Something about ticking fabric has always appealed to me. I suppose it's the simple, understated elegance and functionality of it.
Originally, ticking was a tightly woven, (usually a twill weave) medium to heavy weight cotton or linen fabric whose pattern generally consisted of thin, dark colored vertical stripes on a white or beige background. True ticking was supposed to be so tightly woven that no light would pass through the weave.
That's because, way back when, when mattresses were stuffed with either feathers or straw, ticking was created and used as mattress fabric. It's close, tight weave and sturdiness was necessary in order to keep the pointy ends of feather shafts, or the ends of straw, from poking through the mattress and into the persons skin!
Today, modern ticking fabrics are used for multiple purposes, and patterns are a bit more diverse. Also, unlike the original versions that were so densely woven, it can now often be found in quilt weight fabrics and sold alongside commercial homespun fabrics. (By the way, "homespun" gets it's name from fabrics that originally were spun and woven in one's home, as ticking might have been).
Now, when making these table runners, I wanted to keep the integrity of the ticking's simplicity. Thus, I focused on various ways to make an interesting runner without much, (or any) piecing.
For the runner above, I kept the cloth whole. Then I quilted it with various wavy and straight lines that followed the pattern of the stripes. This added a fun pattern and texture, without competing against the pattern of the fabric. The chocolate shot-cotton binding goes nicely with the brown ticking stripes.
This runner also started out as a whole cloth, which I quilted in straight rows going down the center of each wide, tan stripe. I then added some patches in the same fabric, placing them cross grain and appliquéing in place with a zig-zag stitch. I then quilted the patches as well. A rust-brown shot-cotton binding helps add to this runner's rustic warmth.
For this last runner I began with a center panel of ticking, then edged it with two smaller panels of a linen/cotton blend. Once again, the quilting was kept simple as not to compete with the humbleness of the fabric. Thin wavy lines were quilted along the ticking and slightly wavier lines along the solid linen/cotton boarders. The multi colored striped ticking fabric that I used in the first runner worked great as the perfect binding for this piece.
For more information on any of these quilted ticking table runners, just click on the links below each one.
And until next time...
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!