Saturday, January 26, 2008

How-To: Reversible Table Runner

Table runners help coordinate your room decor. Use a short runner as a center accent or one that dips off the side for a more formal look. Make it unique in your own way by adding tassels to the end points or welting or trimming in the seams. Can't decide whether to use a print or a solid? Lined runners are reversible, so you can change your look with just a flip! Also a great seasonal touch by using various themed patterns on either side. From Valentines Day to Christmas, a fun way to add a touch of the holidays. Any way you put it together, this table runner adds up to a hit!


  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • matching thread
  • yardstick
  • scissors
  • disappearing fabric marker or chalk
  • zipper foot
  • point turner (optional)


  • Determine the desired finished length and width of your table runner. Add 1" to both measurements to allow for ½" seam allowances all around.
  • If you want to run from end to end of your table, consider an 8" to 10" drop length.
  • If you use the crosswise grain (runs perpendicular to selvages) for the length, the maximum length of the runner is 1" shorter than the width of your fabric. Cutting the table runner on the lengthwise grain (runs parallel to the selvages) allows you to make it any length, but wastes more fabric.
  • Welting or trimming, cut amount equal to slightly more than circumference of runner.


    1. Mark and cut a rectangle for the front and repeat for the lining.
    2. Fold the runner front in half lengthwise, aligning the cut edges; pin to keep the fabric from shifting. Mark a point 8 ½" from the end on the long cut edges. Draw a diagonal line from the mark on the side to the folded end corner. Carefully cut through both layers on the line, keeping the fabric edges aligned. This will give you a 45 degree point at the end.
    3. Repeat step 2 on the opposite end of the runner. Remove the pins and unfold the runner. Using the runner as a guide/pattern, cut points at both ends of the lining.
    4. To add welting, pin to the right side of the runner top along the outer edge, keeping the raw edges aligned. Keep the welting relaxed as you pin and crowd the welting slightly at the corners so that it will lie flat when it is turned to its final position. Plan for the ends to overlap along one long edge and leave tails unpinned.
    5. Clip a notch into the seam allowance of the welting at each corner of the runner at the exact point where the welting must bend. Clip up to, but not through the stitching line, so that the welting seam allowances spread open and lie flat. Pin securely, keeping the raw edges of the welting and runner aligned.
    6. Attach the zipper foot and adjust it to the right of the needle. Place the fabric under the presser foot 2" from the end of the welting. Stitch the welting to the fabric, stitching over the existing stitches in the welting.
    7. When you reach a corner, stop and pivot the fabric so the stitching line of the welting on the next side is in line with the needle. Continue stitching around the runner.
    8. Stop stitching 2" from the point where the ends of the welting will meet. Cut off the end of the welting so it overlaps the beginning end by 1". Remove the stitching from the overlapping end of the welting, exposing the inner cording. Trim the end of the cording so it just meets the other end.
    9. Fold under ½" of the fabric on the overlapping end of the welting. Wrap it around the beginning and finish stitching it to the runner, overlapping the stitches ½" where they meet.
    10. Press along the stitching line with the tip of your iron to relax the fabric and set the seam. Check that the fabric does not ripple or draw up where you have attached the welting.
    11. Pin the front over the lining, right sides together, encasing the welting between the layers and aligning the outer edges. Leave about a 7" opening unpinned along one side, so you will be able to turn the fabric through to its final position later.
    12. Place the table runner under the zipper foot, Lining Side Down; this way, the stitches previously made to adhere the welting to the top are exposed to your view. You will follow this stitch line and actually stitch over these stitches to attach the lining to the top. This second stitching line must be exactly over the first stitching line or slightly closer to the welting, so that the first stitching line does not show after the runner is turned right side out. Remember to leave about 7" open and backstitch at each sides of your opening to reinforce. Pivot at corners and points, with the needle in the down position, through the fabric.
    13. Trim the seam allowances diagonally at each corner, to form a smother corner when the piece is turned right side out. Turn back and press the seam allowance to the wrong side ½" from the edge in the unstitched area.
    14. Reach in through the unstitched opening to grasp an end of the runner and pull it through the opening. Repeat for the other end, turning the runner right side out.
    15. Push out the corner from the inside, using a point turner if necessary. Slipstitch the opening closed and press.

No comments: