Memorial Day Weekend in the Willamette Valley means wine tasting! Most wineries/vineyards are open - for many of them this is the only public opening they have all year. It's a great time to get out into beautiful countryside and talk to the people who actually make the wine. Plus, there's always the opportunity for a picnic! I love picnicking, but you never know what shape the tables will be in - so I made a "wine weekend" inspired table runner to put the food on.
We visited four this year. The first was one of our favorites, Elk Cove outside of Gaston, Oregon. The grounds are so gorgeous and the owners are so nice. Our oldest son and daughter-in-law (little c's parents) were married here, down by the gazebo. The northwest is very cool and rainy this year, so many of the spring flowers are just now in full bloom. Our designated driver (Grandpa) was kept pretty busy following an amazingly energized little c - she loves the countryside!
Big Table Farm/Winery, also outside of Gaston, was one of our new stops. We got to tour the farm and see all the animals! Roosters and cows are fine, little c says, as long as they don't crow and moo - then we're not so sure. But cats are always a favorite! The tastings were held inside the old farmhouse - I love these types of houses with their big porches. Mmmm ..... I could definitely live someplace like this! How tough would it be to have this view each morning?
We had our picnic at Oak Knoll, just outside of Hillsboro. This was our nostalgia stop - it's one of the wineries we used to have weekend picnics at when my husband and I lived in the northwest. They're open year round and have a very nice grassy area with tables. Lots of good food and a very nice 2011 Carnival of Roses Pinot Noir Rose.
The last stop was our other new winery. Adiri is in a great location - it's very close to the city, but looks like it's miles away. They have the most amazing patio area with three fire pits. Absolutely gorgeous! It sounds like they're planning to offer summer evening events this year, if you're in the area. This would also be a great place for hors d' oeuvres and wine on a weekend - or a picnic!
On to the grape table runner - the instructions are basically the same as for all the table runners I've been making, so you might want to take a look here if you are new to these.
*1 yd. light colored fabric (at least 40 inches wide) - this is your quilt top and backing
*small pieces of grape fabric (I used reddish purple for pinot noir grapes), leaf and stem fabric
*Steam a Seam II
*36 by 20 inch piece of fusible felt or low loft batting
*3 1/2 yards bias tape - I made bias tape in the same fabric I used for the grapes
*applique patterns here
1. Cut out grape, leaf, and stem patterns. On the Steam a Seam paper, trace 2 stems, 4 leaves, and 16 grapes. Peel off the other paper and fuse onto the back of the appropriate fabrics. Cut each applique out.
2. Cut two 36 by 20 inch pieces from your yard of light colored fabric. Lay one on top of the other and fold into fourths. Round the two corners.
3. With one piece of fabric (now the quilt top), refold into fourths, measure down 4 inches on the folded edge and mark. This won't end up showing. Open up so the fabric is just folded in half, refold into quarters the opposite way, and make another mark 4 inches down. You are marking where the stems will go on each end.
4. Peel backing off the stems and place with the top just covering the mark you made. Press down to stick.
5. Peel the backs off the grapes and leaves and stick onto the fabric as shown below. Iron into place.
6. Sew around the appliques to finish the edges. You can do this by machine (.2 length/3.5 width zigzag) or by hand (with a blanket stitch).
7. If using fusible felt, fuse the felt to the quilt top and pin the backing to it. Free motion machine quilt. If using batting, layer the top, batting, and backing, pin, and free motion quilt. Trim edges to make everything even.
8. I also quilted inside the stems and leaves, but left the grapes unquilted to make them a little bit puffy.
9. Add bias tape and you're done! Go have a picnic!
Happy Creating! Deborah