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Easy Quilted Table Runner Pattern - A Step by Step Guide

Updated on March 29, 2015
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer has been quilting for 25 years and writing about quilting for almost 4 years. She has won a number of awards for her work.


Joined: 4 years agoFollowers: 820Articles: 118
Quilted Table Runner
Quilted Table Runner | Source

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 | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source
Flip sewn fabric over and finger press at the seam.
Flip sewn fabric over and finger press at the seam. | Source

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

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. | Source
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. | Source
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. | Source

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. | Source
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. | Source
Table runner trimmed and ready for binding.
Table runner trimmed and ready for binding. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      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.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

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

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      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!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      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!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      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.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

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

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna 4 years ago from USA

      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!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • ESPeck1919 profile image

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      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.

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      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!~~~

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

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

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Good read, i like the above hub...

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you for commenting Vacation Trip!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      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+++

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      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.

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      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!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

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

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      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.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      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.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      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!

    • SEXYLADYDEE profile image

      SEXYLADYDEE 2 years ago from Upstate NY

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

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      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 profile image

      SEXYLADYDEE 2 years ago from Upstate NY

      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

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      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.

    • Ibidii 2 years ago

      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!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      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.

    • PammyKay 8 months ago

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

    • Linda Armentrout 2 months ago

      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,

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 months ago

      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.

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