Quilt in a Day – Patchwork Table Runner

Small quilting projects like table linens, accessories, and home décor are perfect for the quilter who wants to create a handmade gift or refresh their décor or wardrobebut has little time to spare.

small quilting project patchwork table runner vivika denegre
My table runner. This quick quilt project is
easy and versatile.

For example, I was inspired by these fall flowers to create a complementary table runner in similar colors.

I reached for Amy Ellis's Graphic Patchwork Table Runner pattern, because I like the modern patchwork style. Plus, it's one of those quick quilt projects you can quilt in a day.

Here are Amy's directions.

Graphic Patchwork Table Runner 
(Finished size: 12" x 42")

Materials

  • Print fabrics, 15-20 coordinating 5" squares
  • Solid fabrics, 15-20 coordinating 5" squares
  • Backing fabric, ½ yd.
  • Binding fabric, ¼ yd.
  • Batting, 20" × 50"
  • Rotary cutting tools (cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler)
  • Sewing machine

Directions

(All seam allowances are ¼".)

1. Layer 2 squares of fabric, a print and a solid, right sides together. Sew a ¼" seam down 2 opposite sides of each pair. Repeat with all of the squares, making 15-20 in total.

2. Transport the stack of stitched squares to your cutting surface. Slice each square between the stitched lines parallel to the edges. You can cut them at the center, or randomly. Press the seam allowances to 1 side.

3. Arrange the blocks randomly in 3 rows, roughly the same length. Sew the blocks of each row together, pressing the seam allowances to 1 side.


small quilting projects table runner Amy Ellis
One of the small quilt projects in
Quilt Scene 2012.

4. Cut 1 of the rows in half lengthwise. Position the narrow rows on the outside edges, with the 2 wider rows inside. Sew the 4 rows together, and press the seam allowances to 1 side.

5. Square up the runner by trimming excess fabric from the short ends of the piece.

6. Place the batting onto the backing fabric, and place the pieced runner top (right side up) on top. Baste the layers together, and quilt as desired. I quilted my runner with teal thread in a straight-line design to accentuate the improvisational piecing.

7. Trim the excess batting and backing from the runner, and bind the edges.

I look for quick quilting projects like this when I plan my holiday gift giving. This table runner came together so easily, it's a keeper for my list of go-to gift projects. You can work it up in as many color combinations as you have fabric, making it look more traditional, modern, formal, or casual depending on your choices.

You can find this project and other small quilting projects you can quilt in a day in the 2012 issue of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene. To make it even easier, use a walking-foot and straight-line quilting. Catherine Redmond teaches you how in her popular Quilting Arts Workshop video, Modern Machine Quilting: Straight Lines, Spirals, Serpentines, and More!

P.S. Do you make small quilting projects for gift giving? Do you like to make a different project for each person or the same project, personalized? Share your strategies with me in the comments section below. 

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Quilting Daily Blog

67 thoughts on “Quilt in a Day – Patchwork Table Runner

  1. love, love, love this table runner – so pretty and easy! I really enjoy making small quilted projects for friends and family. During the holidays I tend to save time by making the same thing for groups of people and changing up the fabrics, colors, embellishment, etc. to personalize. 🙂

  2. I love this way to make a quilting project. A fast way to make
    placemats for Christmas using leftover materials and cutting
    so the full flower,tree, ornament, etc., shows and the plain
    blocks show them off. Thanks for the pattern.

  3. I’ve only been quilting a year, but I have found the time to finish 8 quilts and a few other small projects for give-aways. Mostly, I like to make table runners, mug rugs, coasters and made-to-order sized electronics rugs for the family. This particular patchwork runner is perfect for me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. i create so many small gifts that i hardly ever work on larger projects any more at all~! my favorite item to make is fabric and/or mixed media postcards and i try to personalize them just a bit.

    i really like your interpretation of the runner above. so pretty in solid mottled fabrics (hand dyed?)~!

