Saturday, January 21, 2012

Scrappy Valentine's Day Table Runner Tutorial

What to do with scraps left over from your quilting projects?  Well, you can cut them into strips and use them in a variety of projects.  There is a never ending supply of patterns that use strips...This is a little table runner that is fun to make, goes quickly and easily for a beginner.

Step one, cut your fabric into strips, they don't all have to be alike, actually if you vary the strip width it makes your finished block more interesting.  A variety of colors will also create fun design possibilities!  I would make your strips no thinner than 1 inch and no wider than 3 inches.

Once you have them all cut out, lay them out in a pleasing order and start stitching your strip sets together.

Press all of your seams going the same direction.  Do not press them open.  Trim the selvage from one end and measure the final width of your strip set.  You are going to cut the length the same to make squares.

Now the possibilities are endless from here.  You could just turn the block sideways, stitch them together and you would end up with something that might look like this...Whew, that was quick and easy right?! And man, you can quickly use up a ton of scraps this way...they don't all have to be matchie, matchie either.

Or you might decide that you want to flip the fabric around and putting them right sides together, make a couple Half Square Triangle we did in the Friendship Star Block lesson.

Place the squares right sides together.

Draw a diagonal line as shown below.

If you want to you can place a pin on either side as shown to provide stability as you stitch.

Now stitch 1/4 inch on both sides of that line you just drew.  When you get to the end of the seam, just lift your pressure foot, turn the fabric and stitch down the other need to break the thread.

Once you have finished stitching, using your ruler and rotary cutter, cut your block in two on the line.

Take your block to the ironing board, press and set the seam, then press open to one side.
Isn't that pretty?  That was easy right?!

Wouldn't those be pretty in a quilt, set on point ...there are lots of possibilities with this...
Maybe, instead of using both of your strip set blocks together, you use one strip set block and a solid piece of fabric...What might that look like?

Here is another must be careful with this as you will have exposed the diagonal which is unstable and will warp and stretch if not handled carefully.

What happens if you cut your blocks on the diagonal...

Take them off your mat and lay one 1/2 of a block down like so...

Then, lay another half of a block down like so...

And continue with another half block like so...

And placing the final 1/2 end up with a bigger block that looks like this...

Stitching them together, 2 quarters at a time, pressing and then stitching the two halves together to create your whole block.  What happens if you substitute solid fabric for 2 of the quarters?

What happens if you place the blocks end to end? (do you see the hearts?)

The beginnings of a table runner?  A quilt?   Frame your blocks for a placemat.  Finish your blocks for a trivet or hot pad.  A Pillow maybe?  Tote?  Your imagination will run wild with possibilities!

Here is a little table runner that was made for Christmas a few years back, same principle, 2 inch border strip, batting, stitch in the ditch for quilting, binding and you have it!  You don't have to have a pointed end like the one shown, you may want a square end, or maybe you use a plate and trim your end into a half circle?  Endless possibilities.

Looks like a complex design, but it's only strip sets cut on the diagonal and then stitched back together.  See?  People will think you did a lot of work and really, it was pretty fast and very easy.  Great way to use up your scraps!


  1. Great Tutorial thank you so much for taking the time to post this. I love how this works out. Elly

  2. Yes! Wonderful tutorials and tips on quilting and organization. I'm going to get busy and clear out my sewing scraps and try out some of your projects. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  3. Excellent tutorial and ideas. I am only a beginner but looks so easy to make. Thank u

  4. Excellent idea for scraps and brilliant tutorial. Hope I can do this as am a beginner. Doesn't look too hard!!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing! Great RSC challenge idea!

  6. Fantastic tutorial! Thanks so much for providing it. You're a jewel! ☺