Millefiori Garden Bed Runner

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Having been busy recently with several intricate and time consuming projects, I have not posted anything for a few weeks.  I will be posting progress on these newer projects soon.  But, in the meantime, I thought I would post something I completed earlier this summer.

While going through photos of my quilts with a friend, I ran across a project that I had not posted pictures of.  This bed runner was inspired by a pack of fat quarters that I saw at a local fabric store.

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Kaffe Fassett “Paperweight” fabric

The fabric made me think about some fused glass supplies that I have in my glass room – millefiori beads.  The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers). These beads are created by first making pattern rods.  On the outside, these rods are a single color. But, when cut across, the pattern becomes visible.  This multi-step process requires skill and special glass furnaces.  The results of this labor-intensive process are gorgeous “beads” that can be incorporated into earrings, pendants, bowls – any variety of fused glass projects.  While I do not have the skill and equipment to make my own millefiori, I have purchased some and love the look of them.

So, when I saw this fabric, I thought I would use it in a bed runner to add a real pop of color to my bedroom.  The design for the runner was based off of a photo of a quilt posted on the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. While her project was made with patterned wool felt, I wanted to use my sewing machine’s decorative stitches to create the the pattern in the flowers.  Going through my scraps of fabrics, I appliqued my “flower garden” and then used the lovely “Paperweight” fabrics for the border.

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This was a really fun project to do.  And, as an added bonus, I used up a lot of small scraps that were piling up in my scrap basket and too small to use in most piecing projects.

Crocodile Flower Crochet Pillow with Crocheted Daisies on the back.

Every bed runner needs a nice decorative pillow to complement the design. Usually, for me, this means making a pieced and quilted pillow to match.  This time, however, I thought it would be nice to try something different.  So, I settled on
crocheting a pillow.
The nice thing about crochet is that I can take it with me to work or when running errands.  That way if I am stuck waiting, I can work on my project.IMG_2119
When I first learned the crocodile stitch (February 9, 2016 posting) , I really liked the way it looked.  And, this stitch seemed to me that it would match my daisy runner very well. Using some yarn in my stash, I started working on this.  When it was done, I thought it was a nice complement to my quilt.
But, what to put on the back?
Well, it’s a daisy bed runner.  So, why not try some crocheted daisies.  I did an on-line search for a daisy pattern but was unable to find one with leaves behind the petals. So, why not make up my own pattern.  With a little trial and error, using some features of the crocodile stitch, this is what I came up with.
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And, here is my pattern:
Supplies:
E hook (smaller hook and thread yarn if you want this flower smaller)
Yellow, white, green and blue worsted weight yarn
Abbreviations:
sc=single crochet
sl st=slip stitch
ch=chain
hdc=half double crochet
dc=double crochet
With yellow yarn ch 4, sl st to form ring
Rnd 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc), work 15 dc in ring, sl st = 16 dc
Rnd 2: ch 2 (counts as first sc and first ch1 space), *sc ch 1 in dc* repeat 15 times, sl st to first sc  = 16 (sc ch1)
Rnd 3: ch 3 (counts as first sc and first ch2 space), *sc ch 2 in dc* repeat 15 times, sl st to first sc. Cut and weave in end  = 16 (sc ch2)
Slip stitch in with White yarn for the petals
Rnd 4: *sc, chain 9, sc in first ch2 space, hdc in the next ch2 space*. Repeat * to* 7 times, sl st to first sc = 8 (sc, ch9 loop, sc, hdc)
Rnd 5: ch 4 (counts as first dc and first ch1 space), *dc between scs keeping yard behind ch9, ch 1, dc in hdc, ch 1*. Repeat * to* 7 times, sl st to first sc.  Cut and weave in end = 16 (dc, ch1)
Slip stitch in with Blue yarn to a ch 1 space after the dc behind the ch9 loop for background
Rnd 6: ch 4 (counts as first dc, ch1), *dc  in dc between loops, ch1, dc on ch 1 space, ch1, dc in dc behind loop, ch1* repeat 7 times, sl st to third ch  =  16 (dc, ch1)
Rnd 7: ch 1 (counts as first sc), *sc in ch 1, sc in dc, sc in ch1, (sc, ch6, sc in dc), * repeat 4 times, sl st to first sc  = 4 (5sc, ch6 loop, 1 sc)
Rnd 8: ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in next 5 sc, *ch3 behind loop, dc in 6 sc*, repeat two times, ch 3 behind loop, sl st to first ch3   = 4 (6dc, ch3)
Rnd 9: ch 1 (counts as first sc), sc in next 5 dc, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop, *sc in 6 dc, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop*, repeat two times, sl st to first ch1   = 4 (7sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc)
Rnd 10: ch 1 (counts as first sc), sc in next 8 stitches, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop, *sc in 12 st, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop*, repeat two times, sl st to first ch1. Cut and weave in end  = 4 (14sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc).
Slip stitch to chain 6 loop in Rnd 7 with Green yarn  for the leaves
Rnd 11: 4 dc, ch 1, sl st to sc of background, 4 dc. Cut and weave in end.  Repeat in each chain 6 of rnd 7 = 4 leaves
Slip stitch to chain 9 loop in Rnd 4 with White yarn  for the petals
Rnd 11: 4 dc, sl st to sc of background to side of leaf, 4 dc, sl st to sc of background on other side of leaf, 4 dc. Repeat 7 times. Cut and weave in end = 8 petals

Spring Has Sprung!

