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Modern Quilted Table Runner

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This blog post is about so much more than a Modern Quilted Table Runner which is inspired by a piece of art that I recently inherited.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quiltsBack up a bit….As my parents age, my sisters and I have had to make hard decisions regarding our aging parents. And I mean hard. We basically kidnapped my parents and forced them to move into a senior apartment near one of my sisters. (We’re really not cruel people. My mother fell, bled everywhere, and then my Dad stuck a bandaid on her wound, and put her back in the bed. No more living on your own, Mom and Dad.)

Fortunately, my husband’s mother came up with her own plan that didn’t involve kidnapping. My husband’s sister moved in with my mother-in-law. It’s ideal because my mother-in-law can still live semi-independently in her own home but now has someone looking out for her.

All of this parental moving around has opened up a ton of opportunity to inherit longed-for furniture, art, and other stuff. Y’all may have read how I am basically beyond wanting anymore furniture, art, or stuff ~ with one exception.

A painting that I love. I mean really, really love. It’s a mixed media piece made with tissue paper and paint. The artist gifted it to my mother-in-law loooonnnnnng ago. It’s the one thing I secretly always wished we could inherit. And my husband’s mother no longer had room for it with the new living arrangement. She offered it to us.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quilts

If you look around my house you will see evidence of this painting through color choices, rugs, and even art pieces. I think I’ve been trying to replicate this piece for years. All that aside, it is a great improvisational piece of art.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quiltsAnd that got me thinking about improvisational quilts. I have been reading blogs about improv quilts and have been wanting to make one myself. So I pulled out a few fabrics with similar colors and just started piecing them together while staring at a picture of The Painting.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quilts

The painting has more browns and beiges ~ I replaced these colors with grays. I created two similar panels that I flipped and connected in the middle with two strips.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quiltsIt’s not identical, but it definitely gets its inspiration from The Painting. Once the quilt was pieced I decided to do simple quilting with a diagonal stitch. I used a walking foot and drew diagonals that pointed towards the middle transition piecing.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quiltsEach of the diagonals were spaced 1″ apart. I absolutely love how this quilting created another layer of modern inspiration. While not in The Painting, still a very modern touch.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quiltsFor the center panel I did a back and forth Free Motion Quilt stitch. This way I was able to transition between the two separate sections that face in opposite directions. I’m showing this on the back because it stands out better.

This table runner came about because of a painting I received as a gift. I love the modern geometric design in the painting and was inspired to create this modern quilted table runner using improvisational quilting methods. quilting | modern quilts | improvisational quiltsFor the back I pieced together a gray and white lettering fabric that I got who knows where. I didn’t have enough for the entire back so I used some strips of lighter fabric leftover from my Jelly Roll Jam Quilt. These were all leftover strips from the front piecing and were the perfect size. All in all, there was very little waste with this quilting project. Most of the fabric came from remnants of other sewing projects.

https://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/a-quilt-and-a-giveaway/While I know that this quilt isn’t quilt show worthy, I gained a ton of knowledge about improv quilting and have decided that I really like it. Even though this quilt followed a pattern that I made up by looking at a painting, it was still very much improvisational.

https://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/a-quilt-and-a-giveaway/This project was satisfying on so many levels. I was able to pay homage to a piece of art that I have loved for years and years. I was able to use this painting as a starting point in experimenting with improv quilting.

I find that the more I quilt the more I love it. Everyday I have new ideas for quilts and I hope I can turn a fraction of these ideas and inspirations into real quilts. It’s like I have started to see the world through quilting eyes. 

Follow my Modern-ish Quilts Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

Follow The Seasoned Homemaker’s board Modern-ish Quilts on Pinterest.

Now for some very sad news. While I was sewing this quilt my mother’s health began rapidly declining. Right after I finished it, I got a call from my sister in Ft. Worth ~ my mom did not have much longer and I should get there ASAP. I got there in time to say goodbye and within a few hours my mother was gone.

It has been a whirlwind of activity. We’ve been in Ft. Worth, Houston, and Austin. My daughter who lives in Newfoundland came with her family for a week. All good things. But, that is why I’ve been pretty quiet on social media and the blog. Things are starting to settle down and I should be back to regular posting by the time you read this.

On the brighter side, quilting and the ability to do something with both my mind and hands has been a lifesaver during these difficult days. And creating something that can be handed down gives me even greater satisfaction. Currently, one of my grandsons has asked me to make him his own quilt with a red arrow.

