During the Southern California Quilter’s Run, I picked up a little kit to make a table runner. At first I pretty much thought I was nuts. Not only would I have to follow a pattern to make the blocks in it but I would also have to measure and follow the instructions to make this thing come together.
I hate following directions when it comes to crafts! Mostly because it makes me feel like I’m not free to be creative and that is what I love most about making things, the freedom I feel to create anything I dream up.
So I was tentative to pick this up but it was really cute and I knew someone who would enjoy a 4th of July table runner. In the end the cute colors and the simplicity of the runner called to me so I bought it and set out to make it before the 4th.
My in-laws host a HUGE 4th BBQ every year and I’ve been going for 5 years now so I wanted to surprise them with a little decorative gift for their big parties.
My first two blocks came together super easy but my third one decided to be a pain in the butt. I couldn’t get things to line up and I was working on being as exact as I could be. I measured and pressed and even used some fabric starch made JUST for quilting.
And then I blew it! I somehow mis-cut my gingham fabric. The pattern called for two large swatches to be placed in between so that there was a block at each end and one in the middle. I swear I was paying attention but cut it about 1/2 an in short making the fabric unusable in that state. So, I improvised.
Or went “rogue” as I told my mom by text message. I left the fabric as it was but instead made smaller swatches at the ends and then made two bigger swatches between the blocks.
I think it came out handsomely!
Picking the backing fabric was tougher than expected and I went back and forth over what to use. The border fabric, while adorable, turned out to be my black sheep fabric. It stuck out and made matching anything to it super rough.
So I went with a white fabric dotted with blue and red stars. It fits in and was only the back so the top and back won’t be seen together regularly.
Then came the quilting!!! DUH DUH DUUUUNNNNNN!!!
I’ve been waiting for a project to finish for awhile now so I could jump in and so my first free-motion project. I picked a multicolored thread that had a red/white/blue theme to it and set to make a swirly pattern just for simplicity.
I took off with confidence and quickly found it to be HARDER than I expected. I had practiced on smaller pieces and was able to make a systematic swirl I was happy with but suddenly, with knowing this would be given as a gift, my nerves got the better of me and I realized I need more practice!
In the end the product I came out with was satisfactory. My stitches are nearly uniform enough but good enough to give the overall appearance of something made with love.
For my first attempt I’d say this is pretty decent!!!
Now to bind! I haven’t decided how I want to do this, whether entirely by machine or by both machine/hand. With three days left I can do either, especially with my son being gone and having some time to myself.