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Thanksgiving Tablecloth with Arts & Crafts Style Panels

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Our Arts & Crafts inspired holiday tablecloth features a unique panel design, which incorporates the beauty of a placemat into the tablecloth itself. Three highlight strips provide the perfect backdrop for your best china and flatware. We selected two gorgeous fabrics from Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley collection. The striking patterns and interlocking architectural motifs create an elegant Thanksgiving theme.

It's almost too pretty to set the table. But then there'd be no turkey or stuffing or cranberry sauce ... or pie! Quick, somebody get the plates!

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Our sample was made to fit a 6' x 4' (72" x 48") table with an 8" overhang on all four sides, which makes our finished size: 88" x 64" (72" + 8" head + 8" foot and 48" + 8" left side + 8" right side).


Note: We show six place settings, but you can put an additional place setting at either end of this table for a total of eight.

See the Hints and Tips section below for how to measure your table for this project.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • Fabric for base print: 3¾ yards of 45" wide fabric: we used Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley in Lodge Lattice Azure
  • Fabric for highlight bands: 2 yards of 45" wide fabric: we used Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley in Architectural Celadon
  • All purpose thread
  • Contrasting all purpose thread for topstitching
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Pinking shears or rotary cutter with pinking blade and mat (optional)
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

NOTE: We are cutting all our panels to 66". Why? 64" finished size +1" for hems + 1" extra. When you are sewing long, long seams there is a possibility of shrinkage and/or shifting, so cutting an extra inch allows you some wiggle room. Any extra can be trimmed after the seams are finished.

  1. From the fabric you are using for the base print ( Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley in Lodge Lattice Azure in our sample), measure, mark and cut the following pieces:
    Cut two at 17½" x 66"
    Cut two at 12" x 66"
  2. This print is pretty dark, and there is not a distinct pattern to match, so it's easiest to mark and cut from the wrong side. Finish your edges to prevent fraying in the wash. We chose to use pinking shears. For more information about seam finishes, read our tutorial: Finishing Raw Seams: Part One - Sewing Machine Finishes.
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  3. From the fabric you are using for the highlight panels ( Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley in Architectural Celadon in our sample), measure and mark for your panels. The print we chose repeats every 12", therefore, in order to get three panels, we centered the 6" mark on our ruler on the center of the motif.
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  4. Cut three pieces at 12" x 66"
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At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Collect one 17½ x 66" base panel and one 12" x 66" highlight panel.
  2. Pin, right sides together, along one 66" side.
  3. Sew together, using a ½" seam. Iron seam allowances together towards highlight panel
  4. Take a 12" x 66" base panel, and pin it, right sides together, to the 66" raw edge of the highlight panel (the highlight panel in the two-panel unit you just completed).
  5. Sew together, using a ½" seam. Iron seam allowances together towards highlight panel.
    NOTE: With long seams it is often easier to pin one end to your ironing board and pull the panels out gently and evenly as you pin. It's also important to always start at the SAME end when sewing long strips together in rows like this. Then, one side is always evenly matched, and any discrepancy in length on the other side can be trimmed after seaming and top stitching.
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  6. Following the diagram above, continue adding panels in this same manner until you have the completed seven-panel tablecloth.
  7. Re-thread your machine with contrasting thread for topstitching.
  8. You should have pressed all your seams towards the highlight panels. Check and make sure this is the case. Re-press if necessary.
  9. Make a line of top stitching 1/4" in from seam line with contrasting thread on both sides of each of the three highlight panels. The optional Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set we mention above in Sewing Tools is awesome for this step. You can see through it while you sew, and it comes with two removable guides that snap into place so you can follow a seam line perfectly. Love it!
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  10. Measure and mark your table cloth, trimming as necessary to be sure your final cut size is 89" x 65".
  11. Create a ¼" double-turn hem on all four sides, with clean finished corners. If you're new to this technique, check out our great tutorial: Quick Tip: 1/4" Double-Turn Clean Finished Corner. Once you master this technique, you'll use it again and again for narrow home décor hems.
  12. In making these corners and the hem, your finishing step is to edgestitch all the way around in contrasting thread.

Hints and Tips

You can make this tablecloth larger or smaller. The sample we show will seat 3 people on each side and one on either end for a total of 8 people. Remember, each highlight panel acts like a placemat where you will put a place setting, plus a place setting at either end of the table which would be set on the base fabric.

To Change Tablecloth Width

To increase the width of your tablecloth, measure the width of your tabletop, then add 18" for overhang and hems.

To Lengthen Tablecloth

If you have a longer table and want to seat four people on either side, for example, you will need four highlight panels. To add a highlight panel, you must also cut an additional base panel. This will add 22 inches to the length of our sample tablecloth, for a total length of 110 inches. You can be flexible with the 17½" end base panels and add or subtract a little to give yourself about an 8-inch overhang. Continue to add one more highlight and one more base panel to achieve your desired length.

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If you're squeezing people together more tightly, you can reduce your base panels a little to bring your highlight panels closer together. You'll have to do your own math here. Before you make any decisions, put your chairs at the table as you would have them when everyone is seated to see how closely they will fit together. Then see if a place setting will fit comfortably in each highlight panel without overlapping into the adjacent highlight panel. Remember to allow for a enough elbow room or they'll be an awkward moment when everyone is seated, but no one can pick up their forks!

To Shorten Tablecloth

You can remove one base panel and one highlight panel to seat two people on either side of the table. This will give you a 66" long table cloth.

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever



Comments (4)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Karisa - thanks for letting us know about your link. You did it just perfectly, adding the photo and link and crediting the project to S4H. Feel free to add links to any other projects you feel your readers would enjoy. Thanks for helping to spread the word.
Karisa said:
Karisa's picture
Hi Liz,

I just wanted to let you know I have linked to this project and thumbnail, as well as the matching napkins project, on our site. I think they're great projects that our readers will love to make! We are always looking for more tutorials and sewing patterns, so if you have any similar projects please feel free to send them my way or let me know if you prefer we not link to you. Thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi nanakat, so glad you like our Thanksgiving tablecloth! While you could apply this design to an oval table, it's probably not the best option, because at an oval table, place settings often sit at an angle where the rounded corners are. That looks fine on a plain tablecloth, but defeats the purpose of the width-wise panels. You could make one that goes the opposite direction (the length of the table), and so looks like a built in table runner rather than built in place mats. It would feel similar and work on an oval (or any shape table). The best way to plan for this would be to use an existing tablecloth that fits your table as a cutting guide. You’d have to buy 2-1/2" yards of your highlight fabric for a no-pieced insert, and have a lot left over (maybe napkins?), or start with less and piece the fabric, carefully matching the pattern. Let us know how it works out. Thanks for visiting.
nanakat said:
nanakat's picture
Can you tell those of us with an oval table how to make this beautiful tablecloth?