Today I'm sharing another project that ignited my creativity, reinforced my style and encouraged me to push my skills. I am so happy with this finished table runner, which now sits pride of place on top of my fabric cupboard (no longer covered in mess!).

I created this runner in the summer as part of the #justjudecollaborates series of makes organised by Judith Hollies. It's actually made using the Horseplay cushion pattern by talented designer Kerry Foster of PennyDog Patchwork.

The fabric pull took a long time. I really liked the fabrics Kerry used in her original version. It was a struggle finding a print combination that would work, and having decided that it would ultimately live in our dining room/my sewing space, I wanted it to not be too fussy. I picked out some pastel solids but then added in more deeper jewel tones of mustard, blue, turquoise and raspberry. Now if you told me that list I wouldn't be convinced it would work but somehow combined with the pastels it looked pretty. Thinking it may be too flat, some pastel prints were added in the mix and I hit on a combination I really love. 

The darker print that Kerry used in her cushion adds such depth to the pattern so I knew there had to be some contrast. I tried a dark solid grey but again it was too flat with the other solids. Then I unearthed one of my favourite Karen Lewis prints from my stash, Trellis in Coal from Blueberry Park, and may have squealed! (I must ask Karen if there's a chance Trellis could be re-released!)
Of course the grid pattern of the print wouldn't stay perfectly symmetrical as some pieces of the pattern are curves, but the intersections look like sparkles and it fit so well with the theme I was going for.

Piecing commenced and I hadn't put too much thought into the layout as I was creating the blocks, I just tried to create a good mix as it's easy to rearrange the blocks before stitching them together. I made a 4 x 9 block layout for the table runner. 

I had a lot of fun piecing the blocks and really enjoyed seeing the colour combinations play together in the final layout.

Once it had a good press, I basted the runner and thought about options for the quilting. Kerry does give instructions for quilting the cushion in her pattern and I do like the design but I decided to use this opportunity to use the Janome Ruler Work Kit of quilting rulers. And wouldn't you know one of the rulers happened to be the PERFECT size for quilting the edges of the appliqué - the simple pointed oval.

It was then that I realised I had not yet got a quilting ruler foot for my machine!! I have since rectified that and now have the correct foot, so I will be putting the rulers to good use again soon. Also the seam allowance using a ruler foot would have meant that the quilting was further away from the raw edges, though that's not a real issue on a table runner. Anyway I decided I could still make it work and simply traced inside the ruler with chalk and then used my free motion foot to stitch the shapes. 

Doing these simple shapes created the most gorgeous texture! 

Of course the ruler traced shapes only caught one edge of the applique so I eyeballed free motion 'circles' to catch the outer edges. And no I did not tie in all the ends, rather I just used the locking stitch on my machine. I do always bring the bottom thread up to the top when doing free motion to prevent nesting. It's easy to trim those longer threads off later or as you go. The locking stitch does create a little knot on the back so I would never use it for an actual quilt, but for a quilting cushion, runner, wall hanging - anything you (or a quilt competition judge!) won't see the back of, it's my go-to easy way to start and end quilting.

Delighted with the finished runner, the pattern was so fun to stitch. I've long been a fan of Kerry's designs, she's so creative and her patterns are technically so interesting - I like how her brain works!

Can you see how the grey Trellis print sort of looks like sparkly twinkles?! It creates nice movement and draws your eyes around the top along with the pops of those darker solid colours.

I'm also pleased I tried something outside of my usual with the quilting. Even from the back it looks cool - not too close though because of those locking stitches! 

Thank you to Kerry for offering this fabulous pattern to make as part of the designer collaboration, I love it! 

You can find all Kerry's pattern including the Horseplay cushion pattern in the PennyDog Patchwork shop HERE.

I'm finally making time to catch up with blogging about projects made this year - so excuse me if I post more than usual over the next few days. I hope it may give you inspiration for makes and patterns you can add to your list to create in 2021!

Also note to self - you've used up practically all the pastel solids you had in this and the last quilt top you made, so stock up when you can (especially pink, peach and mint).