Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010 - Mom's Table Runner

This year I completed two small quilts as Christmas gifts.  The first I posted about earlier - the owl quilt for my Dad.  The other one was a table runner I made for my mom.  I had purchased 6 fat quarters from Spool earlier in the year because I loved the way they looked together, but I didn't know what to do with them.  I then realized that the colors were somewhat similar to some of the colors my mom used in their kitchen, so I decided to turn them into a table runner.  I decided on a simple pattern of alternating 4-inch squares of fabric with 4-patch squares of 4 other fabrics.  Each row has two identical four patch squares and two different 4-inch squares, so in this way each row has all 6 fabrics.  I was careful not to have any one fabric end up next to itself, so it took quite a lot of planning to get it to look the way I wanted it to.  Below you can see the fabrics as 4-inch squares.
Because of the way I put everything together, I did a lot of pinning of pairs of fabrics so I could then chain piece everything.
Once I had all the squares put together, I laid everything out on my dining table to make sure it looked OK.  Then I put them all in order so I could piece the rows together and then the entire top.  The runner is about 16 inches wide and 84 inches long.
After I finished piecing the top, I had to choose my backing and binding fabric.  I had a coordinating fabric that matched the top that I was planning on using for the back, but I took the top in to Spool to show the girls and Olga got really excited about picking out backing fabric, so I ended up with some new fabric!  Oops.  She suggested this wonderful pearlescent polka dot patterned fabric.  It makes the runner reversible and now one side is very festive.  Also, because of the simple repeating pattern, it was easy to piece it without having it look odd.  Olga also suggested the striped fabric to use as the binding, which I think ended up working out perfectly.  I finished the piece off with just simple diagonal quilting lines.
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I wasn't planning on washing the quilt before giving it to her because it was lying so flat and I figured that would be best for a table runner.  But because I hadn't pre-washed my fabrics, I was worried about what might happen the first time it was washed and I didn't want it to be a surprise for my mom, so I washed it right before Christmas and it turned out lovely!  I actually prefer the look of a quilt after it's been washed and it puckers a bit in between the quilting stitches.  I couldn't wait for my mom to open the runner on Christmas and when she did, she loved it!  That's what makes it all worth it.
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Happy New Year everyone!  I have several projects planned and I can't wait to get started on them.  The only problem is that I'm having some trouble with my machine ... the bobbin tension doesn't seem to be quite right - I'll have to take it in to the Vac and Sew center where I had it serviced and see if they can fix it up for me.


  1. I remember the feeling i got when my mom received the quilt I had made for her. Nothing is quite like giving a quilt to your loved one! You have been pretty good at this! I am sure both your parents were thrilled to get their gifts. They both look great! Olga and the girls have done well helping you with the fabric choices too!

    I always wonder what you will do next!
    Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks, Sujata! Happy New Year to you too! I'm getting ready to start quilting my "curved piecing" quilt! I can't wait to finish it - we'll have to get together so you can see it! Here's a picture from when I showed the top off at the Guild meeting:

  3. I love the table runner, Andrew. Thank you so much. I also love Dad's wall hanging which I just told you might be hung over the bed!!! I think it will be the perfect place for it. OOXX

  4. Just gorgeous! I love the fabrics you used. Spool always has such great fat quarter sets.