Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's a runner month and with Duff she is jumping us into Spring which is almost Here!

Hi again! This is ♥Duff from BaconThenEggs. Madame Samm has asked me to contribute this month so I thought I’d share a quick, easy project that’s also a stash-buster.  A spring runner, or in my case a kitchen island runner, fits the bill nicely!

You’ll need:
Charm pack or assortment of scraps
4 ½ inches WOF for sashing
7 inches WOF for border

 Cut up a charm pack or various fabrics in assorted sizes (about 1 ½  -2 ¾  x 5in.) 

Then sew them into pairs, leaving a couple extra to the side for later.
Sew pairs into quadruplets.
Decide on your layout by positioning squares until you’re happy. Here’s where the extra pieces come in—the length of each row will be different so you can add to a row that needs little more length.

Sew quadruplets into three “printed strips.”
Square up the strips both width and length so you have 3 equal-sized printed strips.
Sashing: Cut (3) 1 ½ inch WOF strips.
a.     Subcut (2) of the strips to the length of your printed strips. Sew sashing between printed fabric strips and on outer lengths.
b.    Subcut remaining sashing strip to match the width of each end. Sew on.

Border: Cut (3) 2 ½ inch WOF strips. (please note that the possibility exists that you will only need two of these strips, so perhaps you’d like to cut as you go.)
a.     Subcut one strip (possibly 2) to match length of runner top. Sew on.
b.    Subcut remaining strip to match width. Sew on. 

Sandwich, Quilt, and bind.
I found that there is a lot of leftover fabric from the charm pack, so I went on to make two more runners.
Here are the sizes for all three: 18 x 21, 9 x 46, 14 x 20. One for the kitchen island, another for the foyer table, and a third for a friend. That’s three coordinated runners from one charm pack and some yardage-wowzers!

I hope you’re enjoying this month of runners--it's inspiring me every day!

It's a runner month and with Melissa it is all about the STAR Spangled table runner

Hello Fellow Sewing Enthusiasts!!!!!!  It's me, Melissa Corry from Happy Quilting!!!!!  I am so excited to be here at Sew We Quilt to share with you this festive Star Spangled Table Runner Tutorial.  And just because I am so excited, I decided to also share a GIVEAWAY with you!!!!  But we'll get to that at the end of the tutorial (Yup, gonna make you wait ;)  So let's get going with the tutorial.

Let me start out by saying that you can make this table runner any size you like.  Mine happens to be 8 1/2" x 50" because that is the size table it will be going on.  But the pattern is very basic so once you get an idea of how to do it, just alter it to fit the size you need.

So you  will need a red print, a white print, and a blue print.  I used a Fat Quarter of Red and White and a yard of Blue.  (I also used the blue print for my binding and backing :)

From your red and white fabric cut 6 strips each measuring 3" x 22"  (that will use up all of your fat quarter)

Lay your first strip (red one) on your cutting mat with right side up.  Now lay your second strip (white one) right side and place it so that the edge of the second strip overlaps the first strip by 1".   (A little different than normal right sides together, but you will get the hang of it :)  Now lay your ruler 1" up from the edge of the second strip.  This creates your cutting area.

With your rotary cutter, cut a wavy line through both strips in the 1" overlap.  The wavier you cut the more curvy, so if curves scare you just do a really gentle wavy line :)  The piece of the second strip (white one) closest to you becomes scrap and the piece of the first strip (red one) under the second strip becomes scrap as well.  Go ahead and remove them :)

Now, gently lay your first strip over onto your second strip so that now the right sides are together.  Don't bother trying to match the edge up because they won't :)  Just overlap the second strip edge (white one) 1/4" from the edge of the first strip (red strip).  This is where you will begin stitching and you will be stitching a 1/4" seam down the length of your two strips.

Now I don't pin when stitching curves.  Especially these improv curves.  The nice thing is that you will be trimming when you are done so you don't have to worry about being perfect.  This is a great project to practice your curve piecing.

So Start your 1/4" seam where you overlapped your 2 fabrics.  I like to stitch 2 stitches and then back-stitch.  (It isn't necessary but I pull on these pieces a little more so I like the extra security :)  Now if you have never done curved piecing (like me until very recently) there are a few things that knowing makes it a lot easier.  Only worry about lining up the inch or so before your presser foot.   Don't look at where your needle is sewing.  Just focus on the fabric right before it goes under the front of your foot. That is the only place you need to line up.  Once you get that down it is super speedy and super fun!!!

