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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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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..