Christmas Table Runner Pattern

  • 01 of 08

    Choose Fabrics for the Christmas Table Runner

    Make a Christmas Table Runner
    Make a Christmas Table Runner. Janet Wickell

    Make a Christmas Table Runner

    Use my Christmas table runner pattern to create a table runner that finishes at approximately 14-1/4" x 42-1/2" before borders are added. Increase the runner's size by adding custom borders.

    My table runner is sewn in traditional Christmas colors, but it's easy to change the theme by simply choosing different fabrics.

    The table runner pattern was originally written as somewhat of a mystery quilt, with instructions released over a few weeks. All of the...MORE instructions are visible now, so peek ahead to see the finished project.

    Christmas Table Runner Fabrics

    Choose five fabrics:

    A light, small-scale print - bottom fabric:

    • 1/3 yard
    • (24) 3-3/8" squares

    A dark, small-scale print - second from bottom:

    • 1/3 yard
    • Cut twenty-four 3-3/8" squares

    A fabric that's larger in scale and contrasts with the first two fabrics - third from bottom:

    • 5/8 yard
    • Cut (1) 10 7/8" square, then cut it in half once diagonally
    • Cut (1) 8 3/8" square, then cut it in half twice diagonally
    • Cut (2) 8" squares, then cut each in half once diagonally(2) 5-1/2" squares

    A narrow border print - fourth from bottom:

    • 1-3/4 yards - less if you don't mind piecing for length. We'll cut it later.

    A larger scale print that works well with all other fabrics - top fabric:

    • 3/4 yard. We'll cut it later.


    • 1 yard of any print that looks great with your table runner
    • 1-3/4 yard if you do not want to piece the backing (How to Make Quilt Backing)


    • 1 yard of flannel (1-3/4 yard to avoid piecing) or the same size piece of a thin cotton batting


    Skills You'll Use to Make the Table Runner

    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Make Quilt Blocks for the Table Runner

    Christmas Table Runner Pattern
    Make twelve four-patch blocks from your half square triangle units. © Janet Wickell
    1. Use my quick-piecing instructions to make a total of forty-eight half square triangle units by pairing each 3-3/8" light square with a dark small print square of the same size. After assembly, each triangle-square should measure 3" x 3".
    2. Arrange four of the half square triangle units as shown in the photo above, with two units each in two rows. Sew components of each row together and press seams between rows in opposite directions.
    3. Join the rows and press.
    4. Repeat to make a total of 12...MORE identical 4-piece units from the remaining triangle squares.
    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Assemble Rows for the Table Runner Pattern

    Christmas Table Runner Pattern
    Make the rows for the Mystery Table Runner. © Janet Wickell

    Begin Assembling the Christmas Table Runner

    1. Gather the twelve pieced patchwork units and the two 5-1/2" squares cut from a contrasting fabric.
    2. Sew two patchwork units side by side to make a row, top illustration in photo above. Repeat to make a total of four identical rows.
    3. Sew a 5-1/2" square between two remaining four-patch units as illustrated in the bottom portion of the photo. Pay close attention to the arrangement of the light and dark fabrics  -- units are positioned differently on...MORE each side of the square.
    4. Repeat to make another identical row.'

    Let's Break a Quiltmaking 'Rule'

    Find the two triangles cut by dividing a 10-7/8" square in half once diagonally. Sew a line of stitches about 1/8" from the longest edge of each large triangle. There's no need to start at a pointed corner -- move inward a bit to avoid pushing the tip into the sewing machine feed dogs. The stitches will help stabilize the triangle's stretchy bias edge.

    That stretchy edge will end up along the table runner's outer perimeter. I would never cut setting triangles in that way if this were a bed quilt in need of as much stability during construction as possible. But for a table runner, it's okay and it helps to conserve fabric.

    Review the correct way to cut setting triangles for quilts.