Line up an inch, then stitch an inch.  Then line up another inch, then stitch another inch.  If you can only get a 1/2 inch to line up (which is often the case at the top of the curves) then only line up a 1/2 inch.  And don't worry about the bubbles forming away from the seam, they work themselves out.

Creases that come close to your seam will often work themselves out as they go through the presser foot so don't stress about them much either.  Just remember, line up a little, stitch a little and keep going until you get to the end of your strip.  And remember this is a very forgiving project so have fun with it.  And trust me, by the end of it, you will feel way more confident about your curve piecing.  (Seriously, this is like my second or third project doing curves, and now I love them, can't wait to do more :)

Once you finish stitching the length of your strip go ahead and press your seam to the darker fabric.  And notice how my strips don't line up at the end.  No worries :)  That's why we trim :)

So now you are ready to repeat the process.  Add the third strip, overlap, cut, stitch :)  You get the idea :)

Keep adding strips until you have enough strips to equal double the height of your desired table runner.  (Mine was 11 strips but yours could very depending on how large you cut your curves :)  Go ahead and give your entire curved piece a good starching.  This will just get it nice and flat before we start cutting it up :)

Now, lay your piece onto your cutting mat and cut it into 4 pieces as follows.  I cut mine into 4 8 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles.  (This is where if you want it wider or shorter you can adjust accordingly :)

Now it is time to add in some blue.  Cut 5 strips that are the height of your pieced block (mine was 8 1/2") x 2 1/2".  And while I had my blue out I also cut three strips 2 1/2" X Width of Fabric to create my binding strip out of :)

Now go ahead and lay your pieces out as follows.  Sew the 2 rows together adding the strips to the blocks first and then the sewing the blocks together.  Once completed sew the second row to the end of the first row to create one long runner.
Like So :)  Don't you just love how it is all wavy!!!  But just wait, it is going to get even cuter :)

From your blue print, go ahead and cut out some stars and applique them to your runner like so.  You can print off stars from any Word program and I did mine in varying 1/2" sizes from 2 1/2" to 4".  If you have never done applique before please refer to Step 5 of this tutorial (one of my MBS ones) .  It will walk you through how to do it :)

Now you are ready to finish it up :)  Go ahead and make your quilt sandwich and then baste it.

Now it is ready to be quilted.  I did a mini stars and loop pattern in matching thread colors of the fabric.  It turned out so cute :)

And lastly, take those strips you cut previously and sew them into a binding strip and then bind your table runner.

And Ta Da!!!!  One super adorable Star Spangled Table Runner!!!!!  And you have plenty of time to get it put together before the 4th :)  (or to put it together for an American buddy :)

And how cute would it be to make individual blocks and bind them to make super cute place mats to match your table runner :)  I think those will be next on my list :)

So that's it :)  I so hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  It really is a super fun project that goes together quick and is very forgiving :)   And if you make one I would love for your to add it my Flickr Tutorial Group.  I just love seeing your take on my tutorials :)

Alright,  Onto the GIVEAWAY!!!!  I just love guest posting here because everyone always leaves such sweet comments and just makes my entire week.  So in return, here is hoping to brighten your day with a chance to win a Rose Ballard Fat Quarter Bundle of Pat Bravo's new Poetica line.  Leave me a comment here and  pop on over here to my blog for your chance to enter :) 

And a huge thanks goes out to Madam Samm for having me here today.  Honestly, this is one of my favorite places to guest blog.  You all are just so amazing, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's a month of runners....and Pauline and her hens are a pecking...

Thank you Madame Samm for inviting me back.

I'm Pauline, I live in Canton Michigan and 
blog at QuiltnQueen.
I've never been a talkative one or a social butterfly in a crowd
and at times it is pretty quiet on my blog.
 I do love reading your blogs, 
blogging and sharing my quilting projects with all of you!!!
♥    ♥    ♥    
Today I'm going to share a 'quilt as you go'  tutorial for
a table runner....it is quick and easy!
If you are not a fan of 'quilt as you go' quilting method,
this runner can be made....using the same measurements
in the traditional manner...
piece, sandwich, and quilt...(o: 
Let's begin.....
I will be using the following fabrics to make the 13" x 36.5" table runner...

