Thursday, July 26, 2012

Christmas Table Runner and Tutorial

So, I must be thinking Christmas for more than just the blog hop that's coming up. (My day is August 4th, so stop back to see what I've put together for that!) My husband's aunt Sue's birthday was today (she also happens to be my boss) so I put together a table runner for her. I used some fabric from the stash that my mom brought me, she gave me a fat quarter bundle from Nancy's Notions in some great Christmas prints. I threw in some dark green from the stash that Aunt Sue gave me and I had the perfect amount of fabric for this table runner.

I found a picture of this pattern on Google Images by searching for "table runners." You can find the link to the picture here. The post didn't come with a pattern, so I tried making one up.

Here's the runner that I'll be using in the tutorial when I talk about fabric colors and pieces. The colors I use are red, green, brown and white. I've re-written this to hopefully make it more user friendly. If you notice any mistakes or have questions, please feel free to email or comment. I'm not always perfect, but I am always happy to help!

Anyway, here's the tutorial...

* 4 coordinating fabrics (a quarter yard is plenty for the white, red and green fabrics, but it's cutting it really close for the brown - I'd suggest getting 1/3 yard for the brown pattern pieces to be safe)
* batting
* fabric for the back
* binding strips (mine was cut to be 2.25 inches wide, strips sewn together on the diagonal, and pressed in half)

Directions: (final size 14 inches wide by 58 inches long)
Cut the following pieces from coordinating fabrics:
    From the red fabric cut:
    * Five 6.5 inch squares
    * Two 3.5 inch squares

    From the brown fabric cut:
    * Twelve 3.5 inch squares
    * Two 5.5 inch by 2.5 inch rectangles
    * Two 3.5 inch by 2.5 inch rectangles
    * Three 6.5 inch square - cut these in half on the diagonal to make 6 triangles
    * Six 5.5 inch by 1.5 inch rectangles

    From the white fabric cut:
    * Twelve 5.5 inch by 2.5 inch rectangles from white fabric
    * Twelve 3.5 inch by 2.5 inch rectangles from white fabric

    From the green fabric cut:
    * Two 6.5 inch squares - cut these in half on the diagonal to make 4 triangles
    * Four 5.5 inch by 1.5 inch rectangles

Sew the 3.5 inch by 2.5 inch brown rectangle cuts to 3.5 inch red squares. Then sew the 5.5 by 2.5 inch rectangle to the side of the piece you previously formed. You'll form blocks like shown in the pictures below.

Do the same thing with the 3.5 inch squares from the brown print and the small white rectangles. Press seams toward the darker fabric.

Sew each 5.5 by 1.5 brown rectangle to the top of one of the white and brown units you just created. Also sew each green 5.5 by 1.5 rectangle to the top of one of the white units. You will have two white and brown units left over with no top piece. These are used in the end rows.

Lay out the pieces so you know everything is pointing in the right direction.

Here are some pictures for a closer look at the rows:

Rows 1 and 2:

Rows 3 and 4:

Rows 5, 6 and 7:

Here's a link to a PDF that I created for the layout of the table runner. This should allow you to see the blocks/colors used in each row better than the pictures I was able to take as I was sewing. This PDF shows the table runner put together BEFORE trimming off the end pieces. So if it looks a little funny, that's how it should look! :) Christmas Table Runner Layout

Sew the pieces together into the rows as shown. You'll notice on the first and last rows that the triangle on the end is longer than the other pieces. This is OK! You'll be snipping off the excess at the end. You'll want to pin it like this:
See that the right angle of the triangle matches up with the corner of the first block you are sewing it to. You'll have the point sticking out at the top.

For the other end triangles in the middle rows you'll pin like this:
The right angle matches up with the corner and then the point will line up with the long edge of the block.

Press each strip's seams in an alternating pattern. Press the first strip's seams to the right, the second strip's seams to the left, the third strip's seams to the right, so on and so forth. This will make it easier for your blocks and points to match up when you sew the strips together.

Sew the strips together. This is a little goofy since the rows are diagonal. What you want to do is nest the seams of the red fabric pieces, like this:

First and second rows ready to pin together:

Here I have the rows slightly apart so you can see where the pieces match up. The red block will be the only matching seam on most of your rows (the first and last rows will have a couple more seams that match). This is what gives it the zig-zag effect when it's all done - all of those un-matching seams. Once you see one, you'll get the hang of it. Like you did when sewing the blocks into rows, you'll pin the end triangle right to the tip of the row it's joining. So, start pinning from the red blocks in the middle and work your way out to both ends. Then sew them together.

