Sunday, January 21, 2018

Reengineering and repurposing a boring table runner using Quilt-As-You-Go [QAYG]

Re-engineering a table runner into a small quilt using Quilt-as-You-Go.
As a more experienced free-motion quilter, I like the potential that a full, wide-open, uninhibited quilt top "canvas" has to offer for quilting. So the QAYG [quilt as you go] piecing/quilting method is not a go-to technique for me. Yes, it has a place and advantages, but I don't gravitate toward this quilting method.

However, I recently ran into a situation—while creating order from chaos in my studio—where steps from the QAYG method was a good solution.

A boring table runner
I had a runner that was made with a pre-cut strip set. It was quilted in the ditch. It wasn't used... it was kinda boring. So with a 2018 goal of "use it up or give it up," I decided to reengineer and repurpose it as a kitty quilt for the cats at the Cat Clinic of Chattanooga. Here's the original runner (sorry—not a good photo).
Original runner 36" x 16".

The reengineering operation
To fit the cubbies at The Cat Clinic, the size of the runner needed to be converted from a long, skinny rectangle to something closer to 25" x 27".
Cut up and re-sewn quilt.
  • First, the binding was detached from most of the perimeter and 3 of the corners. (A productive use for the seam ripper!)
  • With the rotary cutter, a piece from one end was whacked off. 
  • From fabric scraps, two mini quilt sandwiches were constructed and added to the whacked-off piece.
  • Using the QAYG method for attaching pre-quilted squares together, the new piece was attached to the original section along one long side... making the new kitty quilt a more appropriate size. 
  • As with QAYG, a fabric strip was inserted into the seam so it could be flipped over the exposed edges and topstitched down.
Left: fabric strip sewn into the seam.
Right: the edge of the fabric strip was turned under and topstitched down.
Here is the back. The strip covers the raw edges where the two quilted sections were abutted and joined.
Back of new quilt.
The most difficult part was reattaching the loose binding because the attached part was already folded and connected to the quilt.
Re-attaching the binding.
In hindsight, I should have removed the entire binding from the quilt. It would have been easier to just attach the binding from scratch—even if I reused the original binding. A tip for next time...

New repurposed kitty quilt. A functional kitty quilt is better than an unused runner. Isn't that right, blog stalker?
Kitty quilt re-purposed from a boring table runner.
Another repurposing idea
Now that I've experimented with the QAYG joining method for pre-quilted pieces, I'm thinking this technique could also be used to combine (join) several small quilts or quilted pieces together to make a larger quilt. A repurposing idea to make a larger and more functional quilt from smaller pieces that perhaps are not used as often.
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