Posts Tagged ‘table runners’

Some Finished Projects

A busy week, no question about it! Since we are leaving for a few days away and up in Sedona, I had a long list of things that needed to be finished before we left. I’m happy to say I got it ALL done….as well as start the list for next weekend! Cannot stay idle – too many projects to do!

First up is part of an order we really can’t say too much about, but we sent off a load of marbled ribbons to Manhattan for a magazine shoot coming up. When we can say more, we will….it’s pretty cool…..

And…as part of the ongoing table runner project for my second mom, I finished the last of the 5 table runners and delivered it in time for set-up for Thanksgiving. I am finished with old white polyester, but the runners did work out beautifully. This last one was really hard on the eyes, so I only did three motifs, rather than the five. I extended the size by making the connecting pieces wider, and then I went to town on feathers. Love doing feathers, especially since I never figured I’d ever be able to do them. This was the one delivered in June.

This is the last of the five.

And…I finished the makeover of my Christmas quilt.  I learned a great deal. I still have to work at the trapunto, but my goal with this makeover was to get the star blocks to be the prominent feature of the quilt. I did three kinds of stippling, from micro to very large. And I did bobbin work for the first time, using the Razzle Dazzle thread from Superior. I picked up a small Christmas tree stencil, traced it on the back (and learned I need some new markers), and then quilted with the front facing down on the machine. It worked really well and I love the effect. I am planning to add a few beads as tree ornaments when I get a chance. I did a lot of machine quilting on the marbled centers of the stars, on the nonpareil pattern. I can tell I have definitely done a lot of machine quilting this year, because it was far easier to follow the pattern than it has been in the past. I now understand what quilters mean when they say “pedal to the metal,” as I was  very speedy with the tiny and medium stippling. I also tried a new pattern in the border and it was moderately successful. Again, fast speed, and from a distance you really can’t tell that a lot of it is uneven. I liked the pattern. Here she be:

Work in Progress Wednesday

I gotta say, I love being able to do some kind of sewing every single day. I am keeping track of what I am accomplishing during this second year of retirement, and I am on track to get A LOT done! I finished the table runner for my second mom, and I still hate 1970s polyester (I had the wrong year in last week’s post.) Each of these blocks is not going anywhere – I have to make sure there is no unraveling in the corners and curves because of this fabric. That said, it will go well with the other three completed for last year’s Thanksgiving. I think I have one more table runner in me, in August. It is just too hard on the one eye I have left; I quilt for 25 minutes and then have to take a long break to bring back my distance vision. We’ll see after the August runner is completed. So here it is:

My other project for the week has been working on the free motion quilting challenge for June. I love Cindy Needham’s quilting, and she’s got a great tutorial for this month. Lots of tiny, close stitching, some new curves. As I’ve been reading what others have done on our Facebook page, I am amazed. I tend to be pretty linear with some of this – got to do it as the examples show. But then I see some of these great photos, and I realize how people take these patterns and make them their own.

Things I’ve learned: I can get smaller in my patterns. I started on a piece of blue gabardine, with some left-over batting. I did a grid of squares with chalk, used Bottom Line in the bobbin, and played around with the Art Colors from Superior.  Now normally I don’t do any marking. I guess I always thought free motion was without any assistance. Well, on hubby’s quilt I redid, I marked some curves and liked the effect. This time I marked the grid, and I was very pleased.

You can see the bigger squares. Then I tried some curves in a few of the other squares, and then some stippling. I had no idea I could get my stippling to be that small. Love the effect. I started out being worried about the lines being straight, but as Cindy said, ultimately they all look straight, so I stopped worrying.

Here I have divided each of the 1-inch squares into half-inch squares. I wasn’t sure I would actually be able to quilt these, but I was wrong. I did the same pattern, and I even did some stippling in the smaller squares. I love the way the large circles really popped.

For this I practiced some echo quilting and swirls. Cindy’s right – you get much better with practice. And this is one of those pieces I just experimented with and practiced on, not worrying about what it would be when I was done. I was looking for where I get “puffies,” and where the fabric recedes completely. In the bottom right corner you can see part of my attempt to do more of a bird feather – not happy with it. I definitely need to have a grid to follow to do more curves.

Somewhat better curves in the upper left, but again, something to practice. I do feel like I have a lot more choices in quilting designs. Now to go buy Cindy’s books….

And if this isn’t enough stimulation, I’m getting caught up on a couple of The Quilt Show episodes. After watching Stupendous Stitches, I spent an afternoon seeing what else my Bernina 1008 would do – I can get 16 stitches, not counting differing lengths and width. Then there was Marvelous Miters and Prairie Points – great ideas there, and last night I watched RaNae Merrill, and now I want to try some spirals.

Best part? Now I have the time!

Wednesday Work in Progress

Yay! Three of the eight table runners are complete and at their new home, in time for the holiday festivities for which they were made. There are five smaller ones still to be done, but they should be finished by the beginning of June. I learned a lot doing these, and I have a few ideas for keeping them straighter during quilting when I get to the smaller ones. But that’s after a few more current projects.

I put the first one on the main table, and then we arranged the other two around them. The visual appeal of the three is really stunning – I was quite amazed. Betty, my second mom, cut them all out in the winter of 1991 when she was in Vermont. They have lain dormant in a box since then. I first attacked the project last fall and completed the first sample block in January. It’s only been since May that I have really worked on the project.

Now I have a deer quilt to finish for our bedroom, and then on to my first major art piece, with a deadline in mid-February. I am taking pics of the whole process, in preparation for writing an article about the process. I have a list on the wall of the studio with all the projects – unfinished and “to be made” – I want to work on. It did feel good to cross off the first three table runners today!

Each block is a white design, some original Hawaiian patterns and some that are unique designs by Betty. Once we started thinking about layout, we decided black and white would be very dramatic. Each block is done in color for the satin stitch. I wanted to have some subtle color to the overall effect.

Each block is attached to another with a small divider, which has been free-motion quilted. It helps to set off the design even further.

To stay in the spirit of Hawaiian applique, since the family was stationed in Hawaii for a number of years, I echo-quilted each block with two rounds of stitching. This accented the design, as well as anchored the runner together so nothing would slip and slide.

Another 20 blocks await!

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