Monday, November 13, 2017

Easy Christmas DIY Table Runner!


Table runners.  They are easy and fast to whip out on your sewing machine, and make great gifts for family and friends!  Fast and Easy - my kind of project with a big impact when the recipient opens their gift!  What could be better! And I'm going to show you how to make this holiday table runner in this single post!



Stopping by my favorite quilt shop "The Quilt Patch" in Stallings, North Carolina, I grabbed me up a slew of interesting holiday fabrics, including a black and white striped fabric I thought would make a cool binder around the table runner.  I got a half a yard of each of the fabrics I was going to use for the stars.  I picked up a yard of the black and white striped fabric for the binding, which was more than enough, but I knew I was going to make more than one of these table runners as a gift.  The green fabric will be used for the backing.  I got a yard.  More than enough for one table runner.  Also, I picked up a small package of white cotton quilt batting.  

Also purchase 1 yard of Pellon 725 Heavy-Duty Wonder-Under transfer web.  You will use this on the back of the stars.  

All set!



I had a bolt of white muslin 45" cotton fabric at home.  I cut 6 15" x 50" pieces for making 6 table runners for gifts.  If you are just making 1, then you will need one 15 x 50 piece of white cotton.  This will be the quilt top.



With your Wonder-Under, trace your stars on the paper side.  I used 12 on my table runner top, but you can use more or less as you like.  Also, you could draw several Christmas trees too and add them to your design.  It's up to you!  Be creative!



Cut out each star, leaving a gap around the traced outline.  With the paper side up, press the stars onto the back of your fabric pieces.  When they've cooled to the touch, cut them out neatly along your drawing.



You'll have lots of pretty stars!



Peel the paper off the back of each star and arrange them onto your 15 x 50 white cotton fabric. 



When you have them arranged just like you want them, press them in place.  The spots you see on the fabric in this image are water spots from my leaky iron.  But now all the stars are affixed to the white cotton fabric rather nicely.



Next step, using a zig-zag stitch, or decorative stitch if you prefer, stitch around the perimeter of each star.  This will help in preventing fraying when washed.



And it looks nice too!  No stabilizer was needed to stitch around the stars.



Your quilt top table runner is done!  Now to finish your project ...



On your cutting table, place your backing fabric, face down, and your batting on top of the backing fabric.  Then, place your table runner top on top of the backing and batting.  Trim the backing and batting to about 2" additional all the way around the table runner top.



Baste your table runner top to the batting and backing using a contrasting thread and nice big stitches.  This holds all the layers together when you are quilting on your machine or hand quilting.  I prefer this to safety pins.  It lays flatter and prevents the layers of the quilt from shifting.  It only takes a few minutes to baste your quilt together and it's worth the extra effort.



Now that you have all three layers basted together, using a "Fine Line Mark-B-Gone" water soluble ink pen, draw your quilting design onto your quilt.  Now, I know a lot of quilters like to just randomly place their quilt in the machine and wing it when it comes to stipple quilting.  Not me.  I've done it.  If you knew how many times I got stuck somewhere I didn't belong, you'd understand.  So, I draw it on the quilt in sections.  It isn't even one big "stipple" design.  There are lots of designs that start and finish in the same spot, it just looks complicated.  But boy is it a lot easier to machine quilt when the design is already on the fabric!!



Here's a tip: wear quilting gloves when machine quilting.  It's a lot easier to move the layers around the design on your fabric.  And when you are done quilting your design on the layers of your quilt, spray some water on it and wipe it off with a wash cloth or rag.  The ink disappears and your left with nothing but your beautiful quilt pattern.  You might also notice that I hand quilted around each star.  That was a personal preference.



You will be amazed at how fast all the quilting went!  Now on to the binding.  BUT, first, trim your quilt so that you have perfect right angles.  After trimming, my quilted table runner measured about 14" x 48" 

Now for the binding.  I use 2 1/2" strips, and I'm not even going to begin to tell you how to do the binding!  I'm going to leave that up to Jenny Doan with the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Best video tutorial you'll ever find on adding the perfect binding to your quilt.




And it's done!  The corners of the binding are perfect, the quilting is pretty cool, and, well, if I may say so myself ...



I think it looks pretty awesome lying on top of the quilt I am still hand quilting for my mother as a Christmas gift.  Now to make 5 more of these table runners!!  

Hoping you have a creative holiday season!!


Thank you to Andy Knowlton of for the great table runner idea!  Andy can provide the star template and instructions for you.  Andy's instructions are for a 12" x 40" table runner, whereas I made adjustments for a 15" x 50" table runner.  You can purchase the complete pattern and template for the star HERE





Sunday, November 05, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 8


Hand quilting really isn't all that difficult.  It just takes patience and callouses on your finger tips.  Two things I did not have until today.  Now that I'm in the swing of the quilting, it's enjoyable.



It feels good to complete an entire section.  I can look on with pride for the results and then roll the quilt down onto the front bar to expose more of the quilt to be quilted.



I am not using templates or patterns.  I am just drawing freehand a design onto the quilt and then stitching over top of the marks



I consider myself to be a bit of a rebellious quilter.  Whereas many quilters must have perfect stitching and perfect design, I really like the "randomness" of just drawing something on the quilt and then quilting it.  Many quilters use tiny stitches.  Not me.  Mine are 1/4" and very stitch apparent.  Like my paintings, I love to see brushwork, I love creating brushwork.  In my quilting, I love to see the stitching, all the imperfect, perfect stitching.



I've always been able to write, paint, and quilt using both my right and left hands, although I am "right handed" and prefer doing all my quilting with that hand, there are times I find myself having to go in a direction that I don't like.  On this quilt I am stitching what is called "Stitch in the Ditch" around the quilt block and triangle seams.  Then I am creating random designs in the other sections of the quilt



Another trick I find useful is to pin the seams that I have completed with the "Stitch in the Ditch" technique.  Especially if you are getting up frequently from your quilting, which I was today, I placed pins where I had completed the quilting along those edges.



Now that I have several sections quilted with the curving design, I kinda like the way it looks! 



This is what the quilt looks like from the underside.  You can't see the quilting, but it's there.



And now I've rolled down another section to be quilted.  Progress.  It's a wonderful feeling.



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