Easy Star Table Runner

DSCN2555Do you need a quick gift? Or maybe something to dress up your table? I have put together a quick star table runner- and I even added a few options if you are really pressed for time and need to make it even easier!

Ready? Set?

Let’s go!

 

To start here is what you need:

Fabric A- (for me that is red)- ¼ yard

Cut: (2) 2 ⅞” x 40″ strips- sub cut into (20) 2 ⅞” x 2 ⅞” squares

Fabric B- (for me, white)- ½ yard

Cut: (1) 5 ¼” x 40″ strips- sub cut into (5) 5 ¼” x 5 ¼” squares

(2) 2 ½” x 40″ strips- sub cut into (20) 2 ½” x 2 ½” squares

(1) 1 ½” x 40″ strip- sub cut into (5) 1 ½” x 8 ½” rectangles, (4) 1 ½” x 10 ½” sashing strips

Fabric C- (for me- a print)- ¼ yard or Fat Eighth

Cut: (1) 4 ½” x 40″ strip- sub cut into (5) 4 ½” x 4 ½” center squares

Fabric D- (for me, green)- ½ yard

Cut: (2) 2 ½” x 40″ strips- sub cut into (20) 2 ½” x 2 ½” squares

(5) 1 ½” x 4″ strips- sub cut into (5) 1 ½” x 8 ½” rectangles, (2) 1 ½” x 12 ½” inner top and bottom borders, pieces the rest of       the strips as needed and cut into (2) 1 ½” x 44 ½” inner side borders.

Fabric E outer border- (for me, another print)- ¼ yard

Cut: (4) 2″ x 40″ strips- piece together as needed and sub cut into (2) 2″ x 46 ½” outer side borders and (2) 2″ x 15 ½” outer top and bottom borders.

Binding- ¼ yard

Cut: (4) 1 ½” x 40″ strips- piece together for single fold binding

Backing- ⅞ yard

Cut: (2) 20″ x 29″ pieces- sew together along short side and trim to a backing about 20″ x 56″.

To start, we are going to make the Center square.

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1. Grab 1 Fabric C square and 4 Fabric D squares. Draw a diagonal line corner to corner on the wrong side of the 2 ½” x 2 ½” Fabric D squares. Position the squares in opposite corners of the 4 ½” x 4 ½” Fabric C center square.

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2. Sew on the line; trim seam to ¼”. Press to the triangles. Repeat on the other two corners.

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Center square should measure 4 ½” x 4 ½” square. Make 5 center squares.

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Even quicker version: To make the runner even quicker- skip adding the Fabric D squares to the corners of the center square. Just leave it the way it is!

Next up- the Flying Geese!

We are going to use the easy, no waste method. I have put together a handout on this method for future reference. Go here to get the PDF.

1. Layer the Geese fabric square with 2 Side triangle squares as shown.

Draw a diagonal line corner to corner across the Side triangle squares.

(Or, like I did, draw two lines each a ¼” away from the diagonal line.)

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2. Sew ¼” away from the center diagonal line on both sides.

Cut along the center diagonal line. Press to small triangles. The units will look like little hearts. Cute!

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3. Using one section, layer a Side triangle square as shown. Draw a diagonal line corner to corner on the square.

Sew ¼” away from the diagonal line on both sides. Cut along the diagonal line. Press to small triangles.

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4. Repeat with the second section. You will have 4 Flying Geese units. Trim the little triangles- some call them dog ears, some call them tails… whatever! Trim them off. Geese should measure 2 ½” x 4 ½”.

Repeat to make a total of 20 Flying Geese units.

Not so bad so far, right? Almost done!

Onto making the Star block.

1. Lay out four  Flying Geese units, four 2 ½” x 2 ½” Fabric B squares and one center square as shown.

Sew into rows, then sew the rows together. Star block should measure 8 ½” x 8 ½” square. Make 5 Star blocks.

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Even quicker version: Don’t have time to make 5 Star blocks? Make only three and cut 2 pieces of a fun print fabric 8 ½” x 8 ½” square and substitute for the other Star blocks! For really quick version- make only one Star block, cut 4 pieces of fun fabric and put the Star block in the center of the runner!

