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11 posts from October 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

e-Boutique Open!


I finished my Jitterbug quilt and it's now in my e-Boutique.  Take a look! 



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quilted Holiday Table Runner - All Done!!


Today is the day we finish our table runner!  Yay!  Think how wonderful your holiday table will look with this delightful table runner on top, maybe with some candles in the center quilt blocks.  So, let's get to it!  Let's finish this puppy!


We finished all the machine quilting.  I did "stitch-in-the-ditch" and also some stipple quilting in the center blocks.  I also used turquoise thread throughout the quilting process to add character to the design.  I decided not to quilt inside the big blocks that have the words "Peace" and "Joy" because I thought it would take away from the embroidery and the statement.


Trim away the excess batting and backing from the quilt.


With your remaining red & white holiday fabric, cut at least 5 long 2" strips.  They should be the width of your fabric by 2" and they do not need to be cut on the bias, although if you have enough fabric for the binding (and I didn't) to cut on the bias, you'll get better corners on your finished quilt.  Because I was running low on fabric, I just cut the strips from selvage-to-selvage in 2" strips.


Sew them all together to make one really long binding strip.  Place 2 strips, RST (right-sides-together) as shown.  With your transparent ruler, draw a diagonal line with your fabric marker and pin the 2 strips together.


Stitch across the diagonal line and then cut off the corner leaving about a 1/4" seam allowance.


Now we are going to begin to sew our binding to our beautiful quilted table runner!  Always begin your binding in the center of a side - never on a corner.  With RST, fold down the short edge of the binding by about 1/2" and line up the long edge of your binding with the edge of your quilted table runner as shown above.  Pin the binding where it begins at the folded edge.


With a 1/4" seam, stitch down the entire long edge, lining up your binding along the edge neatly. Place a pin about 1/4" from the corner and stop.  Backstitch to reinforce your stitching.  Remove the pin and now I will show you how to make a perfect corner. 


Fold your binding up so that it is a perfect 45 degree angle from the corner.


Now fold back down, keeping your angle underneath in place.  Pin the binding in place as shown, lining up the fold along the short top edge and pin into place.  Continue from the top edge with a 1/4" seam and finish sewing your binding onto your quilted table runner, completing each corner as shown in these last few steps.


Press your binding along the seam away from your unfinished edge.  Turn over and fold up about a 1/4" seam to the wrong side.  I stick pins into my folded seam to hold it in place on the ironing board and then I press it.  That's my neat little trick for pressing hems without burning my fingers.


I pinned the hem along the stitch line on the back and then I added a nice zig-zag stitch along the top seam to sew the binding into place.


And the result?  This beautiful quilted table runner!


I love it and I hope my daughter does too!  I'm excited to tell you that I am taking a little trip just before Thanksgiving.  I am flying to Arkansas to visit my daughter Kim, her dear husband, Zak, and my granddaughter, Reagan!!  For one glorious week, I get to spoil them all!!  I can't wait.  I'm like a kid again.  I used to get so excited when my Dad would come home and tell the family that he was taking us all on a vacation.  Of course, as you know, times are tough here, and my sweet baby girl surprised me with the plane tickets.  I'm as happy as a clam at high tide!  And this table runner?  It's all hers.  She and her family just moved into a new home and this is my gift to them.  I think it will look wonderful on their table this holiday, don't you?



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh, to Make a Mole


The other day, Sarah came home and said, "Mom, I need your help with a Chemistry project."  That's when I told her she better talk to Dad about that.  She said "No, Mom, I need you.  I need you to teach me how to sew before Friday."  That wasn't going to happen and I even think Sarah knew that.


What could sewing possibly have to do with Chemistry?  Have you ever heard of Mole day?  Neither have I. 


Did you know that October 23rd is the one special day of the year when all good chemists gather together to celebrate the most elemental day of the year? 


And, here's the kicker, there are all kinds of activities associated with Mole day, like eating guacamole and chips for lunch and drinking a toast to Avogadro at 6:02 (am or pm).


One of the most popular activities that Chemistry teachers across our country have their students work on is to make a stuffed Mole and to write a story about it. 


Sometimes, the teachers have their students include science, other elements, or chemistry into their story.


It's weird, especially for a Chemistry project. Sarah had to make a Mole.  She doesn't know how to sew and couldn't sew a straight line if she tried.  So, Sarah did what any good student wanting to get an "A" would do - she asked her mother (that's me) to make her Mole.  She'll supervise of course.


