Monday, February 27, 2017

Table Runner Tutorial for Mrs. T

revisiting my February dining table

A week or so ago when I posted about the Valentine decorations here at The Brown Bungalow, Mrs. T from Across My Kitchen Table left some very complimentary comments. 

In particular, she wanted to know about the table runner pattern on my dining table. I had said I use that pattern a lot and she wanted to know more about it.

Please forgive the awkwardness of the camera angle here. I was trying to get a close-up of the entire runner and therefore had to tilt the camera like this. I tried turning the photo around and that just made it worse. This makes me dizzy!

Anyway, I have lost count of how many of these runners I've made over the last 17 years or so.  It's really simple, made up of as many squares as you need to make the size you want (forgive me. That sounds like my mother's recipe for potato salad: "Use as many potatoes as you need to get the amount of salad you desire.")

For most of my runners, the squares are cut to 3 1/4 inches, which means that after sewing with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, each finished square will be 2  3/4 inches square.

Autumn/Thanksgiving table runner

The finished runner is about 12 inches wide by 50 inches long, but of course you can lengthen or shorten it by the number of squares you use. This brown runner has 44 squares, backing, batting, and a binding.

I like to lay out my squares so I can get them arranged the way I want for a real "scrappy" feel. Sew the squares together in rows, then sew the rows together, staggering them so the finished product is "on point" (diagonal). 

I like to use sticky dots that I've numbered to keep my rows straight in my mind. After you've sewn the rows together it will look a lot like the above picture.  Then you have to get your long acrylic ruler (or a yard stick) and line it up carefully along the longer outer two edges of the runner and cut off the outer squares so that it's straight on those edges. (does this make sense?)

Then the top is done. You make the quilt "sandwich", layering the top with batting and backing (using your top piece as the cutting pattern for the batting and backing). 

Quilt it all together using free-motion stippling as I did with the brown/aqua example, or simply "stitch in the ditch" (straight seams in the "ditch" where the fabrics meet).

The last thing you do is to sew on your binding and it's done!

pattern made with smaller squares

This last photo I'm sharing is a runner I made with this same method except that my squares are cut smaller, probably something like 2  1/2 inches (for a finished 2-inch square). Again, you cut all the squares the same size and cut as many as you need for the size you desire your finished table runner to be.

That's it!  Give it a try.  I think you'll like it. For me, it's a good way to use up scraps.

By the way, I said at the top of this post that Mrs. T wanted to know how to make this project. Go visit her blog. It is very homey and laid out so well. Click here to see it: Across My Kitchen Table


  1. Good Morning, Barbara. Your table runners are so very pretty. Thanks for the link to Mrs. T, I'll pay her a visit.
    Hope you enjoy your Monday.

  2. Very nice Barbara...smiles. Have a beautiful Monday, friend.

  3. That is a great pattern and I certainly have tons of scraps, though I have been giving them away as fast as I can. My sewing room felt like a giant pile of scraps. Bet you know the feeling.

  4. That is darling Barbara and it requires great patience I would think. You're quite a talented lady Barbara! Bravissimo! : )

    Blessings to you Barbara! Have a great week! Thanks for sharing with us, that will be a huge help to many who like crafty things. I will have to show this to my married daughter, she loves crafty things like that and I have the scraps for her.

  5. Well, I certainly feel very famous now, having my name in the title of a blog post! Thank you so much for writing this up for me. The runner design is simply beautiful, Barbara, and this is a very well-done tutorial. I understand about the angle of the photo. I've found it very challenging to take pictures of runners I have made.

    This surely would be a fabulous way to use up scraps, especially with Christmas fabrics or other special fabrics where one wants to get the most out of every bit. I will definitely give this a try when I get caught up on some of my UFOs.

    Thanks again, so much! And thanks for including a link to my blog. That was sweet!

  6. Oh! And I just happened to notice that photo at the bottom of your sidebar -- Autumn in Lemoille Canyon, NV. We have been to Lemoille Canyon several times. Our daughter and son-in-law live not far from there. What can you tell me about the photo?

  7. Mrs. T: You are so welcome for everything. Just passing the blessings along!

    Regarding Lemoille Canyon, I have never been there in person, but a dear friend of mine lives in the area. She took that snapshot about 3 years ago while she was hiking the canyon with her husband.

  8. Such a splendid tutorial and I can't wait to give it a try for myself before too long! I love the simplicity of the pattern as it's all the more darling because of it. I wish you a terrific rest of the week!

  9. I don't know why, but I have made no table runners except one my daughter and I made last summer. I have made 3 or 4 table toppers and have given them away.

  10. Very pretty table runners, Barbara. They really dress up a table setting and also act as hot pads. I have a few I bought--wish I could sew so I could make some more.

  11. I love table runners but not sure I'm savvy enough to make this. But, your are most attractive and represent a whole lot of work.