    🙂
    libbyQ

  5. Gorgeous table runner, it’s definitely inspiring me to do some patchwork gifts for the festive season. I personalise gifts and make different things, keeps my mind busy with a new challenge each time.

  6. I usually make highly personalized projects for gifts, if I am going to make something at all. One of my favorites was a little wall hanging quilt, about 8.5 x 11″ that was different little patchwork squares with Christmas trees inserted into each square. It was so much fun to make the little patchwork squares and then decorate the trees after they had been inserted. And it turned out so well, I would consider making that one over and over for people for gifts. Each one could be a little different, so it would never get boring.

  7. There was a time when each person got an individual gift….now due to time restraints and a very busy schedule…especially at the Christmas season…I choose a theme, such as table runner, journals, ornaments, quilts…. I go with a somewhat ‘production’ mind set then embellish each gift with items that make it individual for each person on my list.

    c[.]paints [at] yahoo [dot] com

  8. What a fun and quick table runner. Perfect to add to my “pile” of gift ideas. I prefer to make individual gifts – I tend to get bored with the same thing over and over : ) Plus it gives me an opportunity to try lots of new things! Thanks for the sharing the pattern!

  9. I make a lot of gifts for friends and family. Each time an occasion arises, I think about that person specifically, and make what I think they ‘need’ at that time! I mix it up for my own sake, as well, because I am bored by doing the same thing over again, and also because my girlfriends see what I give to the others! Lotta Jansdotter is my new FAVORITE designer and would definitely put the fabric to good use!! Thanks for doing the giveaway.

  10. I sometimes get on a roll & create the same thing for each person but use specific fabrics or add personalization; i.e., initials, etc. Last year, everyone received personalized shoe bags.

  11. I like to take an easy project and personalize it for each person. Last year it was pillowcases for everyone. Teenager got ones with wild prints, teacher got flowered ones, and for a guy I made fishing themed ones. This year I have started tote bags and glass cases. Each are fun to find the fabrics that are unique for that person.

  12. I like to make individual things as gifts. A table runner in a style and color that works for one friend. A cloth purse for another. “Blankies” of different patterns and colors(lap quilts) for my granddkids.Whatever I think they would like.

  13. I am a huge fan of making a LOT of little, simple projects for friends and family, to give as gifts during the holidays. I don’t tend to personalize too much, other than just looking at the pieces and deciding who goes with what, as I never make two exactly the same. 🙂

  14. What a lovely way to spruce up a table with a matching table runner to the fall flower arrangement. I like your idea and plan to make one next week when I get my machine back or if I win the fabric giveaway, I can use that fabric. 🙂

  15. I frequently make small quilt projects for gifts….my favorite is to make bags, either small drawstring bags, or medium size tote bags. It is a fun way to try out new bag designs, and new quilting techniques. Then I can use the bag as a gift itself, or as a very special container or wrapping for another gift!

  16. I have a niece and her 3 sisters-in-law that I make little gifts for Christmas. Usually I make the same item in 4 different fabrics. Pin cushions, aprons and change purses have been made in the past. Maybe this year will be table runners! I love the pattern.

  17. Thanks for sharing the table runner pattern. For gift giving, I have done both. I usually make a different project for each person; but, sometimes I like the item so much that I want to share it with multiple people.

  18. This project has given my holiday gift-giving momentum. Quick but beautiful! I tend to make each gift unique to the person receiving it, but I’m rethinking that. Maybe multiple editions of the same item but with different color scheme is a faster way to go (then I won’t be working until midnight every night!).

  19. What a pretty table runner! I like small fast projects but I do try to personalize them. I’ll be making some pot holders this year – who can’t use them? Thanks for the giveaway.

  20. I make handmade quilty things for all my relatives, and I try and make duplicates of some gifts just so I can make multiples at the same time. It seems to speed up the process.

