I’ve had a marvellous start to the month with a trip to the National Wool Museum in Wales. It was absolutely fascinating to see the whole process of making woolcloth from the fleece right through to the finished fabric. Apparently they used to soak the cloth in urine to bleach it. They bought urine by the bucket – and they paid more if it was from a teetotaller!
We followed this with a trip to the Jen Jones exhibition of vintage quilts in Lampeter. The quilting was extraordinary: such detail in the design and the quilting lines were so close together. Amazing, when you think that there were no sewing machines and a lot of the quilting was probably done by candlelight.
Talking of candlelight sort of leads on to this month’s project, which is a quilted patchwork table runner for the festive season. I’ve used the evening star quilt block but the red and white fabric transforms it into an ideal table runner for the festive season. The finished size is 66″ by 8.1/2″ and I have used 3/4 yard red fabric and 1/2 yard of white.
2.7/8″ squares: twenty four in both red and white
2.1/2″ squares: twenty eight in both red and white
4.1/2″ square: six red, one 6.1/2″ red square
binding: about 140″ by 2.1/2″
Making the quilt blocks
Place a red and a white 2.7/8″ triangle with right sides together. Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line. Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units. These are 2.1/2″ squares made of one white triangle and one red triangle. Repeat with all the 2.7/8″ squares.
Sew the half square triangles together in pairs with the white triangles together, creating one larger white triangle in each pair. Sew one pair of half square triangles to two opposite sides of the 4.1/2″ red square.
Sew a white 2.1/2″ square to either side of a pair of half square triangles to make a four patch strip of white square, two half square triangles, white square. Add one of these strips to the top and bottom of the 4.1/2″ red square. You can see the progression in the photo. Repeat the process to make six evening star quilt blocks.
In order to join the quilt blocks together in a column for the quilted table runner, join together the 2.1/2″ squares to make a four square row of red, white, white, red. Sew one of these strips at the top and bottom of the column and betwen each block. You will need seven of these strips.
Cut the 6.1/2″ red square in half along the diagonal. Place one triangle at each end of the table runner and sew in place using a 1/4″ seam.
Finishing the star table runner
That’s the table runner top complete. Lay the backing fabric with right side down, smooth gently and lay the wadding on top. Smooth gently and lay the table runner top with right side up. If you don’t have wadding long enough, you can sew two pieces together. Make sure that you have straight edges butting up against each other and slipstitch along the join. Don’t stitch too close to the edges of the wadding because it may just pull away in your hand. Try to keep your stitches at least 1/4″ from the edge.
As this is quite a small area to be quilted, I just quilted in lines across the edges of the star, outlining the square in the middle. Trim the excess wadding and backing fabric.
Bind the table runner as you would a quilt but with the difference that not all the corners are right angles. The important thing is that you need to fold the binding strip away from the quilted table runner in line with the next edge to be bound. Then fold the binding back on itself along the next edge, pin in place and start sewing again.
This makes a really striking quilted table runner (well, I think so anyway!). For details of the matching patchwork place mats click on star table mats.
Here’s the video: