Sunday, November 1, 2020

A Modern Table Runner

It all started with this:

I came across a big tub of college textbooks in our capped garage. The moment I opened the lid, I knew they were mine. Children's Literature, Teaching Math in Elementary Grades, Roget's Thesaurus...all were nearly 35 years old! Time to go, right? I cut off the hard covers and bindings and threw the insides in the recycle bin. But at the very bottom lay the little book of lens papers. Likely from my freshman semester of Biology and dissecting frogs, pig hearts, and building fruit fly farms. Not one of the lens papers had been used...all 50 sheets were intact. 

They, too, went into the recycle bin. But soon came out!

I knew I could put them to use. I'd seen scraps sewn onto long strips of calculator paper. I didn't have any calculator paper, but Lord knows I have scraps and now I had lens paper! Plus, this paper is so much thinner that regular paper, so I didn't have to worry as much with my needle dulling. 

I  had no project in mind, but I just enjoyed gathering like colors to make blocks, that when trimmed, were about 4" x 6".  Mindless sewing is just the best, isn't it?

Blocks with backing paperOn the left are the blocks before tearing off the backing (lens) papers. The right photo is after I had them all sewn together and trimmed. 

Deciding this would make a great layout for a table runner, I kept the sashing simple. 
I used Kona Snow for the sashing and binding. 

I was very  tempted to use a striped fabric for the binding, 
but it pulled the attention away from the center blocks. 

I'm SO glad I went with the Kona Snow's perfect!

I followed Debbie Jeske's tutorial for organic straight line quilting
I love Debbie's style and tutorials at A Quilter's Table blog.
Her tutorial made this quilting fun, easy and so modern!

I used 6 different thread colors to create interest in this wavy technique. 
I will definitely use it again!

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with:


  1. That is really pretty, and I love the way you used your "found" lens papers to sew the string blocks! Nice finish!

  2. Brilliant use of the lens paper!

  3. Hi Kathy, what a great modern runner. I really like the organic straight line quilting! I really hope that you will consider linking up to Free Motion Mavericks - there's still a couple of days left on the link-up. Take care.

  4. This is lovely and cheerful, just what we need in duller days to brighten up life. x

  5. I love how you recycled your old lens paper - what a great story. The colors are beautiful too!

  6. Super sweet project!! Rainbows and recycling, so what's not to love?

  7. This is fantastic! So glad you rescued and reused those lens papers to make such a pretty runner. Thanks for linking up with DrEAMi!

  8. Yummy quilt! Great way to recycle that paper. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  9. I love your table runner. As someone who avoids paper piecing, can you please explain to me why you use the lens paper instead of just sewing strips together? Thanks!

  10. Sometimes a project calls for a Kona Snow binding. This lovely gives off a more modern and chic vibe because of the understated binding. Well done!

  11. That's a very pretty rainbow of colors for your table!

  12. I love the bright palette of colors you chose for this project. And as much as I love a striped binding, you're totally right that it would have stolen the show. I enjoy your choice of colorful organic, wavy lines for the quilting. Thank you for linking up to Show Me Something with Stripes!

  13. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Some of the best blogs I have found are by tracking down the origin of comments. Low and behold this time it's someone that enjoys some mindless sewing as well. Such beautiful colors! Apparently we both have the same education background, but it's hard for me to rid books.

  14. Wow, do I ever love this rainbow table runner!!! I can see it as a wall hanging...

  15. Glad you found a use for that paper! Very pretty runner.