This is the second table runner I made from a left-over prairie braid strips. I make my strips from pieces that are cut 1.5 ” by 4.5 inches. I put light on one side of the braid and dark colors on the other side of the braid. To create a runner with a solid strip down the centre, I need to make two braid with a mirror image – meaning one with dark on the right side and one with dark colors on the left side so that when they are joined together, they make a braid of the darker values while the light side frames the braid.
I bordered these autumn colors with a warm brown print and bound it with a metallic gold leaf print. The runner is quilted in the centre with a small stipple meander in a YLI variegated threads in autumn colors. The border is quilted with a leaf motif, adding to the autumn theme of the runner.
The finished runner will go into my stash of gift items. I love the convenience of being able to pull a hand made gift from my collection of finished items whenever I need a gift. Having lots of finished items allows me to indulge my generous impulses to bless someone with an unexpected gift. It also allows me some choice, making it easier to select a runner or table topper that best suits the home of my recipient.
Prairie Braid Table Runner
Because I am primarily a scrap quilter, I cut up scraps and leftover fabrics into a few preferred sizes. One of my go-to sizes is 1.5″ by 4.5″, so I always have a a bunch cut and waiting to be pieced into a project. I used most of the pre-cut strips in an Autumn Prairie Braid quilt last year, but of course, there were still some strips remaining.
This table runner was a quick project assembled from those left over strips. One braid is pieced with dark on one side and light on the other. The other braid is pieced in the reverse, with light on one side and dark on the other. The braids are trimmed to create a straight sewing edge, which are then joined together to create a strong visual dark braid in the center of the table runner. Because the edges are on the bias, I use spray starch to keep them firm and less likely to stretch. I pin carefully, matching up the seam lines of each braid in the center seam. The next step is to add a coordinating border. This border is 3″ wide.
The runner was quilted with a meander in the center and a freehand leaf pattern on the border. The metallic leaf print binding was applied to the front by machine and hand stitched on the back.
This table runner will be a hostess gift over the holiday season.
This small quilt,which could be either a baby quilt or a lap cover, was made from flying geese blocks that were left over from the third quilt I finished. I made the blocks in 1997 during my first rush of heated enthusiasm for quilting and finished that quilt in 2001 when I got confident enough to begin machine quilting.
These left-over blocks sat in my orphan blocks shoe-box for the next decade until I finally squared them up to make them somewhat more accurate, sewed them into strips and sashed them with this coordinating cotton. The front is not a typical baby quilt design, but I am certain that someone is going to love the “alternative” look. To make it a bit more appealing to a child, I chose a fun jungle-print backing:
I love the surprising element of the fun backing, especially since the colors coordinate so well.
Here is a photo of the original quilt.
It was a Christmas present for my son when he was 11 years old. He loved the design and quickly named it “Fast Forward to the Border” because of the resemblance to the fast forward buttons on his electronic gadgets.
Special note to anyone with ties to University of Guelph: This photo was taken in the first floor washroom of Johnston Hall, where I worked for many years. We had a large flannel room divider stored there. It was great for holding up quilts while I took a photo! If you lived in the residence upstairs, you will definitely recognize those tiled walls!
With this baby quilt finished, I’m feeling pleased to count another one done and see my orphan block shoe box just a bit less stuffed.
Goal Status: 38 quilts completed and 14 more to go to reach my goal of 52 completed projects by the end of 2011.
Road Blocks: Even though the number remaining is getting lower, I’m starting to feel a bit anxious, because I have only a few more flimsies (aka quilt tops) left in the cupboard. It will be wonderful to have an empty flimsie cupboard, but that means I have to turn my attention to the partially finished tops that do not yet have borders. Borders always seem to be my stumbling block. I have quite a few tops finished to the border stage and then stalled until I decide the right border and then get them cut and applied. Mitered corners on borders are my major avoidance. If I can possibly put corner blocks, I do! I tell myself I hate the wasted fabric created by the mitering process, even though I don’t waste it – I cut it up and immediately put it into my containers of pre-cut squares and triangles. The next few quilts really need to have mitered borders. Corner blocks won’t work. Sigh! No wonder I left those quilts till the end. Maybe I can treat this next stage as a personal workshop on mitering borders. I know that the more I do anything, the better I get and the easier it feels. Could this be all about my mental attitude towards an aversive task? Probably is – most of life is like that! Okay, I resolve to approach those borders as a opportunity to discover my personal “best practice” to applying mitered borders. Onward and upward!