Thursday, January 16, 2014

Twigs and Berries

I've been doing a really super job of not buying fabric that isn't for something specific, instead trying to use stash fabrics. That whole thing went out several windows this week, but that's for a future post. Anyway, the new Joann's right down the road from my work has been quite beneficial--it's so easy to stop in and grab just what I need instead of trying to offset future journeys by stocking up on things I might not (and usually don't). They have had a certain fabric there in a collection that is right on the edge of the rack, so every time I would walk by I would see it and it would call to me, but I'd have no immediate vision for it so there it sat.

OK, so hang on, I have to veer off course here. Several years ago my dad rescued from my grandma's basement an ancient hoosier that was practically falling apart. He hauled it home, and completely reworked that thing, making it look almost like new. He painted it a deep country red with cream accents. I love that thing. Fun fact: I don't know why Indies are called Hoosiers, but I know that hoosiers are hoosiers because they were mostly made by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company of Indiana. After all the Christmas things were put away, I noticed my mother put a runner on the top of it that was all spring colors. This bugged me not because it didn't match at all, but because the season didn't match. I needed to remedy this. So I bought the fabric mentioned at the end of the first paragraph. Got all that?

Last weekend I made an easy peasy wholecloth runner out of this fabric. Wholecloth quilting is my favorite for when I want to make something and also be a little lazy at the same time. Using my hera marker and a walking foot it took no time at all to stitch a simple diamond pattern--my favorite.

Due to the busy simplicity (how's that for an oxymoron?) of this print, you can hardly see the quilting, which is fine. I used matching thread and a larger diamond than usual to keep the stitching a bit more low-key. I love bare twigs with red berries, especially against white. It makes me think of how, even in the bleak midwinter, there is still color and life. If we zoom in closer still you can see the subtle texty background--

An effect I hadn't anticipated but that I absolutely love is what the horizontal "stripes" created by the text gives an illusory effect of close horizontal quilting. I was pondering doing that myself but wanted to keep it simple. But now every time I walk by, even though I made the thing, my eyes are temporarily tricked into thinking this is densely quilted (though it's hard to see in the photo). 

In an effort to use fabric I've been saving for just the right purpose I used a nifty wood grain fabric for the back--

I was originally going to use a cheater binding on this, but even with measuring and pinning and using a walking foot my layers still shifted a little. I was going to need to trim for my own sanity, so I trimmed as usual, and went looking for a binding as I didn't want to make any. I didn't have just the right red, and I wanted something a little more contrasting against the wood grain anyway, so I went with some brown that I had from a previous project. The brown echoed the twigs on the front, and made me think of the bark of a tree on the back. 

I used a fancy stitch again on the binding, which I love. I was having minor palpitations as I was thinking the timing was off on my machine, but I was pulling on the fabric without even being aware of it. Fun fact: if you want to check the timing on your machine sew a zig zag stitch. If it misses a few you might need an adjustment. 

Doesn't it look much better with the red and cream than the pastels? Especially for right now? I love how it looks. Though I've had new curtains promised to my mom for weeks I had to get this out of the way first as odd things bug me. And since one of my resolutions for my blog was to try harder to list the names of fabrics I use, this one is available from Joann's, by Tim Coffey, and it's called Berry Vine. Let's see how many more times I remember to do that this year... 


  1. I was already crushing on the berries when boom you close-upped on the text - love it!!! You did great to get a season-appropriate topper on the Hoosier but I'm dying to see the Hoosier, too :)

  2. Well shoot, I missed a bunch of your posts! Love the whole cloth runner! Way cool! Totally in love with the Tetris blanket!!! Stay warm!
    xo Kris

  3. That is perfect, very seasonal. I'd never heard of a hoosier but I've had a search on the internet, my grandparents had a similar looking cabinet here in the UK but I don't think they had a specific name :)

  4. That fabric is fab! I have two questions though. What is cheater binding? And what is a hoosier??

  5. Oh, that's lovely. Well done.

  6. Very pretty, and I totally see the horizontal look faux quilting!

  7. 1. That fabric is beautiful! Lucky you to have found a reason to buy it.
    2. I had to look up what a Hoosier was.
    3. Your quilting is really well done!
    4. Love the fancy stitching on the binding. Every time you do that it makes me want to make a quilt just so I can bind it that way.



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