The Stair Runner is a Doner

The stairs from our first floor to the second floor are very narrow.

Our narrow stairs.
Our narrow stairs.

I couldn’t find a long runner narrow enough to use on the steps so I bought 10 small rugs from Ikea. I’ve been working on this project for about 2 years.

The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.
The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.

I cut the fringe off by cutting at right angles to the stripes.  Look ahead of the scissors’ blades and make long cuts.

Then I sewed them together with a flat-felled seam. My plan was to use my grandmother’s sewing machine but ended up using my own.  I couldn’t adjust the tension correctly on the older machine.

Traditional 5/8" seam to start.
Traditional 5/8″ seam to start.

To flat-fell a seam you sew a traditional seam right side together.

Cut away one seam allowance.
Cut away one seam allowance.

Then trim the one of the seam allowances to about 1/4 inch.

The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so think.
The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so thick.

Pull the seam flat and topstitch catching the short allowance inside the longer one. If you choose, you can topstitch again about 1/4-inch from the first topstitching.

The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.
The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.

Finally, with my new pneumatic stapler I started at top of the steps and just put staples in the middle all the way down the staircase.

The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.
The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.

After I was sure one of the seams didn’t land in the middle of a tread I added more staples on all the steps in the black area of the runner.

Tacked all the way up.
Tacked all the way up.

I’m hoping this wears well.

Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.
Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.

I might have to add a few more staples from time to time.

Check off #5 of my 101 in 1001.

Have you sewn something together recently?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

8 thoughts on “The Stair Runner is a Doner”

  1. Congratulations, Jo! That was a big job and it looks like it was well done. I still have the fabric, uncut, to make a cover for the seat and seat back of my very old Walmart outdoor swing. I’ll get to it one of these days, I hope.

    1. I learn a lot of stuff from YouTube. Some sewing is not difficult but there is a learning curve, especially when threading a machine and setting the proper tension. Perhaps newer machines are easier; mine is about 40 years old. Jo

  2. This looks great! Done at last! How did you avoid having a seam landing on a tread somewhere along the line? Did the rugs happen to be just the right size, or did you cut each to a specific length to avoid the problem? I know I would have struggled with this.

    1. I did not trim the rugs, they just happened to work out. I tacked it up and it worked the first time. I had extra at each end so I could have finagled the fit if necessary. Jo

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