I’ve been learning how to quilt recently, as you saw in this post, so when my friend Jenni’s birthday came up, I decided it might be a cute idea to make her a quilted table runner as a gift. I decided this the night before we were supposed to go to her birthday dinner, and I didn’t even have fabric yet. So I ran over to Joann’s and bought some cute fabric (and of course I didn’t just buy fabric for this one project….because how often do I go to Joann’s and only get what I came for? Umm….I think never.) Anyway, I think it turned out really cute, so I thought I’d give a little tutorial on how I did it!
I selected the fabric I wanted to use, and got a larger piece of coordinating fabric for the back and binding. I was already home before I realized that I probably should have gotten 2 different fabrics for the back and binding, but oh well. You live and you learn. It still turned out cute.
First, press all your fabric so that you don’t have to work around any unruly creases or folds.
Then measure and cut strips from your fabric. I cut 4 strips from each piece of fabric in varying widths. I had 6 different fabrics I was using for the front, so that totaled 24 strips in all, but you can add more fabric or more strips depending on how long you want your table runner to be. Remember when you’re cutting that you’re going to need a 1/4 inch seam allowance on all the strips, so cut it 1/2 inch bigger than you want the final width to be.
Next, lay out your strips in the order that you want them, then when you have your desired length and width, cut out your backing piece so that it’s slightly bigger than the fabric strips.
One at a time, pin and sew the strips together, with the right sides facing each other. Remember to use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
There should be a marker on your sewing machine and/or sewing foot that shows you where 1/4 inch is.
Here’s what the strips will look like when they’re all sewn together. It doesn’t matter if the edges are perfectly straight, because we’ll be trimming those later.
Cut out some quilt batting to match the size of your backing fabric. Your backing fabric should be laying right side down when you lay the batting on top.
Lay your strips on top of the batting and smooth out so that there are no loose or wrinkled spots.
Then pin through all 3 layers of fabric and batting so that you make a quilt sandwich that won’t move around. You’ll want to pin every 6 inches or so in every direction so that the fabric won’t move while you’re sewing it together. You can also use quilting safety pins, or fusible fleece batting that you can actually iron onto your backing and front fabric so that it basically glues itself to the fabric so you don’t have to worry about pinning.
Now it’s time to quilt. I just used the seams as a guideline and did straight lines across on either side of each seam, but you can do any quilting pattern that you want. I don’t have a free motion foot for my sewing machine, so I can only sew in straight lines for now. But hopefully I’ll get one soon so I can try out all those cool quilting patterns!
Once you get toward the end, you’ll want to roll up the other side of the table runner so that it’s not all bunched up when you’re trying to sew. It makes life a lot easier!
Trim away any excess batting or uneven edges.
Now comes the binding, which can be pretty tricky. Cut 4 strips of fabric that are 2 1/2 inches wide. As for length, I kind of eyeballed it, and just did it as long as my original backing fabric was. In the picture above, you can see that I folded my fabric in half twice so that I could better cut a straight line. It was also a time saver to do it this way!
Sew the ends of the binding strips together (right sides together and 1/4 inch seam allowance) and press open the seams so they lay flat.
Then fold your fabric in half so that the right sides are facing out, and press. This is so you have a nice thick, double binding.
Pin the binding all the way around your table runner with the rough edge facing out, and flush with the rough edge of the table runner.
It’ll look like this when you’re done pinning.
Sew around with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Your corners should look like this. I don’t think I’ll be very good at explaining this, so you can watch this video on binding a quilt. You’ll be folding the binding around to the back of the table runner and sewing that in place as well, so you’ll have a pretty border around your quilt that hides the rough edges.
Tada! Here’s the finished table runner! You can also wash and dry this table runner if you want it to have a more wrinkly and quilted appearance.
I think I might just have to make one of these for myself as well! You could also do it in Christmas colors for a nice holiday decoration, or for any season really. It’s a pretty and easy way to change the look of your kitchen throughout the year. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and that I explained everything without confusing you. You can always leave a comment if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer them.