How to Make a Quilted Fall Leaves Table Runner, or Topper, out of Fabric Scraps

Updated on October 4, 2018
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Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

Make this festive fall leaves table runner, or topper, out of fabric scrap quilted leaves.
Make this festive fall leaves table runner, or topper, out of fabric scrap quilted leaves. | Source

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

Supplies Needed

Gather fall fabric scraps for this project.
Gather fall fabric scraps for this project. | Source

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
Low-loft batting
Good fabric scissors
Sewing tools, including a machine, needle and thread

Step 1 - Cut the Fabric and Batting Squares

The three pieces needed to start the leaf.
The three pieces needed to start the leaf. | Source

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

Layer the fabrics and battings to get ready to cut out the leaf.
Layer the fabrics and battings to get ready to cut out the leaf. | Source

Decide which fabrics you will be using for the back and front of the leaf.

  1. Lay the back fabric, right side against the surface.
  2. Place the batting on top of the back fabric.
  3. Place the leaf top fabric, right side facing up, on top of the batting.
  4. Using your hands. smooth out the fabric sandwich.

Step 3 - Start Cutting Out the Leaf

Start cutting out your leaf shape.
Start cutting out your leaf shape. | Source

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

Finished leaves ready to assemble.
Finished leaves ready to assemble. | Source

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

Assembling the leaves to make the runner.
Assembling the leaves to make the runner. | Source

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


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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      5 weeks ago

      I'm glad you like the leaves. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Barbara M. 

      5 weeks ago

      This looks awesome, I’m going to try it........tks

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      3 months ago

      I'm glad you are going to try this. Love the idea of the felt. I think that would be a great solution to not seeing the batting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      3 months ago

      Thank you Dianne. When I made this, I was really happy with that natural look too.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Instead of using batting I think I would use felt and that way it wouldn’t matter if the color showed through.....definitely going to try this!

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I like the "natural" way of displaying the leaves in a runner. Looks as if they just fell on the ground. Thanks for sharing.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      Thanks postpapa. I'm glad you like the project.

    • postpapa profile image


      7 months ago from hyderabad


    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      I appreciate it Liz. It will definitely be displayed in our house every fall.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      Thanks so much Thelma. I like that about this table runner too. It's not something one sees everyday!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      This is a lovely seasonal craft idea.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      7 months ago from Germany and Philippines

      Wow! This is an awesome diy. Very unique and easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      Thanks Peggy. I've been really trying to come up with fabric ideas since I have so much. All my years of collecting it and I don't quilt as much as I used to so I have a lot to use. I appreciate the support!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 months ago from Houston, Texas

      What a beautiful and clever idea to use up accumulated pieces of leftover fabrics. I love your fall table runner! Will share this with a friend who does a lot of sewing for charities. She has a lot of leftover fabrics and many of us donate used clothing to be reworked into her projects. Pinning this to my crafts board.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      Awesome. I hope try making the runner. Have fun.

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      Love it! I was just trying to come up with something to make for Autumn........ Thanks for sharing the video!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      What a great idea RTalloni. I never even thought about this runner as a hostess gift. I like it so much I don't want to give it away. Now I'll need to make a couple more ;-). Thanks for reading!

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 months ago from the short journey

      Such a neat project, and what a delightful hostess gift it could make during the fall season. Yours turned out so well. Thanks for your tutorial. I've been looking to make birds in a similar fashion for a flat wall mobile. This method would make it a fast and easy venture.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      Thanks Rochelle. I bet your quilting sister will like this. It's quick which is a nice change when someone is working a quilt for long periods of time.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      Hi Donna - Glad you liked it and it was fun doing this project. A little different than the average runner. I thought about using fabric glue, but wasn't sure how that would do if it was on a table with warm serving dishes. Also, the last time I used fabric glue it didn't dry clear and showed thru the fabric. I'm thinking I need a different brand. Thanks for reading!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 months ago

      Thanks Sherry - It was fun to make this.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 months ago from California Gold Country

      I like this. I'm going to send it to my sister who has made many, many quilts but only does smaller things now.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      7 months ago from USA

      Hi Claudia - I love this project, particularly the colors and arrangement of the leaves. They look like they just fall on to your table top. Could you just use fabric glue, or hot glue, to hold the arrangement of leaves together?

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      7 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It looks really easy and super cute for an autumn table


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