Sarah did a good job of supervising, and I made her Mole.  Her Americium Mole.  And, she wrote a story about her Mole that was really funny.  I think she might just get an "A" on this silly project.


I had fun making her Mole.  We decided to call him Herman.  Monsieur Herman Americium. 


I think he's pretty darn cute.  He absolutely has no sense of fashion, and Sarah will give him to her teacher tomorrow where he'll be in the company of Moles from a lot of students.

I must admit I'm fairly proud of myself for figuring out how to make those plaid pants.

So, do you need the pattern for this silly Mole?  Here you go!  Just click on the sewing machines below for the pattern and the instructions.






Happy Mole Day!


Quilted Holiday Table Runner - Day 6


Today we begin by basting and then we quilt the table runner!  Your quilt top and layers are pinned together, and we are now going to baste the layers together.  Set up your table runner so that the needle is in the middle in your machine. 


When you turn on your machine, it probably automatically goes to a straight-stitch setting with a  normal stitch length.  We want to increase this - a lot, so that it is a basting stitch and easy to remove once we have all the quilting done.


I increased my stitch from a regular 2.5 straight-stitch to a longer 6.0 straight-stitch.  I also changed the thread and bobbin in my machine to a dark thread that would clash and be easy to see after I have all the quilting done.


I begin basting in the middle of the table runner, leaving the tail of the thread on both sides.  DO NOT knot the ends!!  You will want to be able to easily pull these threads out after you have your quilting done.


The most important thing you need to understand about basting is this: 

1) All basting must begin in the middle of your quilt!!  This way, as you baste, your feed dogs and stitching will push your layers out to the edges.  This is an important step, because if you rely solely on your quilting pins and don't baste, you will end up with bunched up fabric underneath, or pleats where you don't want them.  By basting, you almost certainly ensure that your quilt top and backing will not have unwanted bunches or pleats!

2) Baste in this order always beginning in the exact center of your quilt:

        Center --> South        Center --> North

        Center --> East           Center --> West

        Center --> SW             Center --> NE

        Center --> NW            Center --> SE

What this does is push the layers out to the edges and the corners of your quilt layers.

3) The bigger your quilt top, the more basting you will have to do!  After you do all of the above, then go down the center line and baste center line --> edge and so on until your quilt layers also are basted like a checkerboard.  Then remove all your quilting pins and plan your design.


When you are done basting, your quilt layers should look like this.  See how easy it is to see the basting stitch?  That's because I used a dark thread that did not match my quilt top or backing.  If I had used a complimentary thread, I'd have a hard time seeing the basting stitch after I got the quilting done!


One more thing about basting - you don't have to be perfect with your lines.  They're coming out anyway.  As long as you have basted the entire quilt layers so that they don't slip around while quilting, you'll be in good shape.


I did put an additional basting stitch to the left and right of center for more stability of my layers.  Again, I started the stitching on the center line and worked to the edge on both sides of the top.  And leave those threads hanging!  You want something to grab onto and pull when you are finished quilting all the layers.


Even though you have basted your quilt layers together, you still want to start "quilting" in the center of your quilt somewhere.  It doesn't have to be the exact center, but somewhere thereabouts.  I chose to begin inside the green center block and I decided to use a stipple quilt stitch.  I begin by putting my straight stitch setting back to 2.5, but you can put yours back to your normal straight stitch setting.  I changed my presser foot to a free-motion quilting presser foot, and lowered my feed dogs.  I also put up my IDT (that is the piece of my Pfaff that moves the top evenly with the bottom layers.)  Your machine may not have IDT, but that's okay.  You don't need it free-motion machine quilting.

I began in a top corner so that when I was done you hopefully won't see the beginning of my stitching because I will have begun in a seam.  I'm sneaky like that.


And there you go, I stipple-quilted the cream center of the green block and I am going to do the same now with the red block.  I used an aqua colored thread.  I thought that would be a nice compliment to the entire quilted table runner.


After finishing my stipple quilting in the 2 center blocks, I decided to just do "Stitch-in-the-Ditch" quilting for the center section that is pieced together.  I start somewhere near the center inside a seam and begin stitching (make sure you aren't using your basting stitch!!!).  Before you begin "Stitch-in-the-Ditch" though, you need to change your presser foot again, and raise your feed dogs, and lower your IDT if you have it on your machine!


