In case you are looking for inspiration, I wanted to share a roundup of fun table runner techniques and ideas. I have actually never made a table runner, since our current dining table is too narrow to fit a runner and leave any room to actually eat. Looking at all these great tutorials made me really want to make one, though! I'm thinking maybe I should just go ahead and make one, I can always use it on a coffee table or a side board in the future if we continue to have too small a table after we move.
|Photo from The Long Thread
The simplest way to make a table runner is to sew two rectangles together with right sides facing, leaving a gap for turning the runner right side out, and then either hand stitch the opening closed or top stitch all the way around, closing the opening in the process. The beautiful simple runner above from The Long Thread is an example of this technique, showing how with even minimal piecing you can get a very pleasing result.
|Photo from Poppyprint
You can also use this technique with a more complicated top, such as the lovely crop circles pattern from Poppyprint above, or the beautiful log cabin runner that Amanda Soule made. With this technique you can use batting in the middle and quilt as much as desired, or you can just use the two pieces of fabric.
|Photo from A Sewing Journal
Another simple technique for a non-quilted runner is to simply use a single rectangle of fabric and turn the edges under and finish them, similar to how you would when making a napkin. You can of course embellish the fabric with applique, contrasting fabric bands, stenciling/stamping or other decorations, just as you can with napkins. The linen and lace runner above from A Sewing Journal is a sweet example using this technique.
|Photo from Prudent Baby
You can also make a quilted table runner with binding, which is essentially a mini-quilt. If you use extra layers of batting or insulated batting, this has the added benefit of protecting your table from hot dishes. At the most simple, you can pick two favorite fabrics, quilt them together and sew on a binding, as in this tutorial from Prudent Baby shown above.
|Photo from Diary of a Quilter
You can also make a striped table runner using this technique pretty easily, such as the quilt as you go table runner from Diary of a Quilter shown above. Similarly, the Polka Dot Chair has a tutorial for a skinny table runner made from squares.
|Photo from Spool Sewing
You can also use this technique to make a runner with many kinds of more complicated quilt designs, such as the disappearing nine patch design from Spool Sewing shown above. Other tutorials to check out include:
- Small patchwork square and rectangle designs from Sew Sweetness and Julie Geiger for Moda Bakeshop
- Rail Fence design from Angela Davy for Moda Bakeshop
- Turning Corners design by John Adams for Moda Bakeshop
- Star blocks design from Pleasant Home
- Half Square Triangle design from Moda Bakeshop
|Photo from Martha Stewart Crafts
And your table runner doesn't have to be a rectangle! I love this pattern for a leafy runner made of bias-tape edged leaf shapes from Martha Stewart Crafts. Or there's a cute pattern on Moda Bake shop for a runner made of layered circles.
What is your favorite table runner pattern or technique?