Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Table Runner: Branching Out

The holiday season has taken much of my time lately.  This is the first Christmas in my adult life that I wasn't juggling a job or a house full of children along with the holiday activities so I've had time to actually enjoy the decorating, shopping and wrapping.  Along with that, my sewing room is now being used as a bedroom for son #3 home for the college break.  But he took a short trip to visit his friends last week and I decided to work on a small project that I had planned.  I wanted to make a table runner for son #1 using signal flags to spell his name.  He has had a sort of nautical theme to his decorating so I thought it would fit in and provide a little color to his place.

I've learned a few design things on this project:  It's hard for me to make anything small.  I don't think this is too big, but it turned out much bigger than I planned.  Even though I tried to make the whole thing un-frilly the quilting alone sort of adds a feminine quality to it.  I think it will still be OK. 

And a few lessons learned about construction:  It is difficult to make reversible even when you are working with the multiple layers of quilt construction.  Making the binding the same color as the border helped camouflage a bit of unevenness.  Try as I might something became uneven in the quilting.  You can see what I mean in the pictures.  I don't think it is too unsightly and might only be noticed by another quilter.  The points will hang vertically so they won't be very visible.  I got to try my hand at applique for the black circle in the yellow box. I used the iron on stuff to stick the fabrics together and then used a blanket stitch around the edge.  I would rate my effort as not bad for a first attempt, but there is room for improvement.  And since the piece is reversible and to be used on the table, I sewed the second side of the binding by hand.  I used a needle with an open eye (sometimes called a cheater needle) and was very pleased with it's performance.  It was easy to "thread" even for my old eyes and pulled through the fabric nicely.  I don't know why these needles are not more poplular. Overall, I'm pleased with the project and I hope son #1 will like it.

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