 

2. Sew the 1 ½” x 8 ½” Fabric B and D rectangle together along the long edge. Sew to the side of the Star Block.

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Note: We sewed the rectangle units to the right edge of three blocks and to the left edge of two blocks. We like the slightly wonky effect of the blocks offset from each other. You can do it anyway you like! Or even skip this step and just adjust the border size. I like it because it keeps it from looking like any other star block runner! A little different. A little wonky.

3. Lay out the five Star Blocks, with the 1 ½” x 10 ½” Fabric B sashing strips in between the rows. Sew the rows together.

It is easier to see the sashing in this version- I changed them up and made them red to stand out!

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Now to add some borders!

1. Sew the 1 ½” x 44 ½”  Fabric D borders to each side of the runner. Press to borders.

2. Sew the 1 ½” x 12 ½” Fabric D borders to the top and bottom of the quilt.

3. Sew the 2” Fabric E borders to the Runner in the same manner. The table runner should measure 15 ½” x 49 ½”.

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4. Quilt as desired and bind with single fold binding. Done!!!

I quilted mine in straight lines about 2″ apart. It only took me a few minutes.

If I had taken a few minutes more, all the lines might have been straight!

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Still, it looks OK to me!

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I even made a second one to match my funky holiday quilt. I just have to quilt this one.

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Need information on how to do single fold binding? Click here for a free PDF.

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Want the runner instructions in a PDF? Click here!

I hope you have fun making our Easy Star Table Runner. I know I had fun!

Happy Holidays!

Kate

Tis the Season

DSCN1923Are you in the holiday spirit? Tis the season and all that?

This past weekend, my husband and I put up our Christmas tree and tried to get into the spirit of things.

Some of you know that 2 ½ years ago, he and I moved from our hometown in CT to Colorado for a job. It is lovely here. We have met some nice people, hubby has a good job and I have taken a break from nursing to focus on my quilting. All good things.

And the weather is much better!

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My Christmas Quilt

But the holidays are about being with family and I will miss that this year. I am trying hard to be grown up about it; some days are easier than others.

I have been told that the best thing to do is create new traditions. We are debating what that means- probably going to a movie and getting Chinese food! And I am sure we will have fun. And enjoy it.

But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t trade it over in a heartbeat for a day with family.

Next up on the holiday to-do list- cards! So, the big question- do you do “the holiday letter” and enclose it in your cards?

DSCN2382Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukah!

Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Kate

 

Friday’s post will be a tutorial on a quick table runner. Don’t miss it!

 

 

10- nope, 12 Gift ideas for a Quilter!

DSC06487The other day I mentioned that I was getting together with some quilty friends for lunch and a holiday gift swap. We were doing a random gift giving swap, so we were not sure who would end up with the gift we bought.

Does that make it easier or harder- not to know the recipient?

I thought it made it harder. I was stumped.

 

Until I saw what a few of the ladies gave. An “aha!” moment.

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So I put together a list of 10 12 items that almost any quilter would love. Now, you might feel that some of these are boring items to give as a gift, but they could be the most appreciated!

1. A pack of 5 rotary blades. This was the most coveted item given at our swap. We all wanted them!

2. A calendar. The lady who gave the calendar actually got the calendar and she was so excited because she really wanted it and would not give it up! We all loved the calendar as well.

3. Sewing machine needles- again an item we may think makes a boring present but we all need and hate to spend money on.

4. A new seam ripper. Let’s be honest- we all need help from Jack (the Ripper) every now and then. And seam rippers get dull over time so a new one is a good idea.

