Let's Book It: February Finish

As the month was coming to a close, it seemed unlikely I would finish my Let's Book It project for February. No finishes are required for the Let's Book It challenge, but I'm trying not to add any more projects to my to-do list until I get some of the larger and older ones pared down. For Let's Book It, I've been focusing my attention on small quilts and table runners. For February, it made sense to do something for Valentine's Day, and so I chose this free pattern from Sherri Falls at Little Bits of This & That.

It was quick to make, and with the exception of the rick rack, I had everything I needed to finish it in my sewing room stash. It's a quilt as you go project, and when I picked it up yesterday, I had already partly sewn the strips for the quilt top. I was able to finish those in just a few minutes.

After that, it was time to fuse the hearts onto the quilt top and topstitch them. This being a quilt as you go project, the buttonhole stitching was going to show on the quilt back, and so I pulled the bobbin thread to the top as you would for free motion quilting.

I stitched the first large red heart.

Then, just to be sure I liked it, I checked the back before stitching the five remaining hearts.

It looked fine to me, and so I continued on. When all six were top-stitched, it looked like this. I wish I'd used a brighter pink for those pink hearts, but that gets a big "oh well" from me.

The next task was to stitch the rick rack to the edge, flange style. I'd never done that before, but the instructions told me to use a 1/8-inch seam allowance and to cut off the excess at the edges of the quilt. Okay, done. That was easy enough.

And then I machine sewed the binding. I used that same red polka dot from the strips. You might remember I took up the issue with Quilting Treasures when they tried to claim copyright of polka dots a couple of years ago.

That was as far as I went yesterday. This morning, it took me about an hour to hand-stitch the binding, and my little table runner was finished. It measures 16 x 38 inches.

Here's how it looks from the back.

It occurs to me that it would be simple enough to make a St. Patrick's Day runner from this pattern by simply substituting green and white fabrics and shamrocks for the hearts. Hmmmmmmmm.

So anyway, it's now taken up residence on my breakfast bar, which was always its intended home.

Yes, it's a little late for Valentine's Day, but it's never too late to celebrate love, is it?

It was such a lovely afternoon that Smitty and I took the opportunity to sit on the back deck for a while. He's always willing to go outside, rain or shine, but when the humans come out... oh my. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

I left the door open just in case Maggie wanted to join us. She has shown almost no interest in going outside since she came to live with us, although she was willing to go outside on the catio while we were traveling. At home, she runs away when the door opens. Still, we've been giving her every opportunity if she decides she wants to brave the cold, cruel world again.

Well. Don't you think Himself sat up and took notice when she did that...because all of the outside...and I'm talking the entire world just happens to be his territory. Any questions?

I was a little worried he might chase her off down into the woods or up a tree or something, and so I shut this little excursion down pretty quickly.

We'll try it again another time. I'd like to know she has figured out the kitty door before getting too far ahead of ourselves.

This morning I'm going out for a walk as soon as I finish this post. Then, I have an appointment for a perm...my most hated personal care activity. My perm is looking terrible, however, and so I'm willing to sit through this hour and a half of waterboarding. My hairdresser used a different perm last time she did it, and it seems to have completely vanished in the intervening period. I've asked her to go back to the original one.

If I have time to sew this afternoon, I'm going to get started on my Stars & Stripes flimsy, which will be made from some bee blocks I collected last May. I had almost forgotten these blocks, and then found them in a drawer recently. There are 12 of these pinwheel stars with the blue center pinwheel.

One of the bees in the hive made her blocks in reverse. She remade them correctly, but she also sent me the ones that were made wrong. I'll use these on the quilt back.

I have just a vague notion of how I'm going to set these. These are my "for sure" fabrics.

And these are my "maybe" fabrics.

And when it's all finished, I'll be as surprised as you at how it turns out.