It’s April, the birds are singing outside my window, the bulbs are coming up in my gardens and the grass is starting to get green.  So, it’s time to change the decor in my bedroom – a new Daisy Bed runner really added some springtime color.

 

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To make this bedrunner, I used the leftover blue fabric from the backing of my butterfly quilt as the main background.  To supplement the blue, I took out some of my custom dyed fabric samples, generally ones that were trials on different dyeing techniques. For added color, I decided to try out some fabric paint crayons.

A few years ago, I took a class on Shiva Paintsticks and Rubbing Plates.  I enjoyed the class and purchased some supplies.  However, time being in short supply, I really hadn’t used them since completing the class.

This project, I thought would be a good use of the paintsticks to embellish the fabrics that I had in my collection. After a day of painting, I set the fabrics aside for a week to allow the oils in the dye crayons to dry.  The dye pigment was then heat set by ironing the fabric between pieces of brown paper (absorbs the excess oils very nicely).  The resulting fabrics were really interesting.

Triangles were cut out of the fabrics and the border was then made by alternating triangles of blue and color.

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To enhance the bedrunner, daisies and leaves were appliqued onto the center panel. The runner was quilted and the binding added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall has arrived in Minnesota

After a couple rainy weeks, the weather has dried out and we are having a lovely weekend. Today, I spent a few hours outside adding bulbs to my flower gardens. I even put some in planter inserts that fit inside the copper planters at my front door.  It will be nice to see what sprouts in the spring.

In anticipation of the arrival of cooler weather, I have been working on a new bed runner. Since I really love flowers, sunflowers  runner would be nice.

Using my Bernina Cutwork Tool, I cut seventy-two oval from hand-dyed fabrics, 12 leaves and six center from green and brown scraps of fabric.

Since the sunflowers are mainly yellow, I decided to add color in a scrappy border for the runner.

And, a pillow with a scrap piping to add an accent!

Christmas Decorating

It’s the day after Thanksgiving.  While many people are out shopping, I prefer to avoid the stores on this day.  Over the years, our family tradition has been to decorate the house instead.  So, today, the boxes came out and the Christmas decorations went up.  To add to the festive atmosphere, a few inches of snow fell yesterday.  So, the evergreens on the front step are dusted with some fluffy white.

The stockings are hung, the garlands are strung and the tree is lit.  All I have left to do is put the ornaments on.

Just in time for the holiday decorating, I finished up a Christmas Bed Runner.  It is made with a pineapple block and scraps of red and green fabrics.

Bed Runners

My machine quilting adventure began in 2007.  While helping my husband pick up his car from an auto body shop, I drove past a store called Quilt Yourself.  Assuming it was a regular quilt shop, I dropped off my husband and went back to do some shopping.  What I found was not a place to buy more fabric, but a place to rent time on a long-arm machine.  Fascinated, I signed up for a lesson and was immediately hooked!  I now had a means to complete more quilts than I could by hand quilting.


Soon after, I started designing quilt tops with the quilting in mind.  Eventually, I designed a “whole cloth” quilt.  However, I quickly realized that to complete the quilt with the detail I wanted, I would need to spend many hours (if not days) on their machine, all at a fee of $25 per hour and a 45 minute drive each way to get to their location.

When I added up the cost of the rental time on their machine, I figured that it would cost about half the price of the actual machine.  Thus, I started thinking about purchasing my own long arm machine.  I did eventually purchase a BabyLock Jewel and it was time to make my whole cloth quilt – a design I called Cream and Sugar.  After 32 bobbins of thread and an undetermined number of hours quilting, one of my friends told me I should actually name it Obsessive and Compulsive.

The quilt turned our very nice and has actually won a few awards.


To add some color to the bed, I decided to make a bed runner.  Bed runners can pack a big impact in a small package.  They are widely used in hotels to add color to a room. While they may warm your toes on a cool night, they would be more worthwhile if they had other uses.  As pointed out by one of my sons, “why can’t you sew two of them together?”  His statement sparked an idea – a folded seasonal bed runner. Folded, the runner displays the current season. Unfolded, the runner can be used as a thin coverlet when taking a nap or  just relaxing on you bed.

If you are interested in making one for yourself – I have a pattern on PatternSpot. Enjoy!