Thanksgiving Table Runner

Thanksgiving Table Runner
I have a bad track record with table linens. I’ve made some a few times in the past, but once I got them on the table I absolutely hated them, and ended up chucking them. Which means that I don’t actually have a single placemat or tablecloth to my name. The holidays seem like the perfect time to fix that problem.

I love a simple table, so I wanted to start by making a simple, elegant, runner. I always love the juxtaposition of contrasting fabrics, so I chose an earthy linen for the center piece, and a luxurious brown velvet for the border. Then constructed it with a clean design and mitered corners for a bit of class. It’s a simple process but the result looks like a million bucks.

Table Runner Tutorial Step 1
First prepare your backing fabric and your center panel. I have a pretty big table, so I made the backing piece 16 inches wide by 90 inches long. The center panel should be the same size, once you subtract how much space you want for your border on each side, which in my case made it 8 inches wide by 82 inches long. To make the best use of the fabric I bought, I sewed a few shorter pieces together to get the length I needed. It was way cheaper than buying oodles of extra fabric I didn’t need.

Table Runner Tutorial Step 2
Next, prepare your border in the same way. Mine is 4 inches wide, but you’ll need to make it as long as a side on your center panel, plus the width of the border it will meet up with on the other side, plus a couple of inches in room to maneuver.

So for the short sides, I cut my border pieces 4 inches wide, and then 8 inches (the length of the panel) + 4 inches (the width of the border on one side) + 4 inches (the width of the border on the other side) + 2 inches (room for seam allowance and wiggle room) = 18 inches long.

The long sides were 4 inches wide, and then 82 inches (the length of the panel) + 4 inches (the width of the border on one side) + 4 inches (the width of the border on the other side) + 2 inches (room for seam allowance and wiggle room) = 92 inches long.

Table Runner Tutorial Step 4
Match up the middle of the border piece, with the middle of one side of the center panel and sew in place. Sew on all four sides.

Table Runner Tutorial Step 5
You don’t want to sew all the way to the very end of each side. Stop about 1/4″ from the edge to leave room to miter the corner.

Table Runner Tutorial Step 6
To make the mitered corners, fold the runner diagonally so that the extra inches of border fabric are lined up on top of each other. Line a ruler up on the fold line and mark the angle. Sew down that line and cut off any extra to leave a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Table Runner Tutorial Step 7
Give everything a good iron and your corners should be all clean and fancy.

Table Runner Tutorial Step 8
To finish the runner, line the top of with your backing fabric, right sides together, and sew around the edge, leaving a few inches open for turning. Turn it right side out, iron the edges, and stitch the opening closed.

Velvet and linen table runner
I’m totally nuts about how this looks in the room, contrasting against all those other bright colors I have going on. It’s so lovely I think I might just leave it up year round.

Thanksgiving Table
If I can keep Miss Jem from messing with it.