Monday, September 18, 2017

ASSEMBLY LINE or One of a Kind

It's Fall!!  Pumpkin-ticipating!!  Sweaters at the ready!!
Time to dust off the pumpkin colored stash and throw together some awesome hostess gifts, home decorations, and new class projects for the season.

A quick and fun table runner project quickly became multiplied by four as I got a custom order from a long time client when she saw the fabrics I was using to make this runner as a gift for a fall wine and cheese party.

I decided to do the piecing chain style and put together four table runners at one time.  Each is still hand made.  Each is still individually quilted and lovingly finished, but I'm addressing the issue of saving time by making a few at once.

First I picked the center panel and sashing and border fabric, and did it almost improv style in terms of "measuring from the hip."

I guesstimated the fabric lengths by using width of fabric cuttings, and ended up with very little waste.  I figured the center panel at around 26 inches by 12 inches, enough to highlight the fabulous fun of the print, and fit any table or countertop.  I estimated sashing and borders by one WOF cut per side and one WOF cut for top and bottom combined.  I did the same with borders, adding one extra WOF cut for error room.  I did end up piecing the short end of each border, but had the extra from trimmed long sides, and it all came out very close.  I didn't stress over seam allowances in cutting, since this is an easy pattern to replicate or customize to your own size demands.  I DID apply exacting 1/4 inch seams, so all the sides would be square and straight.

I clipped, squared, and pressed as I went along, to keep organized and chain pieced sashing and borders two runners at a time.  It was a really fun process (like the feeling you get when improving) to just cut and go on to the next, and not spend so much time measuring and stressing over perfection.

I have other blog posts about how much I love smaller projects for not only gifting and classes, but for returning to the joy and instant gratification we need every now and then to keep our creative juices flowing and not get bogged down in huge projects.

I mounted them all on the quilting frame side by side and advanced after finishing all the sections in a row.  Another time saver, and a fun way to work on various skills and quilt designs in new ways.

I loved finding swirl fabric in my stash to compliment the swirls in the newly purchased pumpkin and crows fabric from this season at Timeless Treasures.  Even the burnt orange sashing from Michael Miller was in my stash and made a great frame for the autumn theme.  

I used muslin for the backing for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it's inexpensive, easy to stock in the studio in various widths for the longarm frame and co ordinates with the cream ground of the center panel.  And secondly, I didn't use fall quilting designs.  I used curls and swirls and brackets and stitched in the ditch to outline borders, and that makes this table runner reversible.  You can flip it and use the solid side on into the fall past Halloween and get more use from the table runner than just a seasonal decoration.

Can't wait to get these off the frame and onto my kitchen island.  Make something of your own (times two or three or four) with these simple techniques of chain piecing and assembly line multiples.  Have fun, and share pics in the comment section!!!

Happy Fall, and let's quilt!!