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Thanksgiving Elegance: Antiquities Tasseled Table Runner

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Although I have no proof, I feel certain that somewhere in my past there is an ancestor of regal bearing. Perhaps a Baltic princess or a brooding prince from the moors of Scotland. I have a deep affection for well-appointed luxury. For a formal occasion, I love the look of a table runner with place mats. The rich dark wood of the dining table sets off the fabric, and the individual linens act like beautiful little frames for the china and silver. This very elegant table runner in a sparkling platinum damask with rich mahogany accents is from Michael Miller's Antiquity collection. It's certainly fit for a king or a queen or... for your own royal family this Thanksgiving.

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The runner finishes at approximately 86½" x 15".

Our thanks to the great folks at Michael Miller for providing all the Antiquity fabrics for our Thanksgiving Elegance series. Antiquity is available online and in stores now, including at our friends at Fabric.com and FatQuarterShop.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • 2½ yards of 44-45" wide fabric for runner's center: we used Antiquity in Linen Delovely Damask by Michael Miller Fabrics
  • ¾ yard of 44-45" coordinating fabric for runner's accent panels and binding: we used Antiquity in Linen Quartrefoils by Michael Miller Fabrics
  • 2½ yards of 44-45" fabric for runner's backing: we used Bella Solids in Ivory by Moda Fabrics
  • ½ yard of 90" wide low-loft batting: we used Kyoto Bamboo Blend batting from Fabric.com
  • Four 3" tassels: we used rayon tassels in deep brown
  • All purpose thread
  • Embroidery thread for accent stitching: we used rayon embroidery thread in taupe
  • See-through ruler: a 6" wide ruler would be best
  • Fabric marker, pen or chalk
  • Hand sewing needle and thread for basting
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started

  1. We did not want a seam in the top of our runner, so we started with a full 2½ yards of fabric to allow us to cut a continuous panel. This left us with nice chunk of leftover fabric. You could make matching placemats or even another whole table runner! Just imagine it... your best friend comes over for Thanksgiving and says, "What a gorgeous table runner." You say, "Why thank you, I've made a matching one just for you." She replies, "You are the more incredible person in the whole wide world!" Violins swell in the background. Everyone hugs. The end.
  2. From the runner's center fabric (Antiquity in Linen Delovely Damask in our sample), mark a 15" wide panel the length of the fabric (90"). If your fabric has a dramatic motif as ours did, make sure it is perfectly centered.
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  3. From this 15" x 90" panel, cut TWO 3½"x 15" strips for the ends and ONE 71½" x 15" center panel.
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  4. From the accent fabric (Antiquity in Linen Quartrefoils in our sample), fussy cut TWO 6" x 15" panels. If you have a 6" wide see-thought ruler, use it to center the pattern for each panel.
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  5. Also from the accent fabric (Antiquity in Quartrefoils in our sample), fussy cut SEVEN 3" x width of fabric (WOF) strips, again being careful to center the design motif.
  6. From the backing fabric (Bella Solids in Ivory in our sample), cut ONE panel 15" x 86½".
  7. From the batting, cut ONE panel 15" x 86½".

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Create the binding strips

  1. Join the 3" x WOF accent strips together to create two 90" lengths and two 16" lengths. To join the strips, trim the ends at a 45° angle, aligning the ¼" line of the ruler with the pattern. Pin together, aligning the angled ends.
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  2. Sew together all the 'joints' with a ¼" seam, matching the pattern. Press the seam open. This technique will effectively hide all the 'joint marks' in your binding strips.
  3. Fold in one long edge on all four strips ¾" and press.
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Assemble the runner layers

  1. Pin one 6" x 15" accent panel, rights sides together, to each end of the 71½" x 15" center panel.
  2. Sew both panels in place, using a ½" seam allowance.
  3. Now pin one 3½"x 15" strip, rights sides together, to each end's accent panel.
  4. Sew both strips in place, using a ½" seam allowance.
  5. Press all the seam allowances toward the accent fabric.
  6. Place the backing fabric flat on your work surface, wrong side up.
  7. Place the batting over the backing fabric, matching all the edges.
  8. Place the assembled runner top over the batting, right side up, matching all the edges. Pin in place through all three layers.
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  9. Re-thread your machine with topstitching thread in both the top and bobbin. We used rayon embroidery thread in a taupe color to add some shine to the stitching. You may want to lengthen your stitch for a nicer look.

