"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf -

Table Runner

 I've always loved quilted things - and someday I hope to be somewhat good at quilting!!!

Let me tell you how this project came to be.  The new home we're building has an open kitchen, dining area and great room - which is exactly what I wanted!  We can add the extra leaf to the table (we already have one leaf in all the time) and seat about twelve people, and the table will just sneak on over towards the great room and borrow a little space temporarily.  Anyway, I wanted to use blues, greens and browns for the decorating.  Our leather couches are blue, furniture is brown and I just like green along with them, and my plants are green (unless they're brown because I forgot to water them!).  So I wanted something that would tie all these colours in together, and I just wasn't finding that special pillow, or area rug, etc.  So I decided to make something that would tie my colours together.
Here's Mackenzie deciding to help me.  It is so much easier to create while she's sleeping!!!

The first step was to cut out all the little squares and then line them up the way I wanted them so the colours were mixed up pretty good.  Taking a picture of this and printing it was a very smart thing to do, especially if you have little ones around who like to mess things up!!!  (see above photo!)
Actually, the real first step was to collect fabric.  I've been doing this for years - remnant bins, leftovers from other projects, a fat quarter here and a fat quarter there.

After lining everything up, I stacked them into piles for easy keeping.  They sat like that for months until I finally got to them. 

I found that the easiest way to sew them together was to make a little banner like this.  I know it only looks like the wrong side of one square, but there are two squares sewn together (right sides together).  Then I cut them apart, every two squares, and that gave me the four squares together to make a bigger square.  I know that's all clear as mud, right?

To recap, I made strips of two squares, then sewed them together to make bigger squares made up of four  small squares. 

Then I sewed my bigger squares together to make a strip.

The backside.  I pressed all my seams to the darker fabric side.

I found that my first two strips of squares were shorter than the rest of my strips.  I must have been using a larger seam allowance when I started, and because I did all this in spurts of time when I had it, I'd forget what I did.  I ended up removing the first four rows of squares because they just didn't match up very well.  I have something else in mind to use those strips for!

Love the colours!!!  I find that I look at the colours and not at the corners that don't line up perfectly.

And now for the transformation into a table runner . . .

The hardest part was choosing the fabric I wanted to be the edging!!!  Obviously, I finally made a decision and cut the strips and sewed them on.

I didn't have any batting laying around, but I needed to add some weight and stability to my runner.  So I decided to use something that everyone has on hand . . .  
. . . a raggedy old towel!!!  So I lined it up on the table - towel on the bottom, then my backing fabric and then my creation of squares (these two fabrics were right sides together).  Then I sewed around the whole thing and cut off all the excess fabric.

Now I'm sure I'm doing lots of things wrong, but I seem to learn best by trial and error.  And not knowing how to do something doesn't stop me (at least not in crafting - haha!!!).

Turning this baby inside out and hoping that I lined things up right!!!

Phew, it worked!  That blue towel is my ironing board on the kitchen counters!  I do have an ironing board, but I think it's in the camper (remember, living in transition here and making do with what's on hand!). 
 That open part is where I turned it.  To close it I just ironed the fabric under and then top stitched over it. 

Here I demonstrate my version of quilting - stitching in the ditch.  Works for me and holds everything nicely in place.  Top stitching around the edge finished it all off nicely.

Ready to see the finished project?

Ta da!!!  I love it!!!  Aren't those colours great - I find them very restful!
Can't wait to put my new table runner on the table I made it for, in the house I made it for!!!

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