Quilt as you go.....fabric choices

Helpful tips:
  • a walking foot will be your best friend for this project
  • set stitch length at 2.8 - 3.0, you don't want it too small just in case you have to do the unthinkable....... unstitch.
  • I did not baste the batting and backing, you may want to if this is your first 'quilt as you go' project...just remember to keep the backing taunt, so you do not stitch in any 'little puckers'.
  • pin, pin, pin...I know a lot of you don't like to pin but it really does help
  • I used insul-brite instead of batting for this runner and it worked great.  I like the idea of being able to put hot dishes on the table and not have to worry about damaging the table...not that it doesn't have character marks already...because it does have lots....(o: 
Materials needed:
  • 4 - 5" x 5" squares of a focus fabric
  • 5 - 5" x 2.5" rectangles of coordinating fabric
  • 2 - 1.5" x wof (width of fabric) for inner border
  • 3 - 3.5" x wof for outer border
  • 16" - 18" x wof for backing
  • batting approximately the same size as your backing or slightly smaller
  • 3 - 2.5" x wof for binding....or 2.25" x wof for a narrower binding.
Lets get started....
  • Press your backing fabric and place right side down
  • Place batting on top of the wrong side of backing fabric
  • Determine the center of the batting/backing vertically and horizontally
  • Draw 2 lines 5" wide across the center point of the batting...that would be 2.5" above and 2.5" below the center point
  • Center one of the rectangles in the center of the 2 lines
Step 1

  • Stitch 1 focus  5" square to each side of the centered rectangle, flip square right side up before adding the second square to the rectangle, press the squares.
Step 3
  • Continue stitching the rectangles and squares together, press each block after stitching 
  • Use the 2 lines you marked as centering lines as a guide to keep the pieces centered
  • When adding each rectangle or square keep the backing taunt 
  • Pin, stitch, flip and press each rectangle or square......keeping them taunt also and check your backing before adding the next rectangle or square.
  • add even number of blocks and rectangles to each side of the center rectangle.
Step 4
  • you may find it easier to roll the sides of the runner as you sew...the red you see is actually the backing 
Step 6
  • to add the borders, measure the length of the of the top and bottom.  It should measure approximately 28.5".
  • stitch borders in place
Step 7
  • flip borders....right side up and press
Step 8
  • your back should look like this......you don't want any 'little puckers' so always check the stitching on the back before you add the next pieces
Step 9

  •  measure for the side inner borders, should be approximately 7",  pin, and keep the backing taunt
  • you are now ready to measure for the outer border, mine measured 30.5" and add them the same way you added the inner border......see all those pins....they help to eliminate the dreaded 'unstitching'.  Yes I had to unstitch, yes I did, a couple of times.  
Step 10
  • flip border and press
  • measure for side outer border and pin, pin, pin, stitch, flip and press
  • I pinned the outer edge and machine basted around the table runner before I squared it for the binding.
Step 12
  • I have not quilted the border, I still may add some straight line quilting or do a little free hand quilting in the border.
  • Apply your binding your usual way.  If you need help with binding I have a tutorial that you may find useful.   It was my first tutorial for Sew We Quilt. 
If you have never tried the 'quilt as you go method'
this is a small project the goes together quickly.
The runner looks like you quilted it using the 'stitch in the ditch' method.

'Quilt As You Go' runner

I stitched a second runner using the traditional method
'piece, sandwich and quilt'.
I stitched in the ditch and straight line quilted the outer border.

'Piece, sandwich, quilt' method

This is an easy runner that has potential for lots of creativity...
...you can vary the center with a single block measuring 28.5" x 5" of a focus fabric 
or you can use a light background fabric and 
stitch 4 small embroidery patterns in the 5" squares or 
stitch little appliques in the 5" squares or
use a single block and embroider or applique on a 28.5" x 5" light background fabric 
and use a print for the outer border.

Give it a try and if the 'quilt as you go' method is not for you
remember, you can always use the same measurements 
to make the table runner using the traditional quilting method 
....piecing, sandwich, quilt by hand or machine 

I hope you will give it a try.

 I would love for you to visit me at QuiltnQueen.

Are you into chickens??
I will be giving one of the table runners away on my blog.
Please come visit and leave me a comment.

Happy Stitching

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's a Runner month and here is Kristin with her own Adventure Runner 2 guests today ...look!

First I’d like to say Thank you to Madame Samm for allowing me to share this with you.
This is my first guest post ever and I’m completely excited.

My name is Kristin and I blog at Sew Chaos, Sew Crazy, SewWonderful 
(rather sporadically right now.)
Some of the pictures are kinda dark.
I live in the Pacific Northwest, if I waited for natural light, I'd be waiting until July!

Shall we begin?

cyoa (2)

My unofficial motto for the year is “Use What You Have”

This is the second of my Choose Your Own Adventure projects.

You'll find the first one here.