Lower your needle into a corner seam and then lower your presser foot.  Follow the seam and begin quilting.  I go as far as I can go with the seam and the stitching and then rotate with the needle down and keep going around the seams of the quilt top until I can't go any further, then I do a knotting stitch and clip my hanging thread. 

Find another seam and follow it around and around until you can't go any further.  Before you know it, you're done!


And there you go!  We have most of the quilt top quilted!  We'll put the finishing touches on the quilting on Monday and I'll show you how to bind the quilted table runner perfectly and you'll have a beautiful table runner for the holidays!!



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quilted Holiday Table Runner - Day 5


We're coming down the homestretch!! We're gonna get this baby quilted!  Now that your quilt top is completed, you have to press your quilt backing.  The backing should be at least 2"-3" larger in diameter than your quilt top.  Lay your quilt backing right-side down on the mattress of your bed.  Smooth it out with your hands like a fresh clean sheet.


Using straight pins, pin the backing to the mattress so that it is taut and flat.  Place your batting on top of the backing and your quilt top, face up, on top of the batting.


Smooth it out nice and flat.


Do you have "quilt basting pins?"  They're the best.  They have curved bottoms so that they are easy to pin the layers of your quilt together without fuss.  Pin the layers together, careful not to cause wrinkles in the layers.  You want all three layers to be flat and wrinkle free!


I place pins about every 7 inches apart or so.


When you are done pinning your layers together, take out the "straight-pins" that were holding your backing to the bed.  You may have taken some out while putting in the basting pins.  That's fine.  Leave the basting pins in place and trim any excess backing and batting to about 2" - 3" the diameter of the quilt top.

Tomorrow we're going to machine quilt our table runner.  It isn't as intimidating as it sounds.  First of all, a table runner is much smaller than a wall, lap, or bed quilt.  Try putting one of those under your machine and you'll learn a whole new vocabulary, and it won't sound friendly.  But this?  This is fun, and if you have never quilted before and are just learning, this is the perfect place to start!



Monday, October 18, 2010

Quilted Holiday Table Runner - Day 4


On Day 3, we finished the center quilt blocks for our table runner.  Let's give it a hand embroidered touch.  Begin by measuring the each side of your blocks.  They should have the same measurement - somewhere between 12" and 12-1/2".  After you have your blocks trimmed and even all the way around, cut 2 pieces of cream fabric - the width of your block (mine was 12") by 5" (I cut 2 pieces of cream fabric 12 x 5 inches).  Lay one piece of cream fabric over a printed pattern of the word "Joy," centering the design; and, lay the other piece over the printed pattern for the word "Peace."  Pin in place and trace with a water-soluable fabric marker onto your cream fabric. 


Place your pattern in an embroidery hoop and pull out 3 strands of embroidery thread.  Thread your needle.  Your ready to embroidery the words "Joy" and "Peace."


If you look closely, you can see my blue marker.  I work from left to right with a chain-stitch.  I think this is called a chain stitch.  


After you complete your embroidery, press each piece and stitch to either end of your blocks with the words facing "out."  Next, stitch your blocks together like you see above.


Cut 3 strips of red-white fabric - 2" x the width of the fabric.


Stitch a 2" section to the end of "Joy," trimming the excess and using it for the other side.


After you have sewn on the red-white border to either end of your runner, sew the remainder of your 2" border to either side. Press. 


Cut 5 strips of cream fabric - 2" x the width of the fabric.  Repeat the process with the red-white border, sewing the cream border to either end and then either side.  When you hold your longest piece of cream fabric up against the longest edge of your table runner, it may not be long enough.  You'll have to piece 2 - 2" sections together.  Place one piece RST with the other piece and draw a diagonal line like you see above (corner to corner).  Sorry it is so faint.  I can barely see that line myself!


This is how I drew the line. 


Stitch the 2 sections together and trim 1/4" from the stitching in the seam allowance.


Like this.


Press and stitch the cream border to either side.  I place the "pieced" border stitching in the middle of either side of the table runner.  That way it doesn't look like you pieced the border because you came up short.


Cut 5 pieces of aqua fabric - 3" x the width of the fabric.  Repeat the process for stitching on the borders.


Piece the aqua border just as you did the cream border.  Line up your angled piecing, pin in place and stitch RST.


