GO! Row House Runner: Finishing Touches

Oct 28, 2022 10:30:00 AM / by Erica Bottger

I can’t believe we’re wrapping up our first ever sew along! Pam and I have really enjoyed making the GO! Row House Bed Runner virtually alongside our community of quilters!

Community is really what any sew along is about, and we’ve certainly enjoyed getting to know our community more closely. We’ve jumped right in with posting pictures of our progress and seeing what everyone is dreaming up in their quilting heads by following the hashtag #AQSews on social media.


If you're just joining us, or if you've missed any earlier blogs and shows, no worries! These will remain available for you to jump in at any time on our blog, website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.


Today’s blog post and live event are all about assembling our runner project and finishing it off with embellishments, quilting, and binding. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s GO!



Putting It All Together

Time to lay out your project, following the diagram in the pattern. If you haven’t already cut your sashing strips, you’ll want to do that now using your GO! Strip Cutter-1 1/2” (1” Finished) Die. Since we’re using the GO! Qube Mix & Match 12” Block, our sashing strips are 1 1/2” x 15 1/2”. If you’re using a different size Qube, be sure to refer to your pattern and double check the measurement of your units before you start sub-cutting.


We’ve gotten a jump on the sashing strips the last two weeks, so this will be a quick step, and you’ll want to press your seams towards the sashing (Shape L in pattern).


Once all your sashing strips are sewn into your project, it should look like this:



Erica's Row House Runner without Borders




Bottom Border

Now is when you want to measure the length of your runner to make sure it matches up with the pattern directions before cutting down the bottom border strip. Following the pattern directions, I’ll need to cut two 2 1/2” strips using the GO! Strip Cutter-2 1/2” (2” Finished) 3 Strips Die. I’m straying from the pattern and using a different fabric for my border (more about that coming up). If you are using the same fabric for both, it’s easier to cut all the strips now.


NOTE: For the 12" Qube pattern, as you complete this step, measuring is important! I discovered that contrary to the original pattern, I needed my strip to be just a "wee bit" longer than my two Width of Fabric (WOF) strips, so be prepared to add onto the strip to make it long enough! You will encounter this same issue with the outer border step below.


Sew the two strips together along the short end. You can choose to sew them at a 90 degree angle, like this:



Straight Joining Explanation



Or, you can sew them together as you normally would binding strips at a 45 degree angle. If you choose to miter those ends, here’s a video with my favorite technique for using a die for that! While it talks about binding, the same technique can be applied to any strip by using a half square triangle die that finishes to a larger size than the strip. Take a look!





Once your border is sewn together, press the seam open and sew to the bottom of the runner. Press this seam down, towards the outside of the project.



Erica's Row House Runner with the Bottom Border




Outer Border

Since you’ve already measured the length of your runner, this step will be a snap! First, you’ll want to cut your outer border using the GO! Strip Cutter-2 1/2” (2” Finished) Die. You’ll need six strips total for the 12” version, with two of them sub-cut to create the end borders. 


Sew two sets of two strips together, just like you did for the bottom border, and press the seams open. Then, cut them down to 2 1/2” x 79 1/2”, or the same length as your bottom border. Sew one strip to the top of the runner and one to the bottom. Press these seams to the outside. 


Once again, you may find that you need to add additional fabric to your lengthwise strips, as I did! 


The last step for the top is sewing the two end border strips onto the runner. Press these to the outside, stand back, and admire your creation!



Get Creative!

Now is a great time to add applique or embroidery to your project. Maybe you want to add family names or addresses with embroidery. How about some flower gardens? The small shapes on the GO! Simple Shapes by Edyta Sitar Die or GO! Crazy Petals Die would be great for adding some flowers. If you’re going with a seasonal theme, think about popping in a ghost or two from the GO! Halloween Medley Die, some small snowflakes from the GO! Mitten Die, or maybe a sleigh and reindeer from the GO! Sleigh & Snowflakes Die. The sky’s the limit!


How about some extra embellishments? Think about rick rack, buttons, and ribbons. Things like buttons will need to wait until after you quilt your project, but now’s the time to make your plan.



Speaking of Quilting

One reason we love this pattern is that it has a manageable size for quilting on your sewing machine, and for pinning or basing your layers together. Now, even when I use a basting spray to help stick my top, batting, and backing together, I still use pins.



Pin the Basting



Yes, it's me and if you've watched many of our shows, you know that I'm a "pinner," but my #1 Pro Tip for quilting your projects on your domestic machine is to pin! You'll never be sorry you used too many, but will always regret not using enough! Pro Tip #2: always start in the middle and work out to the sides, whether you are pinning or stitching to save yourself from "lumpy bumpies."


Now, it's finally time to stitch! Think about the standard “stitch in the ditch” method, outline quilting, or maybe some straight lines?



Close Up of a Stitch in the Ditch



Maybe you want to change it up with different for each house. Think about the overall design of your project here, too. A small, tight stipple in the background will call the houses and trees to pop a little more. This is great time to step outside your normal “quilting box” and try something new!


Here’s my pro tip: if you are new to quilting on your machine, I suggest putting together a practice “quilt sandwich” made up of two pieces of fabric with batting between. Use something you don’t love since this is just for practice. Since this is just for practice, grab a ruler and mark some straight lines on your practice piece and sew down the lines. If you have a walking foot for your machine, now is the perfect time to use it. A walking foot attachment helps insure your top piece is moving along with and while your bottom piece does with the machine’s feed dogs. This is also good practice for stitching “in the ditch,” or seam line. 


Want to switch it up just a little? Try shadow quilting. With this technique, instead of quilting the outline of a shape by sewing along the seam line, you’ll sew approx. 1/8” to 1/4” off to one side of a seam line. Some machines have a special foot attachment for this, a round foot made of clear acrylic.



Shadow Stitching Example



When I do straight line quilting, I like to start with a center line and work out towards either edge. You can mark this line any way you like, but my personal favorite is using painters tape! I like to use the tape for my first line, then switch to my quilting guide. This curious looking attachment is fantastic, allowing you to set any distance between stitching lines and limit the number of lines you have to mark on your project - a huge time saver!



Stitch Guide on Erica's Sewing Machine



Have you tried free motion quilting? For free motion quilting, you’ll have an open or closed “toe” foot, similar to what’s used for embroidery in many machines. You’ll also need the ability to drop the feed dogs on your machine down so that they are not gripping the fabric and pulling it through – that’s your job! This technique takes practice, but can be really fun once mastered.



Binding Time

Once your quilting is complete and you've trimmed your runner, it's binding time! This step is either your most favorite - or least favorite - part of the entire process.



Fold and Press the Binding



I've become a quilter who loves the binding process, including finishing it by hand, ever since discovering GO! Dies that cut the strips and miter the ends! I've got some fabulous bias striped fabric that I think will really make this project something special! 



Erica's Spool of Binding



I like to make my binding when I cut my project and store it on an empty spool so it's ready to GO!


If you're a quilter who struggles with binding, here's a video of an event Pam did with all her binding tips!





You can also check out a blog post I wrote about binding for extra help. However you like to do your binding is the right way! The goal is not only completing the project, but enjoying the journey.



It's a Wrap

I can't believe that our first sew along is now completed! Pam and I have enjoyed making this fun project alongside all our amazing quilters. We hope you'll continue to share pictures along the way as you finish up your runners by posting pictures on social media and using the hashtag #AQSews.


Until next time, remember that AccuQuilt is here to help you cut time, so you can quilt - and sew along - more!

Topics: Patterns, Tutorials, Tips & Tricks

Erica Bottger

Written by Erica Bottger

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