Doug Leko, Tabletastic! 2

Eden Park Table Runner

The second table runner I completed from the virtual retreat I attended is Eden Park from Tabletastic! 2. I hadn’t made a design such as this before, so it was fun to try something new!

The thin strips called for in the pattern made this runner a little more difficult to make and keep things from going askew, but it was a good skill builder! I’ve learned that accuracy is so important with something like this.

Since the interesting shape these blocks create is the highlight of the runner, I kept the quilting very simple and did straight-line quilting around the shapes.

Finished Size: 18" x 45"
Pattern: Eden Park table runner from the Tabletastic! 2 book by Doug Leko/Antler Quilt Designs
Fabric: Notting Hill by Amy Smart for Riley Blake

Reviews, Sewing Room

Meet my new machine! – Vintage White 2134

I wasn’t in the market for another sewing machine, but my latest just appeared and I couldn’t pass it up! It all started when my mom was trying to decide what to do with her old sewing desk. It was in rough shape and had been sitting unused for a long time. It was an extra piece of furniture that was moved a few times over the years, had somehow lost all of its varnish and looked so weathered. It had originally been her mother’s.

We proceeded to take a closer look at the desk to see what exactly was inside of it. The most we were expecting was perhaps some old items in the drawers, but much to our surprise, she opened the top and there was a sewing machine inside! She had no idea it was hidden in the desk these past 30+ years.

This vintage White brand machine, model number 2134, was her machine and dates back to somewhere around the mid-1960’s to 1970. When we lifted it up from inside the desk, it was understandably dirty and covered in flakes of varnish. I plugged it in and the motor worked! It was a bit difficult to move the needle at first, but I later oiled it up and got it moving great again. It can sew a straight stitch and a zig zag. The exterior cleaned up well, too! Luckily with just a bit of Dawn soap and water, it now looks nearly pristine! Spending so much time out of the daylight probably helped to keep it looking so good.

The machine weighs a lot with its metal body and all metal insides. This also makes it an awesome heavy-duty machine. Once I had it running smoothly, I put it to the test with multiple layers of fabric and foam stabailizer that I use for making bags to see if it could handle it. The layers quickly and easily glided through with a great stitch!

Since it was clear I needed to keep this machine and give it a new sewing life, I had to do something about its cabinet. The cabinet originally held a Singer machine (which is long gone) and after some research I found it is called the Singer Art Deco Cabinet #42. I looked up pictures to see what it once might have looked like and came across some copies of orignal advertisements for the desk.

I have never been interested in refinishing furniture, but I thought I’d give this a shot. I stripped off what little stain remained and got to work re-staining it. These pictures show how much of a difference adding one coat of stain was next to the bare wood it had become.

After a week of work, I absolutely love how it turned out! It definitely has new life and looks so fancy with its glossy finish. It actually makes the machine look even better! The desk now resides in my living room because there is no room left in my sewing room. Oh well. It is such a fine piece of furniture that it looks better there anyway! I will just have to make a point to sew out there sometimes.

I also stained and re-covered the stool to complete the makeover. My piano bench was overdue to be reupholstered and I had already purchased some home decor fabric for it months ago. I took the measurements and realized I had exactly enough fabric to cover both pieces! Since they are right next to each other in my living room, they now tie together so well.

From this experience, I can see why some like to rescue and restore vintage machines. I enjoyed taking apart the machine and analyzing how the gears work to get it back to working order. It’s such a great machine it deserves to be used again! With this resoration complete I better get sewing!

Doug Leko, Tabletastic! 2

Cotswolds Table Runner

Table runners are perhaps one of my favorite types of quilting projects to make. You get the experience of making the quilt blocks, but you don’t have to make too many of them. Plus, the time it takes to quilt and bind the finished product is so fast compared to a large quilt!

