Inspiration for some pieces comes from the strangest places. I love the surprising way an idea is born out of something as simple as a late night conversation before sleeping.
This is a table runner I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks and the way it came about is something I really love.
I’d had the idea that I wanted to make a small quilt for Alice for Christmas, just something she can carry around and snuggle underneath and I knew I’d want to make it in a style called Stacked Coins – long strips of rectangular shapes I’d seen around the place and admired.
It made sense to learn about the design before launching into a proper quilt, so late one night I said to Sean that I thought I’d have a go at maybe a cushion cover, to see how it would look. Sleepily he said ‘why don’t you try a table runner instead? Nice long rows would suit that.’
It struck me as the most obvious idea and not for the first time, I was delighted that he is the kind of person who shares ideas and inspiration with me, despite having no particular interest, skill or inclination in sewing. When I was making my black and white quilt, he spent a Sunday morning with me moving squares around until we got their placement right. He’s got a good eye.
The top came together very quickly. One day’s work. The quilting and hand sewing of the binding took longer and now that I’ve done it, there are things I’ll do differently when the time comes for Alice’s quilt. I got away with some stuff on this piece that I wouldn’t do for a quilt that’ll be dragged around the house, washed repeatedly and generally well loved. I’ll make sure with Alice’s quilt that I do all the quilting stitches in one colour, to avoid the stopping and starting at the tops and bottoms of the panels. I’m not thrilled with how messy that is (up close – you can’t see it in the photos well. It’s not the look of it that concerns me so much as the security of the stitching).
But that’s why I gave this a go in something that won’t be so tossed around. I feel ready for the challenge of the bigger piece for Alice now and I’ve got some beautiful Moda Charm Squares to make it. Incidentally, these strips are also Moda charm squares from the Luna Notte collection.
If it looks a little wobbly it’s because I haven’t ironed it yet. It’s just come off the clothes horse from drying and I kinda like the crinkly look. I’m thinking if I press it too much it’ll flatten out in a way that won’t look as interesting.
I love how it looks on my table which, miraculously, is tidy today. I wanted a nice stage for the photos and, more importantly, somewhere for my parents to sit when they visit this weekend, arriving in time for dinner tonight. Sometimes, the sewing and papers just have to be put away.
Perhaps having such a lovely runner will mean I’ll try harder to keep the table clear. Maybe. I can try.
Finally, the original design I used as inspiration, but which looks very little like what I came up with, is the Stacked Coins Baby Quilt on the Moda Bake Shop. I’m loving the way I’m learning to see an idea and then make it my own. It’s something I don’t quite manage in knitting, but in sewing it seems somehow a little easier.