Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scrappy Tumbler Table Runner

MONTHS ago (see here) I bought myself an AccuQuilt Go Baby fabric cutter. And MONTHS ago I used it to cut out a gazillion and seven tumbler blocks from fabrics in my scrap box. And because I either have no time (or plenty of time, depending on the day of the week, how much coffee I've had, and how my workday goes) these have been sitting in a pretty, scrappy pile, waiting for me to hop to.

A few weeks ago my mother reminded me about it, and I felt terrible that it had been sitting for so long. My mother never asks for anything more than a cup of tea, so I always feel particularly bad when I lag behind on the few things she asks me to make. So I made that priority number one and sewed it up. I put it together in an evening, and quilted and bound it in another. So here she is, in all her springy, scrappy, tumblery glory.

I went with total random placement, which worked in some areas and not so great in others. The tumbler shapes make it look a bit more complicated, but the cutter made it simple. I fought the urge to include every single color of the rainbow in all their hues and stuck to pinks and yellow and greens. And birds and flowers. All lovely spring-timey things.

I love looking at quilts and thinking of the things the fabrics have been part of - change purse, sunglasses case, bag lining, bought a fat quarter and never used it....

I made a little girl's sundress out of this print last year - I didn't have much left but I had to keep it I adored it so. I'm glad it fit in with the scheme of this project.

I don't know why but those little birds up there on the pinky-red background are one of my favorite fabrics ever. There's nothing exceptional about the print, but there's something about it, just the same. As is that very pale pink floral. I used it in a diaper bag a looooong time ago and have been using the scraps very discriminately since then.

I quilted this one quite simply, following the seam lines about a quarter inch on each side. My walking foot decided to act up again. It's walking, but it might be drunk. Every time I crossed a seam the part of the foot that moves forward and back would get stuck back. The stitch length varies in certain sections where it was getting stuck before I realized what was going on. My fix? Every time I crossed over a seam, I would stop, tug that part forward, and keep going until it happened again a few inches later. It wasn't fun and my fingers were sore, but it led to a more satisfactory project than the alternative. I don't know why I have such lazy walking feet.... I love quilting like this (following the seam, not with an ornery foot) because the back of the quilt ends up looking just as nifty as the front.

Since it's not reversible I went with a plain pink I had sitting around (that photographs like it's lavender but I promise you it's pink). The quirks from the foot trouble are more evident on the back, but oh well. I machine-bound the entire thing - I'm getting better at it but I still need to work on getting a better look on the back part.

I did the noble thing and showed you only the best corner of the binding on the back. Some of the others aren't so tidy. I was low on the binding fabric after cutting some tumblers out of it, so I cut it on the straight of grain instead of the bias. I thought it might give me trouble, but it behaved itself.

This kind of project is one of my favorites to make - it's fairly quick, not too difficult, and lets you play around with those scrappy bits that otherwise just sit there, twiddling their proverbial thumbs....

I'm going to link this up here:


  1. This is such a lovely table runner, the fabrics go so well together.

  2. That's so fabulous! Have I mentioned before that I think you have the patience of a saint? Love the colours green & pink together are one of my favourite combinations :-) Have a great day xo

  3. You knocked it out of the park with this one! And I love that fabric too, it is my favorite, but I love the whole runner! The colors are fab! And they are placed perfectly! I too have an Accu, and I have been eyeballing that die!!! Hmmm, may have to nab it on my next trip to Joann's. Our Joann's has a sucky selection of dies. Which ones do you have, and where do you buy yours?

  4. Love the table runner... so springy!!

  5. I love the colors...and the tumbler pattern... and the springy patterns of some of the fabrics... fine, I love the whole thing!!! It's always so much fun to see what a more accomplished sewer can create. You did a beautiful job and I'm sure your Mom is thrilled.

  6. I like the green and yellow next to each other so if I squint my eyes they look like green-yellow. I'm quite fascinated by the idea of a table runner - it's just to lay on a table, right? I looked around my home and indeed there is one little long, narrow table I could make a table runner for.

  7. Glad you did the noble thing about those binding corners ;). Maybe I should put it that way next time! But, really, glad you were able to do this one for mom. It's very cute!

  8. Love it Beth:D And the tumbler pattern!!! I think I should give it a try!!!
    I'm sure your mom will love it too:D

  9. Love this table runner... It might that have to be my next project!

  10. Lovely and springy, hope your mum's happy now!

  11. *love*love*love* your fabric choices.

  12. This makes me want to learn to sew!



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