DIY Modern Table Runner plus Tree Motif

My Modern Guild has a challenge nearly every month. I resolved to participate in more which was easy as my previous record had been one. The challenge for September was to create a table runner in the Modern Quilt aesthetic. In addition to that, my 3 Classics in One Year Book Club will have our Grand Finale for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn next Sunday so I was reading that. It just so happens it was a banned book at some point and last week was Banned Books Week.  Coincidence? Oh probably but still, I had to combine them.

tree r re 1I decided to make my modern table runner with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn motif and make it during banned books week. You know I love stuff like this! And I did it, I started Monday and finished a couple of hours before guild on Thursday. Phew.

If you look at the green fabric in the middle, that is what I started with, 3 yards of it that I got half price a couple of months ago. I was going to just make napkins for the Grand Finale.

Once this more grandiose scheme came to me I needed more fabric and I didn’t have time to wander here and there. I went online to and I searched Tree fabric. Surprisingly, I had quite a few choices. Click click and a few days later, I had them all.Tree r re 2

I decided I didn’t want it longer than 56 inches nor wider than 12 inches and it’s like 53″ by 12″ finished so I accomplished that goal. In addition, I ended up with a Modern Table runner plus tree motif to use next fall as well. Perfect!

First, I played around with the twelve inches, using a piece of the original green and the grey I wanted to use to symbolize the tenement buildings in the book. I decided I liked this design.

I cut a 7″ by 9″ main piece and two 3″ by 2″ to accompany them. You could make them longer, wider, smaller or whatever. You can have three or four Tree r re 3smaller bits of the same fabric or different ones. Modern table runners are pretty versatile.

I cut 5 strips of 1″ wide grey fabric and used it to join the pieces together. There are various ways you can do this. If I had had more width, I would have increased the size of the grey. Tree r re 4

I did the same for a total of 7 fabrics, that was long enough.

I put them on my design wall and played with where I thought they went best.

Once I liked them I cut 5 strips of 2 inch grey fabric. Again, you can play with yours how you like it. You could have only 3 blocks but have them bigger with bigger borders. This set up is very common in Modern quilts and runners.

I sewed the blocks together with the thin grey strips and then bound them with the thicker one.

Tree r re 5

I really liked the way it looked. Many of my tree fabrics were directional so I had to make a decision from the get go how to place them. I like the way it looks, phew. You never really know, you know what I mean?Tree r re 7

I took the two fabrics that I didn’t use on the front and cut them into various shapes and flipped them around. I also used pieces of the original green.

Before I started playing with the back fabrics I made sure I had cut all the napkins and put them aside.

tree r re 9I quilted in on my domestic machine, straight line quilting about every half inch on the short side.

I bound it with a 2.5 inch binding folded and then pressed down. I secured it by hand. I did most of the hand sewing Wednesday night watching an episode of The Roosevelts. I finished it while Z took a nap on Thursday and took a picture of it on my daughter’s desk chair.

Loved it! I was happy to share it at guild. I took a picture of it on my table, figuring out how I will set it for Book Club. tree runner done re

You know I will post again about how that all goes. But yikes, first I have to finish the napkins. I have 5 hemmed and 5 more to go. I have 9 people coming so I will have one extra. Good, I like extras!

Making something with a theme makes me Sew happy!

Want to see what else I think and dream about? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page, check the get notifications and join the conversation! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. That’s all, you’re done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

I made a table runner last fall also. Easy! Check it out here.

Leave a comment