Friday, January 27, 2012

Table Runner Tutorial

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Table Runner (finished size 12 1/2" x 31")

Supplies needed:
1/4 yard each of four different fabrics
3/8 yard fabric for binding
1/2 yard of fabric for backing
15" x 36" piece of low loft quilt batting
All purpose thread to match binding and top
   or Quilting thread to match top fabric (if you will be hand quilting)

General supplies:
Scissors, pins, ruler, needles, 2 sheets of paper & pencil, iron & ironing board, sewing machine, cutting mat with ruler & rotary cutter (optional)

Important Tips & General Instructions:
**Read tips and instructions thoroughly before beginning.
**Pre-wash & iron your fabrics before starting. For best results fabrics should be 100% cotton.
**Purchased fabric should be 44"/45" wide
**You can obviously change the size of this runner. You may have to adjust the amount of fabric you buy.

You can click on the images to make them appear larger

Make your pattern:
Lay one sheet of paper on top of another until you have a 13" length. Secure both sides with tape. Fold in half so that your 13 inches will be your length (your fold will measure 13" long).

Measure 3/4" from the fold on one end and mark. Measure 2" from the fold at the opposite end and mark. Draw a line from one mark to the other to create your pattern. With your fabric still folded, cut along the line and open up. Your 1/4" seam allowance is included in this pattern piece. I like to make 2 pattern pieces.

Make your top:
With your 1/4 yard fabrics folded in half (the same way they were when you bought them), place your pattern pieces on top of your fabric and cut out. You will cut 4 pieces from each of the 4 different fabrics. If your fabric is folded, you will be cutting two pieces out at once. If you are making your runner the same size as mine, you will have 16 pieces after all fabrics are cut.

Play around with these pieces until you determine how you like the order. Stack them in order so you don't get them out of order while stitching.

With right sides together, pin the first two pieces together. Pin the short end of one at the long edge of the other. Your triangles will be alternating in direction as your piece comes together. Stitch in place using a 1/4" seam allowance. Stitch your third piece on top of the second piece with right sides together. Continue this step until you have stitched all 16 pieces into one long rectangle.

Flip over and iron seams open.

You will notice that your ends are not squared. You will have to square them off. You can do this one of two different ways. You can use a book or piece of paper as a guide and place at the shortest corner. Draw a line up and cut on the line. If you have a cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter, you can use it by lining your runner up with the lines on the mat, and line your ruler up at a 90 degree angle from the long edge of runner and cut off.

Lay the top piece with right side up on top of your batting. Place both of those pieces on top of the backing fabric. The backing fabric should have the wrong side facing up. Cut away the excess that extends at the one end. Notice how I have them at different lengths. I like to do that because as you quilt, your project will shrink or shift a little bit and I want to make sure that the top piece does not end up larger than the backing or the batting. You will cut the excess batting and backing fabric away later so that all the layers are lined up and sized perfectly.

Gently smooth your layers with your hands. Place several straight pins around the project. Using a contrasting, all purpose thread, hand baste all three layers together. Make sure there is some stitching about every two inches. I make big stitches (about 3/4" to 1" long) crosswise & lengthwise. Remove the pins. Quilt through all three layers as desired.

You can hand quilt if you like to do your quilting this way, or you can machine quilt. If you are hand quilting you will need quilting thread, a quilting needle, and a hoop. If you are matchine quilting you can use all purpose thread or invisible thread.

I wanted to experiment with the decorative stitching on my machine so I chose to use a decorative stitch. I stitched down the seam between each piece. Once you have finished your quilting, machine baste your ends down so they will stay in place. Remove all basting stitches and trim away any excess sewing threads.

Trim away all the excess backing and batting so that all three pieces are the same size. Set this piece aside for now.

Making the Binding:
Cut your binding fabric into 3 - 3" wide strips. Trim off the selvages of each end. Cut each of these strips into 36" lengths. This is so that your seams where you pieced the pieces together will be spaced apart more evenly.

Combine all three of these 3" x 36" pieces to form one very long piece as follows:

With right sides together, lay one strip on top of the other corner creating an "L." Draw a line across the diagonal from one corner to the other. Pin in place. Stitch on that line.

Trim away the corners about 1/4" away from the stitching line. Open seam and press edges down.Press in half lengthwise by ironing the long edges together with the wrong sides together. Take your binding back to the ironing board and iron one of the short edges 1/4" to the wrong side. Fold back in place.

Applying the Binding:
Beginning at the center of the bottom edge of the runner, and using the edge that you ironed in at 1/4", pin the binding to the quilt with the raw edges of the binding even with the raw edges of the quilt.