My goal: a quick, easy project using a simple block that I can make using scraps on hand.

I call them “Choose Your Own Adventure” (CYOA) because you can use what you have, build the blocks, and arrange them any way you please.
The finished product is as unique as the maker.

cyoa block

This basic block finishes at 4".  
I don't know the name of the block, I’m sure I didn't invent it.


Fabric Requirements
****Because this project is designed to use scraps, I’ve listed the cut size of the pieces we’ll need, instead of the yardage needed****

Prints - 
·     (40) 2½” x 5” rectangles  (Candy Bar Pack)
(26) 2 7/8" squares, cut once on the diagonal to make 52 triangles.
(26) 2 ½" squares.

Background –
·         (40) 2½” x 5” rectangles (Bricks)
(26) 2 7/8" squares, cut once on the diagonal to make 52 triangles.
(26) 2 ½" squares.

Solids - 
           If you are using 2 ½” x 5” Bricks, You are going to do the following:

Pull (13) Bricks – Slice these down the center creating (26) 2½” squares.  Set aside

On the remaining bricks, draw a line down the center, creating (2) 2½” sq.

CYOA (3)

Now draw lines dividing the squares into 2 triangles.

CYOA (4)

Measure ½” away from that line, towards the outside, draw another line.

(I forgot to take a picture before with the second line, oops!)

The second line is totally optional, but it's a great way to get some bonus HSTs

If you're not using bricks, there's no prep.

Prints - 
If you are using 2 ½” x 5” Bricks - You are going to do the following:
Pick 13 bricks to use at the square in each block. 

CYOA (2)
My pack happened to have 13 reddish prints, so that’s what I chose.

Cut these bricks into 2 ½” sq.  Set aside.

If you're not using bricks, there's no prep.

Building the Blocks

A note – This is how I built them, because I wanted to use the Candy Bar.  If you have a method of making HST’s that you prefer, or works better with what you have, go for it! 

~~The goal is 52 HSTs that are 2 1/2" (unfinished)~~

Pair up the solid and print bricks.  Sew along the diagonal line, stopping and pivoting at the middle. 
CYOA (5)

If you want the bonus triangles, sew again along the second set of diagonal lines.

CYOA (6) 

Before cutting, I like to press.  It helps keep things flat and square.
Slice down the center line.

CYOA (7) 

Now slice between the diagonal lines, about ¼” away from either line.

CYOA (8) 

Now open and press, trimming all the dog ears.

CYOA (9) 
my bonus HSTs are pictured here too.

Easy-peasy, right?

Now, lets build the block.  I wanted super scrappy, so I just made a stack of the print squares and a stack of the HSTs and randomly put them together.

I’ve noticed that precuts tend to be less than exactly square.  So when lining pieces up to sew together, I trust the cut I made, not the edge of the precut.  

CYOA (13)

Sew them together like this – It is important!

CYOA (10)

Make sure your triangle is oriented the right way.

Sew with the HST on top.
Press towards the square.
Repeat for a total of 26 “print units

Do the same thing for the solid squares and the rest of the HSTs.

cyoa solids unit

Make sure you orient them like this!

If you're going for a scrappy look - like mine – Stack your Print units and your Solid units next to each other, in the correct orientation, and sew together. 

CYOA (12)

If you want them to be matchy-matchy take a moment to pair them all up before you piece them together.

Now, the fun part!  What layout do you want to use? 
Here are just a few layout possibilities

CYOA layout a   CYOA layout bCYOA layout c   CYOA layout d  CYOA layout f

Pick which one you like, and go for it!
add skinny sashing, if you feel so inclined.
I upsized the originial CYOA to a layer cake and added thin sashing - you can see it here.

CYOA layout me 

I picked this one.

CYOA (5) 
When I was done, it just screamed for a dark brown border.
I happened to have a bit of the perfect brown, measured it, and sized my border based on what I had.

CYOA back

The backing is a piece of green something that I cannot seem to get rid of.
I've used it in every project possible and I still have about ½ yard left!

cyoa (3)

Sandwiched, Quilted, Bound! 
- well,not bound - 
My walking foot was almost broken before I started and it made it through the quilting, but I need to procure a new one before I do any binding.

For my sample runner I used a hoarded cherished Candy Bar pack of Fandago, Kona white and a remnant for the border.

The batting in mine is that potholder-crinkly-heat resistant stuff.
I wanted a runner that I could use for hot plates.


I hope you enjoyed this!
I’d love to see yours if you decide to make one!

now, what do do with the bonus HSTs....