Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sewing for the dining room


When I read about the Scrappy Trip-Along on several of my favorite blogs, I began thinking I might like to join. I had been trying to come up with a new quilty project for a little while, with plans to make something for my dining room table.

I already have a few runners (some of which I made), several tablecloths and a set of Dresden placemats, which I made last summer after I fell in love with Sandra's and literally could not make myself stop looking at them. Sandra's Dresdens are spectacular and she now has a wonderful tutorial for them on her blog but when I was making mine she hadn't done the tutorial yet. Instead, she patiently walked me through making them via private message on Ravelry. Isn't the internet fabulous? Sandra is an excellent teacher and talented crafter. My Dresdens, for your consideration...




I think I'd like to make another set of Dresdens someday, maybe in a Christmas theme. I considered making square placemats for my Scrappy Trip-Along project, but I have enough placemats for now so I decided to make a small piece to use on my dining room table. It will be sort of a tablecloth but more of a runner or table topper, four feet square when it is done so it won't cover the entire table but it will add some color to the room.

This is the way my dining room table looks currently. I have a simple cream-colored, quilted runner (store-bought), simple glass candle holders, cream taper candles and a crystal vase with faux winter berries. Sometimes I also use the ceramic jug-and-bowl set in the photos above; I drew and painted the geraniums on it myself when I was a teenager. I change my candles and flowers with the seasons. I like to use faux flowers here so I don't have to worry that I forgot to water them!


The dining room is not often used for eating, really just on holidays. But I like to keep it tidy and decorate it for the seasons. The dining and living rooms are L-shaped and open to one another and we do use the living room a lot, plus both rooms are visible when entering the front door of the house. That gives me incentive for tidiness.

I started cutting my fabric for the new item over the weekend and also began sewing. I have now finished one quadrant of my piece. I opted to make mine a little differently than some of the ones I've seen which are being made with quilt blocks that are comprised of squares in a 6x6 arrangement. I am making mine 12x12 because I think a bigger design will have more impact in a smaller finished piece.

I'm sewing my squares in strips and then sewing the strips together. I work at the kitchen table, as I do for all of my sewing projects, because that's where I have room to spread out. I love working on a project like this; every part of it feels soothing and rhythmic and peaceful to me.




After several hours of piecing and sewing, I had a finished square. Remember the graph-paper design I shared last week? This finished part forms the upper left quadrant of that design. I like the way it looks so far. Maybe a couple of questionable choices, but most of the fabrics seem to work well together and I think it's definitely looking scrappy, which is what I was going for.


There are bits in here from all different past projects, including both of the baby quilts I made for my children before they were born. That's one of the things I love best about sewing, as well as having a fabric stash; so many of my fabrics have memories attached to them, places where I have used them before, reasons for choosing them. I haven't been able to find that same attachment to yarn so far, but I'm sure it must happen for many people.

I have the squares cut for the other upper quadrant now too and will begin sewing soon. I prefer to sew in natural light and it's hard to find enough time during the week so I will have to carve out some time with my sewing machine this weekend.

Just for fun, here's a comparison of my graph-paper version side-by-side with the real thing.


The real one looks better, of course. But the graph really helps me a lot; I can see it taking shape more easily. What you can't see on this graphed design is all the penciled markings where I figured out all the math of this project. It's kind of messy.

I'm having fun with it. There are so many amazing examples of this project out there and I feel very inspired to make one of my own. I think it evokes springtime. For the dining room table, I'm thinking pink candles in my little glass holders and small white silk flowers in the vase.

10 comments:

  1. That is looking really good. From the outside looking in it looks like its going quickly. I think pink candles and white flowers will coordinate with the runner quite nicely.

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    1. Thanks, Softie! It is going quickly so far. :)

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  2. Wow, this looks amazing, I love the fabrics. A job well done :-)

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  3. I can't believe how much you've done already! It's going to be beautiful when it's finished. Pink candles and white flowers will look so pretty. x

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    1. Thank you, Gillian. I hope it turns out well, I'm excited about it so far. :)

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  4. Wow! This is turning out beautifully. I love all the fabrics and color combos you chose.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny. I really appreciate the compliment. :)

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  5. Love your placemats and your strippy quilting is looking great, beautiful choice of fabrics. Carol xx

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    1. Thank you, Carol. I appreciate it. :)

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