Easy Quilted Table Runner Pattern: A Step-By-Step Guide - FeltMagnet - Crafts
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Easy Quilted Table Runner Pattern: A Step-By-Step Guide

Claudia has been quilting for almost 30 years and writing about it for more than 6. She has won a number of awards for her work.

Quilted Table Runner

Quilted Table Runner

Whether you are a seasoned quilter or a novice seamstress, this quilted table runner, made with strips of fabric, is one of the easiest projects you will ever make. It is great to give as a gift or to keep as a nice decorative accent for your home.

With only a few supplies and one free morning, you too can make this easy quilted table runner.

Supplies needed

  • Fabric strips - Cut strips in various widths, from 1" to 2 1/2". You will be cutting various lengths, so have strips that measure at least 12" to allow for enough coverage. The larger the table runner, the longer the strips.
  • One piece of fabric for the back, cut to the desired runner size (add an inch to the length and width to allow for trimming adjustments).
  • One piece of batting for the center, cut to the same size as the backing fabric.
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needles

Tip: Cut plenty of strips with a 2 1/2" width. This way you will have binding material ready and you won't have to cut more strips for the binding after you are done sewing.

How to make the quilted table runner

For this table runner, I chose a patriotic color theme. However, any color scheme will work. Luckily I had a lot of strips left over from another project and could incorporate them. If you are a quilter, you probably have scraps around too, but if not, there are many fabric collections with coordinating colors and patterns that would work well with this pattern.

Use the following step by step guide to make your own quilted table runner.

Step 1 - Gather fabric strips

Assorted Fabric Strips

Assorted Fabric Strips

Determine what colors you want to use and gather the fabric strips. To be safe, have at least 50 strips that are approximately 12 inches long. The widths can vary from 1" up to 2 1/2". Having different widths adds another level of interest to the design. If you prefer, the strips can all be the same width.

Always pre-wash your fabrics and use 100% cotton. Among quilters, pre-washing fabric is an area of debate, but I suggest using pre-washed fabric because fabrics will not shrink and bleed (lose color) since they have already been washed.

Press the fabric strips.

Step 2 - Prepare the backing fabric

The backing fabric cut to desired size, with wrong side facing up.

The backing fabric cut to desired size, with wrong side facing up.

Choose the fabric for the back and determine what size table runner you will be making. For this project, I wanted my runner to be approximately 14" by 36" so I cut a piece of fabric that was 15" by 37". The extra inches are needed because the quilting will cause the fabric to shrink and shift just a little bit. It is also needed because once the quilting is finished, you will need to square off and trim the runner and the extra fabric gives you room to do this.

Lay pressed fabric right side down on your work surface.

Step 3 - Cut your batting

Batting placed on top of the backing along with the center square.

Batting placed on top of the backing along with the center square.

What is batting?

Batting is the insulating material in the center of a quilt. It is made of cotton, polyester or a blend of both. Batting comes in various lofts, with low loft batting being the thinnest and high loft being the thickest or fluffiest.

Your batting should be the same size as the backing fabric, although it does not have to be exact. Lay the prepared batting on top of the backing fabric, making sure that the edges line up. Smooth down the batting as much as possible.

Tip: When making table runners, I recommend using a low loft batting. High loft batting will make the runner too thick and it will not sit well on a table.

Step 4 - Put the first piece of fabric in place

Center square pinned in place.

Center square pinned in place.

Determine the center of the table runner. You can do this by placing pins in the center of the length and width of the fabric and using the pins as a guide, or you can use your best judgement.

Cut a square of fabric and center it on the batting like a diamond. For this table runner I used a 4" square of fabric that incorporated all of the colors I was planning on using in the project. You can use a larger or smaller square if you choose.

Once centered, pin the square in place.

Step 5 - Start adding strips to the square

Adding the first strip of fabric.  The length of the fabric should match the measurement of the side of the square.

Adding the first strip of fabric. The length of the fabric should match the measurement of the side of the square.

