May 12, 2011

back to sewing!!!

Oh my word, I am so EFFING excited to have time to SEW again!!! There is nothing more rewarding than taking a pile of fabric and making it into something that is both usable and pretty. Ok... I guess there are things that are more rewarding than sewing (feeding the homeless, for one) but it's still WAY up there in my book. :)
On trips over the past year or so, I've been noticing that many hotels have small quilts at the end of a bed for decoration only. My friend Tricia calls them bed runners (so much better than what I had named them- foot quilts). I decided that this would be a great project to make for our bedroom to change the look of the room a bit!
I started with a trip to JoAnn's where I got the following fabrics:
We have been having a LOT of rain here over the past few months so these springy, bright colors were just the ticket to turn my grey skies blue. :) Our bed is queen size and it is SUPER tall so I bought one yard each of the blue and yellow fabrics and two yards of the off-white backing. I think... maybe it was 3/4 of a yard for the blue and yellow fabrics and 1.5 yards for the backing? I can never remember how much fabric I buy.

Anywho, I decided on a simple patchwork bed runner that would consist of three squares across and 11 squares down (each square is 10x10). I alternated the blue and yellow so that when it was pieced together it looked like a long checkerboard. Bit of advice for all of the new sewers out there- IRON! Let me say it again- IRON YOUR FABRIC!!! I used to think that this was a big waste of time but I was oh so very wrong, friends. I iron fabric before I start cutting, I iron again before I sew, I iron them all together when I'm done cutting and then I iron before quilting.
I'm not gonna lie, ironing can be a big ol' pain in the asphalt. But it is worth it. Iron people, it'll make the world a better place. Oh, and watch Flipping Out while you iron. Just because Jeff Lewis is so lovably nuts. :)

Don't you love my fancy ironing board? Nothing but the best for the Rowenta, let me tell you.

After I pieced my 10x10 squares together (33 in all), I laid it out on the bed to make sure it was the right size.
Eureka! And, yes, those are cat sock monkey beds on the trunk. :)

Then I looked at how the current pillows went (or rather didn't go) with my in-progress bed runner...

So, before I went to quilting my bed runner I decided to quickly whip up a matching pillow. Man, I cut it close on the off-white fabric! Look how much fabric I had left after the two projects-

So- bed runner pieced together, throw pillow made. I then quilted the bed runner (no pictures of the basting since I would rather walk on hot coals than baste) and here is the finished product!
Isn't it pretty?! It's a little wrinkled because it just came out of the dryer when I snapped these pictures which I LOVE. I always wash items I sew before using/gifting them because I want them to look real and used- not mass produced.

I had a LOT of fun doing the quilting on this as I didn't do the standard stitch in the ditch that I had been so used to. Kim recently made a baby quilt where her quilting was so fun looking on the back and I knew that I wanted to try something similar. So, instead of trying to hide my stitching where each fabric meets I quilted a quarter inch on each side of where the fabric meets. Does that make sense? Hopefully this picture of the back will make more sense.

The total time it took to make this bed runner is as follows:
  • Ironing fabric, cutting 33 10x10 blocks and ironing the blocks again- around 1.5 hours
  • Piecing together all 33 blocks so that they're 3 blocks across and 11 blocks long- around 3 hours (Remember- our bed is queen size and is VERY high. If you have a queen bed that's of a normal height, I'd suggest a bed runner that's just 9 squares down.)
  • Basting and quilting- 4 hours? I think so.
All in all, the entire project took around 8-9 hours. YAHOO!!!  I looooove a quick quilting project. Oh! The pillow! Here it is-
I kinda hate this picture because the fabric isn't washed yet, the stuffing is bunchy and a corner of the pillow isn't sewn. But, you get the picture.

If you're looking for an easy and rewarding way to spruce up a bedroom, give this project a try! If you decide to make a bed runner for your house, please post a link to the pictures in the comments section when you do so I can oogle over it. :)


  1. I love your sewing projects! When I get home, I am totally going to try this! Love the blue & yellow!

    p.s. We are here for my hubby's job. Just for a year though!

  2. I'm so glad I inspired you!!! :) Also, I don't care what you say - I think your pillow is super fancy!

  3. Wow - gorge! Love it. Such a fun way to change up a room. XOXO

  4. Can you help me make cushions for my adorandak chair, please?

  5. Hi Kara, I got the mug at Anthropologie about a year ago. I actually have two of them and they used to be my scoops in my sugar/flour canisters. There are so many ants here that my pretty canisters can't be used for holding real food now. So I use the pretty cups for my coffee and tea! Do you have an Anthro nearby? You will have to tell me about this Pinterest thing, because everybody is buzzing about it.

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