Thursday, March 8, 2012

Star Spangle Table Runner Tutorial for TNT

As I mentioned yesterday, today I have the wonderful opportunity to guest post over at Sew We Quilt.  And I will be sharing a tutorial for this fun little project.  So pop on over and check it out or read below to see the tutorial here :)  Either will work!!

Let me start out by saying that you can make this table runner any size you like.  Mine happens to be 8 1/2" x 50" because that is the size table it will be going on.  But the pattern is very basic so once you get an idea of how to do it, just alter it to fit the size you need. 

So you will need a red print, a white print, and a blue print.  I used a Fat Quarter of Red and white and a yard of Blue.  (I also used the blue print for my binding and backing :)

From your red and white fabric cut 6 strips each measuring 3" x 22" (That will use up all of your fat quarter.)

Lay your first strip (red one) on your cutting mat with right side up.  Now lay your second strip (white one) right side up and place it so that the edge of the second strip overlaps the first strip by 1".  (A little different than normal right sides together, but you will get the hang of it :)  Now lay your ruler 1" up from the edge of the second strip.  This creates your cutting area.

With your rotary cutter, cut a wavy line through both strips in the 1" overlap.  the wavier you cut the more curvy, so if curves scare you just do a really gentle wavy line to start.  The piece of the second strip (white one) closest to you becomes scrap and the piece of the first strip (red one) under the second strip becomes scrap as well.  Go ahead and remove them.

Now, gently lay your first strip over onto your second strip so that now the right sides are together.  Don't bother trying to match the edge up because it won't.  Just overlap the second strip edge (white one) 1/4" from the edge of the first strip (red one).  This is where you will begin stitching and you be stitching a 1/4" seam down the length of your 2 strips.

Now I don't pin when stitching curves.  Especially these improv. curves.  The nice thing is that you will be trimming when you are done so you don't have to worry about  being perfect.  This is a great project to practice curve piecing.

So, start your 1/4" seam where you overlapped your 2 fabrics.  I like to stitch 2 stitches and then back-stitch. (This isn't necessary but I pull on these pieces a little more so I like the extra security ;)  Now if you have never done curved piecing, there are a few things that knowing will make it a lot easier. So here they are.   Only worry about lining up the inch or so before your presser foot.  Don't look at where your needle is sewing.  Just focus on the fabric right before it goes under the front of our foot.  That is the only place you need to line up.  Once you get that down it is super speedy and super fun!

Line up an inch, then stitch an inch.  Then line up another inch, then stitch another inch.  If you can only get 1/2 an inch to line up (which is often the case at the top of the curves) then only line up and stitch a 1/2 an inch.  And don't worry about the bubbles forming away from the seam.  They work themselves out.

Creases that come close to your seam will often work themselves out as they go through the presser foot so don't stress about them much either.  Just remember, line up a little, stitch a little.  Keep doing this until you get to the end of your strip.  And remember, this is a very forgiving project so have fun with it.  Trus me, by the end of it you will feel way more confident about your curve piecing.

Once you finish stitching the length of your strip go ahead and press your seam to the darker fabric.  And notice how my strips don't line up at the end.  No worries :)  That's why we trim.

So now you are ready to repeat the process.  Add the third strip, overlap, cut stitch :)  You get the idea!!

Keep adding strips until you have enough strips to equal double the height of your desired table runner.  (Mine was 11 strips but yours could vary depending on how large you cut your curves ;)  Go ahead and give your entire curved unit a good starching.  This will just get it nice and flat before we start cutting it up :)

Now lay your piece onto your cutting mat and cut it into 4 pieces as follows.  I cut mine into (4) 8 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles.  (You can adjust accordingly if you want it wider or shorter.)

Now it is time to add some blue.  Cut 5 strips that are the height of your pieced block.  (mine was 8 1/2" x 2 1/2")  And while I had my blue out I also cut (3) 2 1/2" x WOF strips to create my binding strip.

Now go ahead and lay your pieces out as follows.  Sew the 2 rows together adding the strips to the blocks first and then sewing the blocks together.  Once completed sew the second row to the end of the first row to create one long runner.

Like so :)  Don'y you just love how it is all wavy!!  But just wait, it is going to get even better!!

From the blue print, cut out some stars and applique them to your runner like so.  You can print off stars from any Word program and I did mine in varying 1/2" sizes from 2 1/2" to 4".  If you have never done applique before please refer to Step 5 of this tutorial (one of my MBS ones).  It will walk you through how to do it :)

Now you are ready to finish it up :)  Go ahead and make your quilt sandwich and then baste it.

Now it is ready to be quilted.  I did a mini stars and loop pattern in matching thread colors of the fabric.  I love how it turned out :)

And lastly, take those strips you cut previously and sew them into a binding strip and then bind your table runner :)

And Ta Da!!!  One super adorable Star Spangled Table Runner!!!