Earlier in June, I attended a weekend-long virtual quilt retreat run through Millie P’s Quilt Shop. The theme of the retreat was “Tabletastic 2” and we were to make three specific table runners from Doug Leko’s new Tabletastic! 2 book. This book is excellent, as is its predecessor, Tabletastic!, with high-quality step-by-step instructions for a variety of runners and table toppers. Through demos and instruction from the staff at Millie P’s all weekend, I was able to complete all three runners during the retreat. What a fun event! As a bonus, there was even a guest appearance by Doug on our Zoom call. It was so great to be able to meet him!

So far in my quilting journey, star blocks are my favorite. The unique interlocking stars in the Cotswolds runner really appealed to me and it was fun to make. As precise as I was trying to be, I still managed to lose a few star points… Not sure what went wrong there, but I think it happened while trimming my flying geese blocks. So, per recommendation of the Millie P’s staff, I have now purchased an Ultimate Flying Geese Ruler which I hope will help me next time!

For a smaller project like this I could have quilt it on my regular sewing machine, but I decided to throw all three runners on the longarm to get more practice. For the quilting on this one, I experimented a bit to try to emphasize the interlocked shape the stars create by making a design that flows from one star into the next. I also played around with the negative space around them.

Stay tuned for the other two runners coming soon! 🙂

Finished Size: 16" x 48"
Pattern: Cotswolds table runner from the Tabletastic! 2 book by Doug Leko/Antler Quilt Designs
Fabric: Sophie by Brenda Riddle for Moda

Sew Sweetness

Moto Pouches

What better way to celebrate my birthday than by completing eight Moto pouches! Yes, today is my big day and I finished up the last of these pouches for my Girl Scout troop. Well, seven are for them and one is for me to hold my troop leader gear! I started leading my daughter’s troop this year and with all the virtual Zoom meetings we had to endure due to the pandemic, the girls deserve a fun end-of-the-year gift.

When set out to start this project I already had all the supplies I needed. I had found this Junior badges fabric at Joann’s in the clearance section for 80% off awhile ago. I didn’t know what I’d do with it at the time, but the price was right so I grabbed a few yards! It’s flannel but works surprisingly well for a pouch. I also used two different lining fabrics and zippers from my stash.

This was a fairly quick make thanks to the great pattern instructions and follow-along video from Sew Sweetness. I made these assembly line style, which I feel is the most efficient way to go when you want to make a lot of the same thing!

I experimented a bit by applying OdiCoat Waterproof Gel to the lining fabrics. This way the bags can easily be wiped clean if the girls put toiletries or something messy inside them. This was my first time using OdiCoat and I was very impressed with it! You can feel that the lining has a different texture. I’ll definitely use it again.

I wanted to add a little something extra to the pouches and found these Pop-It toy keychains. Fidget toys are all the rage right now with these girls, so I know they’ll be excited for this bonus gift. These will be fun zipper pulls for the bags.

Finished Size: Large - 9-1/2” long x 5” tall x 2-1/2” wide
Pattern: Moto pouch from the Minikins Season One Bundle by Sew Sweetness
Fabric: Girl Scouts Junior Badges flannel from Joann Fabrics
Cluck Cluck Sew

Easter Tulips Table Runner

The last of my spring tulip projects is complete! When I saw this Easter Tulips table runner pattern and fabric kit at a quilt shop, I couldn’t resist. I like the modern style and colors. While I was making this runner, I also made extra tulips and turned them into pillow covers and a wall hanging. It was a great way to work on multiple projects at once!

This runner turned out a bit wider than I was expecting. I almost feel like it’s too big for my table and it would be better as a wall hanging. I might add a hanging sleeve to the back and hang it up next year, but it certainly gives a nice pop of color on my table for now!

I quilted this on my longarm using a curved ruler to mimic petal and leaf shapes. I’m still getting the hang of the machine and fighting a bit with getting the thread tension settings just right but it’s going better each project I quilt!

