How to Sew an Easy Striped Table Runner

Welcome! Follow these 12 steps to sew your first striped table runner. This is a beginner friendly sewing project that will teach you some basic quilting techniques as you sew this easy striped table runner together.

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Watch the Video Tutorial HERE:

This youtube video goes through all the steps you will also see shared below.

What you Need:

Step 1: Cut the Salvages Off

Open up the jelly roll and cut all the salvages off the ends.

Do not prewash your jelly roll or batting but do prewash your backing fabric in cold.

Step 2: Cut Strips at 15″

Cut Jelly Roll strips to start making your easy striped table runner.

If you want to get a jelly roll and 4 matching placemats as well as the pot holders then make sure to cut each strip of fabric at the open end leaving the folded scraps for the next two projects
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Cut all strips at 15″

(If not using a jelly roll Cut 28 strips at 2 1/2″ by 15″)

Step 3: Organize & Sort Strips

Pin jelly roll strips together

Lay out all the stacks of strips and place them in the pattern you want them to be in. Then start pinning (I use these sewing clips as they go much faster).

Step 4: Sew Together at a 1/4″ Seam

Sew all pinned strips together creating the striped top to the table runner.

Sew all pieces together at a quarter inch seam. Using a walking foot can make this step go much easier.

Do not bother with backstitching at this point. I even ended up chain stitching the pieces together to make it go faster.

Continue piecing the strips together until all the strips are sewn together. This gives you the striped table runner look we are going for.

Step 5: Press Seams

Iron all the seams open or to the side

Time to iron those seams! There are two ways to do this. You can iron all the seams to one side, or press the seams open.

I like to press them open. This makes the light fabric lay with the light and the dark with the dark.

Step 6: Cut Batting

Measure the length of your table runner, if you used 28 strips it should measure out to be around 58″ by 14.5″.

Once you know your measurments then it is time to cut out your batting with an inch or two extra on the top and the bottom.

On both ends leave yourself at least 3 inches of extra batting. But to be safe maybe leaving yourself with 5 extra inches on both sides as that will give you plenty of wiggle room.

As you sew this striped table runner together it may shift a bit. This is why you need to have extra batting around the table runner.

Step 7: Pin & Stitch in the Ditch

Attach the striped table runner top to the batting with pins

Pin the table runner right side up onto the batting. The more pins you use the less the table runner will shift around. I used lots! These are my fav pins for this.

Then it is time to stitch in the ditch! This means sewing directly along the previous seams. However if this intimidates you then just sew along each seam using the seam as the guide for your sewing foot.

I want to encourage you, if you are stitching in the ditch this is the perfect project to practice this technique!

And if you pop out of the ditch every now and again it is no big deal. No one will notice it as the fabric will have prints to hide any imperfections and people will be looking at your project as a whole. So give stitching in the ditch a go. You can do it!

Step 8: Trim & Square Off

I do not have a good photo for properly trimming the table runner. This step is best shown in the video tutorial.

Tip: Make sure you trust your ruler more than you trust your seams during this step.

Step 9: Attach to the Back

Attach the top with batting to the backing. Wrong sides together.

Now take your sewn top and lay it right sides together on top of your backing fabric. This fabric does not need to be cut with as much extra fabric around the table runner. Just cut around the table runner leaving around one inch all the way around.

Sew at a quarter inch seam

Pin the top to the backing and sew a quarter inch seam around the entire thing leaving a 5″ opening to be able to pull it right sides out.

Step 10: Trim & Clip Corners

Before turning the striped table runner right side out, trim all four corners. This takes away bulk and allows the corners to lay flat.

Cut away the bulk from the corners.

Make sure not to clip the seam you just sewed!

Step 11: Turn Right Side Out & Iron

Turn the striped table runner right sides out

Time to see what all your hard work has produced! Reach inside the 5″ seam you left open and turn your striped table runner right side out.

Use a blunt object like the end of a chopstick to push the points out. Don’t push too hard as you don’t want to pop the seam out.

Fold the opening inwards before ironing flat

Now lets iron this beauty flat, fold in the 5″ opening, iron and pin.

Pin the opening closed

Step 12: Topstitch

Now let’s take this back to the sewing machine and sew a 1/4″ top stitch all the way around. This will close the 5″ opening and leave you with a beautiful table runner!

Sew a quarter inch top stitch all the way around.

And that my friends is how to sew your first table runner! I hope you will check back to see how to use those scraps to make an awesome set of matching placemats as well as pot holders!

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Welcome! I am Tamara and I love teaching beginner sewing projects.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Hello,
    I am so confused with the jelly roll for this project. I have made the table runner no problem. The problem is making the place mats with the left over strips. After cutting the 15″ for the strips leave not enough strips for the placemats at 13″. I missed something during the instructions, please help?

    Posted 7.12.21 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      Hi Shiquitta, Yes! I did end up adding a few extra strips that matched the jelly roll I had purchased. I think I needed only two extra strips cut at the correct length of the placemat to make a total of four placemats. I am pretty sure I mentioned this in the YouTube tutorial. But if I didn’t I am so sorry! The only other thing I can consider is that the jelly roll you purchased was smaller then the one I was working with? Hopefully you were still able to make your placemats. Happy Sewing!

      Posted 8.13.21 Reply