Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tested and Mother Approved :: Half Circle Runner

Much like the old commercial for Kix the cereal...this design has been tested and approved!  Approved by me, but I don't think that matters in this case!

Half circles have been intriguing to me and when I finally made the time to play with them, I was hooked and inspired!  There are so many options and I was determined to make my mark in the world of circles.  

When I was testing I made several blocks in order to be sure I could line up the seams and get a feel for circles.  Half Circles :: The Test is the result of my efforts.  Efforts I was all to happy to make, happy with the results and happy to use said 'test' blocks and make a runner out of them!
15" x 42"
In my mind, that was the easy part.  The hardest part, and the part I struggle with the most is quilting.  I remember when I first started quilting and blogging I asked once if quilting really mattered that much.  Naive.  Newbie.  In my mind I thought back then that the design is what spoke, not quilting.  Perhaps that gives you a glimpse into my mind and why quilting scares me!  Quilting does matter.  It's the make or break of any design.    

So we stress about it.  We set projects aside until an idea feels right.  Or maybe we even send it off to a professional who can make the determination of the right design for us.  Granted, this is just a runner.  A small piece that is inconsequential in the long run, but one I want to be killer good!  Which leads me to continually trying to make quilting a part of the design.

I decided to just do...and not think too much about it.  My first decision was thread.  I used Aurifil #5022 in Mustard.  I felt like it would be a good choice to blend into all the colors and not standout too much. 

The first thing I did was stitch in the ditch around the circles.  Then it was diagonal lines around the outside.   I first had my lines marked at 1", and then decided to make them 1/2".  It seemed so simple.  I struggled with making the lines line up, spaced evenly and at the right angle!

Struggle, yes!  I made it through and then had the circles to focus on.  I've never been one to see the big to say this was easy is a stretch!  It seemed appropriate to add some circles and that's just what I attempted to do!  

I will never say I nailed a pebble! some point it doesn't matter!  I will always and forever factor in the fact that pebbles are not perfectly round and after washing and the crinkle matters very little!

After pebbles, was a little swag action and a geometric star of sorts.  

I'm comfortable with how it turned out, enough so that it was time to bind it with a dark purple!  Which made for a very happy night of hand stitching Which I love to do so much.  No sarcasm...I really do!

I'm going to call this little adventure a test that panned out!!  It gave me the confidence to make an actual quilt using larger blocks. The troubling part for me is...lets revisit the to quilt it!


I don't want to quilt this.  I do not want to quilt this one!!  I do not want to do sub par quilting on this quilt....HELP!

That's where I'm at right now!  My mind says that there is so many options for this design, my common sense says 'you ain't gonna do it justice'!  I believe this is going to hang on my design wall for many months to come!

Normally I don't bring personal into my quilting blog.  However the past few days have been so devastating and heartbreaking that I'd like to make mention and request that you pray for a couple of families.

One of my daughters best friends husband just passed on Thursday of brain cancer.  He first had tumors four years ago and had a clean bill of health until a year ago when the tumors returned. His family grew since then to include Julian (8 months old) as the little brother to Elvie (9).  Aaron and Jessica were one of those couples who you knew were destined to be together as one.  Aaron passed on Thursday at the very young age of 33.  His brain cancer brought everyone to their knees.  Unexpected to say the least.

Also, my ex-sister-in-law succumbed to brain cancer just this morning.  She fought for ten years with colon cancer and in the past month she received the devastating news that she had brain cancer.  She fought valiantly for so long only to have another death sentence handed down to her. 

If you can send a prayer, I know that these families would receive it with open arms.  It's such a devastating diagnosis for anyone.  One, but two...Prayers...that's all that matters.



  1. So hard for your family to get that terrible news, Jayne - not once, but twice! Sending thoughts and prayers their way from this member of your quilty village. Your circles are amazing, and I really enjoyed seeing your quilting close up. I agonize over the quilting, too - I never want to ruin something I've worked so hard on! I know your next circles project will be just as wonderful!

    1. Thank you Diann for the prayers for both families. I now it is greatly appreciated. It’s one thing to quilt detail on a table runner and entirely another on a larger quilt! I’ll be setting it aside a bit longer until a concrete and confident plan comes to mind!

  2. Sending some prayers out to both families. Sorry, the quilting part is my struggle the quilt designs though!

  3. devastating news for the families for sure that is so sad - my sister's extended family went through this last month when her daughter in laws sister lost her husband in a freak medical thing after they had been married only two weeks! They had all just been to the wedding and then heard he had massive heart attack at age 33 and he never knew he had any heart problems. Love your quilting on this colorful piece - I love it

  4. "How To Quilt" is the age-old problem. Sleep on it awhile, and it will come to you! My condolences for your losses. Two prayers for all.