Before you do the remaining edges, you will stitch this section in place using seam allowance just under 1/2". Begin your stitching at the folded end of your binding and stop your stitching 1/2" from the corner. Remove from machine. I like to run a couple of back stitches at the beginning and ending of my corners to secure seam in place.

To miter your corners, flip your binding piece up forming a fold at a 45 degree angle. Then bring the binding back down so that the fold in your binding will be even with the raw edge at the top. Your raw edges of the binding will be even with the raw edges of the quilt.

Secure with pins and stitch in place just as you did with the first edge stopping 1/2" from the end. You will also be starting your stitching 1/2" from the corners too. Repeat these steps with remaining corners. When you get to the end, leave an overlap of at least and inch and trim off the excess binding before stitching that final section down.

Trim off excess threads and remove basting stitches that might have been left behind or exposed. Flip the folded edges of the binding to the back and pin in place. Stitch binding to backing.

Do you like free embroidery designs and tutorials?

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back At It

My elliptical and I have become friends again. For the past week or so I've been concentrating less on electronics and more on life, most importantly, my health.

Sewing/Craft Room - tomorrow I'll begin cleaning out the dressers so we can remove them.

Snowy Owl - we're still trying to find a new place for him. We had to amputate a wing so he can't be released. You can read his story here. His cute little face is now my desktop background.

Jade Plant - I haven't killed it yet! There is hope.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sneak Peek

It's been quite a weekend! Yesterday we went to Mom's for her birthday, then ran some errands. While I was there I started getting a sore throat. Oh no! I refuse to get sick! Everyone around me has been sick but I'm going to fight this all the way!

I got extra sleep last night and still woke up with the sore throat but nothing more has developed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can fight this.

I didn't do too much of anything today because I really wanted to rest up before my work week. But I did finish my table runner. I'm so excited because it looks so pretty on the table! I have to edit all the pictures and write up the instructions, and it looks like you'll be seeing a tutorial here on my blog before the week's end. My next project will be a couple of black cat pin cushions for my sewing room.

Here are some updates on my craft and sewing room:
1. We ordered the kit to make the Murphy bed. This is the second step to making my craft room a reality. The first step was drawing up the instructions.

2. I bought some soft and comfy fleece to make Punkie a topper for her little bed. I put it on the big bed so she could get used to it and get her smell all over it.

Non-room related:
My Jade plant is still alive!

Off to visit my blogging friends. I hope you all have a wonderful week!!!

Images in the scrapbook page above are from my Sewing Room Graphic/Clipart Set that is available at Etsy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Promise I Won't Kill You!

This is a Jade Plant. One of our clients gave us a super big plant, and this piece fell off as they were bringing it into the building. I thought it would be fun to see if I can make it grow. It will be my little project. Now for everyone who knows me, you can all STOP LAUGHING RIGHT NOW! For those who don't know me, I have a reputation with plants and flowers. I tend to kill them.

Brian takes care of all the gardening here at the home front. His flowers are beautiful! They are around the pool, around the deck, and alongside the house. Then we get annuals to put various places in the yard as well. When Elyse got married (at Yosemite National Park, FUN it was!) we had her reception here at the house. We went out and bought lots of extra annuals so the yard would be super colorful with beautiful flowers. It turned out perfect because the day of the reception, the perennials were all in full bloom. Beautiful! Well, since I was in charge of caring for the annuals, they all died! Yep, I killed each and every one of them. But Brian went out right before the wedding and replaced them all. So it was beautiful after all!

He must have faith in me for this project because when I came home from work he had potting soil waiting for me in the laundry room. He even went out and bought that cute little pot so I wouldn't have to stop on my way home in this terrible snowstorm. He even left me a little note, but I'm not telling you what it said ;)

I can do this!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Plans are Set!

The designs for my sewing and craft room have been made! Brian told me to draw them up and he will make them a reality! OK, the measurements are not exact. They are close, but he'll figure all that out, he's the expert. Once I had the dimensions of the Murphy bed, all I had to do was figure out what else I want. The dotted line shows the space the bed will take when dropped from the wall.

~I will store my fabrics upright using comic book boards.
~I will use glass jars to store all my colorful things like scribbles paints, embroidery floss, zippers, buttons, etc...
~The craft table (which I'm thinking will actually be bigger than in this plan) will have to be counter top height and must be able to easily fold down when guests stay, which isn't very often.
~I will be able to remove all my craft and sewing books from the closet and put them on the book shelves.
~My world pin map will be hanging to the right of the window.
~He will build a little bed for Punkie because she loves that room and I will make a cushy and comfy pillowtop for it. I haven't told him this part yet, but he reads my blog.

Below is an example of what the comic book boards and fabric storage looks like. I love it! It will make choosing fabric so much easier than my present system of dragging out the big Rubbermaid storage bins!

I'm taking more ideas so if you have any, I'd love to hear them!!!

