Friday, February 28, 2014


I'm still waaaaaaay too scared to ever attempt a full-size quilt, but I am having fun testing my piecing skills on table runners.  No matter how hard I try (and how much spray starch I use), I still have issues with things going wonky.  I can't even imagine how crazy it would get with these tiny mistakes compounding themselves over something the size of a quilt.  It boggles my mind how Corey's Granny was able to make such a perfect queen-sized quilt for us.  Anyway, here are two of my latest finished table runner attempts.

This one is to replace the Valentine's Day one on my kitchen island.  I am not always known for getting holiday decorations put away immediately after a holiday passes, but I'm definitely known for bitching about things like the Christmas lights that are still up (at the very end of February!!!) at the entrances to our neighborhood and at various homes around town.  Good lord, people.  I know it's cold outside and you don't necessarily have to take the lights down, but do you have to still keep turning them on (or forgetting to turn off the timers) every night?  This table runner is sort of St. Patrick's Day-ish, but it could work year-round.

I wanted to try a fun technique I read about at Actually Amy for piecing with HSTs (half-square triangles) where you sew two squares with right sides together (all the way around) and then slice and dice on the diagonals.  Open them up and voila, you have four squares made of HSTs!

The fabric was from a pack of fat eighths that I had bought on a whim months ago.  The binding is just packaged quilt binding.  I probably should have added sashing around the edges so the binding wouldn't cut off the points of the diamonds, but I'm still learning!

To quilt it, I spray basted some felt to the back (and added some dark green Kona cotton as the backing) and then sewed on either side of each of the seams.  Holy cow, that took a ton of thread.  I had to run back to the store for more to finish.

The next one was made from a bit of a bundle of fat quarters I had also bought on a whim.  I used the stack & slash method from Samelia's Mum (the same one I had used for Ivette's table runner), but put two rows of them on top of each other to make it fatter.  Charlotte declared this one to be an Easter table runner, so maybe it will go on the kitchen island once St. Patrick's Day has passed.

The batting is felt and the backing is some left over navy bottom-weight fabric left over form Peter's Halloween pirate vest.  My machine was NOT pleased for some reason with this choice, and kept skipping stitches while I was quilting it (even after I changed needles, rethreaded the top and the bobbin threads, changed tension, changed settings, etc.).  Lesson learned -- use a lighter-weight fabric for the backing.  It probably would also help if I got a walking foot.  I quilted using the same "sew on either side of the seams" technique, but I only sewed around the blocks.  I got tired of picking out the quilting with the skipped stitches and decided this was plenty of quilting for a simple table runner.

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