Choose your first strip of fabric and cut it equal to the length of one side of the square. In this example, the square is 4", so the first strip of fabric is 4" long.

Place the strip on top of the square, right sides together, and line up the edges.

Step 6 - Sew along the edge

Sew fabric on, going through all layers.  Begin sewing a couple of stitches before the fabric strip starts and end a couple of stitches after the fabric strip ends.

Sew fabric on, going through all layers. Begin sewing a couple of stitches before the fabric strip starts and end a couple of stitches after the fabric strip ends.

Flip sewn fabric over and finger press at the seam.

Flip sewn fabric over and finger press at the seam.

Sew through the layers. Clip all of the threads off, both on the front and back sides. Flip the fabric over and finger press the seam down.

To finger press, run a finger firmly along the sewn seam.

Step 7 - Add the next fabric strip

Measure to see how long the next fabric strip needs to be.

Measure to see how long the next fabric strip needs to be.

Sew the next strip on and finger press the seam down.

Sew the next strip on and finger press the seam down.

Working in a clockwise direction, add the next strip of fabric. Until you get to the outer edges, you will have to measure to determine the strip lengths you'll need. Determine the next strip length needed by measuring the entire length of the side that you will be adding the strip to.

Cut your desired strip of fabric to the size needed, then place the strip on top of edge that it will be sewn to, right sides together, and sew.

Once all the threads have been clipped, front and back, flip the fabric strip over and finger press. Continue this process, working around the square in a clockwise direction.

Once the square has reached the outer edge of the batting, you will not have to measure anymore. Just line up one edge of the strip and sew. The fabric will hang over the edge, but it will be trimmed off later.

Step 8 - Continue adding strips until done

Audition fabric strips before you sew them.

Audition fabric strips before you sew them.

After checking different fabrics, I settled on this light blue one for the next strip.

After checking different fabrics, I settled on this light blue one for the next strip.

Continue adding strips.  Note the overhang along the edges.  That will be trimmed away once sewing is finished.

Continue adding strips. Note the overhang along the edges. That will be trimmed away once sewing is finished.

Keep adding strips until the entire batting has been covered. Use your own design judgement to add strips. For this project I tried to alternate the red and blue fabrics and add in a few lighter ones as well.

Before you sew, it is always a good idea to audition the fabric strip. Changing a fabric strip can dramatically change the look of the pattern, but once the strip has been sewn, it is extremely difficult to remove it.

Step 9 - Trim the runner to size

Flip the runner over and get ready to trim to size.  Note the quilting design on the back of the table runner.

Flip the runner over and get ready to trim to size. Note the quilting design on the back of the table runner.

Get runner ready to trim.  Note the slight shifting that has occurred during the sewing process.

Get runner ready to trim. Note the slight shifting that has occurred during the sewing process.

Table runner trimmed and ready for binding.

Table runner trimmed and ready for binding.

Flip the runner over and trim to the desired size. You will see that during the quilting, some of the batting and fabric may have shifted. There will also be fabric hanging over the edges. Once trimmed, the table runner will be ready for binding.

Step 10 - Bind the table runner

Runner after binding has been added.

Runner after binding has been added.

The binding is the covering of the outside edge of the table runner.

Using the remaining 2 1/2" wide strips, or any other fabric of your choice, sew together enough pieces to make a length at least 12" longer than the perimeter of the table runner.

Add the binding to the runner just like you would add binding to a quilt.

A table runner for all seasons

With a quick change of fabric colors, this table runner can be made for any occasion.  Pastels are perfect for spring, browns are great for the fall, and red, white and blue gives the project a patriotic feel.

With a quick change of fabric colors, this table runner can be made for any occasion. Pastels are perfect for spring, browns are great for the fall, and red, white and blue gives the project a patriotic feel.

The great thing about this table runner is that you can use leftover scraps from past projects. By changing fabric colors you can have a table runner for

  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving
  • Easter
  • Fourth of July
  • Saint Patrick's Day
  • Valentine's Day

or any other occasion. In just few hours you can have a beautiful decoration for your table, or a special homemade gift for a friend.

