Rainy-Day Runner

comments: 47


It's a commitment. It's not for the hand-sewing faint-hearted. But look how pretty. My Purl Bee Runner is underway. I am very pleased. By late afternoon, I'd made some chai and had stitched eight of the twenty-two squares to the backing fabric. Luckily, I love to slipstitch. You'll get good at it here. Twenty-two for the runner (I made my shorter than theirs) and eight for the napkins (later).


To make the runner (and napkins), you back the fabric squares with pieces of fusible interfacing, then slit the interfacing and turn the square, pressing it into place on the backing fabric. The fusible web helps hold the square in place while you applique it. It's a nice method, though my linen was so heavy (like, really thick and heavy) the web didn't want to stick that much. But it was enough. A trick for pressing down the outside edges of the square, where there are a couple of layers of fabric to heat through: Press the backing fabric around the edge of the square first, then press the square down on top of it. That will heat up the fusible web from below, and melt it together. Do this quickly, one side at a time, so the fabric stays hot.


There is a reason the Purl ladies did this as a quilting bee — it's a lot of sewing, and besides, how fun would this be to make together? (very) — but I have only a warm, sofa-hogging dog so I have to do mine myself, with a dog head in my lap. Plus there's no more room on this sofa. Have I mentioned before about my cuddly dog?


Yes. I think I have. The goal of this dog's life is, apparently, to lay with her head in my lap. Or her chin on my ankles. Or her paws on my thighs. Occasionally she looks up at me adoringly and pushes her suede nose into my hand, and then I put my work down and scratch her bunny-soft forehead. For a long time. Oh, Clover Meadow. You are aptly named. I've never met a dog as sweet and gentle, as beckoning and full of sunshine as you.


In the late afternoon, as we watch the leaves blow away, and the rain start to fall, this is pretty much what we do.

(It's kind of hard to take pictures of a dog on your own lap, I have to say. The camera happened to be on the tripod just a couple of feet away, so I pulled it over and sort of pointed it down at what I thought it should look at, and set the timer, but I couldn't ever see the viewfinder. After a few shots, the battery died, but who would want to move from here to go get more. Not her. Even less, me.)


Your runner is turning out so beautifully! Nice color choices. I laughed when you talked about 22 squares. I'm making a quilt for my son that has 720 2 inch squares. Now granted they are machine pieced. But 720! And I am going to hand quilt the finished product. Ah well...one square at a time.
That's love.

Your runner is turning out so beautifully! Nice color choices. I laughed when you talked about 22 squares. I'm making a quilt for my son that has 720 2 inch squares. Now granted they are machine pieced. But 720! And I am going to hand quilt the finished product. Ah well...one square at a time.

I love the colors and prints you picked out for your runner! Very comforting and will go so nicely with the new dishes..:) I found out (accidentally) last night that my very sweet dear Hubby called around/drove way out of his way to purchase your new book for my Christmas gift. I look SO forward to spending some time on Christmas day looking through it! I would have ordered it right away, but we are budgeting this holiday season (buying for other people not ourselves).I was SO excited!!!!:) I am going to mail off that SASE to you in hopes of receiving a signed bookplate for it. Happy Stitching...and happy cuddling with adorable Clover Meadow.

Goodness, it's about time that you had a photo of Clover Meadow. I love crafting but... she truly makes my day!

I just have this feeling... that runner... those dishes... it's going to be a magical, candlelit table when you're done!

That is looking amazing so far!! Can't blame you for not wanting to move!

What a nice way to spend your day.
Chai, sewing and your companion Clover Meadow.

It will be stitched in time... wait... where have I heard that expression? I would love to join you and Clover the Sofa Rover and stitch away the rainy day.

Very beautiful! Your runner, and your assistant =)
Nice way to spend a rainy-day!

Sweet post. My cat absolutely lives to lay on my chest/belly/lap. It makes working on the computer or a project hard, but I work around her.

Awww...the sweetness of a cuddly dog to keep you company is priceless. The runner is turning out beautifully (no surprise there...) I almost lost my mind and made one too when you first posted, lol! But I'll be just as excited to see how yours turns out. Take care and thanks so much for your wonderful blog. :o)

Wow, I'm so impressed with how far you are on your runner already. I'm jealous too because I haven't started mine yet. Have the fabrics picked out though. What a wonderful way to spend a day!

Oh what a completely blissful way to while away a rainy afternoon. Bless your little cotton socks Miss Clover, you truly are an angel dog :o)

PS: The runner is looking gorgeous Alicia, but if the truth be told it's the suede-nosed, velvet-eared pup that steals the show. Every time. Without fail.

The runner looks lovely, and I admire your patience - I would probably end up doing it all by machine, missing out on that soft hand-stitched look!

It's funny how the familiar leaps out at you. I was quietly scrolling down reading your post when one of the fabrics you're using leaped out and hit me in the eye. I've got the same one from a shopping trip I did over the net from a shop in America. I wanted to see if this internet thing would work. (And now that the Aussie dollar has dived I won't be doing it again for a while...)It's the one with the brown background and reddish bobbles. I haven't used mine yet.

I'm loving how your runner is turning out. It's going to look so lovely with your new set of dinnerware. Oh! I went to the store and bought a 10 grain cereal by Bob's Red Mill. I got inspired by the hot bowl of cereal you made yesterday :)

delightful, all of it!

You have absolutely the best eye for color. I'm completely jealous.

And I can't believe how big Clover is. A full-grown dog - she was a tiny puppy just a few weeks ago, wasn't she?

This is turning out so lovely, Alicia! You mean to say fusible (or iron-on) interfacing, not fusible web, right?

Hi Alicia,

I just received my new BUST magazine and saw your apron project! Congratulations! My two favorite things in one spot.

Kelly A

*sigh* I'll come stitch with you! I can even bring my doggy too, she loves to be stitching company. But because I live on the other side of the planet I'll just join you in spirit.

PS. I come home from work each day hoping to see THE book in the mail - might be today! :)

Thanks for all your creative inspiration and thanks for sharing your lovely dog with us!

Dogs are just the best. My Abbey follows me from room to room during the day, content to just be by me. I think if you have the love and devotion of a good dog then you are mightily blessed indeed.
Just wanted you to know your post made me smile tonight. :)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com