Sunday, July 12, 2015

Running Away With Runners

I've noticed A LOT of people on instagram make lots of small quilts, mini-quilts, table runners, etc. and it dawned on me recently that this is probably the best way to perfect my quilting techniques.  Plus these small pieces are so much easier to wrangle through my regular sewing machine than an actual quilt, so it makes it fun to sew and quilt!

I've also finally figured out how to put small pieces of batting together in a usable way so I don't have so much waste.  I'm not sure I'd make an actual quilt with batting that I've sewn together because I'd be concerned that you would feel the ziggaged seamline inside or that it would be weak there and fall apart inside the quilt after  a lot of use and washings.

I'm in the process of making a small quilt for k-ster's niece, and it's not yet picture ready, so I'll show what I did with the scraps.  There are a lots of half square triangles in the quilt and there were a TON of leftovers that were already perfectly sized for something, so I put them to use in a small runner.  There are two sizes of half square triangles in the quilt, so I thought I'd make pinwheels out of the big triangles and use the small ones for borders.

I like making pinwheels even though (horrors) I don't ever trim my half square triangles!  I prefer to wing it and hope everything lines up and 99% of the time I'm happy with it.

My purpose here was to have the white show as the pinwheels, but all I see is the colored triangles and I'm not too happy about that.  I wanted the whites to just pop and they don't.

The white material was new for the quilt, but the entire set of triangles was made from my stash.  It's fun to look at so many fabrics and remember whose quilt I made out of them!  It amazes me that I have some fabrics left from quilts I made almost 20 years ago.  It's impossible to think I've been sewing that long, but my roommate got married in 1995 and I made my first quilt for her, so I guess that's 20 years.

Because I really have very little idea what I'm doing in the realm of quilting, my triangles border didn't quite come out as I planned.  The top points were swallowed by the binding and the bottom left corner points are not all as I want them to be.

This is a runner that really will never see the light of day because it sits on top of the bureau that k-ster refashioned from 5 drawers to 3.  I put two baskets on top of it for more storage and even though the bureau is as old as I am and has the scratches to prove it, I felt like it needed a runner so it wouldn't get more scratched.  No one will really ever see that I didn't do such nice points on the border triangles.

I also thought that instead of my trademark wavy quilt stitch, I'd try just doing straight lines.  I say try because even though I used my walking foot and the guide that can go on it, I managed to make some rather unstraight lines.

Lesson learned:  straight lines, like trimming blocks, just isn't for me!

I love the fabric on the back and binding and I vividly remember the quilt I made with it.  I was shocked to find such a nice piece in my stash.  I forget what the pattern was called but I think it was some kind of  Irish chain because I remember my mother saying she thought it was a really tough pattern.  I don't recall that it was tough, but anything that doesn't involved triangles is a breeze as far as I 'm concerned and I know there were no triangles in that pattern!

I really like making these little quilts to try out new things and play around with stitches.  I made a quick little mat to put under the water fountain for the cats so it could catch water if they start playing with the flowing water.

They haven't been inclined to play with it yet but this is a nice little mat to put under the stainless steel fountain on top of the tile.  I love the ridiculous backing.  I've had a pile of weird fabric from that 80s that someone dropped off for me at school a long time ago.  The woman used to do a lot of craft fairs and included very outdated patterns for things that were quite popular at craft fairs in the 80s and the fabric reflects that country kitsch decor.  I never do anything farmy or country, so I thought it would be fine for the back!

Now I feel like the top of everything needs a little mat and I'm kind of on a roll!

Linking here: 


  1. I've been tempted to make a little mat to put under my sewing machine, in the hope of muffling the noise somewhat! I really like that farmhouse fabric, usually I'm not one for novelty prints but I like the contrast of the neutral top and bold backing. I'll have to make myself one! Thanks for the inspiration, Hannah

  2. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday, hope to see you again next week!

  3. Such beautiful work with the runners and little quilts. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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