When you are finished stitching, the best way to trim the excess is to set your piece down RST with the border and trim off the excess ...


Like this.


When you are done, your Table Runner top is done!


Isn't it beautiful?!!  Tomorrow - onto making the table runner back!!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Quilted Holiday Table Runner - Day 3


This is where we left off yesterday.  We stitched the rectangle onto the square, lining up the points.


We need to make 3 more red rectangles and 3 more green rectangles.  Lay them out on your table and then stitch them together exactly as you did the first rectangle - beginning with the center square.


TIP: If you want to pick up several pieces at once and stitch them together, put a single pin on the edge that you are stitching ...


... then, when you lay them next to your sewing machine to stitch, you won't accidentally stitch the wrong edge and you can chain stitch a number of pieces in one shot.  It sure makes the piecing process go faster.


After you do your chain stitching, trim the chain and press all your pieces open - pressing towards the dark fabric and trim off your dog-ears.


Stitch your rectangles together just as you did the first rectangle and press.  Line up your 2nd rectangle opposite the first on the other side of the square.


Check your points.  You want to be sure that your points line up nicely.


Press open and your points should look like this.


Make 2 more rectangles (and don't screw up like I did when I sewed them together.  If you look at the rectangle on the left (red block), you will see a red triangle where an aqua should be and vice versa).  Oh well - that's what I get for rushing and probably being distracted during the process. 

Lay out your full block just like you see above with aqua squares on each corner.


Separate the rectangle and 2 aqua squares from the block like you see above and stitch the aqua squares to either end of the rectangle.  Press.  Repeat for the other side. 


Stitch the long rectangles to the center section to complete your red and green blocks.


Trim your blocks.  They should measure 12" square after you clean up the edges.


Beautiful.  More to come next week! 



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quilted Holiday Table Runner - Day 2


Continuing our table runner.  Take 2 green charm squares and put them together matching corners exactly.  Cut them to 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" square.


Cut the 2 green charm squares in half diagonally and set aside.


Take 3 more green charm squares and cut them to 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" square.  Cut them in half twice as shown.  Take 4 aqua charms and cut to 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" square.  Set aside (Do not cut them in half! - Picture not shown).


Take 2 aqua charm squares and cut to 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" square.  You will then cut them in half diagonally twice.  When you prepare to cut in half diagonally, especially if you have several squares on top of one another, make sure that they are layered perfectly.  When you begin cutting, be careful not to slip your rotary ruler.  After you have made the first diagonal cut, simply cut the square in the other direction diagonally without moving the square.


Now, separate your triangles and set aside.


Let's build the center red  block.  Take 4 red triangles and place on the 4 sides of the cream square. 


Notice that the points of the triangles extend past each corner of the square by about 1/4".  This is exactly as it should be.


Begin by sewing 2 red triangles to opposite edges of the cream square.  Always use a 1/4" seam.  I follow the edge of my presser foot because it provides me with a clean 1/4" seam allowance.


Press open the triangles - pressing towards the triangles.  Trim off the dog-ears.


Place the other 2 red squares on opposite sides of the cream square making sure they are centered and that the seam allowance that extends past the edges is equal on both sides of the triangle.  Stitch in place.


Press open and clip off the dog-ears.


Measure your block.  It should measure 6-1/2"


Repeat this process for the green square.


You should have 2 squares that look like this - one red and one green.


Lay out a red and cream square and a green and cream square as shown.


With right-sides together (RST), stitch together as shown to make 2 small squares.  Press.  Trim off the dog-ears.


With RST, lay a red triangle on top of the red/cream square you just stitched as shown.  Do the same for the green square.



Stitch the triangles to the squares and press so that the result looks like you see above.


Grab 2 aqua triangles and pin to the red and green pieces as shown.


Stitch and press towards the aqua triangle.  Lookin' good!


Take 2 cream triangles and and 2 aqua triangles (mine are cream and aqua because I ran out of aqua charm squares - oops) - and put them together as shown.


Place them RST and stitch (always a 1/4" seam.  Press towards the aqua fabric.


Now, line up your pieces as shown, being accurate by lining up the seams before you pin and stitch.


See the seams?  If you want them to match perfectly, you have to line them up.  That is why having an accurate 1/4" seam, pressing, and pinning accurately makes a big difference in the result!!


