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How a short stitch, in quilting, can save the day

by Claire Haillot

Welcome back to my fun and easy project made with the lovely Kayana Autumn Collection from Banyan Batiks. Today I’ll show my foolproof trick: the short stitch that saves the day.

So now I have six blocks as shown in yesterday’s post. I also have cut out six solid blocks from the main fabric piece. It’s now time to play with the positioning of the blocks to make the project. Now you may notice that this pattern isn’t as cookie cutter detailed as my usual posts. That’s because I really want you to play with the colors and design to your liking, just like the fall foliage is different from one tree to another, this project can also be transformed to feature the colors the way you want it.

Kayana Autumn Collection transformed into a beautiful table runner for any occasion.

I took my blocks and main fabric and played with the disposition on my design wall. Here are the two combinations that caught my attention. Keep in mind that I had only two days to make the project! I personally like symmetrical placements and opted for the second design as shown in the pictures. I found that the light beige block positioned on the near center edge of the table runner made the eye rest and move seemingly through the design.

Once again, you can opt for another way.

Design combination 1

Design combination 2: my fave!

Once the design is chosen, it’s time to sew the blocks 2 x 2.

Sewing the blocks 2 x 2

Sew the 2 x 2 blocks together. And I’ll give you my little trick to sew them together while keeping the seams perfectly aligned.

How the short stitch saves the day

Step 1

Align the seams one against the other right sides together, ensuring that they are not overlapping or leaving the tiniest gap in between.

Step 1

Step 2

Position the piece under a ¼” foot positioning the needle ¼” before the center seam. This is when the lines on the foot can be pretty useful.

Step 2

Step 3

Stitch along until reaching ¼” past the center seam. Now remove the piece from the machine and look to ensure that the seams are perfectly aligned. If satisfied, sew the two blocks together and continue in the same manner for all the other blocks. Although for this project, I simply short stitched all the blocks together and then I sewed all of them together.

Step 3

Remove the piece from the machine and look to ensure that the seams are perfectly aligned.

Ironing out the seams

The last trick I want to show is how I iron the seams on the back. For this project, it’s pretty simple as I simply ensure all of the seams are going in the same direction. You’ll notice that one of the four is heading in the opposite direction, simply turn that one and magically see a mini four patch on the back side.

You can use that trick for each connecting block. It works!

Seams positioned to reduce bulk

Now all that’s left to do is to stitch the main piece onto the edge of my piece. The final piece top should now measure 24½’’ x 36½’’ and be perfectly aligned as you’ve used my short stitch trick that saves the day.

Overall design of table runner

Come back tomorrow as I will show how I decided to quilt this beauty made with Kayana Autumn Collection from Banyan Batiks.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: How to choose a quilt design for fabric too beautiful to cut into

Go to part 4: The secret to modern quilting using the straight stitch


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