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Small Patchwork Table Runner with Straight Line Quilting

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This lovely quilted runner finishes at just 16" wide x 30" long. It's almost more like a jumbo placemat, but a great size for smaller tables or breakfast bars, and perfect as the center décor on a larger table. The pretty patchwork center features four 'flying geese' blocks. If you're new to quilting, each of these blocks is made from one rectangle and two squares. When sewn, the pieces are transformed into a pattern of three triangles whose finished shape resembles the flying 'V' of migrating birds. The good thing is, the quilting version of flying geese is much, much quieter than the real version. Take it from someone who lived in the flight path of hundreds of Canadian geese. 

We originally used fabric from the Vintage Modern collection by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics. There is something universally likable about the aqua and red color combination... or as Bonnie & Camille called it in Vintage Modern: Sky and Candy Apple. However, this is an older collection and so can be difficult to find outside of individual sellers of random cuts on Etsy or eBay. 

We found two collections at Fat Quarter Shop with a similar color palette: Smitten by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics shown in row with Moda Bella Solids Green as the single solid color. 

Row two features selections from Bake Sale 2 by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs. Click on a swatch to see the full range.

This little runner would make a great gift. Wrap it up with some color coordinated kitchen gadgets and/or a few of your own recipe classics. We have a free printable recipe card you can download as well as a matching gift tag. Both are designed with the same pretty "vintage modern" graphics. 

      

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Click to Enlarge

Supplies listed below are for ONE table runner, which finishes at approximately 16" wide x 30" long.

  • 6 cuts from your chosen quilting cotton collection: specific yardage is shown below
    NOTE: You could certainly use fewer cuts, but the beauty of most collections is how marvelously everything mixes and matches, so we have given you the information for how to build a runner that looks similar to ours.
  • ¼ yard of coordinating solid; we used aqua
  • ¾ yard of 45"+ wide lightweight, low loft batting
  • All purpose thread to coordinate with the fabrics
  • Machine quilting thread, 50 wt; we used white
  • See-through ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Adhesive dots or masking tape
  • Temporary spray adhesive; an option for thread or pin basting
  • Hand sewing needle and contrasting thread; an option to pin basting

Specific Yardage Notes

¼ yard of fabric 1 - print

¼ yard of fabric 2 - print

¼ yard of fabric 3 - print

⅝ yard of fabric 4 - print

¼ yard of fabric 5 - print

¼ yard of fabric 6 - print

¼ yard of fabric 7 - solid

Getting Started

Fabric 1 
Cut THREE 2" x Width of Fabric (WOF) strips

Fabric 2 
Cut FOUR 4½" high x 8½" wide rectangles

Fabric 3
Cut ONE 8½" x 8½" square

Fabric 4 
Cut ONE 18" high x 32" wide rectangle
Cut EIGHT 4½" x 4½" squares

Fabric 5
Cut TWO 5" x 5" squares

Fabric 6
Cut TWO 5" x 5" squares

Fabric 7 
Cut TWO 16½"  x 7½" rectangles

Low loft batting:
Cut ONE 18" x 32" rectangle

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Flying geese blocks

  1. Find the FOUR 4½" x 8½" (Fabric 2 - Floral Vintage Aqua in our sample) rectangles and the EIGHT 4½" x 4½" squares (Fabric 4 - Floral Hopscotch Pebble in our sample). Match up two squares with each of the four rectangles.
  2. Place one square right sides together with the left side of one rectangle, aligning the 4½" sides.
  3. Using a clear ruler, draw a diagonal line through the middle of the square from the upper right corner to the bottom left corner.
    Click to Enlarge
  4. Stitch from corner to corner along the drawn line. Again using your clear ruler, measure ¼" to the left of the sewn seam and trim away the excess corner.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Press the triangle away from the block.
  6. Place the other 4½" x 4½" square right sides together with the right side of the rectangle, aligning the 4½" sides.
  7. Using a clear ruler, draw a diagonal line through the middle of the square from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.
    Click to Enlarge
  8. Stitch from corner to corner along the drawn line. Again using your clear ruler, measure ¼" to the right of the sewn seam and trim away the excess corner.
    Click to Enlarge
  9. Press the second triangle away from the block to complete the 'flying geese' block.
    Click to Enlarge
  10. Repeat to create the remaining three flying geese blocks.

Half square triangle blocks

  1. Find the two sets of two 5" x 5" squares (Fabric 5 - Floral Wish Sky and Fabric 6 - Floral Snickerdoodle Candy Apple in our sample). Mix and match the sets so you have two pairs of two contrasting fabrics.
  2. Place one set of 5" x 5" squares right sides together.
  3. Using a clear ruler, draw a diagonal line through the middle of the layered square from the upper right corner to the bottom left corner.
    Click to Enlarge
  4. Stitch ¼" to either side of the drawn line.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. We used our Janome Quarter Inch foot to keep our stitching lines perfect ¼" seams. This foot has a flange, which you can run along the drawn line.
    Click to Enlarge
  6. When both seams are sewn, cut along the drawn line to separate the triangles. Press the seam toward the darker fabric. You now have two half square triangle blocks.
  7. Using your clear ruler and a rotary cutter (or a quilter's square template if you are lucky enough to have one), trim each sewn square down to an exact 4½" x 4½" square. You will be trimming off just a tiny amount. 
    Click to Enlarge
  8. Repeat these steps with the remaining 5" x 5" pair of squares.
    NOTE: With directional fabrics, you need to mark the second set of squares with the diagonal line in the opposite direction to create a symmetrical set.

