Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Take Two

As I mentioned in my last post, I've temporarily stalled out on my Chain Link Runner; my Guide Dog for the Color Blind injured his back and isn't allowed to climb stairs for 4 weeks.  As my Studio is down stairs from the main living level, I've put machine work on hold for right now.  I can do some hand work while I watch over him.

Remember the runner I did with my friend Donna?  I did re-work the measurements and wanted to see if my math was better than that of the original pattern writer.  (Scroll down to the third and fourth pix in this post.)  Oy!  Anyway, I did some math, grabbed some junk fabric, and tested my pattern.  The good news is that my pieces actually matched up right, no "whacking off" at the ends, and I'm very pleased with the piecing.  The not quite as good news is that the fabrics I picked ... well ... check it out:

DSCN3231 Runner, Take 2

Yeow! I mean ... OK, I can't come up with anything better than "Yeow". (Dave thought the colors worked fine together, even if they aren't "our" colors, but even Zim, his brother, was a bit surprised by them. He made sure I took breaks from working on it. He's sweet like that.)  I just wanted to make sure my re-worked pattern would work out.  Note to self:  Trust your own math and don't go choosing a whacky color-scheme!

So anyway, I was able to sew the binding on this week. That's the front in the photo above. I used the same fabrics on the back. With spare parts. Because they aren't going to be used in anything else!!! Ever.  Take a look:

DSCN3229 Runner, Take 2

Would it be too redundant to say "Yeow!" again?

I do like how I sort of off-set the pieces on the back, though. That would be pretty cool to do for a top. In different fabrics.

DSCN3236 Runner, Take 2

Real different.

Here's another look at the front:

DSCN3233 Runner, Take 2

I think I reverse-sewed as much of the quilting as I put in.  I don't know what my problem was, but it was as though I'd never machine quilted anything in my life.  I'm happy with how it turned out, though - sort of like flames.  Here's a close up:

DSCN3232 Runner, Take 2

Yeow! ...but at least my math worked.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Binding That ... Binds

Hmm.  OK.  Well, my work on the runner has been delayed a bit - but I did get my binding put together.

IMG_7112 Chain Link Runner

I'm using scraps from the yardage I cut.

I've had a few things come up and won't be in the Studio much for a bit.  I promise to get back to quilting the runner as soon as I can - in the meantime, I can dream up how I'm going to quilt it!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chain Link Runner - Part 2

Welcome back!  (See Part 1 here.)  Let's get to the next step:

Layout and sewing:

Lay out your cut strips according to this chart:


See how across from each 4-1/2” strip there is a pair of 14-1/2” strips?


Sew each of those pairs together, putting them back where you got them after you sew and press. (Color placement is important - don’t get your fabs mixed up!) Use a long table, the floor, or a design wall.

IMG_7087 Chain Link Runner
You  might have to work in segments...

Now sew each pair to the corresponding 4-1/2” strip. For example, the 14-1/2” strip pair of fab 1 and fab 3 will be sewn to the fab 2 4-1/2” strip. It will make tons of sense as you go. And remember - odd numbers are on one side, evens are on another. Tape, tape, tape! You might think you’ll remember where each one goes, then get distracted by ... I don’t know ... a Siberian Husky who thinks you need a break. Just for instance.  Not that I had to do a little "reverse sewing" this very afternoon.  ...or perhaps I did.  Ahem.

Each fabric in the 14-1/2”/14-1/2”/4-12” groups is different!


Also, sew the fab 1 14-1/2” strip to the fab A 2-1/2” square - and the fab 14 14-1/2” strip to the fab Z 2-1/2” square.


Once you’ve got all those 14-1/2”/14-1/2”/4-12” groups together, and your 14-1/2”/2-1/2” groups together, put those ALL together to form your table runner. Nothing to match up ... just easy sewing!

IMG_7083 Chain Link Runner
Keep sewing groups to groups!

I couldn't believe how fast it came together!

Here's my top, all put together! 

IMG_7106 Chain Link Runner

Yea! Pretty cool, huh? Let's get the hubby to hold it up outside, for a good look at it!

IMG_7109 Finished top, Chain Link Runner
I the Kansas wind.  And my patient husband!!!

Let's find a calmer corner of the deck...

IMG_7108 Chain Link Runner
Finished Chain Link Runner top!

