We don’t decorate too much for the holidays, but one thing we always like to do is switch out table runners. It’s not much, but it really adds a pop of color, and they’re simple enough that you can make one for every season! The finished product measures 39″ x 13″ so it’s a perfect size for most coffee tables or dining tables.
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- 24 5” squares (this fabric that I used was thrifted, but BudgieFluff on Etsy always has beautiful pre-cut squares that I’ve used for other runners!)
- matching thread
- fabric for the backing and trim
- sewing machine
- tape measure
- and possibly a seam ripper
Start by laying your 24 squares out in the pattern that you’d like them sewn together in. I fold the 8 squares along the sides in half diagonally so that I can easily see what the finished product will look like when it’s trimmed (I always need a visual!).
Unfold the side squares and separate the lines diagonally; this is the order that you’ll sew them together in. You should have 6 rows to sew together.
Pin each square to the next one in the line, right sides together, and sew along the pinned edges leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance.
Iron each row as you finish it, and lay them all back down in the same order as you started with. You should now have 6 rows sewn together (2 rows with 3 squares; 2 rows with 4 squares; 2 rows with 5 squares).
Take ¼ of an inch off each of the square edges marked with red in the photo above. If I was a professional I’d probably do this at the beginning…but then I’d have to make sure that I knew exactly what squares went where, and honestly, it’s too much to commit to at the start of a project!
Flip every other row up to face the row above it (right sides will be facing) and pin along one edge so that you have 3 pinned rows. Sew along the 3 pinned edges leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance. You should now have 3 pieces of 2 rows each.
Unfold the sewn rows and repeat the previous step, pinning and sewing the three sections together (right sides facing) so that you’re left with one, whole piece.
Flip your soon-to-be table runner over and iron all the raw edges down.
Pull out your ruler and draw a straight line down the middle of the 8 side squares (diagonally), so that when you cut them off you’ll be left with 2 straight, even edges along each side. (These are the squares that I had folded over way back at the beginning of this tutorial.)
Along the sewn edges on the face of the runner sew a straight line (1/8 inch seam allowance). To make sure you get them all, at each point in the runner where 4 square corners meet there should be a square of seams.
Cut 6 strips from your backing material.
Two will be 1.5” x 30” and
Four will be 1.5” x 15”.
Start by pinning the 30” pieces to the long sides of the runner (right sides facing), sew (leaving ¼ inch seam allowance), and iron flat.
Next, pin 2 of the 15” pieces to the short ends opposite each other (leaving ¼ inch seam allowance), sew, and iron.
Last, but not least, pin the other 2 short pieces to the 2 final sides (leaving ¼ inch seam allowance), sew, and iron.
Trim the extra fabric from around the corners (there will be some excess), and cut a piece of fabric for your backing. It should be approximately 16” x 42” (or do what I do and pin the runner to the fabric and just cut around it. It’s not as neat, but it’s quicker than measuring!).
Iron your backing and pin the runner flat onto it (right sides facing). Sew along the pinned edges, leaving a 5” long opening (unsewn) to turn it inside out. And if you’re anything like me you’ll want to mark your gap space, because I often forget about it, and that’s when the seam ripper comes in handy!
Trim the excess fabric off, making sure to round the corners. Turn you runner inside out, using the 5” gap that you left open, and iron the entire runner flat, paying especial attention to the opening so that when sewn in the next step, it closes nice and neat. Run a seam along the inside edge of the trim (1/8 inch seam allowance), and another on the outside edge of the trim.
And there you have it, folks, one runner complete! Matching fabric is slightly addicting, so if you’re anything like me, you probably have 5 more runners already picked out. Go for it, they make perfect gifts for pretty much any occasion!