Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad – Sewing Tutorial

This table runner is perfect for Thanksgiving meals because it’s also a hot pad! Use my tutorial to see how to make a table runner hot pad in a modern patchwork plaid design!

I think every family has at least one Thanksgiving must-serve dish, one dish that “it’s just not Thanksgiving” without.  My mother’s Thanksgiving must-serve list has about twenty dishes on it, and it doesn’t matter if there 5 people around the table or 20, it’s “just not Thanksgiving” if those dishes aren’t on the table.  No joking, one year we had 4 pies for 6 people.  That averages out to ¾ a pie FOR EACH PERSON, and that’s after eating the full Thanksgiving meal.  That was also the year the table was so full of food that we had to put the basket of rolls on the floor.

All those dishes take up a lot of space on the table.  And each dish that’s served warm will need a trivet or hot pad underneath it.  A full Thanksgiving meal takes a lot of hot pads.  We often end up just using folded up kitchen towels.

This table runner solves that problem!  Besides just being a pretty accent for your dining table, it’s also a really long hot pad.  You can place warm dishes up and down the whole table runner hot pad.  It simplifies arranging a table and also serving up everyone’s plates.  Read on for the tutorial!

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Plaid is super popular right now, so I thought it would be fun to create a plaid design for my table runner.  Plus, the plaid gives a warm, traditional feel.  But making the design oversized and piecing it from solids gives it a modern twist.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

The deep orange and olive green color scheme I used is perfect for fall and Thanksgiving.  I think it will be beautiful on my mother’s Thanksgiving table this year.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

(I set her table with empty dishes in anticipation of the yummy meal she’ll make for us in a few weeks!)

To make it in the orange/green/cream color scheme like I made, you’ll need a dark and a light orange, a dark and a light green, a cream, and a dark brown (preferably with a little bit of a greenish tint to it).  With those colors, you can piece the patchwork design you see below.

For another pretty fall sewing project, check out my Farmhouse Fabric Fruit free pattern.

Choosing Your Solids

You can usually find a good selection of solids at your local quilt shop.  Like I said before, you’ll need a dark and a light each of orange and green, plus a cream and a dark greenish brown to use in the spots where the green and orange stripes intersect.  That can be a little overwhelming – I know I was a bit overwhelmed at first – but here’s what I did to pull the perfect colors for my plaid.

First, I grabbed a dark shade of green that was pleasing to me.  Then, I found a lighter shade of it. Then I found a dark orange that I liked, and a lighter shade of that color.  Next up, a warm cream.  To test out my colors to see if they worked well together, I stacked the bolts from light to dark – starting with the cream, then the light shade, then the dark shade.  If the colors made a natural progression, then I was good.  But if one of the shades didn’t seem quite right, I could switch out with another shade to see if it was a better fit.

Once I had the orange and green shades that worked, it was pretty easy to find a brown that would work with both the orange and green.  Like before, I stacked the bolts – this time the dark orange, the brown, then the dark green – to check that my shades made a natural progression.

So now that you’ve chosen your solids, it’s time to gather your other materials and cut your fabrics.

Materials

Dark orange – ¼ yard

Light orange – 1/3 yard or a fat quarter

Dark green – ¼ yard

Light green – ¼ yard

Cream – ¼ yard

Dark greenish brown – ¼ yard

Backing fabric

Backing fabric– 17” x 37.5”

Cotton batting – 20-22” x 40-42”

Insul-Bright – 20-22” x 40-42”

Safety pins

Temporary fabric marking pin

Cut your solids

Cut the following from your solid fabrics:

Dark orange – 8 squares, 4.5” x 4.5”

Light orange – 10 squares, 4.5” x 4.5”

Cream – 3 squares, 4.5” x 4.5”

Brown – 10 rectangles, 2.5” x 4.5”

Dark green – 3 squares 2.5” x 2.5”, 2 strips 1.75” x 14.5”, and 2 strips 1.75” x 37.5”

Light green – 6 rectangles 2.5” x 4.5”

Unless otherwise stated, all seam allowances are ¼”.  RST = Right Sides Together.

Piece the rows

Sew the pieces RST, one after another, to create4 patchwork rows.  Each row is made of 10 pieces, each sewn in a different repeating pattern.

Row 1 is made from dark orange, brown, and light orange, sewn in that order.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Next, row 2 is made from brown, dark green, and light green, sewn in that order.

Now for Row 3. Row 3 is made from light orange, light green, and cream, sewn in that order.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Row 4 is the same pattern as Row 1.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial
Sew the rows together

Now, sew those rows together to make a patchwork plaid design.  Sew Row 2 to the bottom of Row 1, RST and matching your corners as best as possible.  Press seam open.  It should look like this.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Now, sew Row 3 to the bottom of Row 2 in the same way.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

And finally, sew Row 4 to the bottom of Row 3.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Look at your patchwork plaid! Isn’t it pretty?

Add the frame

The patchwork plaid design is framed in a dark green fabric.  Let’s add that frame now.

First, sew the 1.75” x 14.5” green pieces to the short sides of your patchwork piece, RST.  Press seam open.  It should look like this.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Now, sew the 1.75” x 37.5” strips to the top and bottom of your patchwork piece.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial
Mark and quilt a plaid design

Before we start the quilting, I’ll just tell you that I am only the most casual of quilters.  So if you’re a “real” quilter you may cringe at some of my finishing techniques.  For example, I quilt the design BEFORE adding the backing.  That’s not how you usually make a quilt, but it allows you to quilt without worrying about getting puckers on the back at intersecting lines.

Use a temporary marking pen and a long acrylic ruler to mark some quilting lines.  It’s easy to create a simple secondary plaid design using your patchwork plaid as a starting point.  You can create any kind of design you like, but here’s what I did:

Mark a line 1” from the start of each column/row that has the white squares.

Mark another line ¼” from the lines you just marked.  (Marked lines are shown in yellow).

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Then, mark a line ¾” from the end of each column/row that has the orange squares.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Place the Insul-Bright on a large surface.  Place the cotton batting on top of it.  Finally, place your patchwork piece on top of that.  Smooth out any wrinkles.

The Insul-Bright and batting layers will be slightly larger than the patchwork layer.  That allows for the fabric to shift a little as you quilt your design.

Use safety pins to “baste” your layers together.  Be careful when you pin that you don’t have any wrinkles or puckers in your layers.  I put safety pins every 5” or so.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Take your quilt “sandwich” to your machine and stitch all those lines you marked.  Use a walking foot if you have one for your machine because it will help keep the layers from shifting as you sew.

When you’re done, trim the Insul-Bright and batting even with the edges of your patchwork layer.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

You’re almost done… I promise!

Assemble the table runner hot pad

Now to put it all together.

Place the backing fabric on top of your patchwork piece, RST.  Sew around all four sides with ½” seam allowance, leaving 4” or so open to turn it.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

Turn right side out through the hole.  Clip corners, push corners out gently, and press.

Use a ladder stitch to close the turning hole.

Stitch in the ditch between the green “frame” and the plaid patchwork.

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial

You’re finished with your table runner hot pad!!

Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial
Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial
Patchwork Plaid Table Runner Hot Pad - Sewing Tutorial
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