Project 2011-31: Shoefly Christmas Table Runner

While searching for the blocks to make the Christmas Table Runner for my cousin, I also found another UFO box with some triangle strips I had made about 8 years ago.  These were left over from a Christmas table runner gift I made for my friend Pat using the Fast Patch method by Anita Halloran.  It was my first time using that method and I ended up making far more strips than I actually needed.

Looking over these strips and the accompanying coordinating fabric, I realized I could quickly make up another table runner.  I used every bit of fabric and strips in the box resulting in 14 finished shoefly blocks.    I set them together with a small red/green/gold print.  The layout is simple and very easy to sew up.

Because I already had the first runner ready to quilt,  I just loaded a very long piece of backing and then quilted this one in sequence.  Actually, I quilted four table runners, one after another, using the same backing fabric and thread.   Even though I used the same backing and thread, the two runners look distinctly different with their different fabrics and shapes.

If you look at the backing fabric in this photo, you can see that I pieced several pieces of fabric together to form one long piece of backing.  This ecru backing was left over fabric from a project made when my 25 year old daughter was 3 years old.  I’m not going to calculate the number of years it was sitting in my stash, but I am quite sure it is way past time to use it up!

Using the same burnished gold metallic thread and an ecru Bottom Line thread in the bobbin, I quilted a simple feathered borders and sashings.  Since I was trying to get them done quickly, I pondered doing a simple meander in the blocks.

After doing this test patch,  I felt the contrast was not appealing with the simple meander.  I was not interested in changing threads, especially after struggling to get the tension balanced.   So since the thread path would show very clearly, I decided to make the quilting a bit fancier, but still trying to avoid the extra work of stitching in the ditch and ruler work.  Nooooo!  That is too much work for a table runner!    So I decided to use a Line Dancing pattern from Diana Phillips’ book.

The line dancing looked great on the solid green patchwork and added a very special element to the table runner.  I really like how it turned out!

The binding was attached to the back and top stitched on front with a dark green fabric on top and a clear poly thread in the bobbin.    I think I am going to need to embrace machine binding if I am going to complete the remaining projects by December 31st.  Perhaps I’ll save the hand binding for the very special projects.

Current status towards my goal:  31 projects complete, 21 to go, and one more cardboard pizza box empty and tossed into the recycle bin.  Yeah!

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