Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Leaf Table Runner

I've wanted to make an autumn leaf table runner for a few weeks now - I knew I wanted to make the leaves from some ice dyed fabric in autumn colors that I made awhile ago, but I just couldn't come up with a background I liked.  Until I was inspired by Kirsten Chursinoff's gorgeous pieced fabric backgrounds!  For this one I used neutral and light blue fabric scraps and did a little bit of fading one color into another.  When I got the longer table runner finished, I like it so much I made a second square one!  So you have two choices in the instructions.

*cotton muslin
*scraps of white, light tan, tan, light gray, and light blue fabrics
*fabric with colors of autumn leaves - I used ice dyed fabric (see instructions here)
*Lite Steam a Seam II
*two shades of rust sewing thread
*backing fabric
*single fold bias tape (see here for making your own) - 4 yards for the long table runner and 2 1/2 yards for the square one)
*pattern for maple leaf (I just free hand drew the ovoid leaf)

1.  Cut a piece of cotton muslin the size you want the table runner to be - 54 x 14 inches for the long table runner and 18 inches square for the square one.

2.  Cut squares from the background scrap fabric - cut them 3 5/8 inches square (you need a bit more than the 3 1/2 inches to allow for overlap).  For the long runner, you'll need 12 white, 16 light tan, 12 tan, 12 light gray, and 8 light blue squares.  For the square runner, 10 white, 4 light tan, 6 tan, 2 light gray, and 3 light blue squares.

3.  To attach squares to the cotton muslin, pin the first row down with squares slightly overlapping the square next to it.  Sew along the edges with a decorative stitch.

To add the next rows, pin the second row in the same way as the first, plus overlap it slightly over the first row.  Sew along the edges with a decorative stitch, sewing across all squares first (width of the fabric) and then sewing along the short edges (lengthwise).  Repeat for all rows.

For the long runner:
Row 1 - 4 white
Row 2 - white, lt. tan, white, lt. tan
Row 3 - 4 lt. tan
Row 4 - lt. tan, tan, lt. tan, tan
Row 5 - 4 tan
Row 6 - 4 lt. gray
Row 7 - lt. blue, lt. gray, lt. blue, lt. gray
Row 8 - 4 lt. blue
Row 9 - reverse row 7
Row 10 - reverse row 6
Row 11 - reverse row 5
Row 12 - reverse row 4
Row 13 - reverse row 3
Row 14 - reverse row 2
Row 15 - reverse row 1

For the square runner:
Row 1 - 5 white
Row 2 - lt. tan, 3 tan, lt. tan
Row 3 - lt. gray, 3 lt. blue, lt. gray
Row 4 - reverse row 2
Row 5 - reverse row 1

4.  Cut maple and ovoid leaves - 4 maple and 8 ovoid for the long runner, 2 maple and 4 ovoid for the square one.  I attached these to the fabric with Lite Steam a Seam II - you can also baste them on.  When you have them arranged to your liking, sew around the edge of each leaf with a tight zigzag stitch.  I used the darker rust thread on the maple and darker ovoid leaves and the lighter rust thread on the remaining ovoid leaves.

5.  Layer your piece of fabric with a piece of batting and the backing fabric.  Pin in place.  Thread sketch around the outline of each leaf and then sew veins.  Repeat this with both colors of rust thread (I used regular weight sewing thread).

6.  Trim edges of the runner even and bind with bias tape.  For the square runner, I rounded the corners a bit and for the longer one I used square corners.

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Thanks for the leaf pattern. Saves me from drawing one. Really like the different textures of fabric you used and the stitching you added. Beautiful!

  2. Thank you for such a clear explanation. I see some stash ;pulling in my near future. Love the idea of overlapping and decorative stitches.