Week 1: Table Runner / Table Topper Sew Along


My name is Maggie and I will be guiding you on this Sew Along to create a table runner or a table topper, whichever you desire.

17” x 62”
table runner x

table topper x37” x 37”

Here are the weekly lesson plans for both Sew Alongs:


Follow the directions below for either the Table Topper or Table Runner. I advise that you draw an X across the directions that you are not using to avoid any confusion.

Step 1: Select your Fabric


Print the image below, or draw something similar on paper and glue or pin a sample of your fabric in the squares:


Part of the fun of this Sew Along is seeing what others are making. Make a picture of your 5 fabric choices and show it to the other participants on our Facebook page.

Step 2: Prepare Your Fabric

There is a question among quilters of whether you should wash your fabrics before quilting or not. This is merely a personal decision and it depends on the look you want to achieve after your quilt has been quilted. If you pre-wash then you should serge the edges of your fabric, or stabilize them in some other way to keep the fabric from raveling.

Washing will pre-shrink your fabric so that you have less draw-up when washing the finished quilt. However, unless you also pre-shrink your batting according to manufacturer’s instruction, there will still be some shrinkage to the finished product. I personally do not wash my fabric prior to making my project. I like the drawn-up texture of the quilt. I feel like it was made for use and comfort – not for show.

Regardless of whether or not you wash your fabric, prior to cutting you should iron your fabric using a spray starch. I prefer Faultless Premium spray starch which can be purchased quite economically at Sam’s Club. The starch gives the fabric a little more body which helps during the cutting process.

*Whether you wash your fabric before making the project, or wash the finished project afterwards, you should use a “color catcher” to pick up excess dyes. Clorox makes an excellent product which can be purchased almost anywhere they sell Clorox. You may even want to use the color catcher the first few times you wash your quilt.

Step 3: Cutting Instructions (see photos below)

Prior to cutting, you will need to “square” your fabric. To do this, fold your fabric in half along the length of the fabric, parallel with the grain line. Then, using a quilting ruler (24” if you have it) line up the fold of the fabric with a line on the ruler and with a rotary cutter cut a straight line across the width of your fabric.

**Note: “width of fabric” is the distance across the fabric from selvage to selvage. Most quilting fabric is 42” – 44” wide. I have calculated 40” of usable fabric. The selvages will need to be trimmed before cutting your final blocks but you do not need to trim the selvages from the strips at this point.

Table Topper

• Fabric 1 – Background
Cut 2 strips 4 1⁄4” x width of fabric
Cut 2 squares 13” x 13” (trim selvage prior to cutting block)
• Fabric 2 – Accent Fabric
Cut 1 strip 41⁄2” x width of fabric
Cut 2 squares 13” x 13” (trim selvage prior to cutting block)
• Fabric 3 – Star Points
Cut 2 strips 5 1⁄4” by width of fabric
• Fabric 4 – Binding
Do not cut for now
• Fabric 5 – Back of Quilt
Do not cut for now

Table Runner

• Fabric 1 – Background
Cut 3 strips 4 1⁄2” x width of fabric
Cut 1 strip 4 7/8” x width of fabric
Cut 1 strip 5 1⁄4” x width of fabric
• Fabric 2 – Accent Fabric
Cut 1 strip 41⁄2” x width of fabric
Cut 4 strips 21⁄2” x width of fabric
• Fabric 3 – Star Points
Cut 1 strip 4 7/8” by width of fabric
Cut 1 strip 5 1⁄4” by width of fabric
• Fabric 4 – Binding
Do not cut for now
• Fabric 5 – Back of Quilt
Do not cut for now

A good way to keep your fabric strips neat and in order is to hang them on a clothes hanger. Store squares flat to keep from wrinkling.

Note: Always use your ruler to line up your fabric and not the lines of your cutting mat.


Square up your fabric:

Photo 1:

Align a line of your ruler with the fold line of your fabric, making sure the line is straight.

Photo 2: Using a Rotary Cutter, cut along the edge of the ruler. IMG_0481
Photo 3: Carefully remove the excess fabric. IMG_0482
Cut your Strips

Photo 4:

Prior to cutting your strips, rotate your fabric in order to cut on the correct edge of your ruler.Align the ruler along the edge of your fabric using the line on your ruler for the width of strip you are cutting. (Note: I have aligned the 4 1⁄2” mark along the vertical edge of my fabric, making sure that a horizontal line of the ruler is straight with the edge of the fabric.)

Photo 5: Cut the number of strips shown in your Cutting Instructions above IMG_0484
Cut a Square

Photo 6:

Turn your fabric again so that the selvage is to your right (assuming you are right handed) and trim off your selvage.

Photo 7: Align two rulers, one (horizontal) with the 13” line along the vertical line of your fabric and the other (vertical) butted up against that ruler with a horizontal line straight on the lower edge of your fabric.  IMG_0489
Photo 8: IMG_0499
Photo 9: Carefully slide the horizontal ruler away from the vertical ruler across. IMG_0491
Photo 10: Cut along the edge of the vertical ruler. IMG_0495
Photo 11: Turn your fabric and repeat the process shown in Photos 7, 8 and 9.You will have two squares as shown. IMG_0496


Use this contact form to ask Louise and Maggie questions about the Sew Along. Your Sew Along work-in-progress pictures can be sent to sewalong@planoasgsews.org or uploaded to our Facebook page.

Happy Sewing!

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