I've started piecing my binding; I decided it would be easier just to leave everything cut at 2-1/2", since I'm working from scraps.  I think a bit wider binding than I normally work with wouldn't be a bad idea for this runner!

Tomorrow, I hope to choose a backing and perhaps get quilting!

Is anyone else cutting or sewing yet?  Please remember to add your photos to the FlickR group!

Thanks for sewing along and for reading!

Chain Link Runner - Part 1

Who's up for a sew along?  A few of my FaceBook quilting buddies are in, so I thought I'd post the "tutorial" here.  We'll start today with the cutting for my original pattern for a Chain Link Runner!  I have set up a FlickR group for this, so if you do make the runner, please add your runner to the group!  I'd love to see yours!  (I've never started a group on FlickR before, so I sure hope I did that right!)

Here we go!

Chain Link Runner
by Karen Z. Kryschtal
A 16 x 60” table runner

All seam allowances 1/4”

Fabric requirements:

☛ You can easily do this runner from a Jelly Roll. You can get two runners from a Jelly Roll, binding included. If you’d like to cut yardage ...

For runner:
15 (2-1/2 x 35”) strips of different fabrics
OR 14 (2-1/2 x 35”) strips and 2 (2-1/2 x 17-1/2”) strips
For binding:
4 (2-1/4 x width of fabric) strips (or cut strips whatever width you like your binding by width of fab)
OR cut from your scraps
OR (if using a Jelly Roll) 4 more 2-1/2” strips from your roll

Backing - be creative! ☺
Batting - I like cotton

General needs:

You’ll need basic rotary cutting equipment, a good sewing machine, neutral-colored thread, a new sewing machine needle (always start a new project with a new needle!), pins, cool quilting thread, good music and/or something lined up in your Netflix instant queue, beverages of your choice (I recommend strongly brewed espresso roast coffee, black, no sugar, Diet Coke with Lime, or Crystal Light Iced Tea)... and other assorted sewing notions.

I also recommend masking tape or painter’s tape and a permanent marker.


From 14 of your strips, sub-cut the following:
2 (2-1/2 x 14-1/2”)
1 (2-1/2 x 4-1/2”)
From the 15th strip, sub-cut:
2 (2-1/2 x 14-1/2”)
2 (2-1/2” squares)
☛if you are using 2 17-1/2” strips, cut a 2-1/2 x 14-1/2” strip and a 2-1/2” square from each

If you want to cut your binding now, knock yourself out. 160” should give you plenty of leeway. I never cut mine until the end; that gives me time to change my mind 38 times.  I like creative bindings.

...And I never cut my backing until I’m done.

Here is my cutting process:

This is where I get the tape and marker out. I tag the fabs as I cut and lay them out, switching the order to get a color arrangement I like. Just be careful when you press things NOT to hit the tape!!!

IMG_7071 Number your fabrics!

Keep your colors separated! Make neat little piles somewhere.

IMG_7072 Number your fabrics
I'm using the same fab for my "A" and "Z" strips
From that 15th strip or 2 shorter strips, make two piles, each with a 14-1/2” strip and a 2-1/2” square. These will be known as “A” and “Z”. Number your other fabs 1-14. You’ll want some contrast between sequential numbers.

Get everything ready - layout and sewing come next!

IMG_7073 Number and lay out

Be back later with more!

Thanks for reading - and sewing along!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Running With Donna, Part 5

YEA!  We're done!  We're done!  We're done!  Both of us!  This could be a record-fast finish for me!  :)  Donna and I each finished our runners on Thursday!  (If you need to catch up, click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.)

Without further ado, here's Donna's runner:

Donna's runner

Isn't it gorgeous?!?!  I love the soft floral center and the blue background!  To me, these are comfort colors.  You know, if you can have comfort food, why not comfort colors?  They just make you feel soooooo wonderful inside!

Here's how mine came out:

IMG_6882 Runner with Donna
My runner

And the reverse:

IMG_6883 Runner with Donna

At this point, I'd like to thank both of our husbands for being quilt holders. Are you guys smiling back there?

The colors on mine aren't as true in these next two shots, but here's how it looks on the table:

DSCN3172 Runner with Donna

(Note to self: Don't shoot in a west-facing room during the late afternoon.)

DSCN3174 Runner with Donna

I think it shows the quilting pretty well!  It was excellent practice!

This weekend, we're trying the pattern again - only I did some math for us that should make things come out a LOT more even.  Stay tuned and thank you again for reading!