  21. I tend to make gifts in groups but vary fabric combos–batik, “modern”, traditional, floral, etc. Especially if I have lots of scraps! Then when I need a gift, I can often pick the “right” one for the recipient. As many of my friends are becoming grandmothers for the first time, I am making lots of “tummy time” quilts in bright colors. They can be put together in a day, start to finish. No fancy patterns/quilting for items that will be spit up on.

  22. I do make quilted gifts for giving on various holidays and occasions and sometimes for no reason at all. I like to make similar things, but personalized, and with completely different color schemes. I am currently working on full sized bed quilts for several people, some quilted bed runners and a couple baby quilts. I’m at various stages with these – some in the design phase (which for me can be the longest phase because each is an original); some are in the fabric acquisition phase, several are ready to be cut. I like to cut out several items at a time, usually 2-3 quilts and some clothing and home decor items, then sew without having to do any thought about it other then putting it together. Several days, even weeks, of just sewing. Except during my rest times I do work on the initial design phase for new projects.

  23. I do make quilted gifts for giving on various holidays and occasions and sometimes for no reason at all. I like to make similar things, but personalized, and with completely different color schemes. I am currently working on full sized bed quilts for several people, some quilted bed runners and a couple baby quilts. I’m at various stages with these – some in the design phase (which for me can be the longest phase because each is an original); some are in the fabric acquisition phase, several are ready to be cut. I like to cut out several items at a time, usually 2-3 quilts and some clothing and home decor items, then sew without having to do any thought about it other then putting it together. Several days, even weeks, of just sewing. Except during my rest times I do work on the initial design phase for new projects.

  24. What a great and easy looking project. I usually try to do a “hand made” Christmas (as much as possible), and this will be great to add to my list this year. I will definitely personalize each one – I love making something for a particular person. I think of them and pray for them as I sew.

  25. I am very much a “multiples” person; pillow cases are my favorite go to but my grandkids all like it when I make aprons..so cute for group family pictures!
    seasoned5 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  26. Can’t wait to try this technique! When I’m making gifts sometimes I do the same project, usually at Christmas for family, and sometimes I make different projects for different people.

  27. I generally make personalized gifts for individuals rather than creating numerous similar items for all. I’d love an opportunity to win the fabric, and will definitely make the table runner.

  28. I will do both, I like to make them personalized though most. But if time is a factor I may make the same thing and personalize it for them. Thank you for the opportunity to win as always. Cami

  29. This year I’m focused on three twin or larger quilts as gifts. I like to make table runners and toppers, usually modern designs in seasonal fabrics.
    Would be great to win the Lotta Jansdotter fabrics. Thanks for the opportunity.

  30. I like to make different things for different people. However, for my 2 grand children I pretty much make the same thing for both. Thanks for the chance to win. I really like your table runner.

  31. I try to make specifically for a person…their fav colors, for kids, their fav character or something that person likes. I just made one of Minnie Mouse for my GD.. I had made her one like it and then made one for her doll..just like the one I made her. I am making a Whale theme (with a panel) for my GD that loves whales an the back is bargello of blues and ocean/wave effect. I made one for my GS…American Eagle and outdoorsey colors as that is what he likes. I think if you are making something for someone…make it what they like!
    Cheri
    quiltingnanny@yahoo.com

  32. I’ve only made one quilt so far (working on a second one now) so I can’t say I’ve made any quilted projects for gifts. But I am planning this year to make little bird ornaments for my everyone in my family. I’ll use one of two patterns for everyone and just change up the fabric for each person. I’d also like to make quilted stockings for my immediate family and let my kids have a hand in choosing the fabrics they like.

    Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  33. thanks so much for this table runner pattern- my quilting group has as our Christmas gift a table project. SO this is perfect- I am thinking of using a great charm square bundle of Christmas fabric plus another charm square for the back so that it is reversible. Great work looking forward to my Quilt Scene mag. Riatta

  34. I do make small quilted gifts and try to make each a little different. Bags for the granddaughters, pillow cases, make-up bags, table runners. Thanks for the giveaway. Can always use more fabric!!

