Friday, April 24, 2015

Learning Through a Table Runner

The Common Thread Quilt Guild in Orleans, Ontario organised a Print Windows table runner workshop last November with teacher / designer Valerie Miller. Her designs are quite modern and incorporate some lovely details – gentle curves, piping, mini squares, etc.  When I saw a sample of her runner, I decided to take her course to learn the techniques involved in making these.

Here is the link to her Print Windows table runner pattern.

Details of Print Windows Table Runner
Details of Print Windows Table Runner
Valery came to our guild as a guest speaker, so that evening I chose my fabrics for the weekend workshop. I liked the fabrics, although I have made few projects with a black background.

The workshop was enjoyable and I did learn a few tips and tricks. For instance, the fabrics that make up the mini windows within the grey strip were strip pieced. Since I don’t usually have great success with these, I did get a couple of tips to help me.
Print Windows Table Runner
Print Windows Table Runner

  1. Sew the strips together from alternate directions. This helps the fabric stay flat.
  2. Use a smaller stitch so that they won’t fall apart after you cut them.
Sewing gentle curves isn't difficult. You just have to take your time. The trick is to use pins and then to clip the seam allowance once you've sewn the curve. I just find that this gives the piece a nice flat finish once it’s pressed. I've included a link to a Connecting Threads tutorial, in case you’d like to learn to sew curved pieces.

Finally, when cutting and inserting the grey strip into the runner, you just have to be careful to adjust the curved piece that it’s going through so that the curve will continue evenly on both sides of the strip.

What I learned:
  • The sewing tips I've written while making this runner are above. 
  • My life lesson was more difficult. As much as I enjoyed the workshop, it was during the time that my “best friend” Bandit died. The quilting helped me get through those rough days but as lovely as it is, it will forever be associated with those difficult times. I guess that’s how life and perception works (and the black background doesn't help.)
This post is listed on Link-a-Finish Friday. See what other quilters have been up to!

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