Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chevrons Runner

I was really excited to find out that Amy Gibson's 2nd class in her learning to quilt series was up on Craftsy. I immediately snagged it, and started watching it. I love Amy's style, and she explains things so clearly. I used to think quilting was for grandmas, but now I know it can be very fresh and modern too, it all depends on the design and the fabric!

I wanted to make a table runner for my breakfast table, and I decided to get a mix of blue fat quarters in different designs, and make the table runner following the class. I had everything purchased, but didn't actually get to work on the project until after my sewing room was ready. Then I realized I had no more excuse, so I started working.

The half-square triangles were easy enough to make, though I realized that I had actually been using the wrong guideline on my patchwork foot and everything I made up until now that I thought was quarter-inch seam, was actually 1/3 inch! But I hated using the actual guide of my patchwork foot to make the quarter inch seams, so I looked into other options. Turns out the generic zigzag foot that came with my machine has a needle position that created a quarter inch seam.

I enjoyed every part of the process, the fabric selection, the cutting, the sewing, the squaring up, and the pressing. I really liked machine quilting as well, and I liked doing the binding too. However, I'm not a huge fan of basting ... at least not compared to other parts of quiltmaking. But it's unfortunately part of the process, kind of like weaving in ends is for knitting and crochet. I played with the design of the top quite a bit, before coming up with my chevrons, which I think is my favorite. My options were actually rather limited because I added a single column to the runner to make it bigger, not realizing for most designs I needed to add 2 columns.

I didn't like my quilting design at first, which was just horizontal lines at different widths, as well as some diagonal lines, I basically copied Amy's original design. I wish I had been a little more ambitious and played up the geometry of the chevrons instead. Next time I do a chevron quilt, and I'm sure I will as I'm obsessed with them, I will do some quilting in the shape of chevrons on the negative space, for sure.

I expected the binding to be hard, but turns out it was really easy. My final join was perfect on the first try, and my corners are very nice. I didn't mind doing the hand binding but it took so long, that for future quilts I will definitely use a full machine binding.

I'm totally hooked on quilting now! And it's time for a new machine.

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