Top 'o the mornin' to ya! It’s Kitty from Night Quilter, and yes, I am a bit Irish (although aren't we all Irish when it comes to St. Patrick's Day?!). Today I’m excited to be sharing a tutorial for how to make a sleek and simple reversible table runner perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and beyond, using the Hearts, Primitive #3 die and BigZ L Circles die (2", 3", and 4"). I love finding many uses for a die, and this project is no exception. This is the third project I’m making using the Primitive Hearts die in a unique way. (I’ve also made The Growing Tree Wall Hanging Quilt and Heart Garlands for Valentine’s day—it’s the die that just keeps on giving!) Since the four-leaf clovers are made using the Heart die, I’m calling this table runner “Lucky Love”. Let’s get started!
First, gather your materials. My table runner measures 13” x 43” but you can adapt the size to fit your table. I chose to use Essex Linen in lime for my main table runner color, with Essex Linen in flax as accent and binding. I picked up some gorgeous 100% wool felt that was a slightly darker green as the lime linen for the four leaf clovers. I'm lucky my LQS Fiddlehead Artisan Supply has an extensive selection of gorgeous wool felt! I backed the runner in one of my favorite neutral Alison Glass prints--a gorgeous taupe chambray from her Ex Libris line called Botany. This way, I can flip the table runner over after St. Patrick's Day and use it all year long!
We will begin by making some four-leaf clovers. Begin with a circle as the base for creating the four-leaf clover, using the two smallest circle sizes (2” and 3” diameters) on the Circles die. This pattern uses one large and two small four-leaf clovers on each side of the table runner, so cut two (2) 3-inch circles and four (4) 2-inch circles.
Next, position your folded circle over the appropriate heart blade, with the folded corner positioned above the bottom point of the heart, as centered as you can. The fold will be within the cut heart, making sure all of your four-leaf clover leaves stay intact. (Note that the smallest heart blade is used for the 2” circles and the next largest heart blade is used for the 3” circles).
Quickly and carefully put the top cutting pad on your folded circle, holding it down in the proper position. Make the rest of your Sizzix sandwich: bottom cutting pad, Primitive heart die with the blade facing up, folded felt circle positioned just so, top cutting pad; and pass it through your Fabi! Carefully unfold the circle and you should see a four leaved clover!
Now we are going to do things a bit backwards for the sake of ease and a flawless aesthetic. We are going to piece, quilt and bind the table runner before hand appliquéing the four-leaf clovers in place. This way, the straight line quilting can be done quickly and easily, and your four-leaf clovers can be positioned exactly where you want them before stitching.
Cut your table runner focal fabric (I used Essex linen in lime by Robert Kaufman) 13"x width of fabric (WOF). Trim off the selvedges and trim the end, resulting in a 13"x40" panel. Cut 7"x13" off of each end. Your table runner panel will now be in three pieces: 7"x13", 26"x13", and 7"x13".
Cut your accent fabric (I used Essex linen in flax by Robert Kaufman) 2 1/2" x WOF. If you have the 2 1/2" strip die and a Big Shot, go ahead and save yourself some time and cut four (4) 2 1/2" strips WOF. The three additional strips will be used to make your binding.
Subcut one strip into two (2) 2 1/2"x13" rectangles.
Cut your backing fabric (I used Alison Glass Botany in Taupe from Ex Libris by Andover) 15" x WOF. Depending on the width of your backing fabric, you may need to piece the backing or shorten the center of the front panel in order for it to fit. The Botany fabric has really thin selvedges, so it all fit perfectly!
Layer your backing, 15"x45" piece of batting, and table runner top, baste, and quilt. I usually pin baste, but with this sized project and my desired quilting, I decided to spray baste this project, using Elmer's Craft Bond Acid Free spray adhesive, since it's what I had on hand. It worked well to keep the layers together, but next time, I will look for an option with less smell!
I used straight line quilting with 50wt Aurifil 2021-Natural White, approximately 3/4" apart to help the table runner feel substantial and secure. I wanted the quilting to stand out, and compliment the hand stitching on the four leaf clovers. Plus, the straight line quilting looks sharp!
Quilting tip: Use painter's tape and a long ruler to help keep your quilting lines straight! Because the painter's tape was approximately 3/4" wide, I spaced them 1 1/2" apart and then sewed along either side of the tape. Then, I moved the tape over to help guide one more line of quilting down the center of each large gap.
Once your table runner is quilted, square it and bind it! I talk about all of my favorite finishing techniques in this post here, and for this project I used the machine binding method.
Now you are ready to applique! Get your Aurifil lana wool, your felt four-leaf clovers, a sewing needle, and thread conditioner if that's your cup of tea. Find a sunny corner and let's get started. I used blanket stitch to sew the four-leaf clovers down, so that's what I'm explaining below. Feel free to use whatever method you like best, but be sure to only stitch through the top layer of the table runner.
First, cut your thread, thread your needle, and knot the end with a quilter's knot. Then decide where you want your four-leaf clover to live. Bury the knot so that your thread comes up just inside the edge of where you want your four-leaf clover.
Next, insert your needle approximately 1/8" away from where the thread emerges, but still 1/8" away from the edge of the felt. Go through only the felt and the top layer of the table runner, and come back up right on the outside edge of your four-leaf clover (as shown above). Before pulling the needle through, wrap the thread underneath the needle as shown in the photo above.
Pull through and continue the same way: needle in approximately 1/8" away from the edge of the felt and 1/8" from the last stitch, through the felt and the top layer of the table runner, then back up along the outer edge of the clover. Wrap thread underneath the needle, pull through.
Other Materials Used:
- a sheet of 100% wool felt
- 1/2 yard Essex Linen in lime
- 1/4 yard Essex linen in flax
- 1/2 yard Alison Glass Ex Libris
- 15”x45” piece of batting
- 50wt Aurifil thread for piecing and quilting
- Aurifil lana wool for appliqué
- sewing needle
- thread conditioner (optional)
- sewing machine