How to Quilt a Table Runner You'll L-O-V-E

Add a little more love to your home — literally. This table runner is perfect for Valentine's Day , and it features the best of sewing, quilting and machine appliqué so all your skills get put to good use.

Love Table Runner

Level: Easy
Finished size: 12" x 30"

What You Need

Cutting instructions

  • Four 5" squares of background fabric (we used cream)
  • Four 4½" squares for the letters (we used red)
  • Ten 2" squares for the corners (we used red gingham)
  • Thirteen 2" x 5" rectangles for sashing (we used dark brown)
  • Two 2½" x 8" strips for the side borders (we used red script)
  • Two 2½" x 30" strips for the top and bottom borders (we used red script)
  • Three 2¼" x WOF (width of fabric) strips for binding
  • 16" x 34" piece of backing fabric


1. Prep the Letters

Download and print the letter template in the materials list, or design your own with the font of your choice. Flip the paper over so the letters are backwards and trace them onto the paper side of your fusible web. (It might help to hold the paper up to a sunny window or use a light box as you trace.)

2. Fuse

Rough cut around each letter. Following the manufacturer's instructions, adhere the fusible web to your letter fabric.

Pro Tip

Remember this rule: rough to wrong. The rough (glue) side of the web needs to be against the wrong side of your fabric.

Once fused, cut out the letters along the outlines. The paper backings should still be attached at this point.

3. Assemble the Quilt Top

Lay out your pieces of fabric as shown above. Sew each row together, then stitch the three rows together. As you work, press the seams open or toward the sashing fabric .

4. Join the Borders

Sew the side borders to sandwich the squares and sashing, then add the top and bottom borders. Press the seams toward the border fabric.

5. Add the Letters

Remove the backing from your letters. Following the manufacturer's instructions, adhere them to your block backgrounds. You can eyeball them or use a ruler to measure exact placement.

6. Baste

Layer the quilt top, batting and backing to form a quilt sandwich . Baste your quilt using your preferred method (we used pin basting ). If you use pins, be careful not to pin through any of the letters.

7. Quilt the Letters

Use an open toe sewing machine foot and wide needle plate if you have them, and a thread color that matches the fabrics.

Pro Tip

Before quilting, it might help to stitch out a few designs on scrap fabric to see what you like. We used a blanket stitch , but you can use any decorative stitch you like.

With the layers still pinned together, start in the middle of your letter and bring the bobbin thread up to the top. Take a few small straight stitches to lock your threads, then sew a decorative stitch. You may need to scoot your quilt over so the needle position lines up correctly.

Good to Know

Since you will be stitching through all the layers of your quilt, you don’t need a stabilizer. We suggest using the same thread color in the bobbin as well as the top to hide any less-than-perfect stitching or tension issues .

Anticipate where your needle will pierce the fabric on each movement of the stitch. Turn the top slowly and smoothly as needed so as to avoid stitching outside the letters. If you have it, use the “needle down” function on your machine; always stop with your needle down before turning your quilt.

When you have an inside turn, like in the V, try to land your stitch right in the middle. Don’t be afraid to pivot every stitch or two when needed to completely outline the letters.

When you reach the place where you began stitching, change back to a straight stitch and end with a few locking stitches. Clip your threads close.

Pro Tip

When you get to the O, stitch the inside first.

8. Finish Quilting

Once your letters are stitched, machine quilt the rest of the runner however you like. The background fabric gives a lot of room for added texture — we used a combo of stitch in the ditch , a heart loop motif and straight accent lines .

9. Bind

Bind your table runner as you would any quilt, then clear some space for your new home decor!

Find Your Next Project

Bust those scraps and make quilted magic with these lovable quilt blocks.

This fresh and funky pixelated heart is easy to make if you know quilting basics, and it's gorgeous in traditional Valentine's Day hues. Use this beauty in a larger quilt, or frame it to gift to your sweetie. Talk about a modern romance!
There's nothing better than a heart-shaped quilt block for Valentine's Day. Whether you're making it into a table runner or a part of a larger quilt, it's sure to make your loved ones swoon. Best part: you don't have to go for the traditional red and pink colorway. Choose any hues you want — so long as your fabrics contrast, this design will be bursting with love.
Michele Foster
If you're looking for a cute, quick project that'll use up your scraps, we've got a project you're going to love. This heart block sews together in five simple steps, and it's the perfect project to give to your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.
Diane Knott

January 22, 2020
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How to Quilt a Table Runner You'll L-O-V-E