Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wedding Table Runner

I've been trying my hand at pattern-making recently and it's a challenge I really enjoy.  One difficulty in writing sewing patterns is that my style is so improvisational I have to take meticulous notes on what I'm doing as I go.  I'd rather just be diving in, so it goes a bit against the grain.  Another challenge is that sometimes (more often than I like), things just don't work out.  I usually have a clear picture in my head of the general feel of a piece.  Often I even make a sketch, but if something isn't working as I go, I change it.

This project is one of those cases.  I was going to make two pillows for my cousin and her new husband as a wedding present, but somewhere along the way, I was derailed.  What I came up with instead is this Wedding Table Runner.

 Because it was so improvised, I really couldn't write a pattern for it, but if you'd like to see more, check it out after the jump.

 My inspirations for the project were this adorable bird fabric (below) and a brick walkway.  I gathered coordinating fabric and cut a bunch of 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles.

 Once I had those stacked up, inspiration struck and I decided to embroider Sara and Jordan's initials and their wedding date onto extra scraps of green fabric.  I cut those down to the same size.

 I laid the fabric out into a random pattern to make one square for a pillow top.

 I did the same to make a second pillow.

 Once I sewed all the pieces together I squared the edges and took a look.  And I really didn't like it.
I had intended to add a border, but the pillows were already huge and I didn't want to cut them down.  I also realized there was just too much dark color in the pattern.  It felt heavy and morose.  

I did some thinking and finally decide to change the project from two pillows to a single table runner.  I added a bunch of white (with a few colored bricks in between) and connected the two pieces.

 Once that was done, I added a border to frame it and I was much happier with the resulting look.  Of course as I worked through all my challenges, I didn't take any pictures, so all I have to show you is the giant leap forward.

I like how the colored bricks cascade into the white and back again.  It lightens the whole piece and gives it some necessary variety.

 I created the quilt back with some leftover fabric (purple, red, gray, and ecru).

 Then I quilted it with random wiggly horizontal lines.  I quilted hearts around the initials and date to help emphasize them a bit and I thought it turned out pretty cute.

 Here's the back.

I chose a dark green binding to ground it a bit.

I think Sara and Jordan will really like it. And once it's on their table, they'll always have a happy reminder of their special day.

Once I was done with the runner, I whipped up some coasters to round the present out.  I've done million coasters, so those were thankfully angst-free.

And here's the complete package all wrapped up and ready to go!

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