Next, with RST, check to make sure that your seams are up against each other as perfectly as you can get them.  NOTE: Don't assume that just because the seam matches at the top edge that it will match when you finish stitching.  Wanna know why?  Because you are stitching 1/4" from the top edge of the piecing.  If you think about it, you need to check to make sure that your edges match perfectly from the 1/4" edge to the top edge.  Then  you'll have nice, straight seams!


Pin that baby in place.  If you don't pin (beginning with the seam you just lined up), you are bound to screw up the alignment.  Don't take a chance.  It takes a few seconds to pin it in place and then stitch.


Press Open towards the triangle you just stitched on.  Trim off the dog-ears.  Smile at your perfect seams and nice piecing.


Take a cream and red triangle set and a cream and green triangle set and lay them next to the block you are piecing.  When you do this you are less likely to stitch across the wrong edge.  Check your work as you go and you'll have fewer mistakes.  I prefer to have my seam ripper collect dust, but it never seams to happen.


Just making sure.


When you have your pieces stitched together and pressed, take your transparent ruler and place the 1/4" seam marking at the top of the triangle.  See it under the ruler?  That tells me that I have a perfect 1/4" seam allowance that I can stitch this piece to another section and the tip of the triangle already stitched together will be a nice, clean point. 


In other words, you don't want to stitch this piece to the first block and cut off the tip of your triangles in the process.  I know, I've done it and it isn't pretty.  Check your accuracy by lining up the horizontal marking on the ruler with the vertical markings, placing the 1/4" marking at the tip of the triangle point beneath the ruler.  If necessary, trim away any excess.  If you look closely at the picture above, you will see just a tiny bit of excess past the edge of the ruler.  I took my rotary cutter and trimed it away.


Lookin' so nice!  Check out those points!! And those perfect 1/4" seams past the center triangle points!!  Yep, this is going to be very pretty when it is all pieced together.


Your completed rectangle should measure 3-1/2" x 6-1/2".  Check your work.  I always do.



Now, pin the red rectangle you just finished onto the red square.  Check your points!  your matching center seams! At the 1/4" tip from the top edge!  Then pin in place.


Notice this isn't a perfect match.  That's okay.  Why?  Because I know I have cut accurately and stitched accurately and at this point of the process, I need to make sure that the top edge that I am getting ready to stitch has the "center" tip of the "center" triangle matching the tip of the cream square beneath it.  If these seams match perfectly and you pin from the center out to the sides, you'll be fine.


See what I mean?  Check that out.  Tip-to-tip.


Press it open and it should look like this.  Repeat these steps for your green square and rectangle piecing and we'll be set to continue tomorrow!  See you then!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Let's Start This Table Runner!


Table runners are so pretty on a table.  I remember the first time I ever saw a table runner. I think I was in my 20s and I remember thinking it was a nice way to decorate a table without covering up the nice finish with a table cloth - something that I had done my entire life and still do at times.  But when the holidays roll around, I like to have a selection of table runners to decorate more than just the dining room table.  I enjoy having them in various sizes for other pieces of furniture throughout my home as well.  

This week, I am making a Christmas table runner and I want you to sew along with me!  If you haven't prepared yet, you will need:

"12 Days of Christmas" Charm Pack by Moda Fabrics or 32 Charm Squares (5" x 5") or ... Christmas fabric of your choice.  I purchased some nice Moda fabric from 2 different designers with a Christmas theme.  Feel free to be creative!

1 Skein of Embroidery Floss - Red (pictured is a collection of 36 skeins of embroidery floss, but you will only need red for this project.  If you are close to a "Michaels Craft Store" or fabric store, you can find the embroidery floss there.)

 Cotton quilt batting - 24" x 44" or just a baby quilt size will be enough to make several table runners!

* about 1/2 yard of green ribbon (You can find this at your local fabric store)

* about 1/2 yard of red ribbon (Preferably 1"  to 1-1/2" width for bows on the top of the table runner)

You will also need:

* 3/4 - 1 yard of 44" fabric - Creme or Winter White

* 1/4 yard of 44" fabric - Red and White print  (You might see if your fabric store carries the "12 Days of Christmas" fabric collection by Moda and use the same red & white print that is in the charm pack!) 

* about 1/2 yard of 44" fabric - Aqua

* about 1/3 yard of 44" fabric - Red (includes binding)  You can get several different red fabrics if you like.  Make it your own!