Assembling the center patchwork

  1. Arrange the completed units as shown below. There are three rows, each row is made up of three units. The center unit in the center row is the 8½" x 8½" square in Fabric 3.
    Click to Enlarge
  2. Sew each set of three units together to make one row. To do this, place the outside units right sides together on either side of the center unit. Pin in place, then stitch the two short seams, using a ¼" seam allowance.
  3. Press your seam allowances in opposite directions row to row. Press the seam allowances in row one towards the right, those in row two towards the left, and those in row three towards the right. This will help you nest your seams together and tightly match your inside corners.
  4. When your three rows are complete, you can stitch them together. Working from the top row down, pin the first two rows right sides together. The most important thing to remember is to keep your seams in line with one another. It helps to place a pin in the seam, then line up the pins.
  5. Remember in Step 3 above when you assembled the rows how you pressed the seam allowances in opposite directions row to row? This now allows you to ‘nest' the seams. One seam is pressed in one direction, the opposing seam is pressed in the other direction, and they lay nice and flat against each other.
  6. Using a ¼" seam allowance, sew the rows together.
  7. Your careful matching along the seams will create perfect points on the front. 
  8. Repeat to assemble the final row in the same manner.
    Click to Enlarge

Finish the runner top

  1. Find the two 16½" high x 7½" wide rectangles (Fabric 7 - solid aqua in our sample).
  2. Place one of these rectangles on either side of the finished center patchwork, aligning the 16½" sides. Pin in place.
  3. Using a ¼" seam seam allowance, sew the side pieces to the center. Press the seam allowancces and toward the side panels. This completes the runner top.
    Click to Enlarge

Layer and quilt

  1. Find the 18" x 32" back rectangle (Fabric 4 - Floral Hopscotch Pebble in our sample) and the 18" x 32" batting rectangle.
  2. Place the runner back right side down (wrong side up) on your work surface. Layer the batting rectangle on top of the back panel. Layer the completed runner top right side up on top of the batting. The backing and batting are cut slightly oversized to allow a bit of extra room for quilting.
  3. Baste all three layers together all around the outer edge. You can use pins, a temporary spray adhesive or a long running stitch with needle and thread for this step. We opted for needle and thread.
    Click to Enlarge
  4. If possible, attach a Walking or Even Feed foot to your machine or engage your machine's built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex system on many of our Janome studio machines. 
  5. Starting at the exact center point of the top panel, and using a fabric pen or pencil that will easily wipe away or vanish with exposure to air or the heat of an iron, draw in horizontal quilting lines to follow across the top panel. Our lines were 1" apart. If you have a Quilting Bar for your Walking foot, you can simply draw one vertical line at the center, then use the bar as your guide, running it along the previous stitching line at a 1" distance. 
  6. Channel quilt parallel lines, following the lines of the fabric or as mentioned, use a Quilting Bar with a Walking foot or built-in system to keep your lines straight
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: If you are new to straight line quilting, check out our Guest Tutorial from Modern Quilting whiz, Heather Jones.
  7. When the quilting is complete, trim away the excess batting and backing to match the runner top.
    Click to Enlarge

Bind

  1. Find the three 2" x WOF binding strips (Fabric 1 - Floral Dot Stripe Candy Apple in our sample).
  2. Place the three strips right sides together, end to end, along the 2" ends. Pin and stitch in place with a ¼" seam allowance to create one long strip.
    NOTE: For the red and white striped fabric we used, we carefully placed our seams to match the stripe.
  3. Fold the joined strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
  4. Working from the front of runner, align the raw edges of the folded and pressed strip with the raw edge of the runner.
  5. Start in the middle of one long edge, leaving a tail of approximately 4". Sew the binding to the runner, using a ¼" seam allowance.
  6. Miter each corner. To do this, stop with the needle in the down position when you are ¼" from the corner.
  7. Pivot the fabric 90°.
  8. Using the reverse button, back off the fabric
  9. Turn the binding straight down at a 90˚angle. This will create a 45° fold to the inside of the corner and allow you to align the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the next side of the runner. Re-start your stitching at the point of the fold.
  10. Stitch all the way around, stopping approximately 4" from your starting point.
  11. Open out the binding and join the ends, measuring to fit. Stitch the ends together and trim away the excess fabric.
  12. Re-fold the binding and finish the seam.
  13. Bring the binding up and over to the back side of the runner, covering the line of stitching. Press in place and pin as needed.
    Click to Enlarge
  14. Flip the runner back over to the front. Stitch in the ditch from the front all the way around.
    NOTE: If you are new to quilt-style binding, take a look at our tutorial: A Complete Step-by-Step For Binding Quilts & Throws. We show detailed instructions for a number of attaching and finishing options. 
    Click to Enlarge
  15. Remove the basting threads if you used them to hold the layers together.

Contributors
Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler

Section: 

Comments (2)

Sewfuntroy said:
Sewfuntroy's picture

This is such a pretty idea & makes for an easy gift for those who love to cook.  Changing up the fabric choice can make it perfect for a country cottage look or a urban chic look. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

Thank you!! And, yes! fabric selection makes all the different -- so many different looks can be put together. Let us know if you give our pattern a try.