Quilt in a Day – Patchwork Table Runner – Quilting Daily

Small quilting projects like table linens, accessories, and home décor are perfect for the quilter who wants to create a handmade gift or refresh their décor or wardrobebut has little time to spare.

My table runner. This quick quilt project is easy and versatile.

For example, I was inspired by these fall flowers to create a complementary table runner in similar colors.

I reached for Amy Ellis’s Graphic Patchwork Table Runner pattern, because I like the modern patchwork style. Plus, it’s one of those quick quilt projects you can quilt in a day.

Here are Amy’s directions.

Graphic Patchwork Table Runner
(Finished size: 12″ x 42″)


  • Print fabrics, 15-20 coordinating 5″ squares
  • Solid fabrics, 15-20 coordinating 5″ squares
  • Backing fabric, ½ yd.
  • Binding fabric, ¼ yd.
  • Batting, 20″ × 50″
  • Rotary cutting tools (cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler)
  • Sewing machine


(All seam allowances are ¼”.)

1. Layer 2 squares of fabric, a print and a solid, right sides together. Sew a ¼” seam down 2 opposite sides of each pair. Repeat with all of the squares, making 15-20 in total.

2. Transport the stack of stitched squares to your cutting surface. Slice each square between the stitched lines parallel to the edges. You can cut them at the center, or randomly. Press the seam allowances to 1 side.

3. Arrange the blocks randomly in 3 rows, roughly the same length. Sew the blocks of each row together, pressing the seam allowances to 1 side.

small quilting projects table runner Amy Ellis
One of the small quilt projects in Quilt Scene 2012.

4. Cut 1 of the rows in half lengthwise. Position the narrow rows on the outside edges, with the 2 wider rows inside. Sew the 4 rows together, and press the seam allowances to 1 side.

5. Square up the runner by trimming excess fabric from the short ends of the piece.

6. Place the batting onto the backing fabric, and place the pieced runner top (right side up) on top. Baste the layers together, and quilt as desired. I quilted my runner with teal thread in a straight-line design to accentuate the improvisational piecing.

7. Trim the excess batting and backing from the runner, and bind the edges.

I look for quick quilting projects like this when I plan my holiday gift giving. This table runner came together so easily, it’s a keeper for my list of go-to gift projects. You can work it up in as many color combinations as you have fabric, making it look more traditional, modern, formal, or casual depending on your choices.

You can find this project and other small quilting projects you can quilt in a day in the 2012 issue of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene. To make it even easier, use a walking-foot and straight-line quilting. Catherine Redmond teaches you how in her popular Quilting Arts Workshop video, Modern Machine Quilting: Straight Lines, Spirals, Serpentines, and More!

P.S. Do you make small quilting projects for gift giving? Do you like to make a different project for each person or the same project, personalized? Share your strategies with me in the comments section below.

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