Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tickled with Ticking

Something about ticking fabric has always appealed to me. I suppose it's the simple, understated elegance and functionality of it. 

Originally, ticking was a tightly woven, (usually a twill weave) medium to heavy weight cotton or linen fabric whose pattern generally consisted of thin, dark colored vertical stripes on a white or beige background. True ticking was supposed to be so tightly woven that no light would pass through the weave.

That's because, way back when, when mattresses were stuffed with either feathers or straw, ticking was created and used as mattress fabric. It's close, tight weave and sturdiness was necessary in order to keep the pointy ends of feather shafts, or the ends of straw, from poking through the mattress and into the persons skin!       

Today, modern ticking fabrics are used for multiple purposes, and patterns are a bit more diverse. Also, unlike the original versions that were so densely woven, it can now often be found in quilt weight fabrics and sold alongside commercial homespun fabrics. (By the way, "homespun" gets it's name from fabrics that originally were spun and woven in one's home, as ticking might have been).

Now, when making these table runners, I wanted to keep the integrity of the ticking's simplicity. Thus, I focused on various ways to make an interesting runner without much, (or any) piecing.

For the runner above, I kept the cloth whole. Then I quilted it with various wavy and straight lines that followed the pattern of the stripes. This added a fun pattern and texture, without competing against the pattern of the fabric. The chocolate shot-cotton binding goes nicely with the brown ticking stripes.

This runner also started out as a whole cloth, which I quilted in straight rows going down the center of each wide, tan stripe. I then added some patches in the same fabric, placing them cross grain and appliquéing in place with a zig-zag stitch. I then quilted the patches as well. A rust-brown shot-cotton binding helps add to this runner's rustic warmth.

For this last runner I began with a center panel of ticking, then edged it with two smaller panels of a linen/cotton blend. Once again, the quilting was kept simple as not to compete with the humbleness of the fabric. Thin wavy lines were quilted along the ticking and slightly wavier lines along the solid linen/cotton boarders. The multi colored striped ticking fabric that I used in the first runner worked great as the perfect binding for this piece.

For more information on any of these quilted ticking table runners, just click on the links below each one.  

And until next time...
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Beauty of Blue

I found these beautiful, blue, made in Japan, Moda fabrics at my local quilt shop a few weeks ago, and absolutely had to add some to my stash. That faded and aged looking print is by far one of the best commercial prints I think I have ever seen!

Finding it hard to creatively focus with all of the stuff that went on this past month, I have decided to just keep concentrating on making some table runners for the immediate time being,  as I love their versatility and simplicity.

These blues are as soothing as can be, don't you think? They've got a good zen quality going on.

And speaking of blues, our yard has been filled with flocks of blue birds! We usually see them here and there from time to time, but we have never had flocks of them before. This lifts my spirits, as for years I have attached positive meanings with certain birds. They are kind of a symbol to me that all is well. Cardinals signify that I am on the right track, and blue birds, not surprisingly, symbolize happiness and joy... a reminder to really let go of my worries and count my blessings. 

Hmm... does that sound crazy or not? Do any of you have certain symbols that you look for as reminders that, as Robert Browning once wrote, "God's in his Heaven - All's right with the world!" If so please let me know in your comments, as I am curious.

As usual, you can find more about this runner in my shop. Just click here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Got the good news today that my biopsy results were A- OK. I am so truly thankful. Many heartfelt thanks for all of the understanding and kind words left after my previous post.

I am not sure why, but after years of these types of scares, (and as I said before all of them ending in good news) I truly think that this time I was just overcome with battle fatigue. When doctors work so hard to try to rule out and/or find cancer in you, (and God bless them for looking so carefully) it's hard to not after awhile start to believe that your number is indeed going to be called. And after I received my good news late this afternoon today, that is where my mind did go... to all the woman who didn't get the good news. To all the woman who already have, or will now have to, find the courage, faith, strength, energy, time and money to fight the battle of breast cancer. My thought and prayers go out to each and every one. And hopefully, one day, may our daughters and granddaughters not have to worry about such a disease.

Maybe now I can get the cobwebs out of my brain and post some work. A few new table runners are awaiting completion. I hope to post them soon. Again, many thanks for all the kindness you all have shown me with your caring and good wishes, and all-around niceness. I deeply appreciate it. xo