How to Make a Quilted Fall Leaves Table Runner, or Topper, out of Fabric Scraps
The leaves are starting to fall in my area of the country, and all of those autumn colors are inspiring me to create. Luckily I have an overabundance of fabric scraps just waiting to be made into something.
About a week ago, I went to my craft room, raided my boxes, and came up with this table topper. I absolutely love the way it turned out. From above, it looks like scattered leaves on my dining table and because of the way it is assembled, the wood from the table can be seen through the gaps in the piece. It has an almost lace-type quality to it.
I will probably use it as an accent piece on a lamp table because it fits so nicely. For my topper, I used 24 leaves, and it came out to be approximately 12" by 16".
The best part is that it's easy to make. Each leaf takes about 5 minutes to make, and sewing them together only takes a couple of hours. I completed the assembly, with the exception of making the leaves, while watching a movie.
Hopefully you'll give this project a try and like the results as much as I do.
Making the Quilted Fabric Leaves
If you are a quilter, I'm 99% sure you will have everything you need, but if not, these items are easy to find at any fabric store.
Fabric scraps in fall hues
Good fabric scissors
Sewing tools, including a machine, needle and thread
Step 1 - Cut the Fabric and Batting Squares
For one leaf you will need:
- 2 squares of fabric approximately the same size.
- 1 square of low-loft batting cut to approximately the same size as the fabric squares being used.
The scraps I used ranged in size between 3" and 5" and the result was leaves of various shapes and sizes.
Note: You can see in the photo that the various fabric pieces were not exactly the same. That is alright because the edges are all trimmed away.
Step 2 - Make a Fabric Sandwich
Decide which fabrics you will be using for the back and front of the leaf.
- Lay the back fabric, right side against the surface.
- Place the batting on top of the back fabric.
- Place the leaf top fabric, right side facing up, on top of the batting.
- Using your hands. smooth out the fabric sandwich.
Step 3 - Start Cutting Out the Leaf
Using good fabric scissors, start cutting out your leaf shape.
I do this step free-hand, but if you are not comfortable doing this, simply trace a shape onto the back fabric and cut it out. Use washable marker if you do this, and definitely do it on the back fabric just in case the marks don't come out.
Step 4 - Finish Cutting The Leaf Out
Finish cutting the leaf shape out and discard the excess.
Step 5 - Get Ready to Trim the Batting
Carefully take the top fabric off so you can trim the batting.
Step 6 - Trim the Batting
Remove the batting and trim away about 1/4" from the sides. This will make it easier to sew around the edges, and will help cut down on the batting that may be sticking out of the edges after sewing.
Step 7 - Get Leaf Ready to Sew
Layer the leaf back together to get ready for sewing.
Step 8 - Sewing the Edges of the Leaf
Using a thread color of your choice, sew about 1/4" around the outside of the leaf, backstitching at the beginning and the end.
Step 9 - Add the Leaf Veins
After you have sewn around the outside, stitch up the middle and add two side veins.
Note: I do all this without cutting the threads. I lift up the feeder and reposition it to sew. I use a bit more thread this way, but it makes the process faster. Remember, for added security, backstitch where the veins join.
Step 10 - Trim Threads
Trim all of the excess threads on the front and back of the leaf.
Step 11 - Trim the Edges
You will find the the fabric shifts a bit after sewing, so just take a moment and even up the edges of the leaf.
Step 12 - Finish Making Leaves
Make as many leaves as you would like. For my runner I used 24 leaves.
There is layering when you sew the leaves together, so it may look like you have plenty of them, but when completed, the overall size will be smaller than you think.
Video Demonstrating How to Make the Quilted Fall Leaves Out of Fabric Scraps
While I used the leaves to assemble a topper, they are just as cute on their own, and make attractive accent pieces in a bowl, or fall table.
I have created the video below to demonstrate the leaf-making process.
Assembling the Runner
Step 13 - Start Sewing Leaves Together
Take two leaves and place them on a surface, positioning them how you would like to attach them.
There should be overlap, because you will be stitching them together on the back side.
Flip them over and stitch.
Step 14 - Sew Together
Using a strong polyester thread, hand stitch the leaves together with about 5 or 6 stitches. Knot off securely when done.
Note: Do not take your needle through to the top of the leaves. Instead, just go through the bottom fabric. You don't want the stitches to show on the top of the project.
Step 15 - Keep Adding Leaves
One by one, choose another leaf to add to the topper. For stability I try to join the leaves in two places.
I used a total of 24 leaves for this project, but you can use as many as you would like.
Keep attaching more leaves until you are happy with the size and look. Lay flat on a surface and press by hand to smooth it out.
Do not iron the piece as the batting could melt or burn.
The Finished Piece
Here is the finished product, looking just like fall leaves scattered on the ground.
I Hope You Make This Project
My favorite thing about this table runner, or topper, is that it is completely unique, and can be tailored to whatever colors, shapes and size you want.
Perfect for all of those fall fabrics you have on hand, this project is sure to be a welcome addition to your fall decor.
© 2018 Claudia Mitchell