With weather conditions hampering my outdoor explorations, I turned my sights towards indoor activities to occupy the cold, stormy hours. My quilting projects have been neglected since the summer, while I wandered around the neighborhoods surrounding my new home. In fact, I had not started any new project once I completed the quilt that was pieced during my last New Hampshire retreat weekend in 2013. It was time to pick up some fabric and wander around a quilt block. But what should my new project be?
During the thirty years we lived in our previous abode, it was furnished with self-assembly bookcases, coffee and end tables obtained from stores similar to those bearing the names of Target, Kohl’s, and (dare I say it) WalMart. These objects served us well over the years, owing us nothing for the abuse they took. But, with a new house, our thoughts turned to new, higher quality furniture and we took the plunge.
Now, I am not a fanatic about having a “display” room in a place of residence. We are firm believers that a house is meant to be lived in, to be used in the creation of memories that will last a lifetime, but I must admit I was a bit dismayed when I observed tiny scratches on the coffee table; scratches that were only visible when the light reflected on it just the right way. What to do? Why, make a set of table runners to protect the wood, of course.
My first project was decided. I rushed to my fabric cabinet to study the contents for anything suitable that would get me quilting again (Yes, I have a cabinet where I store all my fabric. I am sure that whatever your gender, if you have a hobby you know that you never have enough supplies. Goes with the adage “He/she who dies with the most tools/fabric/whatever wins”). I found the perfect combination of colors and a pattern that would not take too long to assemble in one of my pattern books.
Once assembled, I needed to decide on how to quilt the runners. Machine or hand quilt? What type of quilt design? Given that this was not a large project, I decided to machine quilt the runners, using one of the built in embroidery stitches on my machine. Normally, I do not have much success with machine quilting. Something about the bulk of the three layers of fabric is just not conducive to even stitches or straight lines. But these were items that were going to be used; probably have food items spilled on them, game boards dragged across them, various things dropped on them! That was the point. It was a project that was not going to be placed in a “showcase house” but used in an active dwelling. It felt good to be quilting again.