Hello my fellow holiday sewists and Christmas DIYers! I have a new holiday table runner tutorial for you today that checks all of the boxes you're looking for this sewing season—it's fast (and can be made even faster with a couple shortcuts), it's practical, it's pretty and it's FREE! Ho! Ho! Ho!
You may recognize some of these Matisse-inspired templates from the Bohemian Garden quilt pattern. The rest of the templates, the holiday ones, are from the festive placemats tutorial we sewed last year, making this holiday table runner a beautiful companion piece.
In this tutorial we will make a basic table runner and then sew the appliqué pieces in place using the raw-edge appliqué technique.
I gave my red placemats away as a gift last year, so I didn't need them to coordinate in color, hence the red, white and blue patriotic situation you see here. Ideally, if you are keeping both the table runner and placemats for yourself, they will match a little better than mine do.
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Holiday Table Runner Tutorial in 3 Steps
Since we have already covered every single technique and step to make this holiday table runner in past posts on the blog, mostly what I'll do is link to those posts that instruct in greater detail how to do each step. Of course, I have some extra tips and shortcuts for you in case you are pressed for time and need to get this DONE.
Holiday Table Runner Tutorial Supplies
I purchased all of my sewing supplies from Michaels. If you want to make this holiday table runner in even less time, start with a premade table runner and simply add the appliqué pieces, just like I did in the placemats tutorial.
Oh! I should also add that it doesn't need to be a quilted runner, either. Here's a pretty solid-colored linen runner I found on Etsy that would work great too.
- FREE holiday Bohemian Garden appliqué templates
- Bohemian Garden templates (optional)
- Navy fabric (table runner top)
- Backing fabric (this is an extra wide home dec fabric I chose for added durability)
- White fabric (appliqué pieces)
- Glue stick
- Water soluble marker
- Free motion foot (optional) and Supreme Slider (optional and only needed if free motion sewing)
Step 1: Start with a Simple Table Runner
Prewash all of your fabric! This runner is going to get spilled on and run through the wash multiple times, so definitely prewash your fabric.
Like I mentioned in the Supplies section, you don't have to make the table runner. A great shortcut is starting with a purchased table runner and then adding the appliqué pieces. If you do that I recommend prewashing the table runner as well as your appliqué fabric.
I only had four days to make this holiday table runner so I needed to work fast and find myself a good cheerleader. Check and check! Thanks, JoJo!
I finished the table runner with simple straight line quilting. If you are new to straight line quilting, check out this tutorial below. I chose a navy thread that matched the fabric so it wouldn't draw too much attention away from the appliqué.
Step 2: Cut Out and Adhere the Appliqué Pieces
With a marking tool, trace the outline of your template onto the right side of your fabric. I like to cluster my templates together so I can use the smallest amount of fabric.
After that I followed this Festive Placemats Tutorial except for one thing—I used a glue stick instead of fusible webbing. I can now speak from experience that both options work well. The fusible webbing does make machine sewing the appliqué easier because every edge is securely in place whereas with the glue it's easy to miss spots.
Once your pieces are cut, this is your time to have fun arranging! If you want to jam pack your holiday table runner with cut outs, cool! If you just want to place two doves on one end, oooh la la how elegant! You can use as many of these template shapes as you like.
I ended up working on my floor, but if your table is clear, why not make the table runner on the table where it will live onces it's finished!
Step 3: Sew the Appliqué Pieces
Because the glue stick did just an OK job securing the appliqué pieces in place, my first move was to quilt another set of straight rows over the top of the appliqué pieces. If you are starting with a purchased table runner that is only one layer of fabric and not quilted, I wouldn't take the time to do this.
I backstitched at the beginning and end of each row and snipped the threads once I finished all of it.
Once I finished quilting it was time to secure the appliqué. I started off using my walking foot (cause my runner was thick from being quilted) like in this video tutorial...
After sewing a handful of pieces I realized that even though things were looking quite neat and tidy, I needed to pick up the pace! This is when I decided to break out the free-motion foot and try my hand at free-motion sewing these pieces down.
Ya'll it's been a couple years since sewing free motion, so the first little bit was not pretty. Once I got the hang of it, though (cause it really is like riding a bicycle), I had speed and accuracy-ish on my side. I was finished in no time! YAY!
Of course, if you don't want the fuzzy raw edges of raw-edge appliqué, another technique, that is much more time consuming but yes, does look a lot better, is needle-turn appliqué.
Are you planning to use this holiday table runner tutorial for some festive fun? Let us know in the comments!