  5. My sincere condolences for your losses and the families of their loved ones. May their memories of good times bring them some solace in their time of grief. Your half circle table runner (love the bright and bold colors) turned out splendidly and the quilting makes it complete. I would be hard pressed to decide on how to quilt your larger half circle adventure..........maybe echo the curves of the half circle somehow/somewhere on the quilt. You have a good mind for it so it will be spectacular. Nadine W. N. Cali

  6. So sorry to hear of your great loss. Cancer is such a horrible disease. I am sending big hugs your way!

  7. Sending quilty hugs, Jayne! Loss of family and friends is never easy. Hoping for peace within the families you mentions and healing for all of the broken hearts.

    Regarding the quilting... Circus proves... You've got this!!

  8. Echoing the circles in your quilting, I am sending prayers all around.

  9. Jayne, so sorry for the loss of these two special people. They and their families are in my thoughts and prayers, as are you. Your projects are beautiful and I am sure you will find the right quilting for that lovely pink and orange flimsy. I look forward to seeing it when the time is right.

  10. Oh my, Jayne, I'm so sorry about your loss. I will be praying for the families, but also for you. How devastating. As to the quilting, I know that the quilt will eventually tell you what it wants. The first thing I see is a beaded curtain (remember those? maybe not, you are younger than me, I think) -- so at first glance I'd consider vertical lines, then a line that "connects" the circles, and then some fun quilting in the circles themselves. Not sure if that will make sense. At any rate, I know you'll come up with something cool.

  11. Oh Jayne, I am so sorry for the two losses in your circle. That must be so hard. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the families. Your quilting in the first quilt is wonderful and I'm sure the second quilt will turn out just as well.

  12. Your runner is gorgeous, you will do justice to the quilt on the wall!! Prayers will be added for both families. Life is fragile, but full of joys, and hopefully the joys remembered will sooth the souls of the families.

  13. My thoughts go out to those who have lost their love ones. Your runner turned out fabulous. Do you follow Vicki Welsh's blog-she has been doing a quilt with tons of circles, perhaps that will give you some ideas.

  14. Oh, Jayne. Two devastating losses in the same week -- my heart goes out to you and I lift all of the families up in prayer.

    As for your quilt: Your runner looks fabulous and I love the whole quilt pattern. I have some suggestions for the quilting. First, getting those lines to match up on either side of the circles is a snap if you mark them ahead of time. I bought a marking ruler from Judi Madsen at her workshop in Paducah that is AWESOME for marking lines like that quickly and accurately -- totally worth every penny. It's called the Quick Mark Assist ruler and it's on her site here: Next, although I love what you did on the table runner with machine quilting, you did mention that you enjoy hand stitching as well... My first thought looking at your quilt pattern is that this would look even MORE amazing with big stitch quilting in contrasting heavier weight threads, like those thicker Aurifil hand stitching threads or the Eleganza or Ellana lines that Sue Spargo developed with Wonderfil. I see concentric circles stitched in contrasting colors within those pieced circles and the straight line quilting in the background like you did by machine in your sample, but with the added texture of the heavy 8 or 12 weight thread. You could even combine machine quilting with hand quilting, like do the SID by machine and then the "visible" quilting by hand.

    I'm thinking this way because I went nuts at the Wonderful booth in Paducah and now I'm obsessed with finding the perfect project for them... :-)

    Sending you love and peace, Jayne.

  15. I love your quilting, and your pebbles are perfect, just like pebbles ;)
    Sorry about your family and friends.

  16. I am IN LOVE with this table runner - it's everything fantastic with its rich, saturated colors, its roundness, and its just-right quilting. I am not one who see the big picture, either - I do one step, then can decide on the next, etc - so envisioning a whole project is rare as hen's teeth. I've been a follower of your blog for awhile now - several years, I think? - and enormously enjoy your projects and your thought processes. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Love and prayers to you and the two families - just, well..... love and prayers.

  17. Both pieces are awesome. I feel your struggle with the quilting. Sorry to hear about the losses to your family. Thinking of you.

  18. I love the circles. You will find a nice quilting pattern for the orange top I am sure! Both pieces are beautiful. I am scared of circles, never tried to make one. Maybe it is time to overcome my fear and start!!
    Sorry to hear about the losses in your family.


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