First of all thank you for the thoughtful and encouraging comments I received following my post earlier this week 🙂 I’m glad to have read those and also to have had opportunities to sew and to meet with friends during the week – all part of the ‘mind-settling’ process I so needed.
A little catch-up. A couple of weeks ago I shared a finish: a Christmas mantlepiece runner for a friend and now I have a photo of it in-situ.
Keeping to the Christmas theme, I have been busy designing and making table runners. The inspiration for the most recent finish came from a mixture of necessity – I had so many little pieces of Christmas fabric that were far too gorgeous to throw but which were clogging up the drawer so badly that I couldn’t see what I had – and a desire to keep the star theme going in the runners I make – stars being classic patchwork subjects and an enduring symbol of Christmas even in these secular times.
I planned the runner around a large Sawtooth Star and several smaller ones, all in very light fabrics. As I sorted through the other fabrics I found plenty with green backgrounds, some with red and others with gold all of which would contrast well with the star fabric. I cut as many 2½” squares from each as I could and hung on to some pieces to make the half square triangles needed for the stars.
For the 8″ star I cut a 4½” square for the centre and four 3″ squares to make the HSTs. I matched these with four 3″ squares of the dark fabrics, then made the HSTs*, trimming each one down to 2½” square. Choosing four 2½” dark squares for the corners of the star block, I stitched the pieces together. I then made four strips to surround the star – two strips from four 2½” squares and two strips from six.
I made six 4″ stars, first cutting the centre 2½” squares and then cutting 24 pairs of light and dark fabric 2″ squares to make a total of 48 HSTs all trimmed to 1½” square (that’s teeny tiny in my books!). I cut 24 1½” dark squares to provide the corners of the star blocks and stitched the pieces together. To complete the blocks I used some of the 2½” squares to surround the star on just two adjacent sides. The blocks measured 6½” square.
I then had fun mixing and matching the dark 2½” squares to make six nine-patch blocks each finishing at 6½” square. I paired these up with the little star blocks and stitched them together so that the stars alternated up and down along the runner.
The finished top measured 12½” wide by 48½” long. To complete the runner I used a length of Hobbs 80/20 wadding and ran up to my local haberdashery shop to discover the perfect backing on a bolt 54″ wide – a yipee moment! For the quilting I used a 40wt Aurifil thread, a lovely dark gold, colour 2975, stitching in the ditch around the stars and across their centres. I had a few changes of mind about how to quilt the open spaces of the runner and in the end decided to fish out a star stencil and just just stitch the outline.
For the binding I cut 2¼” strips of a cotton fabric with lots of gold in a tartan style pattern that I think makes a really great border. I handstitched the binding to the back of the runner and ‘hey presto’ another FINISH!
I’ve decided to use the pattern again but to have just one fabric for the background. So I’ll cut 2½” wide strips of the fabric to border the star blocks and cut six 6½” squares in place of the nine-patch squares. Well that’s the plan anyway…
And I’m hoping to be able to share my patterns more easily in the near future as I’ve treated myself to the EQ7 quilt design software! Sales at the pop-up shop in town have been steady so I have some spending money 🙂 And with Viv’s encouragement three patterns of a tablerunner I taught at Purple Stitches have been sold and given me the incentive to take pattern designing on a step and see where it might lead…
My bundle of treasures including EQ7, a big spool of Aurifil 2600 for piecing, along with a spool stand and some new pins – I have a knack of bending pins!