Happy Quilting!

© 2012 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Gerry Austin on July 27, 2020:

Thank you

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 16, 2020:

Great. I hope you love your table runner!

Jan on June 15, 2020:

I’ve been looking for a nice table top pattern. Love this one and the method you used!! Look forward to getting started.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 19, 2016:

When I sewed, I just followed along the seams and it turned out like that. If I look closely at the one on my table right now, it's not super precise and honestly I don't look at the back often. It definitely helps to really smooth out the back before putting the batting on top and also smoothing down gently when adding the strips.

Linda Armentrout on November 18, 2016:

Glimmer - I have a question about this - am making one now for a Christmas gift, and want to make a few more.

on the backing, my "quilted pattern" does not look as precise as yours; I am sewing as directed. are all the sewing lines supposed to be perfectly in concise "pattern" thanks,

PammyKay on May 19, 2016:

Thank you so much for sharing and such great directions. I can't wait!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 03, 2014:

This is a really nice and easy method and how nice that your grandmother taught you. I'm going to check out your hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ibidii on September 02, 2014:

This is exactly how my Grandmother taught me how to make her famous pot holders. I did a Hub on it. Very well done and great ideas!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 24, 2014:

Hi erorantes - I'm glad you enjoyed this quilt. It would definitely look pretty on the wall. Just try to keep it out of the sunlight or the fabric will fade. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Have a great day.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on August 21, 2014:

Hello miss glimmer twin fan. You are an inspiration for many people. I like your hub. Thank you for mention the batting. I like quilted items. The finished quilt spreads pieces are the perfect decoration for walls , and they look beautiful. Unstead of hanging heavy pictures the clothes is perfect for houses locate in areas were they have earthquakes or heavy winds. Your idea of quilt is fantastic. Thank you.

SEXYLADYDEE from Upstate NY on August 21, 2014:

It was my pleasure. Voted up and am now a fan and am following you. Please come by and check out my quilting Hub. Dee

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 20, 2014:

Hello SEXYLADYDEE - Love that you found this on Pinterest and glad you liked the project. It really is a good one and easy too. It works really well for any season. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

SEXYLADYDEE from Upstate NY on August 19, 2014:

LLove this HUB and I will be making a few of these. Found this on Pintrest. Great Job! Dee

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 17, 2014:

Thanks so much Kathleen! I still love making this for gifts. It's really easy and fun in so many different colors. Have a great day!

Kathleen Odenthal from Bridgewater on June 13, 2014:

Love this! My mom loves to quilt and sew so I am definitely going to send this her way! I wish I was as crafty as she is.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 05, 2013:

Many thanks tillsontitan. This is on my dining room table right now for the holidays/summer. This is definitely a project anyone can do, and produce great results. Thanks so much for for reading and commenting.

Mary Craig from New York on July 03, 2013:

Your instructions and photographs are so well put together and I have to say your finished quilt is just gorgeous! Great choice of fabric.

This hub's a keeper and with it I think almost anyone can 'build' a quilt!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 21, 2013:

I appreciate it brsmom68. I hope this project does get you back to your sewing machine! It's a great use for scraps. Thanks for visiting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 21, 2013:

Thanks so much Sherry. I like it so much because it is easy and can be done rather quickly. I appreciate the support.

Diane Ziomek from Alberta, Canada on January 20, 2013:

I am a quilter (although it has been on the back burner for awhile now) and would like to say, you have done a remarkable job of the step-by-step photos and directions. This has given me an idea for a project or three. Thank you! I have tons of fabric in my home; perhaps this will get me back to my sewing machine to use some of it up.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on January 20, 2013:

What a nice easy project! Thanks for showing us. Voted up and shared.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 30, 2012:

Thanks so much Rosie writes. I bet you could finish one, it only take a morning. I appreciate the comments.

