Monday, January 4, 2010

Japanese Windows -- Part Two

After I had all the blocks put together, I took them to the sewing machine and machine basted them together.  I did the basting a good 1/2" in from the edge as it will be there until I've completed the runner.

Once all 12 blocks were done, I took them to the cutting table and trimmed them.  My blocks ended up
7 3/8" x 7 3/8".  As you can see I used my 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" ruler to do the job.  It takes a bit of time but it is well worth the effort.

When I had completed cutting I took the blocks to my flannel wall so that I could place them where I wanted them in the runner.  That was fun!  I moved and moved and put this one here, that one there.  Once I had decided on the way I wanted it, I took a photo with my digital camera.
It came in handy!  I do strip piecing as often as I can and for some reason yesterday I didn't mark my blocks.  I did the row one first......block a to b, block c to d, block e to f and then I did all of row two without cutting the thread.  Then I had to remember which way to turn them, once I had cut the thread.  That's when I referred to the photo in the camera.  Phew!!!  Thank goodness I remembered that little trick.

Before I started to sew I changed the needle in my sewing maching to a quilting 90/14.  I wanted a good sharp needle and one that would go through layers of fabric.  You could use a denim needle if you don't have a quilting needle.

After rows one and two were sewn together, I took them to the ironing board and gave them a really good press.   For row one I pressed in one direction and

then row two was done the opposite way.  This way I could "butt" the two rows together and the seams would be accurately placed.   Back to the ironing board after this was together and this time, I opened up the seam for pressing.  I had an idea of how I was going to maching quilt this and that's why I did it this way.  Normally, I wouldn't!  There is a lot of bulk in this runner and I wanted the sewing to go smoothly.

Time to layer and get the runner ready for machine quilting. Another idea  for machine quilting is swirling in my head, but there is a hockey game that I have to watch on  television so its put aside until another day.  I'm going to stitch in the ditch right through the centre and then where all the blocks are joined.  I think a neutral thread for this.

I decided to finish the quilting using a pattern I've used before.  Its a large flower that is quick and easy to do.  It will hold the edges in place and there is a large centre to it, that looks good when its right in the centre of the block.
The finished table runner measures approx. 14" x 41"

That's it.  I hope you enjoy the pattern.  If you have any questions, you can post them in comments.  I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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