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.)


How great is your dog?

I just got a new (to me) puppy about three weeks ago and now i fully understand the world of breaking to look in puppies eyes and just get lost in the love that one feels. I think that even the cats feel the love! Now, that's a feat! Thanks for the beautiful post.

After losing a dog you loved so much, it was meant to be that you get a little dog who was so loving and gentle. Aren't we lucky to have animals in our lives.
The table runner is looking wonderful - I reckon it will be gracing the table by the weekend.x

Look at that girl . . . what a sweet pup! You are very blessed indeed.

I have similar leg-warmers on the couch or at my desk, excepted they're... cats !
The runner is lovely, a successful combination as usual !
I love that Moda Urban Chicks fabric (the grey one) 3 of them from the beautiful 1974 collection are waiting to become pillows & other little decorations for Christmas (red,aqua ,white) in my French house :)

I know exactly what it's like to be immobilised by a doggy! The power living, breathing, balls of cuddliness have over us is extraordinary and ridiculous............. But I love it!
I'm enjoying your new book enormously, the photo of Clover on her first walk tugged at my heart strings.................. and the projects look wonderful........... I have a guilty admission........... I don't really sew................ but I had to have your book pre-ordered anyway.........................And I love your words of wisdom, sprinkled through out the book................... Wonderful book, well done!

This is going to be so beautiful. And I love your dog too! Wish she could come over and keep me company.

I was sent over by A Friend To Knit With. Leslie, my sister, said you had a PDA file for Christmas Jar Labels
form Dec 2007. I could not find them... I was wondering if you had any tips where I would find them? Thanks for your time.
Michelle Davis

susaninfrance says: November 21, 2008 at 06:19 AM

oh sh*t, i looked at that and thought, cute but too much work for me....now I've seen yours and I'll have to reconsider! Perhaps for a special Valentine's Day table? that'll give me more time!! Or, I could do the easier applique and not the fold under type? why not??

I feel compelled to mention that I also have that dark brown fabric with the little gold circle-patterns! And that I'd seen it across the room and had to make a beeline for it at Fabric Depot. I have no idea what I'm doing with it yet, but maybe it can team up with some other wonderfuls and make a table runner like this.

I love the fabrics you've chosen! And I totally understand the dog-on-lap coziness. My puppy knows just how to get me to stay on the couch!

I love the table runner! I have one that I'm trying to get done for Thanksgiving, since we're hosting this year... Is there any reason you couldn't machine applique the squares on? I'm thinking a narrow blind hem stitch, maybe even with invisible thread?

I love this runner. Yours is beautiful. Very warm and cozy! ...the puppy thinks so!

I've been wanting to make this up, just have to find the time. Don't think it will happen before Thanksgiving. I'll have to try for next year!

I already like your runner better than the one you linked to. Must be about the fabric choices for the squares. It's going to be lovely.

You guys are beautiful! that sweet mellow post just made my day (my sleepy, coughing with a pathetic cold at work day!) ... thank you! I love slip stitching, too, tho i've pretty much only done it a little to handbind a couple tiny wall quilts. that was enuf, tho, to find it very steady and restful...
thanks again, for just being here!

My favorite part of this post is the end where you say the pictures are only a bonus to the true love who accompanies you through your Runner-y process. So so sweet.

This is strange to say, but I feel like I love Clover Meadow, without ever having met her. Such a sweetie.


Can you share what kind of iron you use? We are hunting right now.

Keep stiching...5 days left.

Great color choices, lovely work, but here's why I will never be a proper maker-of-things: you SEW fusible lining to twenty-two patches in order to STICK them to the backing fabric in order to SEW them to the backing fabric in order to SEW (quilt) over them again? I don't have it in me.

Also, have you noticed that if you type the word "SEW" repeatedly and loudly in capitals you start to pronounce it funny in your head? "SOO? SEHW? SEEW? What the heck?"

That runner is going to be just gorgeous. Love your fabric choices. I was looking for a red with white polka dot fabric just likes yours the other day and couldn't find anything that was quite right.

Had to laugh at your needle in the bed story. My husband lives in fear and horror of my sewing needles. Poor guy got more than one in his FEET when my mother was sewing my wedding dress!

We're so excited that you're making the runner! The colors look beautiful. Can't wait to see a photo of the table all set.

those dogs are so cute! I love the pictures. Hope you have a happy thanksgiving.

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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