And here are the first two rows sewn together:

Continue until you have all of the rows sewn together. Press the seams flat however you choose to do it. I usually just press the whole thing in one direction, but if you like to press open, go for it!

Trimming up is the last thing to do now! You surely noticed that extra bit on the first and last rows:

And you also probably have some little corners sticking out along the sides from the triangle pieces: (similar to ones you get when you have to trim up half-square triangles)

Well, now we get to make it look all pretty! Take a ruler and chop off the tip of that triangle on the first and last rows. This is going to make it look just like the other side of the runner so it is balanced.

You'll do the same thing with any little corners you have sticking out on the sides. How you pressed your seams will determine how many of those little corner things you have to trim off. Just trim them flush with the side of your runner.

Layer over back fabric and batting, baste, and quilt as desired. Trim the edges and add the binding in your preferred method (I typically machine stitch it to the front and hand stitch it to the back). And now you're done!

Here are just a couple fun cat pictures to round out the post. This is my cat Sasha who has had a few shout outs in some of my other posts. She is always curious with what I'm putting together and has to be in the same room with me - always. So, here she is relaxing on my lap while I'm hand stitching the binding on the runner, and the other picture is a shot of her in her favorite place to hang out while I'm stitching on the machine. Sometimes it amazes me that I get anything done with her always underfoot! :) Happy crafting everyone.

July Finishes

Monday, July 23, 2012

Beach Jelly Roll Quilt

Woohoo! I've finished another quilt! This is the most quilting I've done in years! :) I made this striped jelly roll quilt for my friend who just moved to Miami. Her birthday is coming up in August, and I thought maybe she could use a little beach quilt. It's also big enough to be a lap quilt if she needs something to cuddle with on the couch. It's about 45 wide x 60 long.

To make the stripes, I just sewed the strips of a jelly roll together and then cut them in to 5 1/2 inch "chunks." Then I sewed 3 of the "chunks" together to make the full strip. I had 2 chunks left over that I think I might use to make someone a pillow later on.

Basting this quilt went so much faster than my Mario Quilt. We didn't have to move the furniture around! But I did have to maneuver around the cats... They just love laying on whatever project I'm working on. Not to mention they like to paw at or bite at the pins. The one pictured here (Sasha) even bit and ripped a piece of tape off of the floor that was holding the backing fabric down! What a mischievous little cat!!

I had lots of different FMQ designs run through my head before I started quilting this one. My top 3 choices were stippling, wavy lines, and loop-de-loops. The loop-de-loops won out because I didn't think stippling would stand out enough and I'm having too much trouble with my walking foot to do the wavy lines right now. I actually really like how it turned out with this FMQ pattern. The loop-de-loops kind of remind me of that bubbly seaweed (thank you Google for helping me find a picture!).

Here's a close-up of the quilting. See what I mean about the seaweed thing? (Maybe that's just all in my head? Either way I like it!) Maybe I'll use this again some day, but there are just so many good quilting designs to try that I don't want to repeat too often!

And now, to end the post, here are some more pictures (for your pure enjoyment) after the quilt came out of the dryer. It turned out so crinkly I just love it! Too bad I'm sending it away!!! :(

Check out that stray string I didn't catch by the binding in this last photo - whoops! I wonder if my friend will notice... (I bet it's not the only one. Haha!)

Happy crafting!!!

July Finishes

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Merrily Sewing Along...

It feels like I haven't had a decent post in a while even though I've been furiously working along on several projects. First on the list is to finish the beachy quilt for my friend. I'll be basting, quilting and binding later today after some much needed sleep and church later in the morning. I've spent a lot of time with it and my seam ripper getting things to match up, but I'm happy with it now. I've also decided on no borders and I'll just use the binding to edge it out. It will be just long enough for her to pay out on the beach with it, or 2 people can sit comfortably cross-legged on it for a picnic. :) I think it'll work and finishing it off should go pretty quickly.

I've also revamped my craft room. My mother-in-law gave me some plastic drawers and I quickly put them to use to organize all of my fabric. Previously I was using 2 large suit cases and a tiny little book shelf. Now, I've got 4 drawer units, including one just for in-progress projects (I'm very excited about that!!) which will keep the cats from getting into things. I've also got one drawer for each color (apparently I need more orange and purple, but have plenty of blue!). And have another set of drawers for miscellaneous fabric and coordinating sets. :) I'm so happy with this new set up!

