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In the Quilting World

Quilter's World Update

Flower Patch Runner
Flower Patch Table Runner pattern can be purchased at AnniesCraftStore.com.

Let me introduce myself: I'm Carolyn Vagts, editor of Quilter's World magazine and writer of this update. That's my day job, and at night, I'm an addicted quilter. I tend to eat, breath and sometimes sleep with my quilting. I have a beautiful studio with my work space right in it. How convenient, since I work at and with quilting. As editor, I am very hands-on with every issue. I'm also very hand on with this update. I love to share my experiences with other quilters in hopes it will inspire them to explore the endless possibilities available to them. My quest this year has been to feverishly work on my scraps. I've discovered what a treasure my stashed fabrics really are. I hope you choose to join me on this journey. The destination is total quilter's bliss.

With each update I select a pattern to play with and/or tweak a bit if I need to work with my stash. The patterns I select have "great bones" -- meaning the basic design is aesthetically pleasing and it's easy to imagine it made with other fabrics in other colors and with different details, such as appliques or quilting, to truly make the pattern your own. The pattern I'm using for this update is Flower Patch Table Runner, designed by Chris Malone. It is one of the many Exclusively Annie's patterns available at AnniesCraftStore.com. It's a great pattern to make as it is given, or you can explore other options with it -- your choice! What I found so appealing about this pattern was its simplicity. It's a great pattern with or without the applique.

I love a Four-Patch block design in any size or in any fabric. This one is a Four-Patch on point. The original pattern has a particular color placement in the blocks, but these days I'm all about using my scraps. Once I'd dug through a few boxes of scrap fabrics, I decided on autumn colors. Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and I tend to always have lots and lots of fun colors that work for this theme. After I'd selected enough colors and textures, I pressed them and cut out my squares for the Four-Patch blocks.

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The fabrics I selected for the Four-Patch blocks in my project.

I then selected a neutral cream for the center applique blocks and a dark brown for the setting triangles. I finished my cutting.

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All my pieces cut out and ready to start laying out.

It was time to lay out my Four-Patch blocks to see how I planned to stitch them together to ensure good color balance. When working with scraps it's a good idea to lay out the pieces before stitching together. This way you can arrange the blocks and colors so that you don't have one area over saturated with a certain color.

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Laying out the squares for my Four-Patch blocks before stitching.

After I had my colors sorted and laid out for each block, I stitched each block together.

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Stitching the pieces together into blocks.

Then it was time to lay out the entire table runner to see how it would look.

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All the pieces and blocks needed to stitch the top of the table runner together.

I started at one end using the given assembly diagram as a guide and placed my blocks in position, moving them if I felt the colors were wrong. I wanted to try to keep like colors apart if possible.

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Laying out the blocks and pieces before stitching them together.

Well, after much thought I came to the conclusion that the runner was large enough without any borders. If I could change the fabrics and eliminate the applique, what was one more change? Problem solved. I layered my table runner top, batting and backing fabric, and then I was off to my sewing machine.

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Stitching each diagonal row together in order from top to bottom, one at a time.

I continued stitching each row together and then I stitched each finished row to the next row in order until all the rows were stitched together. This top went together like a dream. It was simple and the directions were well written. The only issue I had with this pattern was of my own making. Once I had it all together I realized that if I appliqued the leaves I had intended to add you wouldn't really notice them. With all the lovely colors in the Four-Patch blocks there really wasn't any point in adding the leaves to it. So, I decided to leave this runner as is, and instead of the leaves appliqued to the top, I chose to quilt in the leaf motif with a refreshing variegated thread color of rusts and oranges.

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Assembling the rows into the table topper then off to my sewing machine to quilt in the leaf motif.

One of my absolute favorite parts of making a project for each update is quietly enjoying a cup of coffee or two on my deck in the early morning and hand-sewing my bindings in place. I listen to the waterfalls in my koi pond and the early morning birds chirping while I stitch away. This is the most enjoyable part of the day and so peaceful. I try often to plan my week so that I have the time to enjoy the warmer weather and my deck as much as possible.

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Early morning on my deck working on the binding of my table runner.

Sometimes what you visualize when planning a project doesn't always work out. You need to be open to change and keep chugging along. If you have a good pattern with good bones as this pattern does, it's easy to change your plan of action. You only have to keep an open mind and be willing to bend and change your end goal.

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