NOTE: You can find most all of these supplies at your local fabric supply and/or craft store like Michaels Craft Store.  It is probably easier to order the pattern and the charm pack, however, online through a reputable supplier.  I linked to the "Fat Quarter Shop" because they are a great online resource and are fast to ship!

* * * * * * *

Let's get started!


I love charm packs, and this charm pack will make a beautiful table runner.  This one is "Fruitcake" by Moda.  I love the fabric designs!  I think it will make for a beautiful table runner.


Before I cut my fabric, I press it.  You should always prepare your fabric before you cut.  If you cut it with a crease in it, you may be cutting an inaccurate measurement.  Pressing is as important cutting and accurate seams!  Begin by cutting a 4-3/4" long strip from the side of your cream fabric.  


From this strip cut 2 4-3/4" by 4-3/4" squares. 


Set aside the 2 squares and now cut your long strip down to 4-1/4"


Cut 6 squares from the 4-1/4" strip - each 4-1/4" x 4-1/4".  When you are done, cut in half diagonally.  Line up your edges and corners accurately before you cut.


Now, cut the square in half again in the other direction.


Set aside your cream colored triangles.


Organize your charm pack.  In my pack I organized the creams, greens, reds, aquas, and browns.  It makes it easier to choose the colors and patterns you want to use for your quilted table runner.


Pick out 2 reds and put them together. Cut the squares down to 3-7/8" x 3-7/8".


Cut them in half once.


Set aside your red triangles.


Pick out 3 red charm squares.  Cut them down to 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" square.


Cut in half diagonally twice.


Set these aside as well, but keep them together so that you don't get the wrong size triangles mixed up with the larger ones you cut before.


I love aqua with the other Christmas colors.  I picked out 4 aqua charm squares and cut them down to 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" square and set them aside.


Choose 2 more aqua charms.  Cut them down to 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" square, then cut them in half diagonally twice.  


Set them aside, making sure to keep each section of this puzzle in neat little piles.

That's it for today!  Tomorrow we will do more!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

My New Blog Design!!


For 2 months now I have been working behind the scenes (all by myself I'll have you know) to give my blog home a redesign.  Kind of like moving the furniture around or painting a room, adding some new drapes or pictures to the walls, I needed a pick-me-up.  I wanted the new design to look fresh and more simplistic, and I wanted it to have a few new features too, like an Accordian sidebar navigation, and a more decorative (simplistic and easy to read) footer to each post.  I played around with images in Photoshop and created a new Masthead as well.  I hope you will like my new design!

A lot of things are changing, including the kind of content in my blog home.  For instance, with all my little ones now going to public school, with the exception of my son, whom I still homeschool until he starts high school, I won't be writing for my School Days Section anymore.  And, since my Big Bear has been out of work for over 2 years now, God only knows when we'll be able to work on those things around our home that need attention - like landscaping, a new deck, a kitchen overhaul, new flooring, and new bathrooms!  So, until remodeling the house becomes a priority again, I'm also putting the Home & Garden Section on the back burner.  


My life right now is mostly about being creative, and talking about my life in other ways - like my children and grandchildren, and how very proud I am of all of them.  My personal stories are still very much a part of Raisin Toast and you'll still find them in "My Opus," because, well, this is my opus in so many ways.

Only 1 section has been launched as of this post - the "In the Studio" section, now called simply "Atelier" for "Studio."  I wanted this to be the first section launched with the new design because Raisin Toast is being featured all this week on the site "WeAllSew.com" which is sponsored by Bernina!  How exciting!  I am having a sew-a-long all week and I hope you will join me in making a beautiful quilted table runner for the upcoming Christmas holidays.  I probably should have started with a Thanksgiving table runner, but when I saw this pattern in my favorite quilt shop, I snapped it up.  But, table runners are easy to make and I am sure that if you find a quilted table runner with a Thanksgiving theme, you can still follow along with me all week.

Bear with me while I make changes to Raisin Toast over the coming couple of weeks.  I'll be putting the finishing touches on the design and launching each section little by little.  I now know why web designers charge thousands to design blogs and websites!  Goodness, this has been exhausting.  Even the little elements take so much time to create and then code into the template.  My brain is fried.  I don't know how anyone does this for a living without losing their eyesight.  I've been looking at so much HTML, CSS, and JQuery, and Javascript, even my dreams are about coding.  I just hope I'm not sick of the new design by the time I launch the dang thing! 

