Top-Stitching and Table Runners

Are you tired of hearing how much I dislike working on my Checkerboard Flower applique?  Does it disturb your sleep?  Soon, I will stop complaining because I'm nearly finished with the part I dislike.  First, it was the applique.  Now it is the top-stitching.  In fact, I so didn't want to work on it any more that I decided only to work on it for an hour and then move on to something else.  Surprisingly, an hour is a lot of time in top-stitching land, and I should be able to finish this up tomorrow.  This makes me sew happy! 

The thread is most often selected to match the color of the flower I'm working on, and so it isn't easily seen in photographs.

Sometimes, however, I select the thread color for the contrast it provides because I'm trying to gain some texture and bring out more realism in the element I'm stitching.

Mainly, I'm just using a straight stitch, but for the centers on the sunflower, the chrysanthemum, and some of the other smaller flowers, I chose one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine.

So, all that's left to do on this is to top stitch the rest of the bluebells and the leaves and stems.  That shouldn't take too much longer.  Then I'll be ready to start making the checkerboard borders and sashing.  Then I'll really be on the home stretch.

But my time was up when I got to that point, and so I moved on to a new project I've had in my mind for quite some time.  Well, I should say it was in my mind until it wasn't.  Then yesterday I had one of those sit bolt upright moments when I realized I'd forgotten my good intentions and that I needed to get busy if this is to get to its recipient in time.

When my Aunt Joan died earlier this year, she left lots of family pictures, scrapbooks, letters, newspaper clippings, and a wealth of items that are only valuable to me as the last living descendant (except for my kids) of my grandmother.  My aunt and uncle never had any children of their own, but they had a foster son who stayed in touch with them throughout their lives.  His wife went to a lot of effort to collect these priceless (to me, anyway) treasures and to set them aside for me. 

We met up with them a couple of times so that we could collect all these items, and I am ever so grateful for her generosity in looking out for these things.  They're pieces of family history that are irreplaceable, and my own sons will be glad to have them some day, as I am now.  If you're curious to see any of this stuff, I blogged about it here.  Also included were some of my grandmother's quilts, her needlepoint, her embroidery, her sewing, and lots of other stuff that will be cherished, believe me.

So all of that to say that it seemed to me that a simple verbal thank you was not enough to show my appreciation for her hard work on this, and so I vowed to make her a table runner for Christmas.  And then I forgot all about it until a couple of days ago.  Today, I started making good on my vow and started this Christmas Stars Runner.  I found the pattern for free on the internet.  (You might have to sign up to access the pattern, but everything is free, and I haven't been spammed by them as far as I can tell.)

I had hoped to finish the top today, but I decided to quit and finish it up tomorrow.

The green sashing extends all the way around with red cornerstones, and then there is an outer border as well.  I'm using the pine cone fabric from the center for the outer border, and then I'll bind it in green.

This is one of my favorite stars.  I've seen it called the Star of Hope and the Spinning Star.  Either way, it's fairly easy to make, and I just like the look and simplicity of it.

This pine cone fabric was among the first I bought when I started building my stash.  It has silver sparkly stuff on it.  I've always loved it, but this is the first time I've used it.  I'll use it on the back of the runner too.

So that's how I spent my drizzly Monday.  How did your day go?

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

LynCC said...

Hey! I have some of that sparkly pinecone fabric in my stash!! :D Really love waht you've done with it.

rubyslipperz said...

I really like this star pattern and your colors really make it POP!

thanks for sharing!

Michele, a distracted quilter said...

I spent the day indoors avoiding errands and falling snow and a wind that must have come straight over the arctic from Siberia! But it let me work on my modern sampler block of the week, then take the next step in joining my blocks made from 1,080 HSTs. That pinecone fabric is darling and I the stars are also a favourite of mine. As for the top stitching and applique project - I hope my cheering you on (along with all your other followers) will keep you on track. We all want to see the finish.

Stray Stitches said...

Wow! Your day was full of creativity. I like how you used the specialty stitches in the center of some of the flowers.
The table runner is going to be beautiful!!

Snoodles said...

Beautiful pictures of the topstitching on the flowers...but the tablerunner is the star of the show. Your fabric selections are perfect!I'm off to click and get the pattern! LOL

quiltzyx said...

The tablerunner looks great! The stars have so much movement in them & I'm looking forward to seeing it all, with the pine cone borders. :D It will be a wonderful thank you gift.