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Making things that are fun, good for your family and good for the environment. Please support Micro-businesses.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Table Runner Tutorial - Quilt in a Day (or 5 if you have kids!)

It's hilarious to me that I'm writing a tutorial for a quilt when this is the second I've ever made - and it's chalk full of mistakes. BUT I was inspired to make one based on this free tutorial: http://www.quiltingdaily.com/blogs/quilting-daily/archive/2012/09/27/quilt-in-a-day-patchwork-table-runner.aspx?a=qr120929

I had a big problem with these instructions, though. It's probably that I'm a total beginner - but maybe she left a few steps out. So I just decided to take some of her directions and wing the rest. Here's what I got:

Autumn Side

Winter Side
What you will need:

  • Print fabrics, 15-20 coordinating 5" squares
  • Solid fabrics, 15-20 coordinating 5" squares (I used just one color solid, but you can choose as many as you like)
  • Backing fabric, ½ yd. (obviously, I used 2 different fabrics to create a winter feel, but you can choose to make the backing one color)
  • Binding fabric, ¼ yd. (I used pre-made bias tape. I don't recommend that if you're a beginner. Make your own. There are lots of tutorials online to show you how)
  • Batting, 20" × 50" (I used interfacing because that's what I had lying around)
  • Rotary cutting tools (cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler)
  • Sewing machine
  • If you want to hand stitch your binding (which you are supposed to do but I machine stitched the flip side of mine) you will need a needle & thread
My table runner is 18" x 36" so I used 16 - 5" print squares and 16 - 5" solid squares. (8 of those squares will be cut up into smaller pieces that I will explain later). You can make yours as big or as small as you'd like. You just need to adjust your math.


*all seam allowances are 1/4"

Layer 2 - 5" squares, a print and a solid, right sides together. Sew 1/4" seam down one side. Repeat with all the squares until you have 16 total.

Now you have 16 - 5" x 10" blocks. Press all of the seams open. (some people press their seams to one side. I prefer to press them open because I think the fabric lays flatter, and I don't have to remember to which side to press any of the seams)

Take 12 of the blocks and arrange them randomly so you have 3 long columns of 4 - 5" x 10" blocks.

At this point I'll mention the 4 blocks you have left over. Take those blocks and cut them in half, length wise, so that you end up with 8 - 2.5" x 10" blocks. These will be the outside columns of your runner.

Add these to your layout, on the out sides.

Now start sewing your blocks together. I sewed the 10" sides together first, but I don't think it matters, as long as you get all pieces together. Don't forget to press all your seams open as you go!

Lay down your backing fabric (which, along with your batting, should be slightly bigger than your pieced top), wrong side up, your batting, then your completed runner (right side up) to make a "sandwich". Baste the layers together and quilt as desired.

Trim the backing fabric and batting to match your quilted top.

Bind the edges. (again, there are some good tutorials on binding quilts online. Here's one http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/10/binding-tutorial.html)

On a side note, if you're planning on really getting into quilting I would highly recommend having a walking foot on your machine. Lots of my errors are because I don't have one - yet!

Please share your comments, suggestions, or photos of your finished project!


  1. You have just inspired me to do something our respective quilting foremothers would be boggled by. I have a lot of fabric glue lying around. I wonder if I can get my son interested in making a small quilt with that. He may be a little too young still. Next year?

  2. Give it a try! What have you got to loose! I can't wait to see the outcome.