Lastly I've been designing some blocks for the Think Christmas blog hop. I wasn't originally signed up, but I had so much fun with the Red, White & Blue blog hop that I 'hopped' (I know, very, very bad pun) at the chance to join when Lesley reopened the list. I don't have much of a stash of my own, especially for holiday prints, so I called up my mom and asked her if she had something that she might not want any more.

My mom has a great eye for fabric and let me tell you, she brought me soooo much good stuff! Way more than she ever needed to bring me, but I'm definitely going to put it to good use. We kind of joke that she has enough stash for 2 people, which I'm definitely happy about and so is she. She gets to downsize the things that she's not using without having to throw them away or give them to strangers and I get to inherit coordinating prints and some really cool vintage fabric. I love it, so THANKS MOM! :) My favorite fabric that she included is a Scandinavian print that has little red, green and yellow designs on a white background. That will definitely make an appearance in the hop, so stay tuned for that!

Happy crafting everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's Raining!!!

Tonight I was going to do a lot of sewing on my beach quilt. Instead, I'm spending it enjoying the first real rain we've had in over a month. I'm spending the night with my husband watching Batman Begins. We're also sharing some wine and cheese and snuggling under a big puffy blanket. I just love storms and I'm so happy for the rain! (Maybe our grass won't look like straw after a few days...) So, if you're crafting tonight, have fun. If you're lucky enough like we are to be enjoying some rain, have a wonderful night! :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday

Well, now that I've finished the Mario Quilt, now what do I do? My husband and I have joked around that I should just retire from the world of quilt making now that I've completed my masterpiece. But - I know I just can't do that!

So, I've started to revisit my Double Irish Chain quilt. I designed this one and started cutting out all of the pieces before I even started the Mario Quilt. So, this one has been in the works since October 2011! I really want a nice quilt for our bed, so that's where this one is going to be. (Sorry honey, the Mario Quilt is not going to be our bedspread!)

I've figured out how many blocks of each design I need to make - it's quite a few, but I think I'll be OK.

The other project I'm working on that I have on my list of July goals to finish is the beach blanket quilt for my friend in Miami. Her birthday is coming up at the beginning of August, so I want to get this finished by the end of the month. I think I'll be completing the top this evening and the hopefully basting and quilting it throughout the rest of the week.

So, what are you working on this week? Happy crafting!

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Done, It's Done, It's Done!

I finally finished my Super Mario Quilt! I've been working on this quilt sine November 2011 - so about 9 months now. I don't think my husband really ever thought I would get it done and I'll admit, I even had my doubts! It was such a colossal project! I can't believe it's done!

Here are some fun facts for you: This quilt has 6,144 tiny little 1 inch squares in it. Each character has some blue borders around them and the whole thing is framed with a black border and white binding. It weighs a ton with all of those little seams inside of it! I'll have to find out exactly how much one of these days. It is also the biggest quilt I've ever made - about 72 x 105. I had to take it to the basketball court in the park next to us to get a place where I could spread it out for a picture. It is quite large!

I spent a lot of time on this quilt. It took me 3 nights worth of time cutting out all of those little squares - probably about 10 hours total. Then it took me about 5 hours to sew each character together, so about 120 hours for that. Then add in another 5 hours getting the borders around each character, then an hour sewing all the characters together, and another 30 minutes for the outer border. (This is really adding up!) It took 2.5 hours to pin baste it all. What really surprised me was how long it took to quilt the whole top! I thought it would take me maybe one evening - ha! I was way off! I spent about 20 hours just stitching in the ditch around each character and for the details inside their designs, and another 5 hours stippling in the blue background (so 25 hours there). A lot of that time was spent fighting with moving the quilt through the machine since it was so heavy. Then, another 6 hours to sew the binding on and finish hand stitching that to the back. So, what does that get me? Roughly 169 hours of time on this quilt or 21.125 work days or $2,535 in wages. Haha - so this quilt is worth a lot in labor and probably about $200 in materials when all is said and done. :) Just some fun facts for you.

So, I hope you've enjoyed seeing my journey in completing this quilt. It has been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. My husband is very happy that he finally gets to use it now, and I'm happy that I can finally show it off! I'm sure this quilt will be a hit for several get togethers we have at our place. I already know it's a hit with the cats! :)

And, now for the winner of my Red, White & Blue giveaway...

Post #80, which was Scrapbook-ChickADoodle. I'll be contacting you by email to send off your package! Thanks to everyone who commented, and I hope you keep coming back to my blog for inspiration and creative projects even if I don't have something to give away.

Happy crafting everyone!

July Finishes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...