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Quilting a Fall Table Runner

I know, since it’s already October, that I should be thinking of Christmas projects, but with this view from my quilting studio window as my inspiration today, I just have to make a fall themed quilting project! But I promise that it’s going to be a quick and easy project that we’ll be able to finish this week. Next week I’ll start thinking Christmas!!

View from my studio window
View from my studio window


Let’s plan our project!

When I’m planning a design I usually lay out everything that I want to use for my sewing project and then look at it from different angles to see if everything works together. Fibre artist Lucy Garvin from WonderFil, told me that she loves to use their Mirage threads with batik fabrics, so I pulled some of them out of my stash. It looks like I’ll be able to use that rust colored Mirage thread after all!!

Selecting fabrics and threads for our project
Selecting fabrics and threads for our project



Materials List

Here’s what you’ll need if you want to make your own fall table runner:

  • Batik for top – 13″ x 26″
  • Batting – 15″ x 28″
  • Backing – 16″ x 29″
  • Batik fabrics for leaves – 3 different colors – 6″ x 11″ each
  • HeatnBond – 11″ x 18″
  • Binding – one fat quarter

Assembling your quilting project

For this project we’ll machine quilt first and appliqué second! So, the first to do is to layer the quilt sandwich with the backing, batting and top fabric. Use your favorite method to baste the quilt sandwich – I love to use 505™ Spray on small projects like this one. For more instructions on layering your quilt check out my blog post from June.

Getting ready for machine quilting

Once the quilt sandwich is secured together, use a mechanical pencil and one of the Omnigrid ruler to draw a diagonal line across the center of the quilt top.

Marking quilting lines on the quilt top
Marking quilting lines on the quilt top


Check your tension

Put the Mirage thread on the top of the machine and then Deco-Bob in the bobbin. I LOVE using bobbin thread when I’m machine quilting because the bobbin thread doesn’t have to be refilled for a long time compared to using a heavier thread. Check your tension on a tester quilt sandwich before starting to quilt the table runner. Adjust the top tension until the bobbin thread only shows on the back and the top thread only shows on the top. I talk more about this in my blog post from June.

Walking foot vs free motion quilting

For this type of quilting I recommend using a walking foot. If you want to do another type of quilting design, by all means put on a free motion quilting foot, but for quilting straight lines it’s much easier to use a walking foot. Start at one end of the drawn line and quilt all along it until you reach the other side of the table runner. If you have a spacing device to attach to your sewing machine, attach it and set it for approximately 2 inches. If you don’t have one of these devices then use the ruler and pencil to draw parallel lines across the quilt top.

Closeup of machine quilting with Mirage thread
Closeup of machine quilting with Mirage thread


Keep on quilting

Tomorrow we prepare our applique shapes and try out our decorative couching stitches. Until then, keep stitching along all of those lines until the entire top of the table runner is machine quilted.

Quilting lines on the quilt top
Quilting lines on the quilt top


I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website

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