Wednesday, August 01, 2012

table runner obsession

One of the first things I decided I MUST make for the wedding was table runners. Of the Double Wedding Ring variety. A quilter has to have a quilty wedding, right? Right. I knew that the traditional method of making the block was out of the question. Not sure where I first heard of the Quilt Smart interfacing method, but for better or worse (ha!) that 's the method I decided to go with.

Please understand this is going to be a small wedding. Very small. Nevertheless, we're still talking about 225 arcs--that means 1350 little segments. I knew I'd need to cut and stitch everything all at once or I'd end up talking myself out of the whole thing and would end up with one runner. Or maybe a pillow.

I discovered (too late) that Quilt Smart apparently decided at some point to improve their interfacing.
I'd purchased a kit at a local shop because it had the little template and instructions in it. Since I'm insane, I had this idea that maybe "someday" I'd also like to make a quilt out of the same fabrics, so I purchased enough interfacing by the yard to take care of all the blocks I'd need for the runners. The shop sold me what I'm assuming is the old version of the product but I didn't know any better. 

Basically what you do is stitch the segments together into sets of 6. Easy as pie. You end up with strips that are way bigger than what you need so any little bits you might be off in your seam allowances are no problem. Actually I think a dog or small child could stitch these together and you'd still have plenty of seam allowance to play with. 

 Next up you stitch the arc shaped interfacing pieces to the strips. Here I'm stitching onto one of the old style strips. The BAD strips. But again, so far so good.

 Here they all are ready to be trimmed and turned right side out. Luckily I ran out of interfacing and had to dip into my kit--which has the GOOD interfacing. See the pieces that have what look like tabs on them? That's the new kind.

 The next step is to turn the pieces right side out. Here's where I first encountered problems. The old interfacing is no matter how careful you are, it stretches and ends up bigger than the front side. It can tear as well. Obviously that will become a problem when you go to fuse the pieces in place. My next complaint? Well, I can't really fault the folks at Quilt Smart for this, but it really REALLY bugged me that I ended up with a puffy pile of wrinkled bits. You can't press the arcs or you'd be fusing them onto your ironing board. But the OCD part of me didn't enjoy it!

 Then of course you fuse the arcs in place and stitch. Again, the old interfacing was a bit of a nightmare. The stretched out sections just didn't want to stay hidden underneath--had to keep my awl by my side all the time. And it didn't seem to fuse as well either. Very frustrating. The new style arcs did fine, btw. Those tabs are for placement on the corners of the blocks--once you fuse those down the middle just goes right into position. Had a GREAT time (sarcasm alert) with the monofilament thread breaking constantly...but it's a huge relief that they're all appliqued now. As you can see they're all different creams and tans on the brown background. Next will be adding the corners and then assembly...trying to decide how important it is to bind the runners the "traditional" way or if I can get away with turning them into rectangles since they are, after all, "just" table runners. What do you think?

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