So that's it :)  I so hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  It really is a super fun project that goes together quick and is very forgiving :)  And if you make one, I would love for your to add it to my Inspired by Happy Quilting Flickr Tutorial Group.  I just love seeing your take on my tutorials :)

And not to forget TNT . . . This project was lots of fun and I was so happy to give repeat improv curvy "waves" a try.  First time doing it and by the end of the project I was feeling totally confident with them and actually really enjoying piecing them.  (In fact, I enjoyed it so much I am not cooking up another little idea to use them in :)  

So that is what I was doing New this last week . . How about you???  Link on up :)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Intrepid Thread Sponsor Giveaway :)

So two exciting announcements today!!!!!

First off,  tomorrow I will be guest posting over at Sew We Quilt (which I always love because everyone over there is super sweet!) and I will be sharing a new Tutorial!!!  I am so excited for this tutorial, it is such a fun project and I even did curves :)  Yippee Skippee!!!  Here is a little sneak peek :)

Second off  . . .  Today is the  

Yippee Skippee!!!!!! Julie has put so much work into converting her amazing etsy shop into a full blown Webpage and Online Shop!!!!!    And check out how cool it looks!!!!

It is super easy to navigate.  Just click on Shop and you are taken to the new shopfront where everything is neatly divided by Collection, Designer, Manufacturer, ect. ect. ect.  Perfect for whatever way you like to shop for fabric.  And of course every picture is Julie's top level of photography which allows you to really get an idea for the actual color of the lines ;)  I love that about Julie's store!!!

So, Julie and I put our heads together and thought what better way to celebrate a  GRAND OPENING than to have a GIVEAWAY!!!!  That way everyone gets to Party!!!!!

Whats up for grabs you ask????  How about this totally stunning set of Fat Quarters from Pat Bravo's new Poetica line!!!!!  This colorway is called Rose Ballad and I just love it!!!!  

To enter . . . Simply pop on over to  The Intrepid Thread Shop in all of it's grand opening glory and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me your absolute favorite item in the shop!!!!! 

For one bonus entry (it's always fun to have a bonus :)  sign up for The Intrepid Thread's Newsletter and then come back here and leave me a comment that you did so (or already receive it :)

And that's it.   Two chances per person, so please only 2 comments per person :)  The giveaway is open to all friends and will close on March 11th. I will announce a winner on the 12th :)

Oh, and by the way, Welcome to any new visitors!!!!  I am so glad that you found Happy Quilting and hope that you will come back often.  And if you want to follow me, you can make sure to stay on top of all the fun things going on around here :)    
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Monday, March 5, 2012

The Wrong Season

This morning I started boxing up Jocelyn's 3-6 month clothing to move to the 6-12 month box. (She is growing so fast :)   Now, I have to say, this is a slightly emotional process for me.  I have seen my 3 girls grow out of most of these clothes and to box them up for the last time ( Yes, our little family is done) gets me a little weepy.  So when I went to box up this dress and realized that Jocelyn had never gotten to wear it (a little cold for a summer dress) I couldn't help but dress her up for a little picture and then of course shamelessly post it here.  


I made this about 3 years ago based on a tutorial I saw over at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I mean, who wouldn't love patchwork added to 3D sewing.   Unfortunately, by the time I finished the dress my then baby (Kamryn) could not fit in it. (She was a wee bit pudgy)  So I cut the back and made this little alteration so I could button her in it instead.  And I just loved how it turned out.  I mean, who doesn't love a little bum peaking out of the back :)  

So now, I can go finish boxing it up and know that Jocelyn got to wear it at least once.  Even if it was only for a photo shoot.  (And it is a good thing I did this today because I could barely do up those buttons.  Maybe I should feed them less, tee hee hee :)  Oh, and I am sure I will probably cry a little more, but that is okay, because nostalgic tears are good ones :)
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Friday, March 2, 2012

Some Crafty Help :)

So in 2 weeks I am in charge of a rather large party and have assigned myself to make a pinata that looks like the world.  I figured no problem right, I can just google how to do it.  So I did and talk about information overload.  There are so many ways and I have no idea which one to try.  More importantly, I don't really have to time to try more than one.  

So . . . .  If you have a tried and true way to make a pinata or know of a tried and true tutorial to make a pinata could you help a girl out and send it my way :)  I would sure appreciate it :)

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

TNT Thursday

So I have been in a bit of a funk since I got back from Salt Lake on Sunday.  (Do you ever have those days, or several days???) The only thing I have sewn hit the scrap pile because I just wasn't liking it.  So I suppose I can show you something that I actually did a few weeks ago but haven't shown as it is for a little later this month.  But a sneaky peak is always fun  :)

So here is my Trying New Things for TNT Thrusday.  I did a new quilting stitch.  It is similar to a basic stipple but instead of nice curvy edges it is all completely straight and boxey.  I had a lot of fun doing this stitch and it really wasn't to bad once I got over the impulse to curve :)  And it really fits the quilt well so I am super happy about that :)

So what have you been Trying New this Week??  Hopefully you were a little more productive than me :)  Link up your pics, or posts.  We all want to see what you Tried :)

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