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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tutorial: Parquet Table Runner

My parents recently switched up their dining room by replacing a drop leaf table (tucked up against a wall, except on special occasions) with a traditional rectangular dining room table. Since the new table is "out" all the time, my mom sewed up some seasonal table runners to dress it up. The great thing about the pattern she designed is that it's very versatile. It can be easily adapted to any color scheme and table size.

Here's what you'll need to make one:

  • Assorted fabrics for each of the square panels
  • A border fabric
  • A backing fabric
  • Low loft quilt batting
  • Thread
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and plexiglass ruler
  • Sewing machine (not pictured)
  • Iron (not pictured)

*All seam allowances are .25"

    Step 1: Cut 36 - 2.5" x 8.5" rectangles from your assorted fabrics. Cut 18 - 3" x 8.5", 8 - 2" x 13.5", and 2 - 4.5" x 13.5" rectangles from your border fabric (if you would like to make a shorter or longer table runner, you can easily adjust the quantities).

    Step 2: Sew the 2.5" x 8.5" rectangles together in groups of four to form the parquet blocks of the table runner. Press the seams open.

    Step 3: Arrange the parquet blocks in an order that is pleasing to you. To create the parquet pattern the blocks should alternate between horizontal and vertical orientation. When you have settled on the order, use painter's tape to number each block so that you will remember the order. Below the number, draw an arrow indicating the orientation of the block. (In the photos for this tutorial, the blocks have been labeled as if the runner was oriented vertically, with the arrows pointing from top to bottom.)

    Step 4: Sew the 3" x 13.5" border rectangles onto the two sides of each block that will form the long edges of the table runner. Press the seams open.

    Step 5: Join the blocks together by sewing the 2" x 13.5" rectangles between the opposite sides of each block. These strips will complete the border around each of the blocks. The 4.5" x 13.5" rectangles are the end pieces of the runner. Sew these onto the outermost edge of the first and last block. Press all seams open.

    Step 6: Congratulations! The top of your runner is now assembled. If the edges of your runner need to be straightened or evened out, trim them down. Use the runner top as a pattern to cut out the the correct size rectangle from the backing fabric and batting. If you don't have a piece of backing fabric the length of your runner, you can piece together a couple rectangles and press the seam(s) open.

    Step 7: Lay your backing fabric face up and place the runner top on top of it, with right sides together. Place the batting on top as pictured below. Pin the layers together around the perimeter.

    Step 8: Sew around the pinned edge, but leave a small opening for turning.

    Step 9: Clip the corners of your runner and turn it right side out. Press the edges so that they lay flat.

    Step 10: Sew the small opening closed either by hand or by stitching really close to the edge with your machine.

    Step 11: Dress your table!


    1. That is lovely, Rebekah! We just got a new table and I've been thinking that it needs a table runner. I may be trying this soon!

    2. Thanks so much Jessi! :)


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