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Starting to Quilt my Circle of Stars Runner

Last week I made a new table runner, Circle of Stars

 

Circle of Stars

I used traditional Christmas fabrics, but I can't wait to see what other colours people will pick for their own runners.

I am busy working on the pattern and will release it soon, as well as teaching the class on August 18th. For now I am getting started on quilting my sample, so I thought I would share the process with you.

I am using fusible cotton batting from Hobbs. This batting is perfect for smaller projects as you can iron it in place, eliminating the need to spend ages pinning.

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Use plenty of heat and maybe some steam to make sure it stays in place. I also put a few pins just around the outside. The fusible is not permanent, so if you get any wrinkles you can pull it apart and iron it down flat again.

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I put all the layers together and then gave it a good iron - being careful not to twist.

The next step was to choose a thread. I love variegated thread so I picked this cotton one from Gutermann that highlights the gold tones in the fabrics. When picking thread, pull a little out and lay it down to see what it will look like. This is something we always do when helping customers in the shop.

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For the back, I am using my favourite Aurifil thread. I usually recommend the same type of thread top and bottom and these two are both cotton - mixing cotton and polyester often ends in tears!

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Next I set up my machine with a 3.5mm stitch length and the walking foot. A walking foot helps feed all the layers through at once and avoids creating wrinkles and pleats.

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Notice I have set the needle position at 0. That's because I am going to use the seams as a guide and with this machine I can run the edge of the foot along the seams to keep my lines straight.

Before starting, I test my setup on a scrap piece of fabric at the edge of the project.

IMG_6545Looking good, so let's get ready.

I am marking the runner with two different markers - a Sewline  ceramic marker for the dark fabrics and a Frixion iron-off pen for the light ones.

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I decided to quilt 1/4" away from the seams of the star shapes. Afterwards I will decide where to fill in the spaces and what pattern to use.

To get started, I position the needle where I want to begin and draw up the bobbin thread by holding the top thread and turning the manual wheel of the machine.

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This will stop the bottom thread forming a nest on the back of the work. I will tie these ends in after I have finished.

Now it's time to follow the lines, not too fast, and making sure to keep the weight of the work on the table, not my lap. When I get to an outside star point, I am using the lock button to do a few stitches in one place, this helps keep my points nice and sharp.

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More when I get this one completed ....

 

If you would like to make this runner, I will be releasing the pattern soon so look out for an announcement..

 

Sheila

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