Vintage Bark Cloth Table Topper

One more present down — many more to go. Table toppers are so fun to make, and I think they’re especially pretty if you have some vintage decorator fabric scraps in your stash. These bark cloth pieces were left over from a round of tote bag sewing. Bark cloth is generally pretty expensive, but I try to find cutter or smallish pieces on ebay that are reasonably priced. Bunny will probably recognize this blue tropical — it’s the same fabric I used for her little bag. I was running out of the blue, so I had to piece the last 5 squares — I don’t think it’s too noticeable.

If you use old bark cloth in your patchwork, it’s important to examine the fabric for weak areas or tiny holes — the complex weave and patterns can sometimes disguise problem areas, and it’s such a drag to discover them when you are finishing a project. All of the fabrics are fairly heavy, so there was no need to add a batting. Because bark cloth is loosely woven, I machine quilted the topper on both sides of the seams to prevent raveling in the wash. I used blue thread in the bobbin because I did not want the stitching to show up too much on the backing — I knew it wouldn’t line up perfectly with lines in the plaid.

Bark Cloth Table Topper
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2009
machine pieced and quilted
42″ x 42″

Barkcloth-Topper-1

Barkcloth-Topper-2



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