Saturday, December 14, 2013

Run, Run, Runner

Mom, this one's for you.

Last month, my mom saw a runner that I had completed.  She loved it so much and from what she has told me, has been talking about it since.  Every chance she gets, she asked me if I put pictures of it up on the blog yet because she told her friends to check it out.

The runner that I made was from the Zig Zag Charm Pack Table Runner tutorial, from Missouri Star Quilts.  It is quick to make, not very difficult to do and is good practice at lining up corners.  All it takes is a charm pack, some batting and a piece for backing fabric.

The two charm packs that I chose to work with are Winter's Lane by Moda, and Ho Ho Ho Let It Snow by Nancy Halvorsen.  I finished the Winter's Lane runner first but didn't take any pictures of the process, so when I was making the second, I was sure to take some pictures of the steps.

 Here are some pictures of the Winter's Lane runner.  This is the original one that my mom saw when she came over to my house.  It utilizes all 42 pieces of a charm pack.  I made this one a bit after we bought our new machine and I wanted to try out some embroidery on it too.  The back has three snowflake designs embroidered on each side.  It was a pain to get these just right because I had to measure out seams and draw a grid out that matched the front panel.  In the end, the runner looks great and I am very proud of it.

The next one I made was from the Ho Ho Ho Let it Snow charm pack.  I took pictures to run you all through the process with me.  The first step was to lay all of the squares out in a pattern that I liked.  I group all of the squares by color and just started laying them down.  Once they are all in their spot the sewing can start.  The next step was to sew the squares together until you have 10 strips (2 strips of 2, 2 strips of 4, and 6 strips
of 5).

The strips then get sewn together.  It seems like it would be tricky sewing these offset strips together, but this pattern makes it really easy.  You just continue to sew into the single square and the stitches will be covered in a later step.  I continued to sew all the strips together until the top of the runner was pieced and complete.

From here on I forgot to take pictures (I know I'm a terrible person).  After the top was completed, I needed to make my quilt sandwich.  In this case it is made a little differently because of the absence of a binding.  For this project the quilt sandwich is layerd (from bottom up) batting, backing facing up, top facing down.  I pinned the layers together and took my sandwich to the sewing machine.  I ran a stitch around the outside of the topper using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I pivitoed in the corners so it was one continuous seam.  I also left about 2 inches open on one end, so I could turn the project out after some trimming of extra fabric.  I had to go in and snip off the tips of the corners, right up to the stitch line.  I also docked the inside corners.  This step needs to be done so the ending project will lay flat.  Next, you turn it out.  I used a chopstick to push out my corners and pressed the entire project.  I then needed to run a 1/4 inch top stitch around the whole project.  This not only made a nice stitch to look at but it also stitched up the opening.  Now it was ready to quilt.  I decided for this runner, I was just going to stitch in the ditch.  I did my quilting and the project was finished.

Here are the final products.  I gave one to my mom and one to Ben's mom, but they decorated our home for a little while first.  Using a different fabric family gave the second runner a totally different look than the first.  I think the HoHoHo Let it Snow runner is much more playful and has more of a bright happy attitude. 

To me the Winter's Lane runner envokes thoughts of winter itself.  I see it and want a cup of hot chocolate and to sit by a fire.  I do like them both and they both would have worked in different areas of our home but alas, they went to good homes and I am sure they are being loved there.  I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season! Until next time.

Happy Holidays

These past few days have been a blur here at SSG.  Thanksgiving is always a great holiday for us but it is also such a busy time.  We started setting up for our Thanksgiving feast Tuesday night.  We have a large crowd over and we have to move some furniture and extend our dining room table.  You can see Duchess was helping out by standing in the way.
Wednesday night we cleaned our china and set the tables.  Ben is a collector of china and for Thanksgiving we set a table with our Wedgwood India set and we set our other other table with our set of Waterford Colette by Mark Jacobs.  Ben always knows how to set a beautiful table and he did a great job once again.  

When we finally got everything set we had a chance to go to sleep.  Thanksgiving morning brought a day of cooking to our home.  We got up early so I could start some last minute cleaning and Ben could get the turkey in the oven.  With the turkey baking, he started some homemade rolls. This year we had a smaller crowd (just 18 people) but we never are at a loss for food.  

We always feel like we are feeding an army.  We ended with 2 turkeys, 48 rolls, 4 batches of green bean casserole, 12 lbs of mashed potatoes, a huge baking dish of sweet potato casserole, a spiral cut ham, Watergate salad and a Crock pot of gravy.  I can say we sent home lots of left overs and had quite a few sandwiches with the leftover rolls for the next 4 days.

It is a little stressful but always such a great time.  This year, since our numbers were down, everyone was able to sit in one room.  It made the whole night a little more intimate then usual.  After everyone ate and had time to socialize, our cleaning began.  Ben and I were able to get most of our cleaning done that night which was good since we headed down South the next morning to see more of his family. 

We ended up staying Friday in Oxnard because we were just too exhausted.  We stopped by two of our favorite fabric stores (The Quilter's Studio and Super Buzzy).  I was able to pick up the Bernina V7 upgrade that we purchased, Ben got some fabulous fabric that has mid-century modern homes printed on it.  It reminds me of Palm Springs.  His mom found some great fabric for some projects she is going to be working on and I got a very nice Jelly Roll for a baby quilt that I will be starting soon.  That night we went to dinner and hung out with his Aunt, Uncle and Cousins.  We played a card game and just spent the night laughing.

Saturday morning we headed down to Redondo to see his Grandma, brother, sister-in-law and aunt.  We had a nice brunch and spent time just visiting with them.  We had to leave around noon to head to The Ahmanson Theater for a production of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty.  It was a special ballet by Matthew Bourne.  I left wanting more.  I was so excited to see this ballet but it just wasn't up to par.  The story was a little bazaar and the dancing wasn't as on point as I would have liked.  I guess my previous ballets have spoiled me (Joffrey productions).  After the ballet we headed back to Oxnard for the night.  We stopped in Thousand Oaks to do a little shopping and get a tea.  Once we were back home, I fell asleep. 

The next morning I woke up really early and started cleaning the house.  I wanted to be sure to leave early, as to miss all the Sunday traffic and we did.  I spent the rest of the day on the couch binge watching The Walking Dead.  I was starting back at Season 2.  WOW that show is good.  Ben spent the day trying to finish up a quilt he has been working on.  He has finished it and I am hoping a post will be up soon about it. 

Hope your season is very merry and bright. 

'Til next time....