    Thanks for sharing

  1. Louise said...:

    I love your runners. They look great!!

  1. I love the runners! I love the farmhouse look also, but the colors of my island and cabinets would just clash. I will be remodeling the kitchen one day, though .....

  1. Love them! I would say they are perfect and quite versatile...Valentines Day follows very closely behind Christmas. ;-) Blessings, Barb

  1. kitty said...:

    I'm with you on the burlap...itchy, scratchy & smelly!!! I can't sew with it either. I personally think your red & white runners look PERFECT in your house.

  1. I've read you have to wash the burlap several times and use a ton of softener. I like your towels better. Thanks for sharing, Laura

  1. acorn hollow said...:

    I love the runner! I have always wondered about the burlap. I like the look in pictures but you are right it is stinky! who wants to eat on that. I will take your runner anytime.

  1. FABBY'S LIVING said...:

    I totally love your idea with the pretty towels and the red stripes, just perfect! I've never been close to burlap fabric, since it's never been my style, but than again, people have shown such lovely things they've made with it for a farm kind of kitchen, or table. Thanks for sharing. FABBY

  1. Lisa said...:

    Oh these are wonderful! I wondered about how it would be to decorate with burlap. I used it years ago to make a voodoo doll costume and well, I'm still itching from it :) Love love love the runners you created!

  1. Your inspiration photo is beautiful. I love what you ended up making. We used a lot of burlap at my daughter's wedding - I'm a fan of burlap. But I understand your aversion to it. I've heard a lot of people are allergic to it. I'm now a follower.

  1. Pam said...:

    Love your runners. I'll have to hop on over to Colonial Patterns and check the site out. I agree, I think burlap looks great in photos, but not real easy to live with. I made some burlap pillows that look pretty, but are way to scratchy for real use.

  1. Oh your runners look wonderful! I haven't even thought about trying the burlap trend -- I don't like itchy fabric.

  1. Your tastes are so similar to mine and I agree. Am not on the burlap bandwagon. To rough and scratchy.

  1. dr momi said...:

    The smell of burlap would get to me. Love the table runners you made!

  1. I think your table runners are a PERFECT idea. They're really cute and have a really neat romantic French look, too :) :) I especially love the ruffles on the end of the table runners :) :) Oh, yeah, red is my favorite color, too :) Have a great week. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  1. Olive Cooper said...:

    Gail, these are simply splendid and as you said capture YOU. I have not jumped on the burlap bandwagon either-have not one item. We are cosmic sisters me thinks. hugs♥O

  1. I love this! The only burlap I have in my house is in a picture frame, and I bought that at a yard sale :) I love the look, but we have a very "lived in" house and my family would never go for burlap because it's just too scratchy.
    Your tea towel creations are wonderful!! I love what you've done :)

  1. sweet violets said...:

    Love what you did with the toweling......I do the same, and buy it by the yard and make valences with it too. So glad you spoke up about the burlap!!! I feel the same way but was afraid to voice my opinion.....stinky, itchy and very dirty with all the lint from thanks!!! hugs...cleo

  1. I love your runner...and nothing more wonderful than a kitchen decorated for Christmas!

  1. Gen said...:

    New to your site via Marty's Tabletop Tuesdays and so glad I found you. Love the dishtowels from Colonial!
    Your tablescape is to lovely. Your kitchen is so beautiful decorated for the Christmas season! I will be back to spend more time at your amazing blog!

  1. Gen said...:

    New to your site via Marty's Tabletop Tuesdays and so glad I found you. Love the dishtowels from Colonial!
    Your tablescape is to lovely. Your kitchen is so beautiful decorated for the Christmas season! I will be back to spend more time at your amazing blog!

  1. I love your runners! i think that farmhouse look is so sweet and perfect for Christmas. I have a burlap runner and I love it but I didn't make it and don't think I could back to the decorating! hugs, Linda

  1. I love your runners! i think that farmhouse look is so sweet and perfect for Christmas. I have a burlap runner and I love it but I didn't make it and don't think I could back to the decorating! hugs, Linda

  1. Noelle said...:

    Just perfect, really I love them so much!! I came over from Stonegable, and I will be coming back again!!

  1. Kathy said...:

    Perfect! I love what you've done! I'll have to Pin this to come back to after the holidays!
    Hope you have a blessed week,

  1. Very pretty! Thanks for the link to Colonial Patterns; I have a brand new embroidery machine on the way and would love some towels to embroider on.

    I share your feelings on burlap; I kept seeing people do stuff with it and thought to myself, Really??


  1. I love your runners, so perfect with all your red pieces!

  1. Barbara said...:

    Hi Gail...thanks for stopping by 21Rosemary Lane today and for your lovely comment. Your runners look great...great job great execution!

  1. Donna said...:

    I have to agree with you, burlap smells, and has pieces that fall all over the place. The dish towels with the stripe are my choice also, timeless and crisp.

  1. Betty said...:

    Hi Gail,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I love your blog and I'm not for Burlap either. I love the feel of clean, white cotton. The dish towels are a addition to your kitchen and they match your red mixer. The table tops are amazing. Even a cloche of candles. Thanks again for visiting My Cozy Corner

  1. Shug said...:

    how creative you are...I love the runners...great job! go girl!!
    I'm with you, I don't like the smell of burlap.

  1. Gail thank you so much for visiting and for your sweet comments on my trees. I do hope you are going to share your trees soon as well. I will be watching for them. As for your runner, OMG! I totally love it. It looks so soft and wonderful with those ruffles. What a great idea! There is an employee at the fabric store who will not go near the burlap because she is allergic to it. She always gets someone else to handle the burlap customers. She said, even if she smells it, it makes her break out. Hope you are not allergic to it too. Anyway, you have certainly found a beautiful substitute!

  1. deb said...:

    that is the coolest runner ever!!!!! I too am going thru the burlap thing but Im thinking there got to be some softer tighter woven burlap out there somewhere????? I bought a burlap table runner from pottery barn and its nice and soft! Love the way your runner turned out!!!!

  1. OhioPioneer said...:

    I love the runner!!! And the tip about Colonial Patterns. Thanks Gail!


  1. Marlis said...:

    These turned out fabulous. Loving all red and white this year. Actually burlap gets better with age.. and I did very little to our runner. just folded it in half and overcast the open side and then fringed the two ends..

    I think I am going to find some of those towels to add to my red and white! thanks for dropping by and leaving your gracious comments.. xo marlis

  1. Karen said...:

    so cute - I am going to check out this link.

  1. Glenda said...:

    So pretty! And I love your farmhouse kitchen!

  1. Jacqueline said...:

    How funny! I haven't gotten into burlap yet either. I was hoping there was a softer nicer one out there. The towels are lovely and I just adore the ruffled ends. So perfect for now but for any time of year too.

  1. Wonderful!! I love that so much better than burlap!!

  1. Debbie said...:

    I absolutely love the look of burlap, but I also discovered how hard it is to work with. And yes... stinky too.
    I love what you did instead. It's really perfect to me.

  1. Love your white runners. Very cute idea there!!!! I do like the table setting with the burlap, very, very country. And your centerpiece is nice.

    Enjoy your new sewing room!!!


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