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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Freebird!

Freebird blocks for Loopy Academy table runner 
I've started working on my second Loopy Academy, Sewing Edition project - the table runner.  I don't typically work in just solids, but that was the assignment.  I decided to make a runner for the TV nook in the family room, so I bought some fabrics that I thought would work.  I figured a runner would give Max someplace nice to sit before he launches himself up to the mantle and beyond (where he's not supposed to go at all, but does anyway because he's a cat).  Then I had to find a pattern.
Freebird blocks for Loopy Academy table runner
I looked around to find something I wanted to make.  I pinned a few things on Pinterest.  I looked some more.  I looked at what I'd pinned.  I played with graph paper and thought about going to the other room for markers or colored pencils - I didn't.  I made the pajamas for Loopy Academy, I made two pairs of pajamas for Not Loopy Academy, I knitted all three of the knitting projects, and I thought about my table runner.  I liked several of my pins and could have done them pretty easily, but they just weren't quite what I wanted.  Then I remembered the Feather Bed Quilt.  I had found this free pattern a while back and saved it to Dropbox.  I didn't have any plans for it at the time, but I liked it.  After looking at the pattern and playing with the graph paper again, I decided that I could make a runner with three feathers, so yesterday, I sat down and made three feathers!
Freebird blocks for Loopy Academy table runner
You start with some strip piecing.  I cut my strips 1-1/2 inches wide, 2 inches wide, and 2-1/2 inches wide and just grabbed them randomly to make the strips.  I made two sets of strips, although since I only made three feathers, I probably could have just used one.  To cut the shapes for the blocks (there are no regular rotary cutting shapes there - it's templates), I plopped the templates on the fabric and cut around them using the rotary cutter.  I don't think this would have worked for a bed size quilt because it wouldn't be precise enough, but for only making the three blocks it worked just fine.  Then I sewed the blocks up, which was pretty quick, but holy bias edges Batman!  There are no bias edges on the outside of the block, but there is more than one seam inside the block where you sew bias to bias.  This isn't a hard block to make, but the bias action means this shouldn't be attempted by a beginner.  Anyway, I got all three blocks made and they all measured the same (9-1/2" x 18-1/2" - they're meant to be sewn into pairs, for a square, 18 inch block when it's all finished, if you're making the bed quilt) so I'm happy!

Next, I've got to add a few border type of pieces to make these blocks into a runner, and then there will need to be quilting and binding, but my runner project is moving along nicely.  Just in case you were wondering about the name, Freebird came up on my playlist while I was making the blocks yesterday afternoon, and it just seemed right.

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