As part of the 5 Days of Christmas Giveaways, I knew I wanted to make a table runner. I love quilting and sewing and Christmas and tables, so it was an obvious choice.This project is perfect for someone who’s new to sewing. If you’ve been wanting to make a quilt, this is a great place to start. It has all the elements of quilt-making, but on a much smaller scale. That means that you can learn the methods without the overwhelming amount of fabric or work. It’s also very forgiving – the way I did the crooked strips mean that you don’t have to worry about having things line up, or even about sewing a straight line.
- 4 fat quarters
- 1/2 yard fabric for binding
- 1/2 yard fabric for backing
- Batting – I bought a crib size and cut it to fit the runners
- Rotary cutter – scissors would work, but the rotary makes it much easier
- IronDisclaimer: This is my first sewing tutorial, so I’m sorry if something’s unclear. Please let me know if you have questions, or if something needs to be clarified! I started with four fat quarters and cut them into strips. I didn’t measure anything because I was going for the uneven, crooked stripey look. I did some wide strips, and some narrow strips, but most were in between. I probably should have ironed my material, but this wasn’t about perfection, so I didn’t.Above, you can see the first two strips ready to be sewn. If you were doing a quilt where you wanted straight lines, and lined up angles, you would just put the two pieces together (right sides facing), and sew along one edge. To get the crooked look, I just placed my strips together (right sides facing), but didn’t line up the edges. When you sew the strips together, follow one edge. I like to use a 1/4 inch seam, so I just line the edge of the fabric up with the edge of the sewing machine foot, and that’s a little over 1/4 inch. After you sew a new strip on, go ahead and trim off the extra seam allowances, making both pieces of fabric have about a 1/4 inch seam. You can see in the photo above how the red fabric won’t be trimmed much, but the green fabric will have quite a bit trimmed off, especially near the top. Above, you can see one of the strips that I made really crooked. Can you see how that top fabric is placed at quite an angle from the one I sewed it to? That meant that I trimmed of quite a bit of the bottom fabric, but it created a really crooked line. Just keep adding strips until you run out, and it should be fairly large.
I don’t have a photo of this, but after I sewed all the strips together, I ironed the quilt top. I pressed all the seam allowances in one direction and got rid of all the creases. I also cut the whole thing in half, to make two long, narrow table runners. I think this would look great if you kept it wide, too! Totally your choice!
Now, on to the quilting! I cut out some fabric for the backing. It wasn’t long enough, so I had to sew two pieces together. Lay your backing fabric (design side down) on a large work area. For big quilts, I do this on the floor, but for this project, my dining room table worked just fine. Smooth it out and place your quilt batting on top. Then, put your quilt top on top, sandwiching the batting between the backing and top. Smooth it all out, check to make sure it’s all lined up, and stick some pins in it. Next, roll it up from both sides, to the middle. It’s helpful to clamp these rolls, just to keep everything snug in place. I found that it wasn’t as necessary for this project, since it’s so small, but you might still find it helpful.The purpose of quilting is to hold the three layers all together. I have yet to get too fancy with my quilting. I usually just do straight or wavy lines, and I like how that turns out. For this quilt, I didn’t really want to see the lines, so I used a technique called stitch in the ditch. Basically, this means that you will sew right over the seams. The quilting lines are almost hidden in the seams. I used red thread, so it stands out more than if I had really been trying to match, and hide the quilting lines. Keep quilting until it’s all sewn together! To bind it, use this tutorial. I started writing a tutorial for binding, but realized that this one is way, way better. It’s what I used to learn, and I look back at it every time I make a quilt. The only thing I do differently is how I finish it. I usually attach it first to the back of the quilt, then use my machine on the front with it folded over. This means that the front of the binding has a line of sewing on it, but I like that look – especially on this quilt with the red stitching on the white binding. It’s also much more secure, and since most of my quilts have been for kids and babies, that’s important. My quilts get washed a lot and need to hold up. Please let me know if you have any questions! I’m happy to help! Let me know if you end up making one of these – I’d love to see it!Giveaway time! I’m giving away one of the table runners I’ve made here (the backing fabric is different than the one pictured, so that will be a fun surprise!). Five ways to enter to win this fun, handmade (read: not perfect) Christmas decoration. You’ll be getting to know the other two sponsors, Megan and Katrina, this week, so you can start following them today!
To enter to win the Table Runner, do the following:
- Answer this question in the comment section of my blog: What is your favorite Christmas decoration? Does it have a story? Is it an heirloom or something you bought more recently?
- Follow me on Instagram (carolynfwilliams), then comment on this blog post telling me you’re following me on Instagram.
- Comment again telling me you’re following Megan’s shop on Instagram (alwayscreateco).
- Comment again telling me you’re following Katrina on Instagram (katrinalhenry).
- Subscribe to Megan’s channel on YouTube.
*** ENTER by SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd 9pm Pacific Time – All five winners (one for each day this week) will be announced on Andthenthey.com on Monday, the 23rd ***