“2 + 7.5”

Late Friday evening I went into my sewing room, looking for a particular piece of fabric.  Of course, I could not find it immediately, but as I was going through my bins of fabric (yes, that was bins plural!), I came across two pieces of fabric I had forgotten I had (this is the “2” in the title).  Has that ever happened to you?  As soon as I saw them, an idea popped into my head.  The fabric seemed to be speaking to me, so I wrote down what it said it wanted to be.

Not exactly a professional quality pattern, but I knew what I wanted. My finished product was projected to be between 48″-49″ long and between 16″-17″ wide. By the way, wof stands for Width of Fabric.
These are the two rectangles of fabric. They are my sister-in-law’s favorite color and her favorite subject! The table runner is for her.

With my drawing and fabrics in hand, I went to my computer to look for the embroidery designs I knew I wanted to use and then went straight to the cutting table (i.e. the dining room table) to cut out the pieces.  Within an hour I had found the fabric, sketched the design, found the embroideries and pieced the top.  Not bad!  Next I marked the center of the middle of the table runner and laid out the paper templates for the embroidery placements.

Once the top of the table runner was assembled….
….I marked both the vertical and horizontal center of the table runner’s middle piece…
… and began laying out my paper templates…
…until I was happy with my arrangement.
I marked my centers for each template and I was ready to start stitching. Did you notice the backing is attached with the batting and top to make the quilt sandwich?

At this point I made a decision on my batting:  I decided to use OESD’s Fusible Fleece and I fused that to the backing fabric.  This way I knew my work would be stabilized as I embroidered and I had no chance of the backing fabric creasing without my knowledge.  (Ask me how I know that can be a problem!)  I used my 200×200 hoop for the center embroideries and used the plastic alignment template that came with the hoop to make sure I was centered when I got to the machine.

I put the template on when I get to the machine to check my alignment.
Once I’m sure the center is lined up, I remove the template and begin the embroidery.

Remember that embroidery always uses less tension on the top thread than in regular sewing.  I order to make the embroidery look like quilting rather than an embroidery design the top thread tension must be increased to form a more balanced stitch.  I wanted to use the Active Stitch Technology on my Pfaff (known on the Husqvarna Vikings as the Deluxe Stitch System) to give me the best thread feed, so I increased it from 50 to 80.

My Pfaff has this adjustment in the Stitch Out Progress area in Embroidery Stitch Out. The Husqvarna Vikings usually have this adjustment in the Settings Menu when in embroidery mode.

Once I finished embroidering the center panel it was time to quilt the borders.

I usually use my Endless Hoop to quilt the borders.

Since you can’t see the design as well on the borders, here it is:  from Pfaff’s Brilliant Blocks and Borders collection.

This design has registration marks at the beginning and end to create seamless border designs.

In case you are interested, the center embroideries are from the following collections: 

Pfaff’s Holiday Line Art Collection
Husqvarna Viking’s Holiday Felting Collection
Pfaff’s Holiday Line Art Collection

7.5 hours after I began this process, I have a finished product. 

The finished product has actual measurements of 48 5/8″ long X 16 1/2″ wide.

For all you embroiders out there, there are about 80,000 stitches total in this table runner, including the center and border designs.  The stitching took a little more than 6 hours to complete and the remaining time was spent in the table runner’s assembly. Thus the title of this writing: two rectangles of fabric and seven and a half hours of work! “2 + 7.5”