5. Thread. Especially good thread like Aurifil, Mettler or Superior.

6. Quilty sticky note pads. They are fun, useful and well, fun and useful!

7. Gift certificate for scissor sharpening. How many of us complain about dull scissors but don’t get them sharpened?

8. Best Press- if you get the unscented, you don’t even have to worry about what their favorite scent is.

9. A small handmade item like a pincushion, a bag, an ornament, mug rug, coasters or placemats. Always appreciated. (I have a free pattern for quick coasters over on Craftsy- check it out here.)DSC04631

 

 

 

 

DSCN253210. Snips- I love these snips- I keep one by my machine, one at my iron, and if I had more, I would have one in my hand work basket, one by my cutting table…

11. What about pins? They have some great new pins- such as the ones with numbers to keep track of your blocks or rows.

12. Chocolate- almost always appreciated- especially for those quilt error emergencies. Better than Valium!

 

Any more suggestions to add to this list?

Post in the comments below and happy holiday shopping!

Kate

p.s. Next week I will have a tutorial for a quick table runner- make it for your table or a friend’s table! See ya then!

Holiday madness and a time of reflection

Right now, many of us are struggling with holiday madness- making lists of who we need to buy presents for, shopping for said presents, planning holiday dinners, travel and going to holiday parties.

DSCN2528In the midst of all this frenetic action, it is also a time of reflection. As a small business owner, I am looking to make my goals and plans for the upcoming year.

A daunting task in some ways. My business?  I design quilt patterns.

I love doing that.

I can spend hours making truly terrible designs until the best of the lot presents itself. I can spend moments on a design that comes to me fully formed and I only have to tweak it a little.

DSCN2526I spend hours looking thru fabric options online, in stores… hours writing, making, rewriting, maybe remaking… working with friends who are willing to test even though they don’t have time in their own busy schedules. Then rewriting to correct any errors.

But then, my pattern and all the other patterns that are available for purchase struggle against all the free patterns that are available. Because most people would rather spend their $8 or $9 on a cup of Joe and a pastry at Starbucks than a quilt pattern. Recently at a show and tell a woman was showing a quilt that she had made and stated that she had seen the pattern at a store but did not want to buy it so she recreated it.

I celebrate her ingenuity, but where does that leave those of us who design?

Thus my dilemma for the upcoming year. In the meantime I will struggle on and do this because I cannot imagine not doing it.

Back to holiday shopping for a moment.

Today I am getting together with a lovely group of quilters whose collective wisdom and experience in the world of quilting leaves me in awe. They are published authors, ladies who tested patterns and made quilts for magazines, founding members of quilt guilds here in the state… their credentials are amazing. I am honored they let me hang out with them. We are getting together for a holiday lunch and gift exchange. I had no idea of what to get and realized what a great resource you all might have been in that process.

Gifts_ChristmasSo here is the question of the day: if someone was going to buy you a quilt related gift for around $20, what would you want them to get you? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for listening.

happy quilting,

Kate

Cover girl!

QMMP-150200-cover_1000Woo hoo! Check out the newest Quiltmaker magazine on newsstands today. The quilt on the cover is mine! It was quilted by my good friend Crystal Zagnoli of The Quilted Cricket. She always does such an amazing job.

What do you think? I love the red and white.

It is another one block design- change the rotation of the blocks and you change the look. So go grab a magazine and check it out!

happy quilting,

Kate

Black Friday

Do you go shopping on Black Friday? I must admit, I do not. Just the thought of the crowds and the pushing and shoving…

Besides, in my old life when I worked as a nurse, I usually worked the Thanksgiving holiday weekend so I could try to get Christmas off.

Friday SaleWell, if going out to the stores is not for you, consider doing some online shopping! Craftsy is having their annual Black Friday Sale and it is only a click away! You deserve a goodie too don’t you?

 

 

DSC08847Or check out our ETSY shop-

 

I am in Florida, visiting my son for the the holiday and hopefully spending a little time with Mickey and Minnie! (Talk about crowds… but still fun!)

 

Have a great weekend and happy holiday shopping!

happy quilting,

Kate

 

Scrappy Backs

Today is another scrappy post- a great way to use up chunks of your leftover fabrics is to make scrappy backs. I have always liked pieced backs- it seems like you get two quilts in one that way!

But who wants to use small pieces for that?

Autumn View

Autumn View

For my quilt Autumn View, I cut the leftover chunks of fabric into 10″ (or 10 ½”) squares and sewed them together.

