A Finished Project and Lessons Learned

As part of the “process pledge,” I have been sharing pictures along the way on my IG account, @facetfully. To complete the pledge, I am blogging today about the steps taken and the lessons learned in completing this table runner.


As noted in an earlier post, I took a class at the Quilters Affair in Sisters, Oregon with Natalie Barnes, Beyond the Reef Patterns. We had to do some prep work before the class, so I had already chosen this layout for the background for the handwork we would do.

Well, to make a long story short, DH (dear hubby) really liked the background, but he was not so impressed with the pot of flowers that were appliqued onto it when I returned home. Even though I can’t quite figure out what he does like, I was pretty sure he would not like the applique! He just isn’t a “folksy” kind of guy! Here is what would have been appliqued on the runner…

20180715_084213-11595952722737691344.jpg   So, as you can see from the first photo above, I removed the applique and left it as a simple runner. (Keeping all the pieces for a future project!!!)

I decided, as I have many times in this journey, to use this piece to learn/practice some things that I want to get better at doing.

  1. I wanted to use some of the Essex linen I have had in my stash for some time now. I felt unsure how to combine it with different quilting cottons, so I jumped in here. The large pieces of solid fabric are linen, along with the light blue stripes. I am very happy with how it turned out and I am ready to do more with linen!
  2. For the quilting, I decided to use straight-line quilting, both parallel and radiating lines, from Jacquei Gering’s book, WalkI had used my walking foot quite a bit for quilting, but learned about changing the presser foot pressure and that made a big difference. Jacquie was a dream to help me along the way, by commenting on IG. I didn’t expect that at all, but tagged her and her book so others could know what I was doing and have a refernce point for her work. It was quite a pleasant surprise to have her help from afar. I had met her before and loved her right away…no wonder I am so excited to be going to her workshop in Kansas City this fall!Here are a few progress shots…you can see where it got better as I went along and learned more!

  3. When it came time to bind I decided to try fully machine binding it. I do enjoy hand sewing the binding on my quilts and I feel it adds a level of love to them. However, several people I follow use the machine and love it. It seemed like a table runner would be a good place to really focus in on this and try it (I had done some before because of time factors). I tried the method of sewing the binding on the back side and then turning to the front. I felt that, by using this method, I could do a better job of neat top-stitching on the front. 20180720_1210153807751392315505458.jpg                                    This is an example of the NOT-SO-GOOD top-stitching! This did get pulled out and redone, for sure.                                                                                                                            There were some places that looked pretty darn good to me though…

    And if you follow the “3-foot rule,” it looks great!                                                                  So, you ask, what did the back look like after top-stitching?

    The good…
                                         The not-so-good                                                                                                                          

    Overall, I came away from this project knowing that it is important to take my time, use good fabrics and habits, press…press…press, mark…mark…mark (yes, that chalk all came out!), and focus!

    Will I continue to machine bind? Not on very special projects, for sure…but maybe for small or high-use items.

I feel my skills are improving, I am learning what I like and don’t like, and that I still have a long way to go! I love this journey!

What is your process for binding? How do you feel about hand-sewing that binding on?

Thanks for reading and Happy Quilting!

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13 thoughts on “A Finished Project and Lessons Learned

  1. Thanks for sharing the good and the not so good – you kept it real for those of us who have experienced plenty “not so goods” – ha! The table runner looks wonderful and how cool you got to take a class at Quilters Affair!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you about machine binding. I enjoy the hand sewing, and my results with machine binding are less than great. I’ll probably keep trying on small quilts when pressed for time. Small quilts like placemats – though that has been my strategy thus far and the ‘okay’ results haven’t transferred well to larger quilts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to say I’m with your husband (sorry!) I love the simple colours and designs without the applique. And u really like the quilting you did. I always machine bind but only because I do not have the patience to hand sew it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay for Essex. I love mixing it with quilting cotton. And awesome Jacquie helped you figure out your quilting issue. RE: Sewing on binding. I very rarely do it be machine, but every once in a while it’s a reasonable option. Overall, tho, it’s hand stitching for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do most of my bindings the way you did your table runner’s. And I like it, usually. I think quilters are still a bit too stuck on thinking that by-hand is the only “real” way to quilt. I have the same X fabric as you, BTW, and I really love the blue vase of flowers. Hope you do get a chance to use it sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Marianne! I have the flowers and pot pretty close to the top of the WIP stack! 😀 Thanks for your thoughts. Having a piece of your beautiful work, I can say I would always use that binding technique, if I could do it so well every time! Any tricks?


      1. No particular trick – I just wing it! Sometimes I pin at the corners to make sure it looks OK. Sometimes I do each side separately to get a neat miter. Keep trying!

        Liked by 1 person

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