Friday, August 26, 2011

Quilted Table Runner

Fresh out of the dryer, this is the quilted table runner I just finished. I am more than a little excited because it actually turned out and I have never before quilted, used bias tape, made bias tape, or washed something and it stay together! I think I am hooked now...quilting is addicting (does that make me sound like I am 80? I don't care!). 
you start with this, a jelly roll, which is a set of 40 strips cut into 2.5 inch wide 44 inch long pieces
they come precut and already pinked (zig zag cut)
I then cut them so that I they were 22 inches long, but that made my table runner too wide, a table runner should be about 17-18 inches wide, so next time I will cut them as such.
I am excited that a jelly roll can make two to three of these though...(leftover edges of quilted strips are destined to be placemat edges, just you wait).
match them up and pin them right sides together

 I liked laying mine out so that warm and cool colors were equally mixed and that the prints were well dispersed (not two paisleys or two florals as neighbors)
when you are done matching up your strips, you are ready to sew using a 1/4 seam allowance
(using the term "seam allowance" almost makes me feel like a real seamstress!)

I press the seams open

once pressed open, the are waiting to be sewn together again

once they are all sewn together, iron it out nice and flat and make sure the seams are open, which also helps to minimize bulk

lay your backing fabric face down on a smooth surface, add your batting (I used flannel), and to with your quilt top. make sure your batting and quilt bottom are a bit bigger than your top. pin down in place and quilt that baby right up!

at this stage, I just sew right on top of the top of the quilt front. I use the edge of my sewing foot as my guide and just make straight lines. It is very easy  and you can see my lines in one of the close ups below. Make as many or as few lines as you want.. This is such a great beginner's project!!!

I don't have a picture of it, but at this stage, trim it all up so your edges are all the same length
make your self some bias tape...there are a millioin tutorials out there that helped me greatly
I used this one and it clicked for me...
lay out your runner somewhere nice and flat (the floor is perfect) and pin down your tape to the edge

like this
sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance 

flip it over
look at those mitered corners! you can point this out to your husband, who is watching football, but trust me, he really isn't that interested

pin it down again and hand sew (I know, I know...yuck) the bias
wash and dry
and LOOK 
and it is reversible (if you did your hand sewing a little neater than mine that is)!

a few lessons learned in this project (skip if you know what you are doing):
1. if your machine starts making a noise from the bobbin nether region, don't ignore it. it won't go away and you will have to become best buddies with your seam ripper.

2. rotary cutters are more than just for cutting fabric, they also are wonderful at cutting skin. you've been forewarned.

3. check your bobbin and thread before you begin. nothing is worse that getting ready to sew and having to stop to wind them up (well, a finger cut with a rotary cutter is worse, but you know what I mean)

4. the dials on your machine aren't just to look neat, they have functions. learn how to adjust tension, stitch length, etc. it makes a BIG difference.

5. don't promise a project to someone else until you finish it. you might end up wanting to keep it and your mom will guilt it out of you.

Fabric Source:
I live in a pretty good sized city but there are only 2 fabric stores (and a few little shops that are pretty pricy) and they are both over 15 miles away. They also don't carry "good" fabric so I have turned to finding neat shops online. This one of the coolest shops that I have found. The prices are great, the selection is amazing, and you can order in any increment you like. The jelly roll (Joel Dewberry "Heirloom") and the backing fabric (Kaffe Fasset White Line Dance) as well as the fabric used to make the bias all came from The Fat Quarter Shop. It arrived only three days after I ordered and was beautifully packaged. I will definitely order from them again (and again and again)...


  1. What a great table runner. I love table runners, you can never have enough.

  2. That came out great! I can't sew even a little bit. How long did it take? Do I even want to know...?

  3. Looks great! I want to add this to my project list now!

  4. I love it! I suck at sewing and could never make something as cute as you have. Awesome job!

  5. What a great project! And so colorful :)

  6. Kristen, great job! I come from a long line of quilters, both grandmothers and my mother. Me, not so much! Your runner looks so fun and great for your first one!

  7. That is so cute! You did such an awesome job!

  8. It's beautiful! I love the fabrics you used. I have been admiring these fabrics for awhile now myself.

    You should be proud. You did a great job! I'm in love with it.

  9. That is gorgeous!! And it does NOT sound like you're 80! What a wonderful hobby to have :)

  10. I have been wanting to try a similar project. Love your fabrics!

  11. I am so (sew?) impressed! I have a couple books on quilting but haven't tried it yet. I always wondered what jelly rolls were!