An Eclectic Runner

Do you ever have those times when you’ve not even thought about a a new project but, all of a sudden, something pops into your head and you have to start on it there and then despite having numerous others on the go?  Of course you do.

Ages ago, I kept spending loads of money with a company called Massdrop (are they still going?) until I realised the error of my ways and unsubscribed.  However, I will always be grateful to them for my stack of beautiful ombre fabrics

and my thick felted wool ironing pad thingy which is in constant use.

Anyway, one of my impulse purchases from them was a stack of fabrics from Tim Holtz called ‘Eclectic Elements’ which has languished in my stash ever since as I couldn’t imagine any of them in a quilt and keep forgetting about them when I need something a bit ‘quirky’ in a  craft project.

 I decided (all of a sudden as previously mentioned) I needed a table runner for the coffee table in the living room.

My décor – such as it is – in there is not really something calling out for my usual selection of quilting fabrics so I thought these would work being more subdued in tone.

I took out the blues as they definitely don’t ‘go’ with anything in the room and added a couple of toning fabrics from elsewhere in my stash.

The ‘Suchard Chocolat’ piece was in the original Eclectic stack but I had already sewn it in to the runner by the time I’d thought to take a photo because it’s my favourite piece and I used quite a bit of it as the central strip.  My second favourite is the butterflies which might be moths – must put my specs on to read the teensy writing, something I’m finding myself saying more and more often these days.

I was intrigued by a method I saw here where you cut out the backing and batting to size, cut your strips of fabric and lay one centrally, right side up,  across the backing and batting.  Then, you lay the next strip right side down on top of the first and sew a quarter inch seam, then press seam open.  On the other side of the first strip, repeat with another strip and carry on like that, alternately in each direction, until you reach the ends of the runner.

I had this red and cream floral fabric in my stash which I think coordinates well with the other fabrics and also with the room it will be used in which has a red theme going on but not a bright red.

So you have, effectively, sandwiched and quilted the layers at the same time – a sort of alternative ‘quilt as you go’.  You can leave it like this or add some further quilting – which I did, using a very French makeshift template.

I bound it the traditional way with a double fold binding and some plain red from my stash.

I’m surprised how much the quilting pattern showed up once the runner was in position – especially here where the sun was shining right across it.

Oh look, there’s blue in my rug – I could have left the blue fabrics in after all.

I would be drummed out of Instagram for not plumping up my sofa cushions before a photography session.  Still, let’s call it ‘keeping it real’ this time and be amazed there’s not a dog or three draped across it.

So, not a ‘pretty, pretty’ table runner one often associates with quilting projects but I don’t think that would have worked in this room so I’m quite pleased with it.

Now to get back to whatever it was I was supposed to be doing when this popped into my head.



, , , , , ,

  1. #1 by katechiconi on October 12, 2018 - 13:43

    I love your fabrics, even the quirkier ones! It has a gentle vintage look, the sort of thing where the odd coffee ring doesn’t look too incongruous. (In my house, the coffee ring is virtually inevitable…) With a little closer quilting, you’d have made my favourite all-over pattern, the clamshell. Maybe next time 🙂

    • #2 by tialys on October 12, 2018 - 15:38

      I incorporated coffee rings into the quilting design for that very reason 😉 Also, now I know Vanish powder does wonders getting stains out I’m not so worried about anybody being too careless with the drips.

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on October 12, 2018 - 15:20

    Oh my this is lovely and Tim Holtz does fabric as well as paper crafts. Love it.

    • #4 by tialys on October 12, 2018 - 15:39

      Yes, I think I first heard of him when I did a bit more rubber stamping and his designs are very different when you fancy something a little quirky.

  3. #5 by craftycreeky on October 12, 2018 - 15:26

    It’s lovely, it’s so gentle and calm, perfect for your coffee table.

    • #6 by tialys on October 12, 2018 - 15:45

      It is possibly the only gentle and calm thing in my living room come evening when it’s full of dogs, cats, knitting/crochet projects and the occasional human trying to watch Strictly.

  4. #7 by Hila on October 12, 2018 - 16:53

    I think it’s a pretty table runner. I confess to not understanding most of the quilting terminology but the outcome seems to fit with the decor of your setting. Home furnishings is one of those mysterious arts that I fear are beyond my grasp. That ombre stack had me drooling btw.

    • #8 by tialys on October 13, 2018 - 09:02

      I try not to be too technical in the quilting blog posts as I know not all of my readers quilt. Not all of my readers are dressmakers either but I sometimes wiffle on about that too and hope nobody gets too bored. If in doubt I stick a photo of a cat in.
      I refuse to believe you would find home furnishings beyond your grasp if you put your mind to it. As it is, with making clothes not only for yourself but for your husband and little ones, I think the house will have to wait.

      • #9 by Hila on October 13, 2018 - 09:08

        Point well made. Personally I don’t find it boring to read technical bits of other crafts, I squirrel them away and build a loose understanding. You are right though, one day I will decide to focus on home furnishings and that will be that!

  5. #10 by CurlsnSkirls on October 12, 2018 - 19:21

    Loved your fabrics so much I had to look up the designer. Too bad I really do not quilt, as I appreciate his eclecticism and colours. Your runner looks marvellous ~ know you will enjoy it immensely! (Oh, yes I do know about dropping everything in favour of something else… or is that really creating UFO’s to be picked up another time for an easy finish? Lol!)

  6. #14 by kathyreeves on October 12, 2018 - 19:48

    Oh that turned out great for your room! I think I need to go reconsider my favorite fabrics that go with nothing…this might be the fix!