Source: via Sher on Pinterest

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Protecting My Bubba!

We got through November, December, and the first half of January without more than a dusting of snow. Well, Thursday that all changed and we got more than a dusting. That means that the snowmobiles are out in full swing! Living out in the country means there is lots of space where the fields are now bare, and that means lots of space for the snowmobiles.

Last year some very RUDE snowmobiles cut through our yard to get to the road. There were two entry ways between trees that they were able to access our yard from the farm field behind. If you look at the picture above you can see where they crossed our yard. Look closer and you will see a shoveled path in the yard. That is the path that we shovel for Bubba (our tiny little yorkie) so he can go potty. See how the snowmobile cut across Bubba's path? That happened about 5 minutes after I brought him in from outside! I know this because I saw the lights in my backyard, then the path appeared. I was furious! I always go out with him because we do have wildlife that would probably eat him if they got the chance. But how would I stop a snowmobile? They would never see him out there.

So anyway, Brian and I went out there Saturday and pulled huge logs and branches across the entry ways (between the trees), posted NO TRESPASSING signs at each one, and stuck 10 (total) reflectors in front of it all. I hope that keeps them out. It's bad enough I have to worry about the coyotes!

Friday, January 13, 2012

FREE Gift! Celebrating Love!

Today we celebrated my incredibly awesome husband's birthday, next week we celebrate our wedding anniversary, and in one month, Valentine's Day! What better time to offer my blog friends a free graphic mini-kit? I created an add on to go with my "Love Is In The Air" graphic/clipart kit. It's my free gift to you in the celebration of LOVE! There are many ways to use these images. You can use them for your digital scrapbooking, card making, and crafting. If you don't do any of that, you can use them for your address labels. Just enjoy them!

You can pick them up on the freebie page at my website HERE, or at 4-Shared HERE.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Snowy Owl

Look what we got in today! It's a Snowy Owl. It was brought in with a broken wing. We are hoping to fix it and release it. We are all excited about this one because we don't see too many of them. This one is probably a female because the males are mostly white.

Snowy Owl facts:
20 to 28 inches in size
Wingspan about 4.8 feet
They like to eat rodents
In the wild they live about 9.5 years but in captivity can live up to 35 years

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

10 Super Silly Laws

Here are a list of 10 laws that are for real. While doing research for this post I found a whole bunch of funnier ones but since this is a family friendly blog, I'm only posting laws of an appropriate nature. And yes, these are for real!

Pennsylvania: It's illegal to sleep on a refrigerator outdoors

Indiana: It's illegal to throw your couch at your neighbor

Illinois: It's illegal to fish while riding on a giraffe's neck

Minnesota: It is illegal to cross state lines with a duck on your head

California: It's illegal to drink cement

Florida: It's illegal to set off a nuclear bomb in the city park

Tennessee: It is illegal to gather or consume roadkill

Texas: It's illigal to dust a building with a feather duster

North Dakota: It's illeagal to serve beer and pretzels together.

New York: Man boobs are against the law (I'm still laughing at this one!)

Photo Above: An old photo from years ago. I think they were watching a bird.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Puppy Chow

I decided to start sharing more recipes with you. But I'm only going to share our tried and true favorites. I have so many ultra delicious ones that I feel the need to share!

Have you ever had Puppy Chow? It was popular about 20 years ago when I got this recipe from my StepMom (who is an incredible cook & baker) and it seems to be making a comeback because I've been seeing it around a lot lately. This stuff is so good and when you take it to a party, it disappears fast!


1 cup choc chips
1 stick margarine
1 cup peanut butter
8 cups Crispix cereal
2 cups powdered sugar

Melt first three ingredients together in a saucepan and pour over cereal. Put powdered sugar in a large plastic bag, add Crispix and toss well to coat evenly. Dry on foil and then store in an airtight container.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

After New Year's Vacation

New Year's Eve and New Year's day didn't go as I had planned. I ended up spending the entire weekend going back and forth from the bed to the couch. I'm not sure if I was fighting a bug or if I was just completely exhausted from the months leading up to it. In any case, I decided that I needed to give myself a vacation. I didn't take a vacation from the clinic, had that little break after Christmas. I took a vacation from my blog and my online business. Other than responding to sales, I didn't create, update, or anything

I did however play around a little with my sewing machine. I made some potholders for my kitchen. My old ones were getting so sad looking. It was embarrassing! So I made the ones above. I made them bigger and thicker than the old ones. There will be no burnt fingers in my house!

Since I was off work today I completed my "Love" kit which I just uploaded to my Etsy Shop and Website.

My next project is a table runner for my dining room table. I loved the way my Christmas one looked and now my table looks too bare. Hmmmm, do I see a blog tutorial coming up?
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