September 11, 2012

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop

Hello all you bloggers hopping in to visit. Today is my day on Beth's Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop. I'm so very glad she put this together for newbie bloggers like myself. I've found many inspiring blogs through participating in the hop. Hope you have too.

So welcome to my little corner of blogland. Please take a few minutes to explore some other posts and get to know my style. And be sure to hop over to Kristy's blog at Cotton Addiction today for more quilty goodness. Don't you just love her blog's name? Then on Thursday, stop by and visit Julie at That's Sew Julie and Chelsea at Pins and Bobbins.

Now for a little about me. My name is Anne and I live in sunny Colorado. I'm a graphic designer turned stay-at-home mom who has now become an empty nester turned quilt blogger/pattern designer. I've quilted for at least 15 years, but it's been an on/off affair in the midst of raising kids that resulted in lots of UFO's. Last fall our youngest left for college and it became the perfect time to fully commit to my quilting. So this year I started my blog, decided to finish some of those UFO's and ventured into the world of pattern design.

I love color and pattern so when the two are combined into gorgeous fabrics I'm definitely addicted.  : )  I'm a huge Kaffe Fassettt fan, love the new modern prints, and have become a true convert to solids. I like working with traditional blocks in a new way and I like going totally modern with more abstract designs. I've got more sketches than I can manage to sew into finished quilts but that's ok because I love the design process.

When it comes to designing a new quilt, my design background takes over and I find myself exploring all kinds of possibilities. With all the exploration and variations I was dreaming up, I decided to start publishing patterns that included those extra options. Right now I have 2 patterns available through Each one includes 2 basic quilts plus several optional ideas. You can make several quilts and no two would be the same.

As for a blogging tip, I feel like I'm still figuring it all out but the one thing I'd say is find a QAL or something to participate in. You'll meet lots of nice people and learn/try something new at the same time. And please leave comments. Something I've come to truly appreciate. I love to respond to other quilters and find those little connections we might share. I wish I had known about blogging years ago. The work being done out there is always inspiring, and it definitely motivates me to get more done. But be careful about comparing yourself. Lots of people seem like super sewers who get loads done every week and have a bazillion followers. Another bit of advice . . . be yourself and sew what you love instead of simply copying other quilter's work. Or if you're inspired by their work give them credit. I've realized I just need to be me and do what I love. I need to stick to my own style and continue to develop my own vision. So be yourself.

If you've visited my blog before, you know I have a collection of fruit/veggie dishes along with a fabric collection to match. Each month during the spring/summer/fall I put up one of several quilts I've made with these fruit/veggie fabrics. A couple of years ago I made a series of tablerunners from a simple design I came up with and thought I'd share that with you today. Of course those original tablerunners are still technically UFO's, but this one for fall is finished. Wahoo!!! Thank you Beth for motivating me. One less UFO.

The design works perfectly with whatever fabrics you want to use. It requires just 2 fat quarters and a few strips. Easy peasy. So here goes . . .

Fat Quarter Table Runner
finished size: 15" x 48" (shorter if you prefer)

Fabrics required:
Focus fabrics:  2 fat quarters - 1 each of 2 different fabrics.
Works best if fat quarter is 18" wide but you can adjust later to accommodate a slightly narrower fat.
Narrow accent strip:  3 strips 1 1/2" x 18+"
Wide accent strip: 3 strips 2 /12" x 18+"
NOTE: I've listed the length with a + because it's best to cut your strips a little longer and then cut to size after they are sewn.

Step 1.
Layer the 2 fat quarters face up on your cutting board.
Cut 3 strips 6 1/2" wide across the 18" side for a finished size of 6 1/2" x 18+".
NOTE: if the fat quarters aren't a full 18" wide it's ok as long as you have 17" to work with. You can adjust later.
layer both fat quarters right side up.

18" side of fat quarter runs top to bottom in picture.

Step 2.
Arrange 1 strip of each fabric into a strip set as shown below. Place the focus fabrics on the outside and keep the accent strips in the center. Arrange 3 of these sets using one strip of each fabric for each set. Be sure to keep the same order for all 3 sets. Before sewing read the following if you have directional fabric.

If either of your focus fabrics is a directional print and you want them all to read the same direction, then cut each strip of one set in half so you have 2 strips 9+" long per fabric. Flip the directional fabric around keeping the same order for the strips. Make one full 18+" set and one 9+" half-set per arrangement. This will make more sense when you see the pictures below.

Strip set with pumpkins facing to the left.

Notice that the pumpkin fabric is flipped around in the bottom photo
but the other fabrics remain in the same position.
Step 3.
Sew strip sets together and press all seams to one side.

Step 4.
Cut sets into 4 segments 4 1/2" wide per segment.
NOTE: If your fat quarters were under 18" then just cut your strip sets into 4 equal width segments across the width of your strip set. It just means your finished runner will be somewhat shorter than 48".

Step 5.
Rearrange by flipping every other segment around so that the focus fabrics alternate along the sides. This is the point where the directional issues come into play. If you made the alternate sets all your directional fabric should be facing the same way. If not they will look like this. Absolutely nothing wrong with this but I just want you to be aware of what happens.

This photo shows what happens when you arrange the segments
without flipping your directional fabric.
Note the pumpkins go in 2 different directions.

Step 6.
Sew segments together into pairs and pairs together until runner is finished. Using a pin at the far side of each seam intersection helps to match the points. Otherwise pins aren't really needed unless you're a pinning kind of quilter. Press these seams open to reduce bulk.

TaDah!  Your runner is finished. Quilt it, grab a cup of tea and enjoy your newest creation.

Here's a look at two earlier runners I made. The proportions are slightly different but it's the same concept. This design works nicely with focus fabrics that come in both a dark and a light background. The lemon one is one of my favs.

Here's another one using just 3 fabrics instead of 4. Same basic construction. Just make one of the focus fabrics shorter so that when the accent strip is added on this combined measurement is the same width as the other focus fabric.  This way when segments are flipped the accent strip is staggered down the middle.

Well, that's it for my stop on the hop. Hope you've been inspired by some of what you've seen here today and I really do hope you'll come back again. It's been fun getting to know all of you.

Keep on quilting . . . Anne   : )