Monday, July 24, 2017

QAYG Christmas Table Runner

The day has finally arrived!  It is my day to have the spotlight for the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop.  
All of the details for the blog hop as well as the fantastic giveaway can be found at Sarah's blog:    Just sayin', if you make a comment on my post today, you are entered into this fantastic giveaway.  There are two more bloggers participating today and here are their addresses, so you can enter there too.

The project I am featuring is a quilt as you go table runner.  It can be made any size or shape and works just as well in a square as it does a rectangle.  It is a great way to use up batting and fabric scraps and strips.  Also, if you have orphan blocks left from other projects, here is a great way to put them to use for holiday gifts.  Here is the one I chose to make for our little tutorial.

     My Christmas scrap bin looked like this:
besides having some fat quarters and small yardages.  And I had some frankenbatts that were about 18" x 30".  So this is what I chose to do.  If you choose to sew along with me, here is what you will need:
Scraps or fat quarters of chosen fabric.  If you are using fat quarters, you will need 7.  I actually used 5 and some smaller scraps.
Batting, a piece approximately 18" X 30"
Backing fabric, approximately 20" X 32"
Sewing machine with walking foot or even feed foot.
Normal sewing supplies  

This is a fat quarter grouping I purchased in the sale room at my LQS.

I love that little Christmas tree print on the left, but there was only about 6" of it.  I decided it could become pinwheel blocks for the center.  I made 6-1/2" unfinished blocks, starting with 3-1/2" strips, cutting the HST's with my Easy Angle ruler, my favorite method.

If you make your HST's from squares, you will need 4" squares, then trim your HST's to 3-1/2".  Press well.  (Don't you just love the little triangles it makes on the back when you spin your seams?)

I made three pinwheels and put them together with 2-1/2" strips of another fabric.  You can do this center anyway you please according to the piece of batting you have and any blocks you have on hand or decide to make.  

Choose your backing and cut 1" larger than your batting on all 4 sides.  Mark the centers on your backing, batting and center design and layer with centers matched.  Spray or pin baste layers together.    (I do both).
Secure the three layers together by adding your first strips to the ends of your center design.  Place another 2-1/2" strip on each end, RST, sewing through all layers, using a 1/4"seam and your walking foot.  Trim your strip even with your center blocks.

Press seam toward the outer edge.  Repeat on the other end of your center blocks.
Now using 2" strips of a coordinating fabric, add strips in the same manner to the long edges.
I was using fat quarters so needed to seam some of my strips to make them long enough.  I used the diagonal seaming technique to make the seams less obvious.

Be sure to press each strip toward the outer edge before adding another strip.

I added another row of 2" strips on the long edges before adding the border on all four sides.  

I made the border from 2" strips also, sewing on the short end strips first.  Press this last row toward the outer edge.  
Now is the time to add some quilting to your center blocks if you would like

I used a curved line through the center on the green HST's. 

  You can add as much or as little quilting as you wish.  Remember, you were quilting the layers as you were adding your strips!  
I used 2" binding strips in a different coordinating print, pressing them WST to make a 1" binding, sewing to the right side by machine, turning over the edge and hand stitching to the back.  This makes a very snug binding.  If you prefer, use 2-1/2" strips for a wider binding.

     Now for an optional design.  

The center fabric was something I fell in love with last year.  It is a Holly Taylor fabric, called Town Square.  (Good luck finding it if you love it too.)  I used it for a center panel, fussy cutting the design to fit my size.  Using the same quilt as you go technique, I added 2" strips in coordinating fabrics, only this time I added them in a courthouse steps style to all four sides.

I used a large meander to quilt the center.

The possibilities are endless with this technique.  If you try it and like it, send a photo to me and I will include it in a future blog post.  Or if you use Bloglovin, just add it to a comment on this post.  
     I hope you enjoyed this project and will visit again soon.  Remember to leave a comment to be included in the drawing for those great Tula Pink fabrics.  

And keep on stitchin'

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Christmas in July

     Sarah, with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, ( is sponsoring a blog hop and I am participating  It was going to be loads of fun from the beginning, but she has now announced a HUGE giveaway!  Here is her announcement.  
12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop
"And as if great holiday ideas and a tutorial weren't enough, this year we've got something extra special!  The lovely folks over at Free Spirit Fabrics have donated not just one item for a giveaway, but THIRTEEN!  And it's pretty drool-worthy stuff, too - it's Tula Pink's new holiday line, Holiday Homies!!!"

