Table Runner Finished Size: 14″ x 42″. Skill level: Absolute Beginner
Who else likes to make projects that are super-quick and show off some adorable new fabric you just had to buy?
Here’s a table runner you can make from start to finish in about half an hour. The author of the original tutorial from Iowa Living Magazines claims that she made hers in just 10 minutes! But I am only human, and I was watching old episodes of Teen Wolf on TV while I made this, so it took me half an hour. But it really is easy! A big thanks to author Suzanne Sievers for designing this clever project, which I would never have been able to think of for myself.
This short video from My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe shows you just how simple it is to make the table runner. All the steps are also shown with photos in this blog post. Scroll down to see them.
Fabric You Will Need
The table runner consists of two pieces of fabric:
- 1/3 yard of a focus fabric, which will be the centerpiece of the table runner’s front side.
- 1/2 yard of a coordinating fabric for the borders and the back side.
Be sure to choose fabrics that don’t face only in one direction. Some directional fabrics don’t work so well for table runners because at least half of the people viewing them will see the pattern upside down. Both of these fabrics look good from any direction.
Step by Step Instructions
- Cut a 12″ strip (1/3 yard) of the focus fabric and an 18″ strip (1/2 yard) of the background fabric. Cut both strips the full width of your fabric, from selvage to selvage.
- Put the strips with one raw edge together and right sides facing each other, then pin to keep the edges aligned. The background fabric strip will be quite a bit wider than the focus fabric strip. Don’t worry — that’s all part of the plan.
- Sew the fabrics together along the pinned edges, using a scant 1/4″ seam.
- Align the other raw edges together and sew in the same way. You will end up with a tube that has a lot of extra background fabric between the two seams.
- Turn the tube right side out. The tube in my photo is just partly turned.
- Flatten the tube out and center the focus fabric so there is an equal strip of background fabric on each side. Once you are satisfied with the edges, press the tube flat.
- Trim off the selvages at the top and bottom edges and square them up.
- Fold the tube in half lengthwise.
- Sew the top and bottom edges of the folded tube with a 1/4″ seam. Back stitch at the beginning and end of your seams.
- Turn the two ends of the tube inside out. This will make a triangle at each end of the table runner. I used a bamboo chopstick to poke out the points of the triangles.
- Straighten the triangle so the seam line is centered and the top of the triangle is perpendicular to the outer edges of the runner. I used a ruler to make the line between the two fabrics as close to 90 degrees
- Stitch down the wide end of the triangle to secure it. I used decorative stitches from my sewing machine’s memory, but you could use any stitch you like, or buttons or other embellishments that strike your fancy. I am also planning to embellish the long side seams with a second decorative stitch, because I just love stitching long lines of decorative stitches.
I made two of these little table runners in holiday fabrics yesterday evening. They really are that fast to make! One of them is in Christmas reds and the other in Hanukkah blue and white. I left these two quite plain so I could show you what could be done in less than half an hour, but the large central area and the seams around it are prime places to put some more decorative stitches or other embellishments.
With a change of fabrics, this little project works for any season or holiday. Here’s the first one I made, which had a chicken theme in honor of my little home flock of hens.