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I finished piecing the backs to my place mats and I managed to quilt one and most of another before I ran out of thread!  This is a common problem for me.  I either end up with too much thread as in the case of the 3 light blue spools I still have and will likely never use or with too little thread like right now.  It doesn't seem to matter how much I buy, the project will never use up just the right amount of thread.

I've been procrastinating posting pictures of the place mats because they were in that visually uninteresting stage where they had been sandwiched, but no quilting had taken place.  For the last couple days I've been trying to decide how to quilt the place mats.  The nice thing about place mats is that you can try out new techniques without exhausting yourself.  I think sets of 4 are the standard for place mats, but I like the ones with two related pairs better than quadruplets.  It probably stems from my childhood love of the Bobbsey Twins.

I was going to do a pumpkin seed variation on the place mats up until about 10 minutes before I started the first one and since I didn't finish more than two, I still might!  I was scared, though, that the pumpkin seed quilting would be too much on top of the already wild turquoise and orange combination of fabrics.  Instead I went with the parallel lines you see above.

After I ran out of thread, I moved right on to working on a table runner I designed and pieced about a month ago.  It was a tough project since the entire thing had to be arranged and charted before I could start sewing it together and when I finished I didn't want to see it again for a while.  I designed it after deciding I wanted to do something with the many purple fabrics and scraps in my stash.  I always use white fabrics for contrast or sashing, so this time I sued a grey on black pattern I had laying around.  I couldn't get a good photo in the sewing room - I need to stop only quilting at night so that I can get some of the beautiful natural lit photos everyone else seems to have - but I took some close up pictures of the front and one of the back.  

I freehand quilted this table runner, which was way outside my comfort zone.  Previously, I had completed exactly two quilts that I remember. (I made several small ones with my grandmother as a child, but I don't remember any of the details.)  On the first, I tied the quilt with embroidery floss and on the second I did a simple grid pattern mostly based on stitching in the ditch.  On this project I wanted to branch out a little, so I did my best to make the quilting look like ripples on a pond surface.  I used a Sulky thread in variegated purple - and the name was apt.  I think it snapped at every possible opportunity, which was not something I appreciated while trying to maneuver the entire table runner around in circles and arcs.

I wanted to talk about the process I use to design out the patterns which aren't from books or magazines, but I've rambled on enough tonight.  I likely won't get any additional quilting done tomorrow since we usually go to pub quiz on Tuesday nights, so it will be good to have a topic all ready to go!


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