How-To: Sew a Table Runner

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How-To: Sew a Table Runner
By Betz White

It’s a great time to think forward to the season ahead and to make your home feel welcoming. This is an easy way to make a table runner that reflects your style and protects your tabletop. The patchwork center panel allows you to use up scraps or put together a combination of your favorite prints. I used 4 prints from my organic canvas collection, “Family Cottage,” combined with an organic cotton canvas in brown for a nice autumnal feeling.


Solid color canvas approx. 5/8 yard
Print canvas or other fabrics approx. 3/4 yard total
2 1/2 yards of 1/2″-wide rickrack trim
Thread in coordinating color
Finished Measurements: Approximately 14″ wide X 41″ long


Tablerunner Step1
Step 1: Cut a rectangle out of the solid color canvas, measuring 42″ X 20″. Cut 7 rectangles measuring 6 1/2″ X 9″ out of the print canvas.
Tablerunner Step2
Step 2: With right sides together, seam the 9″ sides of 2 print rectangles together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Continue, seaming all 7 rectangles together to create the center panel. Press the seam allowances open from the back of the work.
Tablerunner Step3
Step 3: Topstitch the seam allowances down, 1/8″ on either side of each seam.
Tablerunner Step4
Step 4: Place the rickrack trim along one long edge of the solid canvas rectangle, pinning to the right side of the fabric. Straight-stitch the rickrack 1/8″ away from the edge, down the full length of the rectangle. Repeat this process on the other edge of the rectangle.
Tablerunner Step5
Step 5: With right sides together, align the patchwork panel’s long edge with one long edge of the solid rectangle. Pin together, sandwiching the rickrack between the layers, then stitch 1/4″ from the edge. Repeat this process for the other edge of the panel and rectangle.
Tablerunner Step6
Step 6: Press the seam allowances towards the center panel, then turn the work right side out. Press the seam and rickrack again, from the right side.
Tablerunner Step7
Step 7: Topstitch along the seams created in Step 6, 1/8″ from either edge of the center panel. This step can be made easier using the free arm of your machine.
Tablerunner Step8
Step 8: Turn your work inside out again and center the panel so that there is 3″ of solid canvas bordering either side of the panel. Align and pin the short end of the runner and seam across the end with a 3/4″ seam allowance. Repeat for other end, leaving 5″ open for turning. Turn your work right side out and press the end seams and the long folded edges of the runner.
Tablerunner Step9
Step 9: Fold in and pin the seam allowances at the 5″ opening. Topstitch across the opening, then continue to topstitch the perimeter of the runner ⅛” from edge.
Tablerunner Final3
About the Author:
Betz White is a designer, “green” crafter, and author of Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects and Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Recycled & Organic Materials. This summer Betz introduced her debut organic textile collection, “Family Cottage.” For more information, visit

12 thoughts on “How-To: Sew a Table Runner

  1. TheCluelessCrafter says:

    Thank you for making this a green craft project. I have a bundle of scraps that are always looking for a new use. This is a great autumnal idea.
    Keep the green going!

  2. Sewmarm says:

    Great tutorial! I find it especially inspiring how you don’t just photograph the final product, but show how to arrange it artfully on the table.

  3. SewFixated says:

    I am right in the middle of sewing this table runner. I cut out all my fabric according to your measurements of:
    1 dark canvas – 42″ x 20″
    7 print canvas – 7″ x 9″
    I sewed the 7×9 rectangles together using a 1/4″ seam. I attached the rick-rack to the dark canvas.
    I then tried to sew the dark canvas to the print canvas strip when I realized the print canvas strip is 4″ too long.
    Take a look at your measurements. If the dark canvas is 42″ long and you want us to cut out 7 – 7″ x 9″ rectangles and sew them together you will get a strip of rectangles measuring 46″ – not 42″. That’s a HUGE difference.
    I was hoping to have this completed tonight for a display tomorrow morning at 9:00 am but it’s 11:00 pm and the stores are closed.
    BEFORE you cut your dark fabric to the length you need to sew all 7 of the rectangles together, measure the length and then cut the dark fabric to the same length.

  4. SewFixated says:

    You will also want to be careful with Step 5. The rickrack is 1/2″ wide yet the instructions say to sew a 3/4″ seam from the edge.

  5. Nancy says:

    At Sewfixated….you need to read the instructions better. They say to cut the rectangles 6 1/2″ x 9″. You cut them at 7 so of course your strip of rectangles will be too long. Also, step 5 says to sew 1/8″ from the edge…nothing about a 3/4″ seam allowance. You could really screw up people who are sewing for the first time with your comments. Next time read the instructions carefully before sewing and maybe you won’t have sew (hehe) many problems! :)

  6. Jennifer says:

    I ve been looking at patterns at this site and lots of them are giving wrong. And miss leading information that’s messing up the project posted on here if you don’t want to give the right information don’t give any at all thanks for wrong patterns

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