Heart Runner/Mini Quilt

I wrote about getting sidetracked last time . . . in short, I had to make a return trip to the Viking dealer to pick up my new serger foot, so to make it worth the drive I signed up for a class to make a quilted Heart Runner. It looked simple enough and since I don't have too many Valentine's day decorations I thought it would make a nice addition to our seasonal decor.

The day before the class I raided my stash of red and pink fabrics to cut the pieces needed for the project. I was working from an emailed supply list that said I needed 3 pieces of light and 3 pieces of dark fabric in the various sizes. It didn't say if all the lights and darks should be cut from the same fabric, so I cut out multiples of a lot of different fabrics. I should have used my cell phone to take a photo of the sample while I was in the store for reference.

Heart Runner classThis ended up being a kind of "mystery" sampler for me. I mixed and matched and came up with a not too bad combination (remember -- I'm *not* an experienced quilter).

If I were to do this again, I wouldn't choose the fabrics with diamond shaped patterns for the borders. Or at least I would try to cut them so the pattern was going the same direction. throughout Also, I think the daisy diamond pattern is more of a medium than a dark, so I probably wouldn't use it for both a background (on the middle heart) and for the border.

In class we were encouraged to use several different presser feet, all of which I already have in my collection. For piecing the sections together I used the 1/4" clear piecing foot w/guide and a regular straight stitch. For the appliqué I used both the edge joining foot and open toe foot and 3 different decorative appliqué stitches built into the machine- fly stitch (top heart), blanket stitch (middle) and the one I call herringbone stitch (bottom).

Heart Runner class

Heart Runner class

Heart Runner class

We also learned how to attach the borders and miter the corners. The last step (before binding) was to stitch in the ditch around the squares and on the diagonal seams (except not over the appliquéd hearts.

Heart Runner classAt that point I decided I wanted to wait to attach the binding and do some additional free-motion quilting with my FabUMotion/Fabric Mover at home.

But, since I had to leave my machine behind for servicing, I wasn't able to try the free-motion quilting until this weekend.

I'm not too impressed with my free-motion work; all I tried to do was stitch a few hearts and "vines" in the border sections.

I'll admit I was in a hurry to just get this done so I could get back to the slipcover project, and didn't spend much time practicing. The good news is that I set up the machine and stitched without any major problems, such as broken needles, poor tension or shredded thread. I did enjoy it, but have decided that next time I need to have much more time for experimenting.

The binding went on without any trouble; I used one solid dark red (instead of half dark and half light per class instructions) and the dual feed foot for attaching it. Instead of using it as a table runner, I added a sleeve to the back so it can hang as a mini quilt.

It's not perfect, but it will do.


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