Audrey Surma from Virginia on December 28, 2012:

This is a beautiful project, but I don't know if I would have the patience to see it through. Very impressive to see all the steps in pictures and how much is involved. Nice job!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 28, 2012:

I appreciate the visit Millionaire! I hope you give this runner a try. It really is easy and fun and can be adapted for any season.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 28, 2012:

Thank you fpherj! If you can sew, you can do this. If you have clothing scraps you could use those too. I think it would interesting to add different textures to the runner. I envy people who can sew clothes. I can't sew clothes at all. I tried a skirt once...ugh. I appreciate the comments.

Shasta Matova from USA on December 28, 2012:

These are really pretty, and you have provided great step by step directions. Thanks for the link. You know, for some reason, I haven't made any kind of log cabin, but it is definitely on my list of quilts to make. Maybe this table runner will let me check it off the list more quickly! Voted up and pinned.

Suzie from Carson City on December 28, 2012:

Glimmer...I am a seasoned seamstress, however, have never tackled quilting. I have always wanted to and need to find the time to get into this craft. Here, you have offered something that I think is the perfect starter for me. Thank you! Great hub, Twin!...UP+++

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 28, 2012:

Thank you for commenting Vacation Trip!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 28, 2012:

I really appreciate it Nell! Happy New Year to you!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 28, 2012:

Thank you so much eHealer! I think you should give it a try. I appreciate the support.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 28, 2012:

Thanks so much for the support ESPeck! I hope you give it a try.

Susan from India on December 27, 2012:

Good read, i like the above hub...

Nell Rose from England on December 27, 2012:

This was an amazing hub! so detailed, the instructions and photos, great stuff! voted up! nell

Deborah from Las Vegas on December 27, 2012:

Glimmer, this is beautiful! Great and easy to follow instructions, even I could do this! The photos are stellar and important to the hub. You've really outdone yourself this time! I pinned and FB'd you to pieces!~~~

Emilie S Peck from Minneapolis, MN on December 27, 2012:

This is great! Wonderful step by step instructions, and a great project for a first timer. I may go digging through my scraps to see if I have enough to give this a shot. :)

Voted up, gave it an interesting and will be pinning it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 27, 2012:

Thanks purl3agony! I hope you give it a try. It is really easy and the results look great.I appreciate the comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 27, 2012:

Thanks RTalloni - I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

Donna Herron from USA on December 27, 2012:

This is gorgeous, and the directions are so easy to follow! I have some scrap fabric that I've always wanted to use for a runner, but didn't really know how to put it together. Now I do :) Thanks!

RTalloni on December 27, 2012:

A really easy project with lots of potential. Your tutorial is well-done and perfect for the using up leftover fabrics. Very nice!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 27, 2012:

I hope you give it a try Natashalh. It really is easy and fun to do. I have lots of unfinished projects in my sewing room.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 27, 2012:

Thank you teaches! It is amazing how a room changes with just the change of one item like a table runner. Have a Happy New Year!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 27, 2012:

Thank you ChitrangadaSharan! - It was a fun project to do. I appreciate the comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 27, 2012:

Aw Bill - Thanks so much. I'll get you to sew something one day yet. We did have a lovely Christmas and now how almost 10 inches of snow so I get to go sledding later today.

Natasha from Hawaii on December 27, 2012:

That's a cool looking pattern! And great instructions. I am currently working on my first quilt so, depending on how it goes, I may try this next. It is smaller than what I'm doing now, but I'm afraid if I quit this projected, I'll never finish it!

Dianna Mendez on December 27, 2012:

Such a pretty runner and very nice pattern. I love using them to make a table festive. Thanks for the information.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 27, 2012:

This is wonderful. A very nice, creative, well explained and well illustrated hub. The finished product looks so neat.

Very nice and useful hub, many thanks for sharing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 26, 2012:

I think we are looking at another Hub of the Day, and well-deserved! I hope you had a lovely Christmas my friend.

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