Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - Paper Pieced Table Runner #24

As you have figured out by now I enjoy the challenge of using up all my scraps when I am quilting.  This summer a friend gave me a large bag of her Christmas fabric scraps for me to use.  I was like a kid in a candy store.

Here is about a fourth of the scraps from the bag.
I used a large portion of the scraps to make Christmas table runners.  I used the larger pieces to make simple block patterns, coin and wide strip patterns.  When I was winding down my other patterns I was left with a large stack of strips in various sizes.  Oh, what could I do with these?  I settled on a paper pieced block.  I have done some paper piecing in the past and it is fairly easy.  The one thing I tend to forget is to make my stitch length really tight when stitching to the paper.  This allows for easy removal of the paper.

I cut squares of copy paper 4 1/4 square.  This size allowed me to get 4 squares per sheet of paper.  Below are the steps with pictures of how to build each square.

Step 1:
 Lay your first fabric strip diagonally across the center of the paper square.  You may want to pin this in place.
Step 2:
Take your next fabric strip and lay it on top of the first one.  Then stitch them together using 1/4 inch seam allowance. You will stitch through both fabric strips and the paper.
 Step 3:
Once these are sewn fold the second strip back against the paper and finger press.  You can take it to the iron but a finger press works just fine.

Step 4:
Now you are ready to add the next strip of fabric.  Follow the same steps as above to stitch this strip to the first two.
Step 5:
Continue to add strips until you reach the edge of the paper.  Be sure to  cover the corner completely with the last fabric strip.  Don't worry about the fabric coming over the edge of the paper you will trip it later to square it up.
Step 6:
When you have completed the first side turn your block around and follow the same steps to add strips to the other side.  Start from the center just like you did above.

Step 7:
When all of your strips are sewn press your block with the iron.  Press from the paper side.
Step 8:
Trim the extra fabric from your blocks to square them up.

This is a completed block, all trimmed.  

Step 9:
Remove the paper from the back of the block and press once more.

Now your block in complete are ready to be sewn into your quilt.

Here are some of my completed blocks. 

Here is the finished table runner.  I set mine with a light colored sashing so the Christmas colors would stand out better.  Be alternating the direction of the diagonals it created a running zigzag design.  Next I added an outer border and it was ready to be quilted.

I did simple straight line quilting 1/4 inch from each seam inside the striped blocks.  Around each sashing I quilted stitch in the ditch.

 This small pile is all that was left from the original pile of scraps.  Not bad for using up those small strips and pieces.  But of course these did not go in the trash.  I put them in a bag to be used for animal beds for the local animal shelter. 

I hope you seek out ways to use up every last bit of fabric.  If not find a friend to pass them on to and see what ideas they create.  Only 24 days until Christmas!

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