I am thinking that this will be my next quilt. If you know of any quilt patterns with arrows, send them my way!

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21 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I am happy for you that you got to be with your mother at the end of her life. Please accept my condolences.

  2. Quilting has a way of providing many outlets. I’ve found it particularly fulfilling as I journey through my own valley time. Losing one’s mother is not an easy thing no matter how old you are. Condolences and know that life will attain a new normal Blessings

  3. God bless you and give you peace as you walk this journey of losing your mom. Making quilts for grandchildren are the most rewarding.

  4. May God bless you and your family as you experience this new stage of life. I pray that you have peace that you and your family did everything possible for your dear mother. I pray that your father will have strength to get through this very difficult transition. Please accept my sympathy and prayers. Melissa in Georgia.

  5. I pray God’s peace and comfort be with you and yours during this time. Love your improv quilt and that quilting is providing calm in the midst of storms…truly a little gift from Him!

  6. Leslie, I’m so sorry about your mother’s death. I am glad, however, that you were there to say goodbye. That will be important to you and I’m sure it already is. Your tablerunner is lovely. Well done. I know I’ve seen a pattern with arrow blocks. If I locate it, I will pass it on. Take good care of yourself.

  7. Praying God will give you the comfort and peace at the loss of your Mom. Praying for your family. It is a hard season to walk through, but there is grace enough to carry you through.

  8. I am sending prayers and hugs your way. May your mother rest in sweet repose and may you and your family find comfort and peace in cherished memories. Quilting is a balm to our troubled and sad minds.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I do love your quilted table runner, it is just beautiful. It always helped me to stay busy during my time of grief.

  10. So sorry for your loss. Glad you could be with your Mom and that you are part of a loving caring family.
    Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind your lovely table runner – the quilting really does add a whole new look to the piecing. So clever I’ve had to pin it to not one but two of my Pinterest boards – thank you!

  11. I’m very sorry to hear about your mum, sounds like you’ve been going through it! But like you, I am a great believer that craft, particularly quilting, is a great therapy through good times and bad. It also amazes me where we find the inspiration for our projects, that painting is beautiful, and you have done it credit in your table runnner.
    I’m over visiting from Late Night Quilter, thank you for sharing your very emotional story,

  12. I don’t now anything about quilting, though I’m learning I do enjoy a bit of sewing. I’d love to try my hand at quilting something one day…this improvised table runner is beautiful and I can certainly see the paintings inspiration in it.

    Sorry to hear about your mother’s passing, but it sounds like there’s been some peace both for her and you in this process. 🙂

  13. Leslie, your quilted runner is beautiful, and I do love how it reflects the piece of art you have loved so much for so long. 🙂 I also love how healing sewing and quilting can be. When my husband died unexpectedly last year, I began sewing again after many years away from it. It absolutely saved me. It was the one thing I could do where I could completely lose myself, completely concentrate, and even produce something pretty and useful (usually!). There was not a day that went by that I did not say, “Thank you, God, that I know how to sew.” So your beautiful post really touched my heart, and I am so very glad you have the refuge of quilting after the loss of your Mother. Thank you for sharing this. ♥

  14. Thank you for sharing during your time of grief and renewal. Mothers are special and they can never be replaced. Your art work to honour her and yourself is wonderful. I have a similar story but with my mother-in-law. I have some of her wonderful handwork that I will be putting into quilts for my children. Thank goodness for quilting, a place and time I can lose myself and make something while I am there.

  15. I can see why you love that painting so much. It’s pretty awesome. You are definitely getting inspiration from it in your decorating, you really nailed the table runner! It’s beautiful. Congrats on your finish.

  16. Hi Leslie,
    I lost my mom just a year ago so I know how much of an emotional up-and-down you will be facing. Sewing/quilting gives you a boost whenever you need one. I am very intrigued by the improv quilting, I had not heard of it before. I’m new to Pinterest, so here’s one more thing to learn about!
    My best to you and your family, tomorrow will be easier than today was.

  17. I realize this is an older post. I lost my mom in 2017 and my dad this year. Mom was almost 96, dad was almost 100. They were no longer together but lived long lives. I do love your runner and love improv quilting though have never tried it. I also spent 18 years in Newfoundland and have a daughter who still lives there. Perhaps an improv runner will come out of this self isolation period.

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