What I’ve learned from handsewing a table runner

Handsewn Quilted Table Runner

It seemed that everything came together serendipitously to create this table runner.

I bought the Ikea fabric on impulse. I did not see the full design of it or know how much fabric I actually bought until I got home and unfolded the little fabric remnant packet. I spread the fabric out on the dining table, admiring my new purchase. “This will look great as a table runner!” I thought.

A few days later, I received a 50% discount voucher from Spotlight. What perfect timing! So off to Spotlight to get some batting and I was in over my head! I’ve never quilted before and didn’t know which one to get. But then I saw Insul-Bright and it’s insulated lining. Perfect! I bought 2 metres of it and basically got a metre free with my voucher.

I dug around in my stash and found fabric to use for the back and another one for the bias. I was thankful to have received a big bag of fabric from a friend a couple of months back. I told you, it was all meant to be.

But I didn’t do anything for months. I was too busy with other projects.

Last week, however, something clicked and I had the biggest urge to sew. So my table runner project came out of the cupboard and it slowly took shape. I got lost in stitches for days. I could have been done in an hour or two if I machine sewed the runner but I really didn’t want to rush the project. It was all about the process, the journey. Not the end product.

DIY Bias Tape

I even made my own bias tape which I’m extremely proud of. I’ve learned how to do this and the quilted table runner from this tutorial from Moda Bakeshop. It’s an awesome step-by-step for an absolute newbie to quilting.

I think the biggest influence for this runner and why I wanted to hand sew is Mairuru’s blog. After seeing all the beautiful things that she sews carefully by hand, I wanted to experience it for myself. I’ve found it therapeutic and relaxing; A form of meditation by simply being absorbed in the moment. There really is no need to rush it. I didn’t urgently need a table runner right this instant.

It’s funny how this one project made me more self-aware. I’m a person who normally enjoys reaching the goal more than getting there. I think this makes life rather unenjoyable at times. I cannot possibly reach goals or finish projects every single day but I am always working on something. I’m always in process of getting an end product.

And you know what, I’m going to start learning to enjoy the journey more. Just because it’s made me so much more happier this week. 🙂

How’s your week been?


Lost in Stitches

I had a day this week when my thoughts were running wild and my heart seem to be racing. A check of my pulse proved that it was all in my head. I was anxious. I was stressed. I desperately needed to slow things down and it doesn’t get slower than quilting by hand.

Quilt Sandwich

In, out… in, out… My breathing began to match each hand movement. A slow rhythm took over and I was blissfully lost in it. The restlessness faded and I felt whole again.

Hand quilting

Do you have days like that? What do you do to feel human again?


Learning to hem dress pants

Hems! Bah! I could think of a million things I’d rather do.

But my husband has a nice, but weird, pair of dressy trousers from Country Road. The weird thing is the hem is not sewn on but ironed on using hem tape. So after a few washes, the hem comes loose and I iron on more hem tape. I’ve done this twice now. Fun eh?

I avoided the impulse to just machine sew a hem. I knew the stitching would just stick out like a sore thumb. So with the magic of Google, I came across this awesome tutorial (PDF) on how to hand sew the hem.

Hand hemming dress pants

I carefully hand sew the “catch stitch” across the hem and I was quite surprised at how quick it was to sew.

"Catch stitch" on dress pants

Ten minutes later I was done hemming both legs. My stitches looked pretty even but the truth is on the other side – the right side.

Hand hemmed dress pants

Squeal! Look at that nothingness! I’m not joking. That’s already hemmed on the inside!

I also found that the same website with the tutorial – Sewing.org – has a huge list of tutorials. HUGE! Click here and be one with your sewing.

Oh before you go, do you know whether the iron-on hem is unusual or maybe I’m just clueless and it’s a standard sort of hem for dress trousers?


65 Roses Quilt

I crocheted rose petals to add to my block for the 65 Roses Quilt {tutorial}.

Rose Petals Square

Look at the little tiny stitches.

Crochet Rose Petals

Pattern: Rose Petal Satchet
Yarn: Milford Mercer 20
Hook: 1.3 mm
Mods: Only worked one side

And here is my completed quilt block. 😀

My Contribution to the '65 Roses Quilt'

You can view more squares from other contributors in this Flickr group.

Related Post:
65 Roses Quilt WIP


65 Roses Quilt WIP

In my creative space this week, Cath and I worked on our blocks for Whipup’s 65 Roses Quilt. This charity quilt will be donated to the Australian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and it will be auctioned off at their annual gala next May.

I turned my little dining area into a sewing room for us to work in. Complete beginners in quilt making with zero quilts to our credit but we were willing to give it a go for charity. It was funny watching each other struggle with the most basic things like pressing fabric and cutting squares!

Sewing squares for charity

And my lack of focus and impulsive nature led me down a frustrating path. As you can see from the above picture, I had jumped out of my seat halfway through sewing to take this shot. Bad move. Look what happened to my first block:

Not-so-right Square Block

My mushroom fabric is facing the wrong way! I know some of you might be thinking, just turn it around you silly girl. No can do. The cream, plain fabric has to be on the top left. So I had to resew another block. I guess I needed the practice anyway.

In the end, we both got there. This is my block:

Charity Square Block WIP

It’s not finished yet. A rose design of some sort needs to embellish the cream square. I would like to crochet this rose motif {pattern} to sew onto it. Just need to get some red thread this weekend. I’ll be able to show you the completed block next week.

If you are interested in donating a completed rose block to this quilt, all the instructions are available at Whipup {tutorial}.

More creative spaces at Kootoyoo.


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