Bind the edges and attach the tassels

  1. Re-thread your machine with regular sewing thread in the top and bobbin.
  2. Find the two 90" lengths of binding. Center the binding and pin it, right sides together and raw edges aligned, to each long side of the table runner. The binding will extend at each end beyond the table runner.
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  3. Using a ¾" seam allowance, stitch each length of binding in place.
  4. Press the binding away from the runner. Then, wrap the binding over to the wrong side of the runner, covering the raw edges. The pre-folded edge of the binding should cover the line of stitching on the back and extend beyond it just slightly. Hand baste this folded edge in place. In our photos, you can see the blue thread we used for our basting stitches showing through on the right side of the runner.
  5. Re-thread your machine with topstitching thread in both the top and bobbin.
  6. Working on the RIGHT side of the runner,
  7. Trim the ends of the binding flush with the ends of the table runner.
  8. Place a tassel at each corner of the table runner, with the loop facing the raw edge of the runner and the tassel facing the body of the runner. Center the tassel on the binding, and pin in place.
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    NOTE: If you are using a store-bought tassel, leave on the cellophane wrapper until all construction is complete. This keeps the silky threads out of the way.
  9. Re-thread your machine with regular sewing thread in the top and bobbin.
  10. Find the two 16" lengths of binding. Center the binding and pin it, right sides together and raw edges aligned, to each end of the table runner. The binding will extend at each end beyond the table runner.
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  11. Using a ¾" seam allowance, stitch each length of binding in place, catching the tassel loops in the seams.
  12. Press the binding away from the table runner.
  13. With the binding strip laying flat, away from the runner, fold the tassel over the top of the binding and tack it in place by sewing back and forth across the loop ¾" away from the seam. Repeat to secure all four tassels in the same manner.
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  14. Fold the binding strip in half (you're kind of folding it back on itself), right sides together, and stitch across the short ends, using a ½" seam allowance, which should be flush with the finished edge of the table runner. Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching.
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  15. Turn the binding ends right side out and wrap the binding over to the wrong side of the runner, covering the raw edges.
  16. As above with the long sides of the runner, the pre-folded edge of the binding should cover the line of stitching on the back and extend beyond it just slightly. Hand baste this folded edge in place.
  17. Re-thread your machine with the topstitching thread in both the top and bobbin.
  18. Again as above, working on the right side of the runner, edgestitch along the binding from side to side, catching the tassels again to better secure them in place.
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  19. Remove all basting threads from the completed table runner.

Hints and Tips

  1. We made our binding by hand, but this would be a great project for the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker. Check out our review.
  2. We were able to find tassels that matched our fabric, but that's not always the case. To make your own, take a look at our tutorial: How to Make a Tassel.
  3. If you are new to binding, you might also want to read: Bias Tape: How To Make It & Attach It.

Contributors
Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler

Other machines suitable for this project include the Pfaff hobby 1132 and the Brother BC-1000.

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Comments (8)

carberg@min.midco.net said:
carberg@min.midco.net's picture

Thanks for posting this runner and keeping it on the website.  I am doing a runner for a friend and she does not want any quilting on the top.  How do you keep the three layers together if you wish to launder the runner.  Thanks again.  Love the ideas you shared.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ carberg@min.midco.net - this particular runner has very little "quilting" - probably the minimum you can get away with: the stitching on the binding and the topstitching along the inset panels. This table runner is narrow enough to allow this to work. If you plan on using batting, giving you three layers, you will have to have some sort of stitching to keep the layers secure during laundering... the wider the runner, the more is necessary. You could do little hand ties/tacks; you've proabably seen that on a quilt. It's likely too lumpy for a runner. Without batting (just 2 layers), you would probably be okay with just the binding and no additional stitching if the runner's fairly narrow. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Mags -- Thanks so much for asking! We really appreciate it when folks ask as opposed to just forging ahead.

Any reproduction of our instructions or patterns isn't allowed within their copyright. Our lawyer gets especially cross with us when it's reproduction for any kind of financial gain, which means neither the class or the tutorial itself can have a fee associated with it.

The fact you actually asked permission goes a long way. Plus, I love to expose new sewers to Sew4Home. So, there may be some possibilities with proper sew4home.com credit and copyright. Please send us an email with the details.

In the world of today's Internet environment, protecting your work and your copyright is a challenge. Thanks again for your request and your understanding.
Mags said:
Mags's picture
Are you allowed to use these directions in Classes? I would have to print out and make copies for my students. Thank you.
Ali0423 said:
Ali0423's picture
I love the colors in the table runner, place mats and napkins.
Beautiful table...perfect for the holidays smilies/smiley.gif

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