    • #15 by tialys on October 13, 2018 - 09:08

      I need another one for my dining table – I’m almost out of those fabrics now but I’m sure I could dig up something else on the quirkier side in my stash.

  7. #16 by thecontentedcrafter on October 12, 2018 - 20:16

    What a fabulous project Lynne! It looks perfectly at home in your lounge room. I didn’t know Tim Holtz did fabric – is there nothing the guy doesn’t do? I keep my eye on his stamping and mixed media output as that’s my thing and he sure keeps it coming! I have an ottoman under the living room window that is full to the brim with yarn – I really do have to go cold turkey on on-line shopping 🙂 Your stack of ombre fabric is pretty impressive – any plans for that?

    • #17 by tialys on October 13, 2018 - 09:11

      I first heard of Tim Holtz when I used to make cards and bought some of his stamps – I like his designs (mostly) and sometimes a bright, fresh fabric with clean, clear colours just isn’t what you need.
      My beautiful ombre fabrics are stroked from time to time and, sometimes, used in quilting as you will see in my next ScrapHappy post on Monday.

  8. #18 by Nanette on October 13, 2018 - 02:15

    Loved Tim Holz’s paper craft stuff, should’ve known he’d do great fabric too. Your runner turned out great, and I love your un-plumped red sofa, probably doesn’t show all the dog and cat hair like my dark blue one does!

    • #19 by tialys on October 13, 2018 - 09:13

      Most things in my house – unless it’s going on the top floor which is a pet free zone – are chosen deliberately for their ability to act as camouflage for pet hair.

      • #20 by Nanette on October 13, 2018 - 09:33

        It’s a wise move, to choose fabrics that camouflage…..but I particularly liked my sofa for looks and price, but the only other choices were lime green and an orangey shade. I put throws over mine to keep it relatively pet hair free.

  9. #21 by claire93 on October 13, 2018 - 10:22

    I was surprised to read that you hadn’t tried that “quilt as you go” method before! That’s the way I did my very first quilt projects when making place mats with bands of fabric – only thing I had trouble with was ironing fabric out the right way without iron touching the wadding lol. Your extra quilting with semi-circles gives it a lovely texture and the new table runner looks great in your living room.

    • #22 by tialys on October 14, 2018 - 09:20

      My very first project was a King Size sampler quilt which I started making when I joined a little Patchwork group local to where I used to live in the U.K. – it was so big and scary (the quilt not the group) that I did actually have that one long arm quilted although I was a little disappointed with the outcome as I don’t think the woman had been doing it long at that point. If I’d known about the QAYG method then I might have tackled it but, being blocks, it would have had to have been the method I’ve used a couple of times now for the F2F blocks rather than the strip method. I don’t make many home furnishings projects really but I do need another table runner so will probably use the bands method again.

  10. #23 by KerryCan on October 13, 2018 - 12:19

    Isn’t it wonderful to have the vision and the skill to be able to see a need (coffee table runner) and just be able to whip up the perfect one!? Such a great project!

    • #24 by tialys on October 14, 2018 - 09:12

      It helps to have very large fabric stash too! I guess it’s the sort of thing you’d be able to do too but how long would it take from start to finish to weave a 170cm long table runner for example?

      • #25 by KerryCan on October 14, 2018 - 12:47

        If I focused and just worked on weaving a runner, it would take 2-3 days, I think. Don’t know–I never get that focused!

      • #26 by tialys on October 15, 2018 - 11:07

        Oh, that long? I imagine quite a bit of time is taken up with the setting up of the loom etc.

  11. #27 by dezertsuz on October 15, 2018 - 17:42

    What fun that runner is. Yes, Massdrop was still going last I checked this summer. Your solids are a lovely stack!

    • #28 by tialys on October 16, 2018 - 09:21

      I daren’t go and look.

  12. #29 by Beads and Barnacles on October 17, 2018 - 21:33

    Lovely when you can produce functional things. Not just fluffy things to look at.

    • #30 by tialys on October 19, 2018 - 09:06

      Although sometimes fluffy is good.

  13. #31 by jendavismiller on October 21, 2018 - 22:02

    So pretty! And perfect in the room. How do you manage to keep the beasts from pulling it right off the coffee table? Do you think the method used on your runner would be good for a beginner? I will be making a baby quilt (did you just fall off your chair?!?) in a space theme and am pondering the simplest way. This might work, or perhaps just whole cloth with lines across.

    • #32 by tialys on October 23, 2018 - 09:22

      The beasts aren’t allowed in that room unaccompanied so, so far so good.
      I think you could easily manage this method. As long as you can sew straight lines, you can do it. You don’t need to do any further quilting if you don’t want to as attaching the strips to the batting and backing is effectively quilting ‘in the ditch’.

      • #33 by jendavismiller on October 23, 2018 - 19:55

        Perfect! See, I knew you’d have the answer…I shall use this method and sooner or later (ok, later since after all it is an upcoming baby gift, and it is me….) you’ll see my finished product. 🙂

  14. #34 by sewchet on October 25, 2018 - 11:14

    Thanks for this – you’ve just reminded me that I really wanted to make myself a Christmas runner like the one I made for a Stitching Santa recipient previously. Trouble is, I’ve none of that fabric left… what were they called, Massdrop?

  15. #35 by magpiesue on November 11, 2018 - 21:03

    You’ve described a technique I’ve used frequently and quite enjoy. 🙂 I love the way your runner turned out. I have some of those same prints – just have to come up with the table for which to make a runner!

    • #36 by tialys on November 14, 2018 - 13:54

      It’s a method perfectly suited to a table runner isn’t it and I’ve also seen some lovely crib quilts made in this way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: