I really like Jenn @A Quarter Inch from the Edge‘s Throwback Thursday link up. It has me going back and thinking about my early quilting work, and seeing how much progress I have made as a quilter is pretty cool. Today I want to share a table runner that I made for my in-laws circa 2004.
For the most part, I grew up in the south / southeast of the US. My husband is from the desert southwest (Albuquerque, New Mexico, to be exact), and my first visit to the high desert was a bit shocking. I am pretty sure I asked, “Why would anyone have stopped and settled HERE?” The state motto for New Mexico is “The Land of Enchantment”. Those first few visits I was definitely puzzled by this statement. Over the years, the desert has grown on me a lot. So much so that I am now glad we live in the desert southwest. And after watching a series of friends move to Albuquerque and go through the same arc of confusion to enjoyment to passion about the desert, I now joke that the New Mexico motto should really be “The Land of Entrapment”.
Just after my husband and I got married, I was able to set up a sewing / craft room for myself for the first time. Prior to that, I had mostly quilted when I was living at home in high school or when I went home to visit my parents. I did have my own sewing machine, but setting it up in a college apartment with roommates was always a bit awkward. I was excited to have my own creative space, and I wanted to make something. I came across the border fabric for the runner and it made me think of my in-laws. I bought that print and then took it shopping to find coordinating colors. Looking back, I’m amazed that I used near solids for the main blocks.
I definitely made up the block pattern. I think I just pre-cut a bunch of 2 1/2-inch squares and laid them out to try to mimic the tiled design in the border and binding print. I did very minimal quilting, and I remember being very frustrated with tucks and puckering. This was before I learned about walking feet or reducing foot pressure and all kinds of great things. I started with a bit of stitch in the ditch around each block, followed by the large and small diamonds and then finished up with a bit more stitch in the ditch in that rectangular shape.
The binding looks to be a bit funky; I think I knew about mitered binding corner but was maybe struggling to get it to look nice? I do know that I machine sewed a double folded 3-inch wide binding strip to the front and hand stitched it down to the back, though.
To this day my in-laws keep the runner draped over one of their chair backs in the living room. I have since made them a queen sized quilt for their bed, but seeing this runner makes me think about making them a nice throw sized or lap quilt to cuddle under as well.
Don’t miss out on the next several Jaftex 85th Anniversary blog posts: