You know the old tradition that you have a year to give a newly married couple their wedding gift? Well, I have to admit, that sometimes we take that a bit too literally. As in, for the second time, we have given a wedding gift the weekend before the couple's first anniversary!
I will say though, that both times the gifts were well thought out and filled with hours of love! And, really, who doesn't love presents, no matter how late they come, right? Also, fortunately, one time it was a gift for Brad's sister and her husband and this time around it was for my closest friend and her husband so no worries (I don't think so anyway).
Today, in fact, is the first anniversary of our friends Laura and Brian! Happy Anniversary to you two! And, while I had been promising them a table runner as a wedding gift since the bridal shower last year, I somehow let that project slip down toward the bottom of the list way too many times! So, a couple of weeks ago, with their anniversary quickly approaching, I finally got down to business and got started.
I had a plan, sort of, in mind. I had been pinning "quilty" ideas on Pinterest for a while and asking Laura what she thought about the different ideas. Finally, she decided that she liked this herringbone idea. Once the design was chosen though, I got a bit "stage fright".
Before this, I had only actually ever made one table runner. It was a spur of the moment kind of project. And, it was for me, so it was okay if it wasn't perfect. I always feel extra pressure to make something perfect when I am making it to give as a gift (do you?).
Not to mention the fact that I am not a quilter. I have done some quilt-like things here and there, but all of those exact measurements make me uncomfortable. It's the same reason I don't like to bake much, too many exact measurements. Exact measurements and deadlines are not my strong suit. Ha, ha!
I have serious admiration for those who quilt or for those who have many different projects going on all at the same time. I am much more of a, "one project at a time" kind of person. Much more of a, "let's start and get this finished as quickly as possible" kind of person. Much more of a, "I can't have something unfinished hanging over my head" kind of person.
Which is why my house sometimes looks like the Tasmanian Devil tore through it while I am in the midst of projects that take more than a nap time!
Anywho, let's get back to it.
The tutorial for the herringbone quilt block was very easy to follow. I made my blocks into a "rainbow" order. All of the strips were scraps left over from market bags that I made. What a fun way to use up scraps! I really love the scrappiness of it all and the way all of the patterns came together. Gasp, not a single solid, it seems I don't really have any solids in my stash, oops. In fact, once I had my blocks made, I had to make an early Saturday morning dash to the fabric store to buy some linen so that I could finish in time.
I used Irish Linen for the rest of the front and a similar color cotton for the back, with a single layer of flannel in between. I thought I would have enough linen left over after the runner was made to make some fancy linen napkins as well, not so. The good news is, I think there is enough to make myself a new runner! The bad news is, well there really isn't any bad news. I did still make them a set of napkins. Well, I suppose the bad news is that I had to run out to Target to buy some napkins...
I know it sounds silly. After all of that, buying napkins?! I couldn't bring myself to schlep all the back to the fabric store two days in a row, sorry Brian and Laura. And, since I used all scraps to make the table runner, I didn't have any pieces big enough to make napkins that would match. So, instead, a quick trip to Target. I bought wrinkle and stain resistant white napkins. Hmmm, wrinkle and stain resistant? Now, I'm thinking I need some of these for us as well. Our current napkins are not quite guest worthy, as they are covered in pizza sauce stains, etc.
To fancy up the plain white napkins I cut strips of coordinating fabric that were 3"x19". I folded the edges toward the wrong sides 1/4" and then another 1/4" so that I had a strip of fabric that was 2"x18" long. I sewed the strip on to the front of the napkin about 3" up from the bottom of the napkin.
Oh, one more thing, before I go. I'd really like to thank Jenny for all of her help in sizing, etc. Jenny makes and sells beautiful table runners (and pillows and wall art) in her etsy shop, please go check it out! She was just recently named as one of the winners for Ellen's Quilt Blocks Shop challenge, aren't these pillows beautiful!
You can also find her over at Stumbles & Stitches where she blogs along with friend, Angel.\