By March 7, 2015 0 Comments Read More →

Making a Beginner Quilt Runner

Beginner Quilt Runner The top of the dresser in my office is always plied high with projects, papers, and books. I’ve been protecting the top of the dresser with a simple piece of fabric. This works, but it’s not a very polished look. So, I decided to try my hand at quilting a little runner. Scroll

Not being a quilter, I thought I had better get some ideas and instructions from You Tube. I started by watching Professor Pincushion’s video for basic tips on how to make a simple block quilt. I thought this looked easy enough for a beginner project.

block patternWith a little measuring and calculating I figured that a 6 inch square, block pattern would fit the dresser perfectly.


basket weave design_edited-1 I decided that I wanted my design to be a little more complex than just square blocks. I divided  each block into three strips to form a basket weave pattern.

graph paper design Using color marking pens, I created a pattern that I was happy with.


The first thing I had to learn was how to piece together my basic blocks. I used this “Quilty” video by Mary Fons  to learn how to cut my fabric strips properly.


ruler and cutter One thing I realized when making my clothesline coiled baskets, is that having the right equipment is essential. I purchased a rotary cutter, some rulers and a large cutting board.


quilt fabric strips With my new equipment, and Mary Fon’s video, I cut out my 2-12 inch fabric strips. With 1/4 inch seam allowances, I would have a 6 inch square. Using my new rotary cutter made this job super easy. I washed my fabrics and lightly spray starched them before cutting the strips. The spray starch gave the fabric a bit of body which made the rotary cutting easier.


Luckily, I found this Miss Marker’s Quilts’ video with instructions on how to make blocks from my fabric strips. I probably would have cut all my fabric strips into little pieces and tried to sew each block together. The video shows how to sew the strips together first and then cut them into blocks.


fabic large strips_edited-1I was careful to press all the seams in one direction.

blocks on dresser Then I cut out my squares and laid them out on top of the dresser in the pattern I wanted.


To sew all my blocks together, I followed this wonderful video by Melanie Ham on Chain Piecing and Nesting Seams. It was a bit hard to understand the instruction when just watching the video. But, by slowly following Melanie, step by step, the quilt came together.


vertical rows First, I sewed the vertical rows. I pressed the seams, in alternating rows, in opposite direction .


sewing rows together Then I carefully sewed the vertical rows together, pressing after each row was attached.


nesting corner seams By nesting the seams as Melanie shows… matching corner seam My corner seams matched perfectly and laid flat.

I don’t have the 1/4 inch sewing machine foot that was recommended in most of the videos. So, I placed a long piece of masking tape on the sewing machine plate to mark a line 1/4 inch to the right of the needle. By lining up the fabric edge with the masking tape I had very consistent 1/4 inch seam allowances. In most of the videos, no one pinned their seams before sewing them. I was not confident doing this, so I took the time to pin my seams.


tape for top stitch Once I had all my blocks sewn together, I pinned the top, the cotton batting, and the backing fabric together, making sure both the batting and the back fabric extended beyond my quilt top.  I wanted to have rows of diagonal top stitching without drawing any lines  on my fabric. I decided to stretch masking tape diagonally from corner to corner of the blocks. Then I machine stitched along the edge of the masking tape to create my top stitching. This worked amazingly well.


I watched a lot of videos on how to bind the quilt edges and it seemed like too much trouble for my first quilt project. Then I found Lorena’s awesome video on how to use the back fabric as the binding. I loved her idea of using a glue stick instead of pins to hold the binding down. It worked very well. I did make the mistake of having my machine top stitching run beyond my quilt top and onto the batting. This caused some problems when I went to cut my batting the same size as my quilt top. As a result, my binding edges are not as even as the they could be. Next time, I will know better.


vertlamp and runner All in all, I’m very happy with my quilted dresser cover. As you can see it, goes great with the stained glass lamp that sits on my dresser. It’s far from perfect, but I consider it well done for a beginner. Of course, it did help that I have experience with sewing. This project has not left me with any great desire to become a serious quilter. However, I did enjoy the process and hope to continue with some small projects like pillows, placemats or baby quilts. I discovered that I really like the design process of quilt making. One part of the design is mixing the different fabrics together. The other part is piecing the quilt. I was amazed at how many quilt designs are made from piecing intricate blocks then turning and moving the blocks to make a multitude of complex quilt designs. It’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together. If you think you might like to try a quilting project check out the other quilting tutorials I have on Pinterest. The “making a baby quilt” video series by the Missouri Star Quilt Company is very good for a beginner.

Follow Lisa Ault ~ Corn Maiden’s board Quilting ~ Tutorials on Pinterest.

If you are an experienced quilter with any tips that might be helpful to us beginners, please leave a comment.

Until next time…

Posted in: PROJECTS, Sewing

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