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I also added all the “reject” blocks- just because they weren’t good enough for the front doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough for the back!

 

 

DSCN2363I also did a scrappy back on my Blustery Day quilt. On this one the smaller reject blocks became my hanging sleeve!

 

 

DSC04895And here is another.

 

 

 

Just another idea for your scraps, or fabrics that you no longer love but are still good. Scrappy backs.

happy quilting,

Kate

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Winners

Wow. Thank you to everyone who commented on our post yesterday. I loved reading about what you would make the block in- so many great ideas! And yes, I read every comment!

QMMS-140050-cover_200Time for the winners: Allison Everard and Marta!  I will be emailing you, the winners, to get your mailing address.

Thanks again everyone for visiting with us- have a great weekend!

happy quilting,

Kate

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Issue 10 Blog Tour

QMMS-140050-cover_200Hi everyone! Welcome to Seams like a Dream and the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour. Wow! 10 issues, 100 blocks each= 1000 blocks!

We are so excited to be part of the fun.

 

 

 

 

Here is our block, Starry Hearts.

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I know everyone is prepping for the upcoming Thanksgiving, Chanukah and  Christmas holidays, but really, Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it!

It would be pretty easy to take the block and make it into a table topper or wall hanging.

Something like this: Isn’t that fun? I love dots.

Starry hearts Wall Hanging Dots

Or, if you want a slightly calmer background, you could do this.

Starry Hearts Wall Hanging Gray

Or you could use four blocks and make them into a spiffy table runner. Like this:

Starry Hearts Runner

Or, if you didn’t want to use traditional colors for your hearts, how about this?

Starry Hearts Runner in Blue

So many options!!

Want to make a runner? It is pretty easy.

The runner finishes to 14″ x 50″.

Make 4 blocks following the directions in the magazine. Sew them into a long row.

Get ½ yard of border/ binding fabric and ⅞ yard of backing fabric.

From the  border fabric cut 4 strips 1 ½” x WOF and piece them together.

Cut into 2 side borders 1 ½” x 48 ½” and 2 borders for the top and bottom at 1 ½” x 14 ½”. Sew the borders first to the sides and then to the top and bottom.

Cut the backing fabric into 2 pieces, about 20″ x 29″ each.  Sew them together and trim to a backing piece about 20″ x 56″. Quilt as desired and bind. You will probably need 4 strips to make the binding ( I use 2 ¼” double fold binding for most projects though, for a runner, you could just use 1 ½” strips and make single fold binding).

Have fun with the block- and if you play around with it, pleases, send us a photo! We would love to see what you do.

QMMS-140050-cover_200In the meantime, would you like to win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100Blocks Issue 10?? Of course you would!

Well, leave a comment and, if you want, you could tell us what colors you would make your block in. Comments will be open until I get up Saturday morning- then I will draw a winner.

Ok. 2 winners.

happy quilting,

Kate

Contest is closed- winners have been picked! Thanks everyone!

Channeling Tim Gunn

So this past weekend, I had a “make it work” moment. Do you watch Project Runway? If not, you may not know the phrase Tim Gunn made famous. I love that show and it is such a great phrase; make it work.

DSCN2362I was working on a quilt and adding mitered borders from a border print. I learned two things:

1. If you cut the print wrong, sometimes you can salvage it.

2. If you sew your miters on a 30 degree angle, you end up with a bra, not a border.

 

 

DSCN2361I have only done mitered borders a few times. Most of my quilts have small borders or no borders so I don’t take the time (or the fabric) to make mitered ones. This quilt called out for miters though.

So I picked up my manuscript of our soon to be released book, in which I have directions on making mitered borders. How cool was that? I was my own instructor!

 

Of course, no directions are good unless you actually follow them! Hence the oops! And the bra-like border.

But the borders are on, the quilt is lovely and off to the long arm quilter for her magic touch. Yea!

happy quilting,

Kate

joinforblogtour10_200p.s. Don’t forget- this week is the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour- check it out here. And come back here on Friday for my block and my post!