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Homemade Holiday: Grab & Go Table Runner

Tutorial Written by Nancy Scott of Masterpiece Quilting


One thing is for sure - I can never have too many table runners, especially around the Holidays.  Table runners are the perfect home décor item that totally set the mood for a beautiful dining experience.   Regardless of whether you use your runner by itself as the star of the show or as the base layer for a stunning center piece, candles, flowers, food or more; the Christmas Acres Four Patch Star table runner is sure to bring compliments.


The Grab & Go Ready to Sew Four Patch Star Table Runner kit features pre-cut patchwork pieces, borders, binding and backing to make one table runner.  The pre-cut pieces are a huge time-saver as well as eliminating any cutting mistakes.   Just supply your favorite batting and you have a quick and easy way to make a stunning runner.


Referring to the instructional pamphlet, start out by arranging the squares into stacks by size and by color.  Make sure you get all the smaller squares gathered together and all the larger ones in separate stacks.   At this time, set the borders, backing and binding off to the side.


Assembling the Center Four-Patch

Our first step is to make the center four-patch unit.  Arrange two of the smaller Fabric A squares and two of the smaller Fabric C squares as shown.


Using a ¼” seam allowance and with right sides facing, stitch one Fabric A and one Fabric C square together to make an A-C unit.  Press the seam allowance open to both sides.  Repeat with the remaining Fabric A and Fabric C squares to make a second A-C unit.


Arrange the two A-C units following the color placement shown in Image A.  With right sides together and the center seams matching, stitch the two units along one long side and press the seam open to complete the Center Four-Patch unit.


Assembling the Half-Square Triangle (HST) Units

Select one large Fabric A square and one large Fabric B square.  Position the squares with right sides together and raw edges even.  Using a fabric safe marker, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner thru the center of the Fabric A square.   Note: To make it easier to see in the photo, I have the squares slightly offset so you can see the bottom square. 


If you are having trouble with the fabric bunching as you draw the diagonal line, here are some expert tips to make it easier to achieve success. 

  1. Draw the line on the wrong side of A before you layer the A and B squares together.
  2. Start drawing in the middle of A and draw to one corner and then return to the middle again and draw to the opposite corner.
  3. If your fabric is sliding on your work surface, place the fabric on your cutting mat when drawing.


Stitch ¼” from each side of the drawn line.  Note: I’m using contrasting thread to make it easier to see the stitching lines.


Using your rotary cutter and cutting grid as a guide, cut on the drawn line to make two sections called Half-Square Triangle units or HST, for short.  Press the seam allowances open on each unit. 



At this time, each HST unit should measure 3” x 3” square.  If your unit is larger, then trim to size centering the diagonal seam in the middle.  If your unit is smaller, go back and double check your ¼” seam distance from the drawn line.  It’s a common error to get that seam too deep which results in your HST unit being too small.   If your HST units are not the correct size at this step, then the block will not assemble correctly in the next steps.

Repeat these steps to make a total of eight HST units.


Next arrange two of the HST units with Fabric A sides adjacent as shown.  With right sides together, join the two units stitching on the Fabric A side to make a double HST unit.  Press the seam allowances open.   Repeat with the remaining HST units to make four double HST units.



Assembling the Block

Arrange and stitch one double HST unit that you just made to each side of the Center Four-Patch unit made previously to make the center row of the block.  Press seam allowances open.

On each end of the two remaining double HST units, sew a small Fabric A square to make two identical rows.  Press seam allowances open.

Arrange and sew the rows in place on opposite sides of the center row to complete one block.  Press seam allowances open.  The block should measure 10-1/2” x 10-1/2” at this time. 


Assembling the Runner

Referring to Image B in the instructional packet, arrange the 4 blocks as shown.  Stitch together to complete the center of the table runner.  Press seams allowances open.

Retrieve the border strips you set aside earlier.  Using the two longer strips, sew them on each long side of the table runner center.  Trim any excess length even with the edge of the block.  Press thoroughly.  I prefer to press the seam allowances toward the border to reduce bulk.

Repeat the process to attach the two shorter border strips to each short end of the table runner.  Trim any excess length and press.  Your table runner should measure 15-1/2” x 45-1/2”.

Congratulations! You have now completed stitching the table runner top.


Quilting & Binding

The backing for the table runner is provided in your kit.  Press it thoroughly to remove any wrinkles.

From your favorite batting, cut a piece that is approximately 18” wide x 49” long.  For table runners, I prefer a very thin, low-loft batting such as a cotton or cotton blend. 

With the right side down, layer your backing, the batting and the table runner top, right side up. Baste all layers together using your preferred method and quilt as desired.

If you are having someone else quilt the runner for you, consult with them in advance.  Many custom quilters prefer to layer the quilt sandwich themselves or have specific procedures when longarm quilting.

After quilting, trim the batting and backing even with the quilt top to prepare for binding.

Join the provided binding strips using diagonal seams to make one long strip.

Press the resulting strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.

Aligning raw edges, stitch the binding to the quilt, mitering the corners and flip to the opposite side to finish. 


Wasn’t that easy? 

The pre-cut nature of the Grab & Go kits make them perfect for taking to retreats or stitch-in days plus they make the perfect gift for yourself or your quilting friends.  Their packaged size works well as an adorable stocking stuffers so you can add them to your wish list or stuff the stockings of all your quilting friends.


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