Friday, May 9, 2014

Easy Quilt As You Go Table Runner Tutorial


I love table runners and I have a couple in the works that I'll use for tutorials here on the blog. This table runner is so easy, especially if you use the fusible interfacing fleece, you'll want to make one for every season.
Finished size: 15 1/2 x 40 inches
You can make this any size you want by adding or subtracting strips, but if you want to increase the width, you will want to use strips longer than the 22 inches. Do keep in mind that if you do that, you won't be getting the most of your fabric because this type of fabric normally comes in 44/45 inch widths so you'll need twice as much, unless you are using all scraps.

Another variation would be to make your strips different widths instead of cutting them all at 2 inches.This is a great idea especially if you are using all scraps.

What you'll need 

2 x 22 inch strips of various fabrics (appx. 30)
~~My runner took 30 strips. Yours could take more or less depending on the length of your runner.
1/2 yard of fusible fleece interfacing
1/2 yard of backing fabric
(3) 3 x 44 inch strips for binding
Thread to match fabrics
General sewing supplies such as pins, needles, cutting tools, sewing machine, and a steam iron.

Note: I like to use the fusible fleece interfacing because it makes this runner so quick and easy. You can use cotton or polyester batting if your prefer, but you will have to baste it to the backing fabric since you won't be fusing. I like to use basting spray for this type of project. You will also want to machine baste all the way around your two layers if not using the fusible fleece. Also remember that if you use a puffier batting, it can reduce the finished size of your runner. No basting will be needed if using the fusible fleece interfacing.

Also, you can always click on the photos to see them full sized.

1.  Cut the fusible fleece 16 x 41 inches. Cut the backing fabric a little bit bigger than the fleece interfacing you just cut. Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the backing fabric. Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions for the brand of fleece you are using.

2.  Trim away the excess backing fabric so it's even with the fleece.

3.  If you want your strips arranged in any specific order, you'll want to lay them out on top of your fleece/backing piece, and overlapping each other by 1/4 inch. Mine took 30 strips but remember, the beginning and the ends of your stitching them on, you won't use the entire 22 inch lengths. Also, it doesn't hurt to cut a few extra strips than what you think you'll need. After I stitched mine down, I ended up cutting two more to complete my table runner. Once you are happy with the arrangement, stack them up in the order you'll be stitching them so you don't get them mixed up.

4.  It's time to take your fleece/backing piece and your strips to the sewing machine where you'll stitch them all on. Begin by stitching your first strip to the corner by placing it at an angle. Slight angle, dramatic angle, whatever you want, it's your runner. I think I did mine just under 45°. You'll need to cut your strip down so that not so much is hanging off the sides, but save it, just in case you need it at the end. Just be sure that all your fleece is covered completely by the strip. 

Stitch this one down with the right side facing up, along the edge closest to the center, keeping your stitching line under 1/4 inch from the edge of the strip. You can also tack down the other edge near the corner if you want. This is the only one you will place with the right side facing up. 

Take your next strip and place it with the wrong side facing up, and line it up with the longest edge of the first strip (the edge toward the center of the runner, not the corner), so the two edges line up. You'll need to use pins to keep the strips from moving during stitching. Stitch this piece down along that edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

When you place this strip down, you will want to make sure that when you flip it over to the right side (for your next step), the strip covers all the fleece. You'll probably need to trim this one too. Now that you've stitched it down, flip it over and hand press it in place. 

Stitch your next strip to this one the same way you just did this second strip. Remember to use pins to secure, make sure no fleece shows through after stitching, and use a 1/4 inch seam allowance on each strip. Continue until all strips are stitched in place. When you get to the last strip, you can tack the strip down at the corner if you wish.

5.  Take the runner to your work table and flip it so that the bottom is facing up. Trim away the excess strips that are extending beyond the backing. This is also a good time to square up the corners and trim the sides and ends so they are straight and even. I used a ruler to mark my runner at 15 1/2 inches wide and trimmed it down. 

6.  If you want to make some decorative machine stitches along the seams of the stripes or on the stripes themselves, you can do that. The stitching that you already did to attach the strips is enough "quilting" to hold everything together nicely. The addition of any stitching would be for decoration only.

Applying the binding:
1.  Combine the three 3 x 44 inch strips of fabric to make one long piece. You will do this by placing them on your work table, with right sides together, by forming an “L.” Take a ruler and draw a line on the diagonal at the corner. It will look as if you have a triangle at the corner. Stitch on that line. Cut away the corner about 1/4 inch from the stitching line and iron the seam open

2.  Fold one of the short ends of this long strip 1/4” to the wrong side and iron in place, then fold the entire length of fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, and iron.

3.  Beginning at the center front, along the bottom edge of the runner, and using the edge that you ironed in at 1/4", pin the binding to the quilt with the raw edges of the binding even with the raw edges of the runner.

Before you do the remaining edges, you will stitch this section in place using a 3/8” seam allowance. Begin your stitching at the folded end of your binding, and stop your stitching 3/8" from the corner. I like to run a couple of back stitches at the beginning and ending of my stitching to secure seam in place. Do not exceed your 3/8” seam allowance. Remove project from machine and take back to the table.

Note: If you are familiar with mitered corners when stitching your binding down, you will probably be able to sit at your machine for this step. If you are new to this technique, it will be easier for you to take your project to the table so you can follow the illustrations easily.

4.  Flip your binding piece down forming a fold at a 45 degree angle. Then bring the binding back down so that the fold in your binding will be even with the raw edge at the bottom. Your raw edges of the binding will be even with the raw edges of the runner.

5.  Secure with pins and stitch in place just as you did with the first edge stopping 3/8" from the end. Repeat these steps with remaining corners. With the remaining corners, you will also be starting your stitching 3/8” from the corner too. When you get to the end, leave an overlap of at least and inch and trim off the excess binding before stitching that final section down.

6.  Trim off excess threads and remove basting stitches that might have been left behind or exposed. Flip the folded edges of the binding to the back and pin in place. Hand stitch binding to backing.


  1. Nice tutorial. That looks like a fast and fun project to sew. I also liked the idea of using the decorative stitches to jazz it up a little. Great binding tutorial, too. Have a super day!

  2. What a nice, colorful runner. My quilting experiences have not been terribly successful. I admire quilters!

  3. I love your fabric choices. The runner screams spring! Oh how I wish I sewed!

  4. awesome tutorial. I so want to try this.

  5. Love all the colours, especially on a grey and rainy day like today!

  6. Lovely runner! Thank you for the tutorial, I've been looking a lot for a simple quilting project!


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