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Starting a New Year of Quilting

Happy New Year!

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, breathe 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 hands-on with this update. I love to share my thoughts, inspiration and my experiences with other quilters in hopes to inspire them on to another project.

With each update I select a book or pattern to accompany it. It's usually something that I feel goes along with the content of my update, but sometimes, I feel it's just a great project or pattern I want to draw attention to. This time I want to share Nature's Patchwork Table Runner. It's a lovely project that could easily fit with any decor so it would be a great pattern to have on-hand for those times when you need an idea for a gift. For me, this pattern is all about the block. I love this block, and it can be used in so many different ways.

Nature's Patchwork Table Runner
The Nature's Patchwork Table Runner quilt pattern can be purchased at AnniesCraftStore.com.

This block can easily be made with leftover 2 1/2-inch strips, so if you have some of those lying around your sewing room, you may want to take this opportunity to use them for this project. Again, this year I've pledged to use up more of my stash. I have an entire container of leftover strips, and a lot of them will go together since I tend to work in the basic same color families. I love earth tones so that is what I seem to purchase a lot -- that or batiks.

After rifling through my strips and finding a light background fabric, I downloaded the pattern and set out to cut the needed pieces to make a block to audition my fabrics. I do this a lot when I'm starting a new project. Sometimes the fabrics I choose at the beginning don't look the way I expect them to when they are put together. I'd rather make one block first instead of all of them, only to find out that I don't like what I see when they are done.

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A group of strips and my downloaded pattern, Nature's Patchwork Table Runner.

Once I had everything ready, I cut out all the pieces for one block. Reading the instructions, I drew diagonal lines on the 2 1/2-inch background squares that needed it, and then I was off to my machine to start stitching.

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Selecting the fabrics for this block and preparing them to start sewing.

This block is easy to assemble. It has four sections that make up the block. I assembled the units to make the sections.

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Stitching together the units to make the four sections.
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Assembling the four sections to make one block.

Once the four sections of the block were completed and pressed, I laid them out to make sure that none of the same fabrics were touching. After I was happy with the placement, I stitched the sections together to make the block.

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Laying out the four sections to make the block and completing my first block.

Now, when the first block is done, if you decide it's not what you want for your table runner, this pattern gives you the option to make hot pads using the same block. This is a great way to make coordinating pieces to match the table runner, or it can be a great way to use up those blocks you make to audition fabrics. Either way it's a wonderful pattern and block.

If you like to play with your stash and also like to improve your quilting skills, I am thinking about doing a mystery sampler in this update. If that is something you would like to do and would participate in please let me know your thoughts. If I have enough interest in it, I will start making the arrangements. I intend to make this something you can use your scraps and stashed fabrics for. The purpose for this mystery sampler will be to improve your quilting skills with each update, and in the end, you will have a beautiful sampler quilt made from your own favorite fabrics!

Please let me know how you feel about participating or if you have any suggestions for how to present it. I'd love to hear from you at Editor@QuiltersWorld.com.

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