  35. I don’t like to make the same thing over and over, so most of the time when making small gifts, I use vastly different fabrics or change the scale of the designs I’m using. I really like large projects and last year my goal was full size quilts for all 5 grandkids — and then we had a new one arrive. Alas, he didn’t get his quilt. This year it is the 3 daughters who win the quilt lottery.

  36. I don’t like to make the same thing over and over, so most of the time when making small gifts, I use vastly different fabrics or change the scale of the designs I’m using. I really like large projects and last year my goal was full size quilts for all 5 grandkids — and then we had a new one arrive. Alas, he didn’t get his quilt. This year it is the 3 daughters who win the quilt lottery.

  37. I’ve always made one-offs of gifts although there are a few times that I have made the same thing a couple of years later for a different person who has no connection to the first recipient.
    Reading some of these comments though is making me think about how different you could make the same item depending on the recipient and how much more efficiently you could use your time. Every time you start a new pattern or project of some kind, there is a learning curve. It does make sense to spread that over many ‘copies’ of the item. The time saved with setting up your material, cutting and sewing could make quite a difference.

  38. Individual, definitely. Quilting with a friend is the way to go for me. That way I’m more sure to finish! The house has a box of ‘almost done’ gifts, some dating back 20 years! shame on me 🙂

  39. Individual, definitely. Quilting with a friend is the way to go for me. That way I’m more sure to finish! The house has a box of ‘almost done’ gifts, some dating back 20 years! shame on me 🙂

  40. When I hand make a gift for someone, I make something unique for the individual. No two friends are alike, why would I make gifts alike? I understand you are saying use the same pattern and individualize it, but that doesn’t work for me. I also don’t have that many things to make, so I guess that helps.

  41. What a great table runner and the fabrics are gorgeous.

    I am somewhat new and still consider myself a beginner. When I give a gift I want to be sure I can make it look just about perfect so easy things like this runner are just perfect. I don’t like to give the same gift to anyone so I vary who gets what each year. Of course, there is a really good reason to make the same gift for each person since it sure does make it easier to know what you gave someone in the past to be sure you don’t duplicate it. By not doing the same gift to everyone, I need to keep track of who I’ve given what to the year or so before or they just may end up with the very same thing again. That could be a bit embarrassing. lol

  42. I have been saving old squares of Japanese kasuri fabric that I have bought in Japan for years. Now I know what I will do with them. Very inspiring and looks do-able!

  43. I prefer to make my gifts unique to each recipient. I like to consider the colors fabric pallette they like. I mostly gift quilts and generally choose a pattern or style that appeals to me so that I maintain my interest in the project. I like thinking about the recipient when I make the gift. Totally fun!

  44. Sometimes I make the same item but tweaked to match the different people on my list and other times I like to make something totally different for everyone. It all depends on how much time I have.
    This runner looks quick and easy and I can see it’d be so versatile made from different fabrics. Thanks for the pattern.

  45. As a matter of fact, I am working on small gifts now, for Christmas! Including a couple of ‘Sewing Room’ gifts for my Mom … a needle book case and a travel sewing kit for those ‘hand’ projects you can do sitting in the car or at the doctor’s office!

  46. I made this for my mom for a Christmas gift. I laid it on our kitchen table to enjoy for a day then I wrapped it. My husband said “where did that thing (he doesn’t know the term table runner) go?” I told him it is a gift. He said it looked nice and I should do one for us. No problem – it was fast, fun & beautiful!

  47. I just HAD to make this last year and thoroughly enjoyed it BUT I did not have many solids and it ended up to be a not so lovely mishmash of Christmas fabrics SO I am taking it apart and adding more solids (as in, follow the directions) and will probably have TWO tablerunners. Thank you again for sharing this pattern.

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