Old Dog, New Tricks !

January  2010

” Old Dog, New Tricks”  is the name of my blog  and this story is how the name came to be. I did a lot of sewing while snowed in over the Christmas holidays. I had purchased a lot of the new fabric collections at the Quilt Market ” Sample Spree”. The fabric that I collected is designed by the hip, new designers. I made a series of table runners from the collections to try and understand how to use the bright, busy prints.

Frankly, I found the new fabrics hard to work into my projects.  The fabrics are busy with no visual relief in the fabric  selections and no quiet connectors.  I have been adding  my own connectors and quiet background fabrics by including textured batiks. There is an entire article called “Taming Wild Fabrics”  in the spring issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine issue on color.

So, I used each new collection  to do a series of table runners.  I tried to only use fabrics from the  same  collection. A table runner can be done in three or four hours, so it is a good way to experiment with new color combinations and small cuts of fabric.  I started by cutting several 2 1/2″ strips from each fabric in the   collection. Here are the new table runners that resulted from my experimentation.

This runner is created from Art Gallery Fabrics.

At first I didn’t like the runner. I thought it was too busy with no quiet background fabrics for visual relief. But when I left the studio and then came back  and saw it on the design wall I liked it!  It is a different way to use fabric. The surface is blended together into an even surface of similar values. The fabrics remind me of my first quilts made from 1960’s clothing scraps. There were no quilt shops then, just double knit polyester! I have made several more projects with Art Gallery fabrics and they have recently come out with some wonderful, new blenders. The hand on the fabric is fabulous, too.

Yellow Beather Bailey fabrics

Heather Bailey's large floral is set in the sides for a very fast project.

I just love Heather Bailey’s “Nicey Jane” collection. I mixed her prints with a little Kaffe on the nine patch to give it a checker board effect. The one inch lime green border helps seperate each block  from the edges. I call the pattern “the Three Hour Table Runner” because it is so fast to sew.

Black & White & Yellow runner with a large print featured in the block centers

A yellow micro dot border frames the blocks and a combination of four patches and triangles fill in the sides of the runner. The pattern is called “The Four Hour Table Runner”.

This runner is made with the "Meadowsweet" fabric collection.

The fabrics look like 1960’s kitchen curtains! I made this as a shop sample for Beth Watts at Fabric Chicks shop in Minden, Nevada. (There will be a separate post about my visit to her fabulous shop.)

"Urban Green" runner version #1

"Urban Green" version #2

I replaced the pink border with a black & green dot border on version #2 and it gives the runner a different look.  The fabric collection is by Fabri-Quilt. The pattern is “The Four Hour Table Runner”.

Another Kaffe fabric experiment.

Kaffe runner version #2

Kaffe Table Runner

Kaffe runner version #1

I picked version #3 for the pattern front. The pattern is called “Black & Orange Kaffe Modular Table Runner #1”.  I did a lot of experimenting with the fabrics and I like the way the squares seem to overlap on version #3.  The black edges seem to make the squares show up better.

"Autumn Leaves" The background is too dark in this first try.

"Autumn Leaves"This second runner with a lighter background.

The lighter background really helped on the second runner.  I used a “Sushi Roll” from Princess Mirah Designs to create the runners. The green squares lay on top of the brown squares for an interesting look.

There are a lot more runners, but you probably get the idea. Now that I have worked out how to use the new fabric collections on runners, I will start on quilt projects. These collections also worked well on my new “Market Bag” pattern. Check out my website to see some of them.

2 Responses to “Old Dog, New Tricks !”

  1. Lynn says:

    Well done Virginia

  2. Ursula says:

    Love your “new tricks”. Hard to pick a favorite.
    Right now I’m crazy for the black and whites.
    I’m going to keep an eye out for your new great ideas.