Friday, June 24, 2011

Odds and Ends, and an Oddity at the End

Do you make holiday table runners for the different occasions through the year? I have only made 4 table runners to use either on the dining table or the hutch. Problem is I don't have them for all the right occasions. I've made two for fall--one with leaves and the other with pumpkins--and two for spring, though one of those is still in flimsy stage. I have collected several table runner patterns I would like to make and every time Christmas or the Fourth of July rolls around I promise myself I will make something for the occasion. I even spent time this morning hunting for a pattern I know I have and want to make, but couldn't find it anywhere. I had pulled out scraps and fat quarters of my red/white/blue fabric and I didn't want to put it all away again. I needed to forge ahead, so I settled on an Ohio Star pattern, but I wanted more activity in the block. I put a 9-patch in the middle and away I went.
I like how the blocks turned out, but I couldn't decide what kind of setting to use.

I think the one with the blocks on point is getting my vote (though I might try blue setting triangles--what do you think?), and since I'm making it, my vote wins!
By the way, I know I have mentioned design boards before, but I want to say it again. These are great tools to use when making blocks with lots of pieces. I keep them by me as I cut and arrange the pieces on the board. Then I can stack the boards on top of each other and carry them to my machine. The pieces stay in place until I move them and I have a pile of blocks to work on without having to keep getting up to get more pieces and figure out how to put them together. Once the blocks are made they go on the design wall.
All of the loose pieces for the block arranged on the design board.
You can carry it from cutting table to ironing board to sewing
machine and everything stays in place!

Each of the elements within the 9 squares have been sewn.
Finished block.

The boards are so simple to make. Get foam core board at the framing department of a craft or hobby store. They will usually cut it for you with no charge. 15" squares have worked well for me. They hold up to a 12" block and are still a manageable size. Use adhesive spray on one side of the foam core squares and attach pieces of cotton batting that have been cut to fit. That's it! I have fifteen of them and sometimes I wish I had more.

The other night when I did the tutorial on the perforated paper method of piecing I cut all of the parts for another Mariner's Compass, just for demonstration purposes. I didn't think too much about it, I just grabbed some fabric from my "supply shelves" and went to work. The next evening when I was going to sew, the piles of cut fabrics were still sitting out. I was going to put all of it away, but was curious to see how well it would turn out. That is what I ended up sewing. I got it all finished except the center circle applique. When I took the class on this technique our instructor said she thought it looked good to have "movement" in that center circle. I liked what a batik did in the first one I made, so I went to my batik drawer again. I really like what I found to match--you might have to enlarge the picture all the way to really see it. I think I may finish this one before I complete my first one.

Okay, now for the odd. Have you ever seen a freshly sheared alpaca--for that matter, have you ever seen an alpaca? These guys belong to my brother-in-law and they are currently in the pasture that I can see from my kitchen window. The first glance I got after they were sheared made me laugh.
A face only a mother could love?
Their long skinny necks seem disproportionate to their bodies. DH and I agree that they look like some type of alien creature.  Anyway, when I see them out my kitchen window now they bring a smile to my face.
I had to make some pretty silly noises to get
 them all to look at me together.
So, until next time, from the little mountain valley where we actually were over 80 degrees today! (As we say around here, spring came just in time for summer.)

Janet O.


  1. We had two sheep when I was growing up - Sunflower and her baby Lamb Chop. My mom would have them shorn for their wool, which she had carded and made into batts, which she used to make sleeping bags for us kids (the warmest, heaviest sleeping bags on the planet!). When the sheep were shorn, they looked like they were running around in their long underwear!

  2. I like the on-point setting best.

    And in your Mariner's Compass, the blue crackle fabric was a good one to pick. And the fabric for the circle does give "motion" to your block. Good choices.

  3. I'm with Karen - I like the on point setting. Ohio stars are my Absolutely Favorite block - so when you use those you can't go wrong!!!

    Thanks for the tip about the block board. I usually don't make complicated blocks, so don't really worry about layout, but I'm working on some 6" blocks that have bunches and bunches of pieces. So perfect for me - I'll make one up this afternoon.!!


  4. Love your runner!! Both settings are terrific.
    What a fun view!

  5. Oh by the way - glad you are getting summer, but I am so jealous - green grass!!! I won't even show you what is outside my window - dirt, dirt, dirt. But hopefully the rain we had will perk it up, and we aren't suppose to be quite so hot mid to upper 90's - a real COOL spell ha!

    Have a great weekend!

  6. I don't really decorate for holidays so I only have a Christmas runner. Otherwise, I just rotate runners in various fun/bright colors. Whatever makes me happy at the time! I think the baby alpaca is adorable! We have both alpacas and llamas locally.

  7. I love the Ohio Star block. Am a bit partial to stars. Anyhow, I loved the runner on point. It would be amazing with either blue or red. They both just make different colours pop out of the blocks.

  8. I like the design board it foam board??

  9. Hey Janet - I tried to respond to the comment you left on my blog but the email bounces back as undeliverable...same thing happened last(?) week. Any ideas?


I love to have your comments and feedback.