Sewing for a Friend

A friend of mine asked me to make some pillows for their living room and a table runner for their large dining table. I had given her a quilt for their second baby girl two years ago and she wanted some more. It’s fun to sew for people who enjoy and appreciate this kind of work.

She loves country style. For the pillows, she had asked for some red. I had sent links to her of a few examples. We had agree on this one. I did pretty much the same. The final size of the pillow covers is 20″. I picked some fabrics from the Shelburne Fall collection by Denyse
Schmidt mixed with a print from a previous collection, Flea Market
Fancy. I also used prints from Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket and Reunion by Sweetwater both for Moda. For the neutral fabric, I used Essex linen/cotton blend by Robert Kaufman in flax.

Sewing for a Friend - Pillows

I used this technique for the half-square triangles. It went quite well. My initial squares were 4.25. I just trimmed the dog ears when I was done making the HSTs. I’ve used this tutorial at Sew! Mama, Sew! to put a zipper closure on the back.The fabric on the back is a home decor weight cotton I bought at local fabric shop.

Sewing for a Friend - Pillows

For the table runner, I had a bit more freedom. My friend had sent a picture of their dining room, which has green paint on the walls and curtains made out of a fabric with plaid patterns in cream, black and brown. I tried to find fabrics in those colors. I used Kona from Robert Kaufman in Parsley for the negative space and in Ivory for the flange. The prints used in the main blocks are from the following collections:

  • Little Country Posies by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics
  • Antique Fair by Blackbird Designs for Moda
  • Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda
  • Back in Time by Sandy Gervais for Moda

My main blocks were inspired by these projects: herehere and here. I decided to add some diamonds in between blocks to lengthen the table runner. Unfortunately, I don’t have the name of the green stripes I used for those.

Sewing for a Friend - Table Runner

The final size of the HST are 2.5″ and I added a 1″ border all around, so the flange I added wouldn’t cover the blocks. This made a table runner of 12″ x 42″, which I think is great for their table of 39″ x 71″. It leaves place for placemats. For the flange, I had cut my fabric to 1″ strips. I think next time I’ll try to do them narrower. For both projects, quilting went quite well. I particularly like the free motion quilting I added for the green diamonds in the table runner.

Sewing for a Friend - Table Runner

It was the first time I sewed for “commission”. It was a bit weird to set a price, particularly for a friend. I find it hard to price handmade items. It has always more value than what you can charge. But, anyway I really enjoyed making this for her, trying to find what she would like. I hope I succeeded. Pleasing people you like is always the best gratification.

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