    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Continue Assembling Patchwork for the Table Runner

    mystery quilt, table runner
    Sew a triangle to one end of each unit made from eight half square triangles. © Janet Wickell
    1. Gather the four triangles cut by dividing the 8-3/8" square in half twice diagonally.
    2. Arrange a row unit containing eight half-square triangle units as shown at the top of the photo, with the dark patches in the lower right position.
    3. Sew a triangle to the left side of the row unit. Match the top edge of the triangle to the unit as shown. The triangle's sharp point will extend past the bottom of the row.
    4. Press the seam allowance towards the triangle. Trim the 'dog ear' tip of the...MORE triangle, bottom.
    5. Repeat to make a total of four identical units.
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Assemble Quilt Blocks for the Table Runner

    Christmas Table Runner Pattern
    Sew three rows together to create a block. © Janet Wickell

    Sew the Christmas Table Runner Quilt Blocks

    Each of the table runner's two blocks is assembled in three rows as shown above.

    Arrange units as shown and then join the rows, butting seam allowances for a perfect fit. Repeat to sew another block.

    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Sew Setting Triangles to the Table Runner

    Christmas Table Runner Pattern
    Sew a large setting triangle to each quilt block. © Janet Wickell

    Add Setting Triangles to Quilt Blocks

    The block layout is obvious now -- it is the traditional Winged Square pattern, also used in the Which Way do We Go? quilt, and one of my all-time favorite quilt blocks.

    Let's sew those 'rule breaking' large triangles to the quilt blocks.

    Handle the triangles carefully during assembly.

    1. Find the two triangles you cut by dividing the 10-7/8" square in half once diagonally.
    2. Arrange a quilt block on a design wall or table as shown in the top portion...MORE of the photograph.
    3. Sew a setting triangle to the right upper edge of the quilt block, aligning the squared edge of the triangle with the pointed tip at the block's midpoint. The triangle end that touches the upper edge of the block will extend past the top of the block.
    4. Carefully press the seam allowance toward the setting triangle. Trim the little 'dog ear' left at the top seam.
    5. Repeat to sew a large triangle to the second quilt block.
    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Finish Sewing Winged Square Blocks for the Table Runner

    Holiday Table Runner Pattern
    Join the quilt block units along their diagonals. © Janet Wickell

    Flip one of the quilt blocks around, and then sew the diagonal edges between the two block together, butting center seams for a snug fit.

    Sew the Table Runner's Corner Triangles

    1. Fold each of your four remaining triangles in half, matching their pointed edges. Finger crease and unfold.
    2. Sew a corner triangle to each outer diagonal quilt block edge, matching the finger pressed fold to the middle seam of the block. The tips of triangles will extend past block edges. Not shown.
    3. Press the seam...MORE allowances towards the corner triangles. Trim dog ears.
    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Add Borders to the Table Runner

    Christmas Table Runner Pattern
    I chose a narrow border print to sew between my table runner and its outer border. © Janet Wickell

    Does Your Table Runner Need Borders?

    I chose a narrow border print for the inner border of my table runner and decided not to add more borders (additional borders are previewed in the lower photo).

    Experiment with your fabrics. Lay your border fabrics next to the quilt top and play with the arrangement, flipping fabrics back and forth and trying different widths until you find a combination that suits you.

    If you use a border print, be sure to allow a 1/4" seam allowance on each side of the...MORE stripe when you cut it out.

    I did not want to miter my border stripe and I did not want unmatched edges to butt against each other where they meet at corners, so I sewed squares in each corner. If you would like to do the same, cut squares with sides that are equal to the cut width of your inner border.

    1. Use my quilt border instructions to determine the correct length required for the table runner's long and short borders. Cut two borders of each length
    2. If a border print isn't quite long enough to extend the entire length of the table runner's longest edge, piece strips together. Cut two segments of a border stripe in exactly the same way (stripes should be somewhat longer than the length needed, divided by two).
    3. Align the stripes' right sides together, adjusting positions until their motifs match exactly. Use straight pins to keep fabrics from shifting and sew the two together with a 1/4" seam allowance.
    4. Trim each border to the required length and sew to the quilt using the linked border directions above. Press seam allowances towards the borders.
    5. Cut four corner squares with sides that match the height of a border strip. Sew a square to each end of the two short border stripes. Press seam allowances towards the squares.
    6. Sew the short borders to the ends of the table runner. Add more borders if desired. Sandwich with batting and backing, mark for quilting if necessary. Quilt and bind.

    Add or subtract borders in any way you like to make the Christmas table runner suit your needs.

    For more about corner squares, refer to how to make quilt borders with corner squares.