Modern Table Runner – Free Pattern for Beginners

Creating a modern table runner is a delightful and rewarding project, perfect for beginners looking to add a touch of handmade charm to their home decor.

This step-by-step guide will help you craft a stylish table runner using simple quilting techniques. Let’s dive in!

Materials Needed

  • Fabric: Three coordinating cotton fabrics (one for the top, one for the backing, and one for the binding)
  • Batting: Lightweight quilt batting
  • Thread: Coordinating thread
  • Cutting Tools: Rotary cutter, cutting mat, and fabric scissors
  • Measuring Tools: Quilting ruler and measuring tape
  • Pins or Clips: To hold fabric layers together
  • Sewing Machine: Basic sewing machine
  • Iron and Ironing Board: For pressing fabric and seams
Image / Pattern / Tutorial: Sew Can She

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Preparing the Fabric

  1. Choose Your Fabrics:
    • Select three fabrics that complement each other. For a modern look, consider using solid colors or geometric prints.
  2. Wash and Iron:
    • Pre-wash, dry, and iron your fabrics to prevent shrinking and to remove any wrinkles.
  3. Cutting the Fabrics:
    • Top Fabric: Cut 18 strips of fabric, each measuring 2.5 inches wide by 14 inches long.
    • Backing Fabric: Cut one piece measuring 14 inches wide by 42 inches long.
    • Batting: Cut one piece measuring 14 inches wide by 42 inches long.
    • Binding Fabric: Cut strips totaling 2.5 inches wide and long enough to go around the perimeter of the table runner (approximately 100 inches in total).

Step 2: Assembling the Top

  1. Arrange the Strips:
    • Lay out the 18 strips in a pleasing order. Play around with the arrangement until you are happy with the pattern.
  2. Sew the Strips Together:
    • Sew the strips together along their long edges using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press the seams open or to one side, as preferred. You should have a piece that measures 14 inches wide by 42 inches long.

Step 3: Layering the Quilt Sandwich

  1. Layer the Fabrics:
    • Lay the backing fabric right side down on a flat surface.
    • Place the batting on top of the backing fabric.
    • Place the pieced top fabric right side up on top of the batting.
  2. Smooth and Secure:
    • Smooth out any wrinkles and pin or clip the layers together to prevent shifting.

Step 4: Quilting the Table Runner

  1. Mark the Quilting Lines:
    • Using a fabric-safe marking tool, draw straight lines across the width of the table runner, spaced about 2 inches apart.
  2. Quilt the Layers:
    • Starting from the center and working your way outwards, quilt along the marked lines using a straight stitch. This helps to ensure the layers stay aligned.

Step 5: Trimming and Binding

  1. Trim the Edges:
    • Trim the edges of the table runner to ensure they are even and straight.
  2. Prepare the Binding:
    • Sew the binding strips together end-to-end to create one long strip. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
  3. Attach the Binding:
    • Align the raw edges of the binding with the raw edge of the table runner. Start in the middle of one long side, leaving a 6-inch tail.
    • Sew the binding to the table runner with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, mitering the corners as you go.
    • When you reach the starting point, join the ends of the binding together and finish sewing.
  4. Finish the Binding:
    • Fold the binding over to the back of the table runner and hand stitch it in place, covering the stitching line from the front.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

  1. Press the Table Runner:
    • Give the entire table runner a good press with your iron to set the seams and smooth out any wrinkles.
  2. Inspect for Loose Threads:
    • Check for any loose threads or uneven stitches and make any necessary adjustments.
  3. Display Your Work:
    • Your modern table runner is now complete! Lay it on your table and enjoy the contemporary touch it adds to your home decor.

Tips for Success

  • Choosing Fabrics: For a truly modern look, consider using a mix of solids and prints, or stick to a monochromatic color scheme with varying shades.
  • Precision in Cutting and Sewing: Accurate cutting and precise sewing are crucial for a neat and professional finish.
  • Practice Quilting: If you’re new to quilting, practice on a small piece of fabric first to get comfortable with your sewing machine and quilting techniques.
  • Take Your Time: Enjoy the process and don’t rush. Taking your time will ensure a beautiful end result.


Creating a modern table runner is a fantastic project for beginners, offering a perfect blend of creativity and practicality.

With this step-by-step guide, you can easily make a stylish and functional table runner that will enhance your home decor.

Enjoy the process and the satisfaction that comes with completing your first quilting project. Happy sewing!