Sunday, September 22, 2013

Spiral Table Runner

As soon as I saw one of these spiral table runners at a guild "show and tell," I knew I wanted to make one. Since I couldn't find the pattern in several local quilt stores or at shows, I was happy to see that a friend was offering a class at her home. Along with 6 other quilting friends, I spent a pleasant 6 hours putting this together. You have to love a project that you can begin and finish in the same day. Strictly speaking, however, the decision to quilt this runner meant another few hours at home, but it was the perfect opportunity to practice my free motion quilting.

One of the roadblocks to free motion quilting for me is having to negotiate the basting pins, so I decided I'd hand baste this. After doing so, I realized that while I wouldn't need to remove the pins as I was quilting, I'd still have to remove the thread or chance "sealing" it into the runner with my quilting stitches. Out came the basting thread.

Remembering that I'd purchased a can of fabric adhesive spray, I decided this piece was small enough that I could use this method of basting. I'm happy to report that even with the curves and odd shape of the spiral, it made my free motion quilting a less daunting experience.

I had initially thought I'd practice my paisleys, but the shape of the runner seemed to call for quilting each fabric separately. What better shape for my spiral runner than the spiral, the one pattern I have a bit of confidence with. I'd purchased some Superior metallic thread and was pleased that with a few tension adjustments, it quilted beautifully.

I was nearly done with the quilting when I broke my needle. I don't know why, but it was easily changed and I did not emerge sweat drenched with an aching neck. I think the combination of not having to dodge safety pins and having done a bit of practice with my FMQ made all the difference.

Next up, I'm considering using the basting spray on my strata quilt which is currently pin basted. It's largish, but I think it's worth a try. Any suggestions??


  1. Hi Arlene,

    Love the runner. FYI- I spray baste about 50 quilts a year with our Project Linus quilts. I masking tape the backing to tables pulling it taunt. Then I lay the batting on and then the top. I fold one side of the top and the batting back halfway and spray the backing. Then I lay the batting back down working out from the center to get it to lay flat. I do the same with the top. Then I repeat on the other side. I let it sit for at least 30 minutes to dry. Then I remove the tape and it is ready to quilt. I protect the furniture etc. in the room with dollar store plastic table cloths and use them over and over. Some folks do it on a wall. I have not tried that. Good Luck! Cheryl


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