So that's my day. I'm ready for it to be a good day...except for the perm, but I'm not going to think about that for now.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The runner turned out really beautiful. You could use that base for almost any theme. I've not worked with that large rick rack, but it does have quite an affect. It might be good for a while that Maggie is timid about venturing out - she knows her home is a safe haven. We are having torrental rains (with the worse lightening last night)with some of the hill towns and low parts of the valley evacuating. Our timber road to the upper part of the mountain came washing down into the main part of the farm and my brother spent several hours trying to push some of it from the out buildings and making drainage.

DeeDee said...

Your applique is perfection! I can only hope with some more practice mine will look that good.

I must say, Smitty is one handsome cat! We have an all black cat named Henry. He may have a swelled head from all times I've told him how handsome he is. If I had Smitty I'd be telling him the same thing.

Our older girl Olive came from the same rescue as Henry, but they had very different kittenhoods. Henry was brought to the rescue when he was still just a tiny thing and was the last of his litter to get adopted. He's always been happy-go-lucky. But out sweet girl Olive had a very different life before she came to the rescue. She's only about a year older than Henry - and he will be one in May - but they are so different. Olive belonged to someone before she came to the rescue. The woman who had her left her outside to fend for herself most of the time and we don't think she was ever taken to the vet. She wasn't spayed when she was brought to the rescue. Long story short, the woman moved and decided not to take Olive with her and left her outside in the winter. Her neighbor started noticing Olive showing up at his back door looking skinny and flea bitten. He began to feed her out there but couldn't bring her in the house because he has three hunting dogs who would have torn her to shreds. By the time he got her to the rescue she was shy and unhappy and skinny and ridden with fleas. They got her the vet care she needed and by the time we adopted her a couple of months later she was beautiful and the most sweet tempered girl ever. She absolutely refuses to go anywhere near our doors. Reminds me of your girl.

I'm a huge fan of your blog! It's so much fun to read.

gpc said...

I love the runner and love the idea of changing it for every season. It's on my maybe-someday list! :)

Kelsey said...

Absolutely love your choice in binding!

liniecat said...

Waterboarding LOLOL
Wise lass that Maggie, least she's seen the world out there now and knows it's an option. Smitty is going to learn he has to share, his folks and the terrain!
I reckon Gracie was simply too gracious, or not bothered to challenge the fella.
I still think he's kind of fascinated by Maggie, whilst trying real hard to keep his cool masculine persona.
Bottom line is he's a bloke - he will succumb in the end lol

Dana Gaffney said...

That runner would work for any holiday, after St. Pat's you could use pastels and Easter Eggs, what a great way to use up scraps. I like the Bee blocks and the "for sure" fabrics you have picked out. I'm glad Maggie isn't coming out, she's still so uneasy I'd hate for her to get lost.

Debbie said...

Love a quick runner....yours turned out so cute.

Sally T said...

Just a reminder...that if your cats were best buds, then you'd be on edge as they conspired to get into all sorts of mischief that one cat doesn't think of on its own.

Michele said...

Your runner turned out adorable and I'm sure Maggie will venture outside at some point. It will just be interesting to see how Smitty really reacts to that.

Kate said...

Beautiful table runner, perfect for Valentine's Day. It would be really cute in green and white.

Celtic Thistle said...

The ric-rac flange on your table runner is lovely Barbara, what a great effect!

Thanks for linking up to New to Me too

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

Your table runner turned out beautifully and I enjoyed seeing your cats :)

quiltzyx said...

Don't you just love the quick quilt as you go runners? Valentine's turned out swell - and I agree, it would be easy to use the same base for whatever you'd like!
Smitty, Smitty, Smitty! You are just too possessive some times. But at least when he's outside, she could have the indoors to herself.

Yeah, I get my hairs tortured about every 18 weeks. Otherwise, my hair is SO FINE & bone straight, that I'd look like a pin head!!

Sandra :) said...

Beautiful kitties! And beautiful table runner - the ric rac is such a great embellishment!

Brown Family said...

I enjoy quilt as you go projects. You did get the valentines runner completed n February. NOw are you going to make St. Pat's day, Easter,.....?