She has six design rolls, six layer cakes, and one fat quarter bundle to give away - and here's how we're going to do it!  Visit each stop on the hop, including Sarah's blog, and leave a comment on each post for the day.  If you comment on all the blogs involved that day, you'll have that many entries in that day's drawing!  At the end of the hop, she will do a giveaway for each day by putting everyone's name in the hat who commented that day and drawing a winner for that day.  That will be twelve winners - the design rolls and layer cakes.  Then she will put all the names from all the days in a hat and draw out a grand prize winner for the fat quarter bundle!  Only one prize per person, though.  So carve out a bit of time to visit all the blogs and comment.
Here is a list of the blogs and their dates: 
Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th

Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

All Points of the Compass

Sunday, July 23rd

Mel's Quilting Blog

Resourceful Momma
Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting

Monday, July 24th

Anja Quilts
A Dream and a Stitch

Tuesday, July 25th

Christina's Handicrafts

Kathy's Kwilts and More

     As you can see, my post will be on Monday, the 24th and I am working hard to have it ready for you then.  Meanwhile, visit those other blogs and comment so you can get into this fabulous drawing.  Here is just a little teaser to keep you interested.

     I do have a few things to show you from the past couple of weeks.  I decided to join the Bonnie Hunter Leader and Ender Challenge this year, so did some cutting from my overflowing 2-1/2" strip bin.  Bonnie's little blocks are so much cuter, but this is the bin that needs some work at my house.

I'm using dark brown and cream for my 4-patches because my rails all seem to be those warm darker colors rather than brights.    I did a bunch of cutting in preparation for a sew day on one of my vintage machines.  My go to machine for piecing at home is my Viking Megaquilter and it has a thread cutter, so no need for leader/enders.  These blocks are 12-1/2' unfinished, so I can make a big quilt over a year's time. 

     The other finished project is something from a class with Shelly Pagliai (Prairie Moon Quilts) about a year ago.  I had it pieced, but not quilted.  I knew I wanted to practice some more elaborate FMQ on it and just kept procrastinating out of insecurity.  I finally have it done and if you don't get too close, it isn't too bad. 

Ok, its time to go work on my day for the Blog Hop.  See you  then.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Catching Up

I   I know it has been a long time since you have heard from me.  It seems like every time I had something to write about, I didn't have pictures, or I had pictures, but nothing I've wanted to say.  No excuses, just haven't taken the time to write a post on the blog.  But, here goes.
     It has been a great summer so far in our little town in Missouri.  No intense heat, lots of rain, green grass and summer flowers.  I made a trip to Hot Springs Village AR to attend a rug hooking workshop with Aileen Anderson.  I learned so much and had a great time with my hooking friends.

From left, Ann, Marilyn, Aileen, Kathy and me.
     Aileen has a wonderful studio with lots of wool.  I was like a kid in a candy store.

Here is the piece that I finished while there.

This was drawn from a photo taken on my trip to Ireland.  

     It was back to sewing when I came home so I finished up some crib quilts for the Baby Grace program supported by my quilt guild.  

These have since been quilted and bound.  They are ready to be donated. 

      The guild held a two day retreat the Friday and Saturday of Father's Day weekend.  There were four of us who had bought the Metro Rings pattern and the Quick Curve Ruler to make a double wedding ring quilt.  None of us had so much as broken the seal on the ruler, so decided to make it together while at retreat.  It certainly was less intimidating that way. 
Sew Kind of Wonderful - Quick Curve Ruler 

My first block.

The fabrics are French General that I had been collecting for a long time, all different lines.  

Here is the finished top.  I am going to scallop the edges, so left the outside border large.  

     Today, I pieced two backings, trying to use stash.  One was the Double Wedding Ring and the other was another charity quilt, destined for the Great Circle Children's Home.  

Now, I have this stack of tops that I need to quilt, five of them.  Sadly, they are all new starts for the year.  No UFO's in this stack.  There is one UFO hanging in the closet.  Maybe I should do it first.    Hopefully, I will get started this weekend.  


PS.  Linking today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.