Snowflake Table Runner

Picking Fabric for Snowflake Table Runner

I keep wishing we had more snow so we could go sledding, but since we don't I decided that making a Snowflake Table runner would have to suffice.

I started by drafting a snowflake pattern:

I decided I wanted to do three snowflakes, but I didn't want to blanket stitch around this snowflake three times.  So I took off the more challenging leaf part for the outer two snowflakes and made them simple six pointed stars with dots at the ends.

Now it was time to pick fabric.  Here are some of my considerations:

I love this icy blue background.  I thought it would be great to put blue snowflakes on.  I like this dot fabric with it too, but when I thought about cutting the narrow leaf pieces from it I thought the color variation would be too much.

I love the snowflakes in this fabric, but they're not printed evenly and I thought it might take away from my own snowflake design.

I love this purple and blue fabric and thought it would make great snowflakes.  However, it has 4-fold symmetry instead of 6-fold symmetry like my snowflake.

I love this fabric too, but again it has 4-fold symmetry.

It's hard to tell in this picture, but this blue has lots of silver paint on it and it would've been great for snowflakes, but it was a slightly different color than my background so I decided against it.

Here are three darker fabrics for snowflakes.  I decided against the top one as it was too dotty.  The middle one was too windy and the bottom one is actually tiny blue flowers so that didn't seem right either.

Then I found these two fabrics.  The top one totally reminds me of snow so I decided to use it as my background fabric.  The color varies from turquoise, to sky blue to lavender.  I thought I would use a simple dark blue batik for the snowflakes so that the background could stand out.

Then I did what any girl would do.  I showed it to my mom!  And her comment was that the blue should be the background and the print should be the snowflakes.  I decided that would make any machine quilting I did show, so I went for it...

Appliqueing Snowflake Table Runner

When making this table runner I realized an important lesson.  When you're working with a large snowflake and you pull all the paper backing off your snowflake it's extraordinarily good at sticking to itself and distorting.  It was quite the challenge to get it back into symmetry and stick it to my fabric.  I should've put the original pattern on the light box to help line it up but I was being stubborn.  You can see from the picture below that the center of the snowflake isn't quite symmetrical.  It looks a little squished.  The blanket stitch helped with this, but after messing with it for about 10 minutes I decided that it was either cut a new one and put it on a different way or deal with it.  I opted to deal with it.

To combat this problem I decided to pull off only 2 points of the outer snowflake, stick them down, and then pull and stick as I went to finish putting the snowflake down on the fabric.  This method worked much, much better.

I decided that since the fabric I used for the snowflakes ranged from turquoise to sky blue to lavender I needed to pick a color that wouldn't clash.  Since sky blue was the most predominant I decided to stick with that color.  I used a Glide 40 weight polyester by Fil-Tec to do my double blanket stitch.

In the two pictures above you can see the snowflake with and without the stitching.  I love how the double blanket stitch really adds an extra design element to the applique.  It also makes it look finished to me.

Here is the finished top.  As I was working on the last snowflake I had a funny thing happen.  I was stitching around it and I ran out of bobbin.  I now know that one bobbin of Glide thread can stitch all the way around these snowflakes except for this much:

I hate it when that happens....

Quilting Snowflake Table Runner

I love to quilt, but I must admit that quilting large quilts is physically challenging.  I am really enjoying quilting the small pieces for my blog.

I decided that what I wanted to go outside my comfort zone (symmetrical) and quilt my Snowflake Table Runner in a "windy" pattern.  Here's my drawing idea:

I liked it so I sat down to quilt.  After stitching around the snowflakes I realized that trying to put those curls in wasn't going to work because my snowflakes were a lot thicker than the original stars I drew.  I guess I need to actually work with the pattern when I'm designing...duh.

So I decided to just go for it.  I did a second outline and then a third and then filled the space with bubbles to match what I'd done in the center of the snowflakes.

I then decided that to contrast all the curves in the quilt I wanted to use straight lines to finish the borders.  If you look at the right corner of the picture above you can see some white lines I drew.  I thought I was going to angle off my lines at the corners.  But as I got there, I wasn't paying attention and stitched too far without thinking about what came next.  oops.  So I stitched one straight line all the way across and that was no fun.  So I decided that I'd do something else,

I started with some clam shells and then outlined them and then decided that the lines should come in towards the middle.  I hated it.  Still do.  And then my bobbin ran out.  It was a sign that I should be done!

So I folded over the ends to see what the table runner would look like if I stopped at that point:

It looks great just as it is!  Done quilting.  Now to bind...

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