Make A Christmas Patchwork Table Runner
Unique, Simple, Quick and Inexpensive. Brighten Up Your Christmas Table!
This technique is one I have used multiple times for quilts and placemats. It is so quick and simple that even my children, who are 8 and 11, can do it with little or no help.
Rummage around for some fabrics in red and green, browse the instructions below and in a few hours you'll be enjoying your very own unique Christmas patchwork table runner.
Where to start.
Supplies and fabric.
Many people decorate their homes beautifully at Christmas. While this is a lovely tradition I haven't given the whole notion much time or energy until recently. This was somewhat to do with the cost and a lot to do with the time involved to make hand crafted items. It always seemed too much work for such a short period of time.
This year, however, I am making a start. I decided on a project that tackled all three of these issues. My table runner will be a central feature of our Christmas decorations and yet it is surprisingly quick and easy to construct and also hasn't cost me much.
I have used existing fabrics I have in reds and greens and bought some bold Christmas fabric to complement the theme. This has kept my cost to a minimum. You will notice in the picture here that I am relying heavily on stripes, spots and plain red. Even if you need to buy all the fabrics for this project these fabrics are generally cheaper to purchase than prints.
Alternatively you can buy a fat quarter pack with small amounts of different Christmas fabrics that will work wonderfully well. This gives good variety and colour scheme but will rarely be the cheapest option if that's what you're looking for.
If you're a brand new beginner
and want to make this project, you may find it helpful to read my brief article that lists basic supplies you'll need when starting any patchwork project.
Wadding sets the size
I started by cutting my wadding square (or true) to the size required. it is easier if you choose a dense and stable type of wadding. I have successfully used a looser wadding in the past and, while it does work, I didn't find it washed and wore as well.
The wadding I chose is polyester. This is hard wearing and washes well and was also relatively inexpensive. I'm not making a bed quilt for which my preference would be a natural fibre.
The width of the wadding is 46 inches (purchased off a roll folded in half) and this makes a good length for the table runner on my dining table. Using my cutting mat I trimmed the cut end of the wadding and settled on a width of 14 inches. This seemed a good proportion for the length of the finished runner and worked well on my dining table.
Don't make the assumption that the selvages will be straight. Having cut the width of the table runner I trimmed the selvages so the wadding was exactly true to square.
Finished size of wadding is approx 46 inches by 14 inches.
Preparing the backing
Ready to sew
For the backing I chose a Christmas themed fabric I had a lot of. No-body will see it but it does make an overall nicer job if it is co-ordinating with the rest of patchwork. The back of the patchwork is also about pleasing yourself with the result of the finished project.
The backing needs to be at least 1.5 inches bigger than the backing. You can make it larger and trim it down when the project is ready to edge if you wish.
Another option is to use the backing to bind the project in which case the extra fabric will be left on and used for this purpose.
If this is the option you are choosing, the wadding will need to be placed carefully onto the backing with an equal seam allowance on either side. Pin the wadding to the backing so that it remains in the right position as you sew the top on next.
The wadding and the fabric were both 46 inches wide and so I had two options.
- 1. Add an extra strip of backing to the ends to make the required seam allowance.
- 2.Trim back the wadding so that there was a uniform 1.5 inches of backing right around the wadding.
I chose the second option as my backing was striped and may have looked a bit patchy to have a join or the stripes running in the wrong direction.
Accuracy is still important so use a patchwork ruler to mark the end you need to trim before cutting it back.
Starting to sew the front
Simple quilt as you go method
So now you should have the backing laying right side out. Basically how it will lay when the runner is finished.
The wadding should be pinned in place on the backing to prevent it moving as you work with the runner.
Now take a strip of fabric and place it flush with the end of the wadding. Trim to length now or after it is sewn. Your preference.
Choose your second strip of fabric and lay it right sides together onto the first piece of fabric. Pin in place and sew through both these fabrics, the wadding and the backing strip.
Iron each strip open
Iron the strip open. Also iron the back. Everything must be kept flat so that there are no unwanted bulges sewn in.
- 1. Repeat the process by adding another strip of fabric to the one before it.
- 2. Pin and sew.
- 3. Trim the edges.
- 4. Iron both sides.
Keep repeating using strips of various christmas fabrics in varying widths. Each strip must be at least an inch wide and up to about 3 inches wide.
For this quilt I measured every strip and cut it accurately on my cutting mat. I varied the widths of the strips between about 1 inch and 3 inches.
A very neat effect can also be obtained by using strips of various widths that have straight edges but are not uniform (i.e. 1 inch on one side and 3 on the other). It may help you understand when you see the picture of the finished quilt my kids made using this method. They were not accurate but it turned out fantastically.
A work in progress....
I sewed a little most days on my table runner. It's actually a simple enough project to finish in one good sitting. Unfortunately I had a lot happening this year leading up to Christmas so I just sewed a couple of strips at a time which was relaxing and kept me grounded!
It didn't help that I'm using my free time to go off on a tangent here! ;-) Squidoo-ing is the other thing I love!
I did finally get it done though and am really happy with the result. It's so simple and yet so cheery!
Binding your runner
I used the backing of the quilt brought to the front for the binding. There are detailed instructions on another of my lenses, How to bind a Patchwork Quilt.
Note that there is a minor difference in that the binding explained here is added on to the backing and not already a part of the quilt. This should be easy to understand with the pictures.
If you have any questions at all please leave them on the comments and I'll try my best to help.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Finished! - Ready for Christmas 2011 and beyond!
Décor Overhaul for Christmas - How much does Christmas change your home?
Christmas has been slowly creeping into my home. It's only in the last couple of years we've gotten a 'big' tree and lights for the house and garden. It's been a progression of spending a little more each year and gathering 'stuff' and also bringing joy to the children who are appreciating it more.
Do you overhaul your home décor and/or house exterior for Christmas?
Yes. I go all out to totally celebrate at Christmas.
Patchwork Christmas treats.
I'm a sucker for all things patchwork. I'm longing to fill my home with anything that reminds me of my favourite pass time.
More great Squidoo crafting!
- 50 Craft Ideas for Adults
A great 'go to' lens for lots of craft ideas in one place. A real collection of squidoo crafting at it's best.
Would love to hear from other patchworkers or interested people! Smiles!