IN THE MOOD FOR SOMETHING NEW? REFRESH YOUR HOME DECOR IN NO TIME WITH AN EASY TABLE RUNNER FOR YOUR DINING ROOM!
This Easy Table Runner post has been updated to include a video tutorial.
Have you ever looked around your home and realized that it needed a little … something? Nothing big, nothing crazy, just something. That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m pretty happy overall with how our house is coming together, but our dining area is kind of lacking. So I dug into my fabric stash to see what I could find. Project time! In just a couple of hours, I made this easy table runner and I love how it’s jazzed up our dining room!
I have to admit that in the past, I wasn’t really great about changing out ALL my decor with the seasons. Now that we’re in our new home, I really want to freshen things up from time to time. We still don’t have a ton of space to store a lot of seasonal stuff, so I like to create more evergreen types of projects. Mind you, when it comes to Christmas – all bets are off, but that’s a TOTALLY different story!
So let’s get back to the table runner. I found some gorgeous fabric at Joann Fabrics a while back when I was on a romantic weekend getaway with my husband. Yes, you read that right – he let me shop for fabric on our weekend retreat. He’s just that great! Anyway – I picked up these beautiful coordinating fabrics because something about the blue really spoke to me. Just love them. I have some more fabric in my stash that could work nicely with these prints, but I think these three stand well on their own.
I bought so much of this fabric that I actually made some pillow covers that match the table runner, but I use them in our breakfast nook.
What you’ll need to make your Table Runner
Before we begin, gather your supplies:
Cutting Mat and Rotary Cutter (you can use scissors if that’s all you have, but I find it much easier to make clean straight lines with the rotary cutter)
Omnigrid Square – perfect for creating nice straight edges when cutting
Three coordinating fabrics – 0.3 metres (⅓ yards) of each
Additional fabric for backing – 0.6 metres (¾ yards) – this can be one of the coordinating fabrics or something else altogether
Lightweight quilt batting – I used Insul-Bright Insulated Lining so that I can set hot dishes on it – you can buy it here
Sewing accessories – thread, measuring tape, pins
My FREE downloadable pdf pattern – available in my FREE Member Vault
That’s all you’ll need.
I’ve laid out all the steps below, and in a printable form as well! But if you want to see it all put together, here’s my YouTube video:
Before you begin
Before I start any quilting or sewing project, I like to wash, dry and iron my fabric. There’s nothing worse than washing a quilting project and having it come out completely misshapen because the fabrics shrank differently. YES – I am speaking from experience!
Another important step before you begin – choose which fabrics you want next to each other in your runner. You’ll need to know which fabrics represent 1, 2 and 3 BEFORE cutting! This is because each different fabric has different lengths of strips to cut.
Once your fabric is prepped and you’ve assigned a number to each of your three fabrics, lay it out for cutting. Here’s what you’ll need to cut out:
Fabric 1 – Five 2″ strips – you will further cut each strip as follows:
21″ (cut 3)
13.5″ (cut 2)
10″ (cut 2)
33″ (cut 2)
Fabric 2 – Five 2″ strips – you will further cut each strip as follows:
21″ (cut 3)
18.5″ (cut 2)
37″ (cut 2)
Fabric 3 – Five 2″ strips – you will further cut each strip as follows:
21″ (cut 3)
13.5″ (cut 2)
10″ (cut 2)
33″ (cut 2)
Backing – measure it against your finished quilt top, but it will be approximately 22″ x 44″
And now the fun begins!
Putting it all together
I like to make things as quick and easy as possible when it comes to sewing. While I do love sewing, I don’t always have all the time I would like. This is the process that I find works best for this runner:
Stitch Fabrics 1 and 2 together along the long edge, right sides together. Stich Fabric 3 to the other side of Fabric 2, again with right sides together.
Please note: These fabrics do NOT have to correspond to the pattern in terms of 1-2-3. Because each fabric has three 21″ strips, you can mix and match them as you like!
Press your edges open if all your fabrics are relatively dark. If one fabric is significantly lighter, such as the one I have chosen, press the seams away from the lighter colours.
Remember you are repeating this step three times, to create three squares.
Using your rotary cutter and Omnigrid, you’re going to cut four 5″ squares from the strips.
Build your centre squares. I’ve assembled my squares like this, but you can play with them and come up with a design you love.
Commonly referred to as the Brick Path Quilt Square, this design is super easy to make, but the effect is gorgeous!
Again, press your seams, taking care that they are not visible through the lighter-coloured fabric.
Connect the three centre squares to each other using the 10″ strips of Fabric 1.
Continue to build the top out to the edges using the remainder of the strips, following the Table Runner Pattern. Be sure you are pressing all your seams, either open or toward the darkest fabrics so that you don’t see anything through the lighter colours.
Place the top side of your table runner on top of your backing fabric and trim the backing to size.
Step 6: (Optional)
If you choose to use batting in your table runner, this is the step to attach it. I decided to use Insul-Bright Insulated Lining, to allow me to place hot dishes on the runner for serving. If you don’t want to use batting because your runner is purely decorative, you can skip this step.
