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

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.

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.

Supplies Needed

Gather fall fabric scraps for this project.

Gather fall fabric scraps for this project.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Step 13 - Start Sewing Leaves Together

Assembling the leaves to make the runner.

Assembling the leaves to make the runner.

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


Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 23, 2020:

Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the tutorial.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on July 22, 2020:

Your photos and instructions for this project are so easy to follow. The runner came out great. I love how you could adjust the colours in the design and make one for every season.

Washiela Ratcliffe on November 14, 2019:

That looks amazing, and thank you for the idea of using up my scrap fabric. Thank you too for sharing your skills and gifts Claudia. I'll be diving into my scrap fabric bin VERY soon!

Rebecca Sobczak on November 05, 2019:

This is AMAZING!!!

B. J. Berlo on October 03, 2019:

Love this idea Claudia, and thanks for the video. I'm heading to my scrap bag and batting leftovers now!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 26, 2019:

That sounds nice with the various leaves.

Diane king on May 23, 2019:

Yes im going to try this for my fall table runner i live where there are many differant kinds of leaves.thankyou so much for your insite

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 12, 2019:

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

Barbara M. on April 10, 2019:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 20, 2019:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 20, 2019:

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

Wendy on February 16, 2019:

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!

Dianne on February 16, 2019:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 15, 2018:

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

postpapa from hyderabad on October 13, 2018:


Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 13, 2018:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 13, 2018:

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

Liz Westwood from UK on October 11, 2018:

This is a lovely seasonal craft idea.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on October 08, 2018:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 08, 2018:

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 Woods from Houston, Texas on October 06, 2018:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 06, 2018:

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

kaskijar on October 05, 2018:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 05, 2018:

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 on October 04, 2018:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 04, 2018:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 04, 2018:

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!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 04, 2018:

Thanks Sherry - It was fun to make this.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on October 04, 2018:

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

Donna Herron from USA on October 04, 2018:

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 from Sierra Foothills, CA on October 04, 2018:

It looks really easy and super cute for an autumn table