Sew a beautiful fall table runner with applique leaves! This free Autumn Leaves Table Runner Pattern includes all the applique files and instructions you need to sew a beautiful handmade table runner for your Thanksgiving table.
UPDATE: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The fall table runner pattern in the blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.
This free sewing tutorial and pattern is for a scrappy fall runner that’s approximately 38’’ x 12’’ and it is covered with appliquéd leaves, pinecones, and butterflies. Yes, I love butterflies so much that I couldn’t ‘leaf’ them off (ha, ha). Of course, you can choose which applique shapes you like best and add as many or as few as you like.
This project can easily be made with lots of different kinds of fabrics, so you probably have most of the materials in your sewing stash already. My scrappy leaves table runner is sewn with cotton fabric for the base and the applique pieces were cut from fabrics in my scrap bin. You could use lots of other types of fabric too, such as canvas, velvet, flannel, felt, or knit fabric scraps for interesting textures. Sort through your scrap basket for all your favorite fall colors!
Table runners are a great way to use up long skinny pieces of left over quilt batting. I used fusible quilt batting, but if you don’t have any on hand, any kind of quilt batting will work fine. You can use regular batting and a spray baste product (like SpraynBond or 505) instead. Last year I wrote a post all about how to use fusible batting.
Don’t miss all the other table runner tutorials that I have here on my blog, like:
- my Modern Quilted Table Runner from half square triangles
- This adorable Gnome Table Runner
- The Happy Turkey Table Runner
And this roundup of 25+ Free Table Runner Patterns has a pumpkin table runner and a themed table runner for any special occasion or every day. There are Christmas table runner patterns in that list too.
You could even make a set of placemats that match!
Are you ready? Let’s sew!
Autumn Leaves Fall Table Runner Pattern
You will need:
- 3/4 yards fabric for the table runner base
- fabric scraps in all your favorite fall colors
- a 13” x 39” strip of fusible batting (such as Hobbs Fusible Batting), or regular batting plus spray baste adhesive to secure it to the fabric
- a chopstick or turning tool
- cutting tools, including small sharp scissors
- a sewing machine
- thread for sewing the runner together, plus thread to use for applique
From the base fabric, start by cutting:
- 1 rectangle 12 1/2’’ x 38 1/2’’
How to Use the Free Applique templates
1. Print or trace the applique templates onto the paper side of the fusible web adhesive. I ended up using twice as many applique shapes as I thought I would, except I still used only two butterflies.
2. Rough cut around the shapes. You do not need to carefully cut along the lines yet. Lay out your scrap fabrics in various colors to help you decide which fabrics to use and how many applique shapes you want.
3. Place the applique shapes on the wrong side of your fabric with the bumpy adhesive side down. Press to fuse.
4. Before removing the paper backing, carefully cut out each applique shape along the lines.
Prepare the Table Runner Base Fabric
1. The batting rectangle should be about 1/2” larger than the table runner base fabric all the way around. You’ll trim it to the right size later.
2. Lay the base fabric on top of the batting. If you are using fusible batting, then press gently all over the fabric to fuse them together. If you are using regular cotton or polyester batting, use a basting spray to adhere the fabric and batting together. Don’t skip this step – it would be very frustrating for your layers to shift during sewing.
3. Arrange the applique shapes on the runner any way that you like. Remove the paper backing from the back of the shapes. Press each shape to fuse it to the runner.
Sew the Applique Pieces to the Fall Table Runner
Some of my favorite methods for applique include:
- Sewing around each piece with a straight stitch (called raw edge applique)
- Free motion quilting around each piece (similar to sewing, but a faster, also raw edge applique)
- Using a satin stitch (close zig zag stitches) around each piece
- Sewing around each piece with any of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine
- Not sewing around each piece, but using all-over dense quilting that will secure all the pieces at the same time. Free motion or straight line quilting would work great!
I decided to do free motion quilting around each piece. I used my Supreme Slider mat to help the base fabric and batting move easily under the sewing machine foot. If the batting does not move freely, you can also use a rectangle of muslin or scrap fabric the same size of the batting on the bottom side. It won’t show on the finished table runner.
I made a short video showing how I sewed around one of the pieces using free motion. The video should play automatically in this blog post, or you can watch it on YouTube.
1. Sew around each applique piece using your favorite method.
2. Continue adding leaves, pine cones, and butterflies until you love it!
Sew the Table Runner Together
1. Use a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler to trim the extra batting away from around the table runner and square it up.
2. Place the appliquéd runner right side down against your remaining fabric for the base, or another fabric that you want to use for the back of the runner. Cut the backing fabric to the same size.
3. Pin the top of the runner to the backing fabric all the way around.
4. Sew all the way around the runner using a 1/4” seam allowance. Leave a 6” opening on one side for turning.
5. Trim away the extra fabric from the corners so they will turn out nicely.
Carefully turn the runner right side out. Use the chopstick or turning tool to push out the corners. Slide it along the seams from the inside to help them turn out too. Press your fall table runner gently.
6. Turn the edges at the opening to the inside and press. Hand sew the opening closed, or topstitch all the way around the runner 1/8” from the edge. I chose hand sewing.
I know there are lots of fall table runner patterns out there, and I’m so glad you chose mine! I would love to see… Upload a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look. I love seeing the beautiful projects that my readers sew.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