Lay your batting on top of your backing fabric and trim to ½” smaller on each side. The reason is that for this table runner, we are not using binding. You can if you like, but the fabric amounts don’t allow for excess fabric for creating your binding.
Pin your batting to the wrong side of the backing, ensuring your pins are on the fabric side, not the batting side.
Place the right side of the runner top on the right side of the backing fabric, and stitch a ¼” seam all around, leaving an opening to turn the runner right-side out.
Press in the edges of the opening and stitch closed. You can hand stitch this or you can do a decorative stitch all around the edge and close the gap that way.
At this stage, you can do some quilting. This can really be a personal preference. For a runner, I prefer very simple, clean lines, so I’ve opted to just follow some of the lines of the squares. Because the table runner won’t be getting moved around a lot, I don’t feel the need to quilt heavily – just enough to keep the top and bottom together.
Give your Table Runner one final press, place it on your table, decorate and enjoy!
And that’s it! It’s a quick and easy table runner pattern that you’ll use again and again. You can whip them up in just a few hours, any time you need to refresh your dining room or you want to give a handmade gift. This would be made even faster by using a jelly roll! Keep in mind, jelly roll strips are usually 2.5″ wide, so you may not even want to do the outer pieces. I know for sure I’ll be making this pattern again, probably for each season!
PRINTABLE INSTRUCTIONS – EASY TABLE RUNNER
- Three coordinating fabrics - 0.3 metres (⅓ yards) of each
- Fabric for backing - 0.6 metres (¾ yards) - this can be one of the coordinating fabrics or something entirely different
- Lightweight quilt batting - I used Insul-Bright Lining for my runner to use on the dining room table for hot dishes
- Coordinating Thread
Preparation and Cutting
- Start by pre-washing all your fabric, separating light from dark colours if necessary.
- Once your fabric is washed and dried, be sure to iron it. Cutting smooth straight strips is much easier if the fabric is flat.
- Based on the design in the example, decide which fabrics will be Fabric 1, 2 and 3. This means choosing which fabrics will be next to each other within the squares.
- Cut your fabric as shown in the images below. These cuts are based on 45" wide fabric and ALL strips are 2" wide.
- Fabric 1:
- Fabric 2:
- Fabric 3:
- Starting with the 21" pieces, stitch one strip of each of Fabric 1 and 2 together along the long edge. Be sure that the right sides are together.
- Stitch one 21" piece of Fabric 3 to the other side of Fabric 2, again with the right sides together.
- Press your seams. If the fabrics are all light or all dark, you can press your seams open. If you have a mix of light and dark fabrics, press your seams towards the darker fabric.
- Repeat steps 1 through 3 of this section, using the remaining 21" strips. Each of the completed strips will create one square.
- Once you have completed stitching your strips together, it's time to cut your squares.
- Take one set of strips, which will measure approximately 21" x 5.25".
- Using your Omingrid square, cut FOUR squares that measure 5" wide. Each set of strips will give you four squares.
- Lay out the squares to create one larger square and choose your favourite placement for the smaller squares. You can make each larger square the same or change up the design for each.
- Once you have chosen the layout, stitch the smaller squares together along the centre seams, as shown in the diagram below:
- Repeat this step for each large square (three in total).
- Connect the three squares to each other by using the 10" strips of Fabric 1. Start by placing one 10" strip with right sides together along one edge of a large square.
- Stitch the next large square to the opposite site of the 10" strip. Repeat with the second 10" strip and the third square.
- Press your seams.
- Attach the 33" strips of Fabric 1 along the top and bottom edges (the long edges) of your centre squares.
- Next, stitch the 13.5" strips of Fabric 1 along the ends of the runner.
- Stitch the 37" strips of Fabric 2 to the top and bottom (long) edges of the runner, followed by the 17.5" strips on the ends.
- Finally, stitch the 41" strips of Fabric 3 to the top and bottom, and the 21.5" strips to the ends. The top of your runner is now complete.
- Press all seams again and iron the top side.
- Lay your runner top on the backing fabric you have chosen and cut your backing fabric to size.
- Place your Insul-Bright lining on top of either the runner or the backing fabric.
- Trim the lining to approximately ½" smaller all the way around. Set the lining aside.
- With the right sides together, stitch the runner to the backing fabric around three sides, leaving one end open to insert the lining.
- Once the lining has been inserted, press the unfinished edges in and stitch them closed, either by machine or hand.
- Apply any form of quilting that you choose. I simply follow some of the lines in the centre squares. This holds the batting in place and does not detract from the simple lines of the runner, but this is a personal choice.
- Display your runner in any area you choose and enjoy!
This pattern makes use of Insul-Bright lining so that it can be used on your kitchen or dining table as an overly large potholder. Because the lining is fairly stiff, it can be added after your stitching is complete.
This pattern does NOT include any yardage for binding.
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