Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Completed Spiral Table Runner

After all those fabric purchases I felt obligated to complete something.  I needed to back and quilt my Thanksgiving themed spiral table runner.   I had decided I did not want the look of binding. Instead, I cut the batting first and sewed it to the wrong side of the runner top stitching along all the valleys of the teeth that formed the points along the outer edges. Then I used the stitching line as guidance for trimming.  After all, stitching can be redone but cutting is permanent.  I found scissors best for this task.  Somehow we quilters forget that not everything has to be rotary cut.  I had even flipped my mat to do the cutting around the perimeter.  Somewhere I read that rotary cutting mats do not "heal" as well from cuts on a curve.  The suggestion was to use the non-gridded reverse plain side for cutting curves.  Anyway, it was a moot point.  Scissors worked better.  I then used the batting/top combination as a template to cut my backing- also with scissors.

Cutting the backing was a bit confusing trying to decide which way to run the grain of the fabric but I decided that making it fit within the fabric width was allowed to influence the orientation slightly.  Here is the backing. I picked it because I thought the paisley shapes picked up the shape of the runner and the orange inner cores of the teardrop shapes  were a good color blend with the front.  I was going for an overall cornucopia effect. 

After sewing the backing to the top/batting combination, right sides together leaving a small opening, I turned it right sides out and smoothed out the curves.  This was much easier than I had anticipated and the two corners poked out nicely.   I stitched around the perimeter, closing the opening I had left for turning. Then came the dreaded phrase in my book, "Quilt as desired".  My creativity zone goes blank.  Here I just split the difference of the teeth at the different fabric interfaces.  I considered stitching in the ditch along the zig-zag.  That would have been more work. I could have mustered the patience to do that if I thought it would be the better look.  But I wanted to keep the smooth curve effect and thought zig-zags that might be too jolting.  I am not thrilled with how it nips the points.  I considered keeping to one side of the tips instead of bisecting them but what is the inside on one half of the runner is the outside on the other half. Here is the quilted front.

And here is the quilted back.

I think the next one of these I make I will attempt free motion ocean waves along each color - kind of like this.  I can't even draw them much less stitch them!
And here is the finished product.  

One of the nice side effects of this blogging is that I get at least one table surface cleared off.  Must have a spot to take a picture... 


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  1. Wow! That table runner turned out great! I think given all the options I probably would have quilted it exactly the way you did - that way the overall shape stands out. And if it makes you feel any better, I can't draw half the things I can free motion quilt just fine, there is something to be said for "moving the paper" vs. "moving the pencil." That's where scrap fabric comes in, I like to practice my designs on rejected squares from layer cakes.

    I love the paisley backing you chose, and I'm excited to see it in person next month!

    Blogging has done wonders for the general cleanliness of my dance room, too.

  2. Wonderful table runner. This I will have to try. Love it!! NancyL