Make It a Runner!

Posted by Bonnie K. Hunter on Jul 30th 2019

Hello, Summer 2019!

I’m not sure how we got here this fast, but I’ve been anticipating longer summer nights and warm sunny days for what seems like months now.

It seems when the seasons change, so do the colors and fabrics I want to work with. I guess that makes me a seasonal quilter. I find it difficult to work on Christmas in July, or spring in December—even though I long for spring to hurry up and arrive.

Since I am known for making BIG, BIG quilts (I love big quilts, and I cannot lie!), this often has me putting away the project I'm working on when the fabrics and colors no longer fit the season. 

I want to work on Halloween during the fall. I want to work on Christmas after Thanksgiving. I want to be working on patriotic stuff starting in June, but by September it is in time-out waiting for the Fourth of July to come around again.

Sometimes this process may take a few years to actually reach DONE status.

My solution? Take one of the quilts from my books. Make FEWER blocks. Make a table runner, a topper, or a small wallhanging—with only a few blocks—instead of making it fit the bed!

And that is exactly what I have done here—with not just ONE, but TWO! Garden Party table runners using the blocks from my Garden Party Quilt in my book Addicted to Scraps.

Why TWO matching? Because I am embarking on a new adventure! My husband Dave and I have purchased a big old Victorian house in beautiful Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, and are turning it into a quilter’s retreat center to open in 2020.

The house will sleep twelve and have sewing stations for twelve, and likewise, there are two tables that each seat six in the big, formal dining room. Big, long tables need RUNNERS!

If you would like to make the Garden Party runner shown here, you will need your Addicted to Scraps book.

You will follow along with the At-a-Glance page (page 81), but instead of making the number of units and blocks given in the book, you’ll follow this simple recipe:

Unit C: Make 14

When planning a project, I DO love to cut up the scraps and place everything in little “kits” ready to sew. Wonder Clips are great for keeping everything together. This also makes it easy to transport projects for sewing on the road, which I do often.

I’ve got ten out of fourteen blocks assembled here—and another project working with leaders and enders on the side. (Check out my Adventures with Leaders & Enders and More Adventures with Leaders & Enders titles for more scrappy fun!)

Unit I: Make 8

These come together quickly!

Unit M: Make 12

Laying it all out!

Just like the full-sized Garden Party quilt, this runner is assembled on the diagonal.

The rows are short, and the assembly is quick! Then simply quilt as desired!

Leave the trimming of the prairie point edges until AFTER quilting, just before binding.

The aqua squares at the edge of the runner will finish as triangles once trimmed and bound. The edges will be on the bias, so running a row of stay stitching after (or before) trimming will help stabilize the bias before applying binding.

Trim the two long edges of the runner measuring 1/4’’ beyond the corner of the neutral squares. This will leave you a 1/4’’ seam allowance just perfect for a 1/4’’ finished binding.

(Note: if you like a wider binding, leave what seam allowance you require to finish at the size you desire.)

Binding going on!

I do love a hand-stitched binding finish. I start with 2’’ strips, joined end to end on the diagonal. My double-fold binding is just the right width to finish at 1/4’’ when sewn to the quilt with a 1/4’’ seam.

I can hardly wait to place these runners on the dining tables in the dining room at Quiltville Inn!

And there are more runners from the patterns found in my books in the works.

Also made from the leftover blocks of two quilts also found in the Addicted to Scraps book:

This fun, little, scrappy runner uses six leftover blocks from the Idaho Square Dance Quilt—four of them with blue centers made just to try them out, but the quilt had far too much blue in it already.

These blocks are the SAME SIZE as the leftover Wild & Goosey blocks from the same book.

I’ll likely not make a second one to match this one—instead, this one lives on my dining table at our cabin in the mountains.

No, not ALL quilts need to be bed-sized. Table-size will do JUST FINE!

And as we head further into summer, I think I’ll do something PATRIOTIC before fall rolls around once again.

Those dining tables at Quiltville Inn are going to need new runners MONTHLY, don’t you think?

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