The good news is that - yes - I've become quite the TypePad Advanced Template Design Pro (A TypePad Champion if you ask the folks at SixApart), and I am here to help anyone who has a TypePad blog with designing Mastheads, icons, Horizontal Navigation, footers, and more.  As exhausting as it has been, I think that is mostly because I also had to learn how to add the fancier navigation and sidebar utilities that I wanted over the course of the last few months.  Now that I know how it all works, it is all coming together a lot easier.

So there you go - I'm off to a good start.  I think.  If you happen to run across any problems on my site or with my design, PLEASE let me know!!!  Like - I cannot figure out why the sharing buttons below are vertical and not horizontal.  If you know how to fix this let me know. I've spent the last hour messing with it and I finally called it a night.

With that, I'm ready to start this table runner!



Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Quilted Holiday Table Runner Sew-A-Long!


Every day next week I will be making a quilted table runner, and I want you to join me!  I'm calling this a Sew-A-Long and together we can make the first of this year's Christmas decorations and gifts for family and friends.

I like to start early - usually September - to begin thinking about Christmas and gifts, because I enjoy making many of the gifts I give - like quilts, table runners, place mats, stuffed baby toys, and I need to make sure I have the time to get it all done.  I'm hoping that the Sew-A-Long will be a regular feature on Raisin Toast.  Won't that be fun?!!  I enjoy having a friend or two to sew with me and this is a great virtual way to share in our projects.  I will also try to create a page where I share your projects that we have worked on together with your name and link to your blog or website if you have one.  It is a great way for me to say "Thank you" for reading Raisin Toast and sharing in my life and projects.

So let's get started!  Here are the details:

You will need to get:

* "12 Days of Christmas" Charm Pack by Moda Fabrics or 32 Charm Squares (5" x 5") or any holiday fabric of your choice.

* 1 Skein of Embroidery Floss - Red (pictured is a collection of 36 skeins of embroidery floss, but you will only need red for this project.  If you are close to a "Michaels Craft Store" or fabric store, you can find the embroidery floss there.)

* Cotton quilt batting - baby crib size will be more than enough!

* about 1/2 yard of green ribbon (You can find this at your local fabric store)

* about 1/2 yard of red ribbon (Preferably 1"  to 1-1/2" width for bows on the top of the table runner, but only if you want to add this decoration when the runner is complete.)

You will also need:

* 3/4 yard of 44" fabric - Creme or Winter White

* 1/4 yard of 44" fabric - Red and White print  (You might see if your fabric store carries the "12 Days of Christmas" fabric collection by Moda and use the same red & white print that is in the charm pack!)

* 1/2 yard of 44" fabric - Aqua or Green (various shades are fine too)

* 1/3 yard of 44" fabric - Red (various shades are fine too, and this includes the binding as well).

NOTE: You can find most all of these supplies at your local fabric supply and/or craft store like Michaels Craft Store.  It is probably easier to order the pattern and the charm pack, however, online through a reputable supplier.  I linked to the "Fat Quarter Shop" because they are a great online resource and are fast to ship!

* * * * * * *

Raisin Toast is going to be featured all next week on We All Sew! And, that makes it a perfect time to start my sew-a-long with you!

I hope you will join me on this sewing adventure!  Thank you to We All Sew for featuring Raisin Toast on your site and introducing me to your readers!  

Would you like to see some beautiful holiday table runners? I thought you might like to be inspired ...


Check out these beauties from Crazy for Quilts!


Or how about this lovely runner that you can make from the Jolly Jabber's Table Runner Club at the Fat Quarter Shop!


I love this runner!  It was handmade by none other than Jingle Jolly, aka Happy Zombie, or Monica Solorio-Snow back in 2007.  I'll bet she pulls this out every holiday.  Love the pattern as much as I do?


Here you go! 


Just click on my little goodie box for your free pattern courtesy of Jingle Jolly Monica.

And while you're at it, check out Monica's Tiny Trick-or-Treat (smell my sewing machine feet) bags and pattern that she has featured on her site and also in the Better Homes & Garden Quilts and More Fall issue!

But wait!  Here's another great table runner project for you to print off!! ...


This is made with heavier fabric from Calico Corners.  Here are the instructions, courtesy of Woman's Day!

Add this to your craft box: 



By the way, if you have any questions or need help with this project, feel free to contact me at [email protected]  

* Now, let's get started by making some holiday table runners to start our season off beautifully! *


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