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The perfect quilt block for a tablecloth or a quilt

I like to think I’m a creative thinker, working with my PFAFF Creative Sensation Pro makes that easy, with all the stitches and the ability to create my own stitches but more on that later. But every now and then, although I’d like to think out of the box, I realize I’m in a bit of ‘box’ when it comes to certain things. I’ve read about quilted tablecloths, and seen them at other people’s homes, but I just haven’t been able to wrap my mind around them? I don’t know why not–I love quilting, I love eating and I love decorating so you would think a quilted table cloth would be right up my alley. I have a quilted table topper–but that’s different. Right? I mean a table topper is for decoration, a tablecloth is for eating on, which in my family often means spilling on. I’m making a seasonal–fall themed quilt with some pre-cuts I picked up last year and some coordinating matching fabric, when I friend saw this–she immediately asked “IS this going to be a tablecloth for your ‘friendsgiving’ party?” That’s when it struck me–why not? It would be a beautiful themed tablecloth but could I? I mean  really, can I put something quilted on my table, knowing someone will spill some gravy or cranberry sauce? So trying to wrap my head around this one question.  Tablecloth or quilt? What’s the difference? I need to decide before I put these blocks together any further. I think I found the perfect quilt block for a tablecloth or a quilt.

Picking seasonal fabrics is a great place to start!

Here are a few things you already know about, but I tend to repeat a lot:

  1. I love fall
  2. I love my IDT technology on my PFAFF Creative Sensation Pro–it’s my built in walking foot
  3. I love my Creative Sensation Pro sewing and embroidery machine by PFAFF
  4. I love pre-cuts–layer cakes and jelly rolls
  5. I love seasonal fabrics–there’s no better way, certainly no easier way to create a ‘mood’ for a quilt than using seasonal fabrics. Who sees hearts on fabric and not think of Valentine’s Day, or Santas and reindeer and not think of Christmas and who can look at pumpkins and cornstalks and not think fall.

So combining my love of piecing with IDT technology, and using pre-cut layer cake in my favorite seasonal print, I’m already in heaven and haven’t really done anything yet.  

Here’s what I’ve done so far…although I soon need to decide quilt or tablecloth as that’s going to determine the size:

  1. Start with a seasonal layer cake
  2. Add about 4 yards of a coordinating plainer fabric
  3. Cut that fabric into 10″ squares–the same size as the layer cake
  4. Have both piles of fabric near your machine–one seasonal print, one coordinating plain fabric
  5. Thread your machine with a piecing thread in a nice blending color, I chose from the Sulky Blendables
  6. Engage the IDT (the built in walking foot, making piecing a breeze)
  7. Choose your favorite PFAFF 1/4″ foot, there are five from which to choose
  8. Pick up a seasonal square and place it right sides together with your coordinating print and sew 1/4″ seam around all four sides
  9. Keep that up until the piles are finished
  10. PRESS!  to set the seams
PFAFF 1/4" foot and IDT guarantees me a perfect seam
PFAFF 1/4″ foot and IDT guarantees me a perfect seam

 

  1. At the cutting table cut diagonally through the sewn pieces, carefully turn the square and make a second diagonal cut like in the picture below. I use one of those cutting mats on a turntable and it makes this part of the project so easy. Keep the four pieces from each original square together.
  2. Back to the ironing board and press those pieces open.

 

Two diagonal cuts and we are on our way
Two diagonal cuts and we are on our way

 

  1. Here’s where individuality kicks in: you can piece these back together any way you like. I put each of the four squares back together in this format.
  2. Press each steam then take two pieces and put them together to form one block.
  3. Press again. Trust me, your quilt top will be so much more polished and accurate if you keep pressing!
  4. Square up the blocks, again my handy dandy turntable cutting board makes this job go smoothly.
  5. You should have some blocks that look like the picture below.
Its beginning to look a lot like FALL!
Its beginning to look a lot like FALL!

 

  1. Lay them out to accomplish the desired size, this will make a couple of lap quilts, a good size bed quilt, a tablecloth or two depending on table size. I’m hoping for a tablecloth and a ‘sofa’ quilt, that’s what we call them anyway, something to snuggle under on those chilly fall evenings while watching new episodes of our favorite TV shows.

All in all this is a full day project, but the layer cake makes it quicker. Using my PFAFF Creative Sensation Pro sewing machine with IDT ensures I don’t have to worry about even feeding the top and bottom fabrics or ensuring I have the right tension for my thread, this all happens for me. I can just piece and press to my heart’s content.

Although I found the perfect quilt block for a tablecloth or a quilt, I’ve set my mind on making a quilted tablecloth. I’m going to ensure my top is the right size for my table and I’m not going to worry too much about having a perfect 6″ drop for my tablecloth after all, I’m hosting “friends-giving” not the family from Downton Abbey. Join me tomorrow for more quilting fun …

 

 

I fell in love with the art of quilting in my late 40s and it opened a whole new world of creativity and friendships. Thanks to this extraordinary way of life, I met amazing women and men I've come to love and call friends. I'm a blogger, long arm quilter, machine embroiderer, and a freelance educator teaching across Canada.

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