Finished Size: 17.5" x 46"
Pattern: Easter Tulips from Modern Holiday Table Runners by Cluck Cluck Sew

Fat Quarter Shop

Feels Like Home Cross Stitch

When I saw the blue bird in the Feels Like Home cross stitch pattern, I knew I had to stitch it! I am a bird lover and coincidently my house is gray so this piece was just my style!

This was pattern was actually a mystery stitch-along where a new section of the piece was revealed each week during May 2020, but I didn’t end up starting it until this year when it was no longer a mystery. Good thing, because I decided to make some modifications to the original design.

The original included the text “Feels Like Home” under the house. I don’t really like words on my decor, so skipped it and moved the flower and fence up higher below the house. At that point it looked like it still needed something else. Some green bushes copied from above and some little flowers I created did the trick!

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I used the suggested Cloud 25 Count Lugana cloth and stitched over 2 with called for DMC from the thread pack offered by Fat Quarter Shop. With the modifications I made, the finished size of my piece was 9.5″ x 8.25″. It was a bit too wide to fit in a 10″ x 10″ square frame and have enough white space around it, so I searched Amazon and found the Craig Frames Arthur Picture Frame, 10 x 12 Inch, Gray Barnwood. The style, color and size of the frame worked out perfectly! I’m so happy with it!

Finished Size: 9.5" x 8.25"
Pattern: Feels Like Home by Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric: Cloud 25 Count Lugana by Lori Holt, stitched over 2 with called for DMC
Front Porch Quilts

Tulip Twist Wall Hanging

As I was gathering ideas for Spring decor projects, I remembered this Tulip Twist pattern and fabric kit I had purchased at Front Porch Quilt Shop two years ago. I pulled it out and made it along with my other recent tulip projects. I love the movement this piece creates! Both with the turning flowers and the dancing border.

The border was perhaps the most time-consuming part of this project. It involved making strip sets of each color of fabric sewn to a white strip and then cutting those down into 1.5″ pieces. (Small!) What took up the most time was sewing all those 1.5″ pieces together. The finished product was worth it though!

I took the opportunity to play around with the quilting, trying different designs in each flower. I used some of my rulers and a bit of freehand.

Ironically my real tulip garden outside looks like it’s not going to bloom this year, but at least I’ll have these cute flowers inside!

Finished Size: 32" x 32"
Pattern: Tulip Twist by Front Porch Quilts
Cluck Cluck Sew

Easter Tulips Wall Hanging

My mom was in need of another wall hanging so she could change out the winter one I made her last year. As I was making the Easter Tulips Pillows and a corresponding table runner that isn’t quite finished yet, I took some extra tulip blocks and quickly made this wall hanging!

I added the white border around the blocks to create the desired width and length, then I threw it on the longarm! Small projects like this are a great way to practice quilting designs. I’m still learning and they say the more you quilt, the better you’ll become. I played around with some rulers and did freehand on the leaves. I’m feeling a little more confident in using the machine now!

Finished Size: 11.5" x 30.5"
Pattern: Easter Tulips from Modern Holiday Table Runners by Cluck Cluck Sew
Cluck Cluck Sew

Easter Tulips Pillows

I’ve been busy sewing all things Spring lately — and in particular tulips! While working on a bright, happy tulip table runner called “Easter Tulips” by Cluck Cluck Sew, I got the idea to make extra tulips for pillow covers for my couch. These were so fast and easy to make that I finished them before the table runner!

The Easter Tulips pattern can be found in the Modern Holiday Table Runners pattern booklet. I followed the pattern for the tulip blocks, added a spacer between them and did the math to figure out the size of the white borders needed to create the 21-inch-square pillow covers. I made an envelope back to slip over my pillow forms. The tulip blocks went together quickly and I can’t wait to make more of the seasonal table runners in the booklet! I might have to convert more of them to matching pillow covers, too!

Walking into my living room is so bright and cheery now! What a fun project to use my fabric scraps.

Stay tuned for the table runner…

Finished Size: 21" x 21"
Pattern: Easter Tulips from Modern Holiday Table Runners by Cluck Cluck Sew