Quilt-as-you-Go Thanksgiving Table Runner | New Quilters

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My Thanksgiving table runner got started with this orphan star block:

Orphan Star Block

The star had somehow been left behind when I found new homes for the other blocks I inherited from a very old quilter. I got tired of seeing it float around my sewing room, looking wrinkled and lonely — it made me sad, seeing it that way — and decided to make it the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving decoration for my house.

One thing I have in abundance in my quilting room is fabric in autumn colors and patterns. Some of them have been pining to be used for decades years.

I decided to use the same quilt-as-you-go method I recently used to make this lap quilt. First, I collected a bunch of autumnal fabrics from my stash and cut them into 2-1/2″ strips, pinned the pinwheel star block to the center of the backing and batting layers, and started adding strips, one at a time. The end result looked like this:

Thanksgiving Star Braid Quilt 11 2013

Since I didn’t calculate exactly how much fabric I would need, I finished sewing strips onto the quilt top  long before I ran out of the strips I had cut. I also had a pitiful little pile of strip segments I had trimmed from the sides of the runner. I don’t know about you, but fabric scraps stress me out. I never know quite what to do with them. After years of collecting, I just gave away all my big ol’ bags of color-coded scraps, so I’m not eager to start piling them up again.

Then a lightbulb went off: scrappy binding! I joined the strips into a long roll of continuous binding and sewed the strip to the table runner.

I like the way the whole thing looks. I love having things around me that have a history. Whenever I look at that star, I will think of my daughter’s cheerleading coach and her grandmother, who mastered so many different crafts and left behind a legacy of good deeds and beautiful things.

This quilt took less than a day to make. I love quilt-as-you-go!


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