Thursday, January 23, 2014

XO Table Runner and Mini Quilt

I have been obsessed with these little blocks lately! They are so easy to make, and depending on where you put the print or the neutral you can completely change the look of the block. 

So this table runner is not a new idea, but I had fun making it, and I took pictures while I was sewing! So I'm sharing the XO Table Runner and Mini Quilt.

XO Table Runner Tutorial

1 Charm Pack (I used Table For Two from Moda)
1/2 yard neutral (I used the white on white from the line)
1/2 yard for backing
1/4 yard for binding

Step 1: 
You need 40 squares of your print for the block. I pulled the two cream squares out of my charm pack and used the other 40 squares. If your charm pack comes with less squares you may need to supplement with some yardage, or a second charm pack. But anyway, you need 40 squares.
Cut those 40 squares down to 4 1/2"
And cut 80 squares from the neutral that are 2 1/2"

Step 2:
Put one small square in the corner of one large square (right sides together) and sew across the diagonal as shown below.

One thing that helps me with this is to put a piece of tape lining up with the 0 on my machine. Then I follow the tape with the bottom corner of the square. Pretty washi tape makes it fun! If this doesn't make sense, you can draw a line across the diagonal of the square and then sew on the line. 
 Do that over and over until you get through all 40 of your squares. 

Step 3:
Now, if you are crazy like me you can do this next step. If not, feel free to skip it. But really, why not go ahead and go for it?? 
Go back through your whole stack and sew another stitch 1/4" from your first stitch, closer to the outer corner. We can use these little scrap pieces later!

If you did this extra step your blocks will look like this now.

Step 4:
OK! Now switch your blocks around and repeat all those steps on the opposite side of the block.

Here's what you have now! If you skipped the crazy step then you'll only have one stitch on each square.

Now take a break and enjoy my kitty "helping" me sew! I swear they make fabric out of cat nip, because my cat goes CRAZY for it. Maybe in his former life he was a quilter... 

Step 5: 
In order to keep the block 4 1/2" I have a pressing trick. Line up the corners of the squares and press. Don't worry about the stitching line. Really. Just line up the corners. This way you don't have to square up the blocks later!
Do you see the yellow fabric there? I recovered my ironing board FINALLY. I made it myself! 

Ok, so now you should have a nice neat pile of squares that look like this.

Step 6:
Now snip off the scrap corner. Be careful that you only cut those layers and don't catch the top layer! Cut between the lines of stitching. You can use a rotary cutter, but I think scissors are easier here.

And here's your pile now!

Step 7:
Do yourself a favor and iron these little babies now. Trust me, if you don't do it now you'll be tired later and miss out on all the fun!

Blurry pile of tiny half square triangles.

I don't know if you are interested, but I thought I would share my sewing set up. I sew at the dining room table, and this is my little corner that I've taken over. I lowered my ironing board to sit next to me so I don't have to stand while I press blocks. When not in use, my board fits perfectly under the 3-seater sofa, and my big quilting mat fits under the 2-seater. It's my hide-away quilting room!

Step 8:
The reward for all your hard work pressing! Now you get to lay out your table runner! All 40 of your blocks are exactly the same, so all you have to do is rotate how you lay it down to make your X and O shapes.

Step 9:
Sew the pieces together. My method is to flip the right block over the left block,

and then make a pile of that column's blocks.

 Then I take that pile to the machine and sew them together on the right side. Then I lay those blocks back on the table so I don't have to worry about getting them out of order.

Step 10:
Repeat the piecing method, sewing the pairs together. 

When you get all the pieces sewn together across the row you'll end up with four rows that look like this.

Step 11:
Flip the quilt over to the back side and press each row in opposite directions. This will help your seams to nestle together when you sew the rows together. 

Closeup of how the seams go in opposite directions.

Step 12:
Sew your rows together, give it a good pressing, and you have a table runner! I am liking pressing my seams open these days to get a super flat quilt top. But feel free to press all the seams one direction. Whatever makes you happy!

Here's my table runner in action, sans quilting. 

Step 13: 
Quilt and Bind! I used a walking fit to echo the shape of the x's and o's, and also a stitch in the ditch between all the blocks. Then I bound it with one of the light pinks from the line. 

The backing is a panel piece from the line. It was too wide to use the whole width, and too narrow to just use one strip. But I went with one and added two pieces of fabric to the sides. I really like how it turned out!

Table for two please!

Valentine Mini Quilt

Now we get to use all your little scraps!! I had so much fun with this part!
You will have 80 little half square triangles to play with. You can use all of them, or only some. I had some fun playing with layouts.





Here's the one I went with. I love it!
This little guy isn't quilted yet, but it will be soon. It's the perfect size for a placemat, but only having one I don't think I will use it for that. Could be a candle mat, or a table topper. But I think it will hang on my wall as a mini quilt. It's a little big for a true mini quilt, but I'll forgive it. 


  1. I love them both!! Great tutorial. If I didn't already have a million projects..... I do have a leaders and enders thing going on....

  2. AND I love your sewing space! That window is awesome.