Monday, October 11, 2010

Wonky Fall Table Runner Tutorial

I don't do a lot of seasonal decorating, other than at Christmas. But I was feeling that my house needed a little something "autumnal". The result - the wonky fall table runner added to my kitchen table with a vase full of golden leaves.

Here's a little tutorial, hopefully easy to follow:


Scraps of fabric in your color scheme. I didn't want mine to be too traditional so I went with pink and orange but you can use any color combo you would like.

Foundation piecing material, cut slightly larger than you want your finished runner to be (my piece was 14" by 45" because I wanted my finished runner to be "13 by "44)). I used some foundation material I had on hand but you can also use a scrap of lighter weight material. **Important - do not use fusible web, you do not want to fuse your material to your foundation**

Rotary cutting tools, sewing machine, basic sewing tools

Lay your first scrap of fabric down on your foundation piece, across the short-way, at an angle, right-side up. You want your fabric pieces to hang over the edge a little. Next, lay your second piece on top, right-side down. Pin in place. You only need your top piece of fabric to have a straight edge, the bottom piece doesn't have to be cut straight - you will be trimming the excess off.

Following your straight-edged piece of fabric, sew a 1/4" seam across

Fold your foundation piece back at the sewn line, lay your ruler on your straight edge piece of fabric, and trim excess to 1/4". **Important - do not cut off your foundation piece, that is why you fold it back**

Here it is all trimmed up.

Unfold your foundation piece, open the seam up and press well with your iron. Here it is all pressed open.

Lay your next strip of fabric right-side down on top of one of your already sewn on strips - at an angle. Make sure your top piece has a straight edge. Pin and sew with a 1/4" seam. Fold back foundation piece, trim excess, and press just like you did with the first 2 pieces.

Continue adding pieces in this manner - angle each new piece on in a random fashion - until you reach one end of the foundation piece.

Flip your runner over to the back side

Lay your ruler straight along the edge of your foundation piece and trim excess fabric along the edge. Do this along all 3 sides. Flip your runner back over and continue adding strips of fabric in the other direction.

I like to periodically trim up my sides, just so I can get an idea of how it's all coming together. When you reach your other end, flip over to back side and trim everything up. You can now square things up and trim to the size you want your finished runner to be.

Here's mine all trimmed and squared up. You can now sandwich, baste, quilt, and bind just as you would any other quilt.

I like to do my own version of "wonky quilting". I just quilt random angled lines across - criss-crossing and angling, varying my spacing.

And your finished product should look something like this:

Pair with some fall foliage and you're all set for the season!!

If anyone tries this and has any problems following along, please let me know.


  1. Jennifer,
    I love your wonky table runner tutorial and the permission you give to readers to use whatever holiday fabric they desire.

    I linked to it here:

    Scarlett Burroughs
    Quilting Editor, Craft Gossip

  2. I love the way this looks. Your tutorial is easy to follow; thanks for sharing!

  3. Awesome with easy details. Thanks!

  4. Question: Why the foundation piece? I've been looking for a wonky runner tutorial forever!

    BTW I love your refashions!

  5. Hi Melanie - I use a foundation piece because it helps me make an accurate rectangle. I don't like to measure my fabric pieces (I'm a little haphazard as a quilter) and when you're angling pieces on I would think it would be easy to end up with some crazy shapes. I basically just use the foundation as a guide to make sure I'm on track. Hope this makes sense - if not, let me know and I'll try to explain in further detail.