Thursday, March 22, 2012

Super Swap--Table Runner

Okay, my partner received her table runner, so I can show it off now.  (Oh, and I apologize in advance for the horrid photos taken in bad lighting at night.)  The runner is around22-23 inches wide and 68 inches long (I measured, just can't find the paper I wrote it on) and traveled all the way to Pell City, Alabama.  My partner, Wendy (stitchduchess2), loves peacocks, batiks, scrappy, colorful, modern, shades of gray, crazy quilting and has some really big tables at her house--so this is kind of a combination of all that. 

The light gray is Kona Ash, the dark gray is Kona Medium Gray, and the binding is Kona Black.
 I debated between binding in black and turquoise, but decided the black framed the table runner best.  Each peacock block is 16" square (I think that's around 22 inches wide on point) and made up of four 8 inch blocks--three tail feather blocks and one body (I based the body block on a vintage quilt I saw).  I used the same fabrics for the body blocks but each tail feather is from a different fabric (yeah, I've got a lot of fabric in these tones...and this is only a fraction of it).  I love the mix of various prints and batiks.  Here's one block:

The peacocks actually face in opposite directions when looking at the table runner, but, I took their pictures so that they'd be heads up for you.  Here's the second peacock:

Here's a view of the quilting on each end.  The parallel lines intersect in the half-circle ends to form a cross hatching.  I did not mark out the lines but rather used the sewing machine foot as a general guide.  I didn't want perfectly straight lines, but rather was going for a bit of an organic feel to imitate the lines on a feather.  I thought this would contrast nicely with the paper-pieced points and lines of the peacock tails.  Normally, I probably wouldn't worry about washing something like a table runner before sending it out, but with that cross-hatching, I wanted more texture and unwashed left it kind of flat.  It puffed just the right amount with one handwash cycle! 

Batting used was Warm and White.

Each peacock was quilted with a turquoise thread which is mostly visible from the back side, but I think stays nicely unobtrusive on the front.

You can see some of the knots from the French knots on the back as I didn't add these until after I had quilted and bound the table runner.  BTW, I used Sulky rayon threads in Turquoise and Light Silver for this project which gives it a bit of sheen when the light hits it just right
 Here's how the quilting goes for the inset half square triangles on the sides between peacock blocks.  I kept the lines parallel to the peacocks, meeting in the middle to form points.

The French knots and head feathers are embroidered using DMC perle cotton floss (size 5).  I used a couple of blenders, one with blues and the other with greens, to coordinate with the fabrics.  Each block has slightly different placements for the knots.  You can also see how I outline or stitched-in-the-ditch quilted in the turquoise and then a bit further out outlined in the light silver.

Here's the other block--you can see how the knots are similar but different.  Isn't that feather fabric gorgeous?  I just love the gold shimmering on it!

A final look at the peacock table runner.  Whew, that was a whole lot of quilting, but I really was pleased with how it came out.  Even better was receiving the thank you from my partner (here's part of it):

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for my stunning peacock table runner! When I opened the package and saw the peacock block I was so happy and overwhelmed with your design for me! I had happy tears as I just sat and looked at my stunning runner! I will always treasure this runner and it will have a prominent place in my home. My 20yr old son came in and said "wow mom that is beautiful!" He really liked the colors you chose and so do I. He never comments on my swaps, but on this one he did, it is that beautiful!
 I know those of you who quilt, sew or make handicrafts know how great that made me feel after all the planning and work that went into this project--because in the end, you know what you made might not be perfect, but you sure hope the recipient loves it like it was. 

So, there you have it--one peacock table runner!  I plan on putting the block pattern online in April for download so stay tuned for an update.  (It's really not that hard to make!)  I plan on making this block again and I'd love to see your versions too.  I can't wait to show you the lovely table runner I received for the swap, let's hope the light is better tomorrow!
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1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful and I know your swap partner must be doing the happy dance. What a wonderful piece of art.
    I was happy to see that you'll make the pattern available for download. Thanks in advance.


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