From the Archives: Fast and Easy Table Runner Tutorial - Published August 6, 2014
Want a fun, fast and easy project that will highlight some of your favorite fabrics? We’ve designed this super-simple table runner that lets you showcase some larger-scale main prints and also coordinating basics. You only need four fabrics for the top and it will go together so quickly, you can make one for every season or room in the house! The simplicity of the design also allows you to embellish with fun extras, like hand embroidery or ric-rac, and since it is small it’s a great way to practice your machine quilting.
We wanted to make something bright and colorful for summer, so we started with the Field Day Collection from Blend Fabrics. The main print is Field Day Floral, a lovely floral print with cherries and butterflies on a grassy green background. Cherries Jubilee is this adorable mini-cherry print with pink, yellow and navy cherries. To add a bit of edge we decided to accent these two prints with Timeless Treasures’ Narrow Stripe in black and white. For the large setting triangles, Bluebird Park Flowers in Yellow by Moda made the perfect accent. When choosing your fabric, keep in mind that the side triangles and main print work best if it is a non-directional print.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the table runner – we recommend you pre-wash your fabrics (we try to be a bit generous with our amounts to allow for shrinkage):
1/3-yard main fabric – cut into 3 – 8.5” squares
1/8-yard small scale fabric – cut into 12 – 2.5” squares
1/4-yard small scale fabric for rectangles – cut into 12 – 2.5” x 8.5” rectangles
1/2-yard fabric for setting triangles – cut into 2 – 12.75” squares and then cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles so you have four triangles total
1/2-yard fabric for binding
Backing – 1 3/4-yard if you want to use one continuous piece for the background. If you want to piece the back, you can use a smaller amount.
Getting started: Make sure to use ¼” seams on all of your sewing! You can choose to press your seams to one side or open, whichever way you prefer. Make center blocks: Each block uses one main print square (8.5”), four rectangles, and four 2.5” squares. Sew a 2.5” square to each side of the rectangles, along the 2.5” side. Make two of these units. Using the remaining two rectangles, sew two to opposite sides of your main print square. Press the seams.
After you’ve pressed the seams, sew the rectangles with the 2.5” squares attached to the other two sides of the main print square. Press seams. Make two more of these blocks.
Lay out your three main blocks on point. Place the setting triangles along the sides. Here's an image showing two main blocks and two setting triangles - you'll have an extra main block and two more triangles to add.
Sew the top together. Start with one of your main blocks and sew a triangle to one side. (In the picture below, the left main block is sewn to the triangle to the upper right.) For the center main block, you will sew two triangles onto opposite sides of the square. Sew the final triangle to the last of the main print blocks. Press seams. Sew the units together into the finished top.
After you have sewn the top together, some of the corners will have “dog ears” from the triangle pieces. Just trim these pieces off to finish the top.
Press the seams and entire top again, and then get ready to make your quilt sandwich!
Make a back for the runner – the finished runner size is 16” wide by 51” long, so make a back that is 2 – 3 inches longer on each side. You can either use one length of fabric (you’ll need about 1 ¾ of a yard), or piece your backing. Make your quilt sandwich using your favorite method. Now comes the fun part – quilting! Hand or machine quilt in any way you want – we chose this adorable flower design.
Once you are done quilting, bind the quilt using your favorite method. Now you’re done!
This runner is simple and fun, so you can whip up a few for gifts or just fast ways to change up your decorating. Here are a couple of other options we’re working on.
These fabrics are from Moda’s collection PB&J from Basic Grey. We think they’ll make a stylish runner with the graphic patterns and muted floral on mustard yellow.
Or how about a festive Christmas runner? Kalinka by Julie Paschkis for In The Beginning Fabrics has a great folk-art look and Russian nesting dolls.
We hope you enjoy making this table runner and have fun choosing your own fabric combinations!