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Yellow Scrappy Table Runner

September 3, 2011

I’ve been learning how to quilt recently, as you saw in this post, so when my friend Jenni’s birthday came up, I decided it might be a cute idea to make her a quilted table runner as a gift.  I decided this the night before we were supposed to go to her birthday dinner, and I didn’t even have fabric yet.  So I ran over to Joann’s and bought some cute fabric (and of course I didn’t just buy fabric for this one project….because how often do I go to Joann’s and only get what I came for?  Umm….I think never.)  Anyway, I think it turned out really cute, so I thought I’d give a little tutorial on how I did it!

I selected the fabric I wanted to use, and got a larger piece of coordinating fabric for the back and binding.   I was already home before I realized that I probably should have gotten 2 different fabrics for the back and binding, but oh well.  You live and you learn.  It still turned out cute.

First, press all your fabric so that you don’t have to work around any unruly creases or folds.

Then measure and cut strips from your fabric.  I cut 4 strips from each piece of fabric in varying widths.  I had 6 different fabrics I was using for the front, so that totaled 24 strips in all, but you can add more fabric or more strips depending on how long you want your table runner to be.  Remember when you’re cutting that you’re going to need a 1/4 inch seam allowance on all the strips, so cut it 1/2 inch bigger than you want the final width to be.

Next, lay out your strips in the order that you want them, then when you have your desired length and width, cut out your backing piece so that it’s slightly bigger than the fabric strips.

One at a time, pin and sew the strips together, with the right sides facing each other.  Remember to use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

There should be a marker on your sewing machine and/or sewing foot that shows you where 1/4 inch is.

Here’s what the strips will look like when they’re all sewn together.  It doesn’t matter if the edges are perfectly straight, because we’ll be trimming those later.

Cut out some quilt batting to match the size of your backing fabric.  Your backing fabric should be laying right side down when you lay the batting on top.

Lay your strips on top of the batting and smooth out so that there are no loose or wrinkled spots.

Then pin through all 3 layers of fabric and batting so that you make a quilt sandwich that won’t move around.  You’ll want to pin every 6 inches or so in every direction so that the fabric won’t move while you’re sewing it together.  You can also use quilting safety pins, or fusible fleece batting that you can actually iron onto your backing and front fabric so that it basically glues itself to the fabric so you don’t have to worry about pinning.

Now it’s time to quilt.  I just used the seams as a guideline and did straight lines across on either side of each seam, but you can do any quilting pattern that you want.  I don’t have a free motion foot for my sewing machine, so I can only sew in straight lines for now.  But hopefully I’ll get one soon so I can try out all those cool quilting patterns!

Once you get toward the end, you’ll want to roll up the other side of the table runner so that it’s not all bunched up when you’re trying to sew.  It makes life a lot easier!

Trim away any excess batting or uneven edges.

Now comes the binding, which can be pretty tricky.  Cut 4 strips of fabric that are 2 1/2 inches wide.  As for length, I kind of eyeballed it, and just did it as long as my original backing fabric was.  In the picture above, you can see that I folded my fabric in half twice so that I could better cut a straight line.  It was also a time saver to do it this way!

Sew the ends of the binding strips together (right sides together and 1/4 inch seam allowance) and press open the seams so they lay flat.

Then fold your fabric in half so that the right sides are facing out, and press.  This is so you have a nice thick, double binding.

Pin the binding all the way around your table runner with the rough edge facing out, and flush with the rough edge of the table runner.

It’ll look like this when you’re done pinning.

Sew around with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Your corners should look like this.  I don’t think I’ll be very good at explaining this, so you can watch this video on binding a quilt.  You’ll be folding the binding around to the back of the table runner and sewing that in place as well, so you’ll have a pretty border around your quilt that hides the rough edges.

Tada!  Here’s the finished table runner!  You can also wash and dry this table runner if you want it to have a more wrinkly and quilted appearance.

I think I might just have to make one of these for myself as well!  You could also do it in Christmas colors for a nice holiday decoration, or for any season really.  It’s a pretty and easy way to change the look of your kitchen throughout the year.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and that I explained everything without confusing you.  You can always leave a comment if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer them.

Baby Booties Giveaway!!!

August 29, 2011

I’m giving away this adorable pair of baby booties, crocheted by yours truly!

These baby booties have bright green soles and leaves, and a pretty pink flower with a pearl center.  They fit most babies from 1-4 months.

You have 6 chances to win, and each option below gives you one chance of winning.  If you already do any of the following, you don’t need to do anything but leave a comment telling me you already do.  For example, if you already like my facebook page, just leave a comment here saying that you do.  Make sure you leave one comment per entry, instead of just saying everything in one comment.

Here’s how to enter:

Contest is over.  Winner will be announced shortly.

  • Let me know in the comments section that you would like to win.
  • If you haven’t already, click the “Like” button on my facebook page, and leave a comment here telling me that you’ve done that.  If you already have, just leave a comment telling me that you have.
  • Retweet this post by clicking the Twitter icon under the “Share” button below, and leave a comment saying that you’ve “tweeted” it.
  • If you haven’t already, subscribe to my blog, and leave a comment telling me you’ve subscribed.  You can subscribe in the upper right hand corner of this page.  If you’re already subscribed, just leave a comment saying that you are.
  • If you haven’t already, subscribe to my friend Rachel’s coupon blog, Saving and More, and leave me a comment saying that you have.
  • If you haven’t already, click the “Like” button on Saving and More’s facebook page, and leave me a comment saying that you have.

This contest is only open to U.S. residents, and runs from now until Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 12:00pm Central Time.  The winner will be chosen randomly at http://www.random.org.  Make sure to leave your comments on THIS BLOG POST, as any facebook comments will not be counted as entries.

Good luck!!!


My First Quilt!

August 28, 2011

It’s true.  I made a quilt!  And I couldn’t be happier with the results.  I found a cute quilt kit at Joann’s that had all the fabric I needed, plus a quilt pattern with instructions, and after reading several quilting blogs, I decided that it was time to give it a try.

And here’s the finished product!!  The front patchwork actually came together pretty easily and quickly.  I did the entire front in about 2 hours or so (that includes cutting each piece as well).

The kit came with a large piece of flannel to use as the backing.  It was neat that the backing had pretty much all the colors in it as the front so it matched perfectly!

The pink border was a little tricky, and my bobbin kept getting messed up, so I had to take the stitches out twice before I was successful.

But it turned out really nice.  Here’s another view of the back.

I decided to crosshatch the quilt, since I don’t know how to free motion quilt yet.  Getting those lines straight and evenly spaced was a little tricky.  An easy way to do it would be to stretch blue painter’s tape across diagonally and stitch along side the edges, then move the tape over every row.  But of course we didn’t have any painter’s tape, so I had to measure it out and mark the lines with chalk.  A longer process, but I ended up with the same result.  I hope you all like my first quilt!  I think I’ll attempt a rag quilt next!  Those are so adorable, and very forgiving from what I’ve read.