Category Archives: table runner

Christmas Runner Done!

We are really in the Christmas season now, with no time to blog! I finished the Xmas table runner a few weeks ago, and delivered it to its new home. I must say I thought it looked spectacular. Hopefully Clare enjoys it for many years to come.

The quilting pattern was chosen to enhance the circular movement of the secondary elements, and I added lollipops in the stars to offset all the other angular shapes. The free motion was very quick and fun, but the other elements were very time consuming. I added the bands of red and white stripes to the sides because Clare really wanted a runner that was 14″ wide, and I was very happy with the results. I searched for hours online for a suitable fabric, and finally found this from eQuilter. This was the backing fabric….. The binding was finished just before the clock struck midnight, and delivered to its new home the next afternoon.

Clcik the images below for a closer look……

Christmas delivery … part 2

I’ve been playing with the colours and layout for a Christmas runner- see my earlier post with my initial test blocks, made with templates from Marti Michell.

I finally settled on a very Christmasy red-and-green layout. Things have progressed, and I now have four of the seven blocks completed (click photo for a closer look), and have the pieces cut out for the final three. I actually had most of these fabrics in my stash, yes it is that large!

Here are the test blocks that I made and rejected for the runner- these will be quilted, turned into placemats, and donated to Meals On Wheels. They in turn give them to their clients. Hope they like them!

One more thing to share: my workroom is in the basement, and even with the lights on there are lots of dark spots, often too dark to work. I found these lights at Henry’s Cameras in Toronto. They came 2 in a box, with umbrella diffusers. When you put a photo daylight bulb in (250 watts!) it gives the most perfect light!

note:There is a warning: not for residential use, but I turn them on only when I am working in my space, so far so good- no fuses or bulbs blown.

Christmas delivery

I had a special request from a friend for a Christmasy table runner. Her house has a muted palette of off-whites with small touches of soft greens and reds. The perfect background for a bright red and green table runner, in my opinion.

I decided to do a star pattern in reds and greens, and browsed through all my books for star patterns that I was drawn to.. I am a HUGE fan of Marti Michell and her templates, and  own almost every template she sells. I ordered her A and B set (why didn’t I have these already?), and they arrived yesterday.  I decided to try the North Dakota block from Marti’s book. The circle outlines on the bottom right layout are mine, to remind myself what I want to emphasize.

I should go to the gym today, buy groceries, weed the garden, etc. but I am WAY too eager to play with my fabric and make some test blocks to do those things right now. Here is the first block I have made. I love the illusion of circles, although I might have been able to emphasize this a bit more with a slightly different choice of fabrics. I love it, and am really impressed with how those templates make it easy to get points to line up so well.

My first idea was to alternate red and green blocks, and through the wonder of Photoshop I don’t actually need to make the block to see what the layout would like like:

Good thing I tried this! I need to play with the blocks a bit to show the centre circles created where the blocks meet. OK, enough playing. I’ll make another test block later and post when it is done. Such fun!


………………. next morning, here is a green block, with the newer colouring:

Much better!

Experiments with Bleach……

I saw a wonderful quilt in Quilting Arts magazine that used plastic templates for dye resist. The artist was Malka Dubrawsky, who has instructions for this technique available online. She has examples of this on her blog here. I’ve been lusting after the templates to try this ever since.

I recently found the templates for sale on Etsey here, so I rushed out and bought them. I didn’t have all the supplies I needed for dying, so decided to try using bleach to obtain the colour variations I lusted after. The starting fabric for this is an Amy Butler fabric from a few years ago. I love the design but the orange was a bit darker than I wanted. Here are the results of my first experiment…..

starting fabric and templates


Here are some of the blocks created with this technique… top row blocks were made with the circle template (remains unbleached), and bottom row blocks were made with the square template, so the circle was the area bleached. The second batch I tried had a lot of leakage (see block F)- not sure why, as I used the same clamps and felt I set up the same way. Still, it gave an interesting pattern, and I used it in my final piecing. Click on the photos for a closer look.



I tried other fabrics, but most of them did not bleach well. Here are some examples of other blocks that did bleach somewhat- top row unbleached, bottom row bleached. In sample B the centre circle area was bleached, blocks D & F were totally immersed in bleach.

top row: before bleach, bottom row: bleached version


Lessons learned:

  • test fabrics- most don’t bleach at all
  • busy fabrics work best- they disguise the fact that my circles are far from perfect
  • even mistakes can be beautiful

Here are photos of some pieced blocks, and the final pieced work, a table runner I created with the blocks I made in this project. The fabrics that are used in the final project include the fabrics I tried (unsuccessfully) to bleach as well as all those shown above.

close-up of pieced blocks

final pieced table runner


This item is now for sale on Etsey.

P.S. I decided to use the templates with some spray dye that I had on hand- it was alcohol-based, and ruined the plastic. You can see where the clamps were….. I guess this is another lesson learned- no alcohol based chemicals near plastic!