I’m not sure what it is about the holidays but every year I get the wild hair to start something the week before Christmas that I MUST GET DONE by Christmas.
It happened last year with my first Dresden project that turned in to a holiday runner. I was literally sewing the binding on before we left for our family gatherings! I was so proud of it that I took it with me so it would be used as a part of the holiday decor at each house we visited!
This year was no different. My husband went to Green Bay for a Packer’s game and went out of his way to find a quilt shop and bring home a kit for me. How thoughtful! Well, I started that project on Monday with the intention of working on it with my friend while the kids played together. That partially happened: I got to work on it but not with my friend because my son got very, very sick. 😦
The first part of this project is linked here. Check it out so see how the runner top came together!
Since that Wednesday post, I’ve been stuck at home with a sick kid and a lot of rain. So I’ve poured all of that pent up energy into sewing. I hit up Joann’s Wednesday night with a few coupons and swatches from the runner to audition backing fabric.
I got down to four. The decision was tough as so many worked really well with all the colors or at least complemented them.
I ended up choosing that upper left fabric with the poinsettias and ribbons. It had enough of each original color in it to tie the whole thing together while having a bit of gold sprinkled about to give it some holiday flare.
Then I sat down to sew. Now the biggest issue I had was that I wanted to quilt these grand things and really go ALL OUT with my designs. But as I started with a red thread on the red squares, I chickened out and stuck to what I know: a meander on the red and some straight lines on the green. I used red and green thread to blend in to the color square I was working on.
It’s been a long time since I’ve quilted something using my free motion foot and I forgot that I tend to hold my breath when I’m quilting. As I took off and made my first stitches, I totally caught myself NOT BREATHING!
It’s an odd thing…
To keep things moving and to simplify my job, I had my side-threading needle handy to bury my thread as I went. This way I wasn’t going back and having to seek out where I started and ended. Instead I was doing it then and there!
I decided to attach the binding to the back and fold over to the front where I pressed and clipped it down. Originally I started sewing the binding from the front to the back and I hated the way it looked. It gave it a “fringe” that I didn’t like. I think I used this technique WAY in the beginning with one of my first quilts and while it worked for me then, now I’ve progressed to a point where I know I can do better.
So I decided to attached the binding using the “stitch in the ditch” method for a quick and clean look. I did alright, much better than I have in the past with this method, although I did have a corner to fix and some areas where I missed the binding and had small gaps.
And before the clock struck midnight, I was done! I was aiming to do some of my best work (really focused on pressing and starching my fabrics before and during the process) and I feel I really did a great job!
All the fabrics seem to work well together. My binging is not too shabby (although it could still use some practice). My quilting has really come a long way and I like the flow of the two types; straight lines and the meander.
I used pins to hold down my binding and I took my time to measure and cut carefully and yet, it’s still not completed flat and one end is a quarter inch wider than the other. I’m still working on achieving a more perfected rhythm to the whole thing. I’ll get there someday!
But hey… I started this runner on Monday and I finished by Friday. I’m proud of my self for sticking with something from beginning to end, trying some new techniques, and even going back to some old ones and working on improving them. Those are some big improvements in the way I tend to work so this is a serious accomplishment for me!
And this weekend it will travel with me to all of the holiday parties we have lined up. I may even leave it up until we go back to school. I mean, why not? It’s beautiful and I want to leave it out so I can enjoy it as long as I can!
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