Monday, August 2, 2010

Table Runner Tutorial

 
(This easy quilted table runner tutorial was originally a guest tutorial at V & Co.)

Today I'm going to share a quick method of making a quilted table runner by quilting and piecing all at the same time! (Does that blow your mind? I hope not. It's really fun. And easy, I promise.) Let's start playing, shall we?
Begin by deciding what size table runner you want.  I do it by taking the piece of batting right to my table itself. (Please don't enlarge this picture or you will see pencil scribbling, pink nail polish, green sparkly marker, etc.  This is why I didn't buy my kitchen table from the Pottery Barn. Saves a lot of stress. But I digress . . .) 

You can make any size table runner you want, so customize it to your space. Do keep in mind that your runner will shrink when you wash it, so you may want to cut a little bigger.  After you've cut your batting, cut your back fabric slightly larger than your batting all the way around.  You can make a reversible table runner if you pick a pretty fabric for the back.
Iron your batting (if it was a wadded up remnant like mine) on a low heat setting. Be careful not to stretch it out of shape.  Then iron your backing fabric on a high-heat cotton setting to get all wrinkles out.  You will be sewing your top strips through all the layers of of batting and backing so you want to start as smooth as possible.  If you are using a Warm & Natural type batting it has a little bit of adhesive stuff on it (which is why you don't want to iron directly on it on a hot setting.) This is helpful for keeping your batting and backing fabric together and smooth.

After both pieces are pressed individually, center the batting on the wrong side of the backing fabric. Carefully flip both over and press the backing fabric with batting underneath on a high heat setting. This will create enough of a bond to hold them together without having to pin the heck out of them.  If you feel more comfortable, or if you batting isn't lightly adhering to the backing fabric, you could use a quilters spray adhesive to hold them together.

Okay, on to the fun part.
Next cut a collection of strips of different fabrics.  This is a great way to use up all those scraps that accumulate that you just can't bear to part with.  This would also be a great use for a Jelly Roll or Honey Bun. I personally like the variation of strip widths in my runner, but that is purely personal preference. (Some of my fabrics are old from my stash, and some are from collections like Verna and Hunky Dory by Moda as well as Simply Sweet by Henry Glass.)
 
Arrange your strips on top of your backing and batting.
Trim any long ends so the strips are roughly the same length.
Starting at the center strip (roughly - doesn't have to be absolutely perfect - this isn't rocket science) stack the strips in order they were laid out, making two piles - a right-side-of-center pile and a left-side-of-center pile.  Keep the strips and piles in order so you don't have to think (as much) while you sew.
Take the first strip from the right-side-pile and pin it (right sides together) matching right edges. (I know, I know, pinning is a pain, but it really does help here to keep the strips straight.)
Take the whole thing to the machine and sew a 1/4" seam down the right edge of the strips - through the batting and backing fabric. (It helps to roll the right end of the batting/backing so it doesn't wad up on that side while you're sewing.)
Now press that seam open.
(Do it carefully on the first few strips so you don't melt your batting.)
Return to your two piles of strips and this time take the top one from the left-side pile.  Pin the strip in place matching the left edges.  Repeat the process, sewing another 1/4" seam and pressing the seam open.  Let me stress here, don't skip the pressing step.  Your strips will lie neater and flatter will get a much cleaner looking project in the end.
Repeat these steps, alternating right-side and left-side piles until you have finished sewing all the strips to the edges of the table runner.
See how pretty it looks? Really, you could just stop here and bind if you like, but personally I love the look of quilting, so let's do that next!
The quilting is pretty simple at this point.  I just 'eyeball' strait lines using the strips as guides. Again I start in the middle, this time working toward the right side.  Then come back to the middle and work toward the other direction. I sew one line down to the edge of the quilt, pivot the foot parallel to the edge of the runner, drag the thread about an inch (or however far apart you want the quilting to be), pivot the foot again and sew a new row of quilting going the opposite direction from the row you just finished.
 
When everything is quilted as much (or as little) as you'd like, square off the raw edges.
Then it's time to attach the binding.  Rather than go into all that here (this post is already kind of lengthy) I have a binding tutorial here.
And voila! Here's what it looks like fresh out of the dryer. I love how a quick wash softens up the look of the whole thing.
I also love how the back looks - a pretty, quilted runner on its own.
Many thanks again, Vanessa for letting me come hang out today! 

89 comments:

  1. These are so cute. And I just cleaned out my scrap bin today and found a bunch of jelly roll strips and some batting remnants. And just the other day I was wishing I had a new runner for our coffee table. Guess what I might do tonight?

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  2. How timely! I was just trying to figure out what to do with a Christmas honeybun - not enough for a quilt, but it could make some really neat table runners and hot pads! Thanks!!!

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  3. Amy, thank you so much for letting me use this for "Create With Me" this month...you're amazing!

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  4. Very pretty! I'm on a stash-busting mission lately. I may have to give this one a shot. Much easier than learning to free-motion where I've been struggling lately.

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  5. neat! I've been making this kind for years for christmas gifts and never thought to put up a tutorial!
    fun fun, and easy! yes, definitely!

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  6. Wonderful! I think I will have a try one of these days (o:

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  7. These are beautiful - thanks for your terrific tutorial!

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  8. Thank you! This is great, now I will dive into my stash and make my own!

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  9. That is GENIUS!! My mom paid to take a class to learn this. I am so excited! I can't wait to get started! I just redid my kitchen and I've been wanting to make a runner for the table to match the new colors!!

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  10. Holy cRap! This looks easy enough for me to do! Think I'll make a Halloween strip runner! YAy!

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  11. Amy, I actually made a table runner about two weeks ago using this tutorial. It turned out so great. I haven't blogged about it yet, but you can see a preview in my new header. Thank you so much for a great idea. I really that it doesn't require a walking foot.

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  12. Just lovely! I am totally inspired!

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  13. Thanks for sharing. I have been looking for a great table runner idea, and I love yours. I can't wait to start my own.

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  14. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it. :-)

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  15. I love it! Thank you so much for posting this! I remembered seeing this technique when I was a teen but I couldn't quite remember how to do it. I need to get working now :)

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  16. what a nice tutorial, so simple and such a wonderful result! thank you!

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  17. This is so cheerful and fun! I plan to make it as soon as I can! Thank you so much.

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  18. PS: I signed up for your email subscription too! I appreciate you having that option!

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  19. Thanks for the tutorial! I gave it a try and it turned out great {you can see it on my blog-I linked to your tutorial}! I love your blog! Thanks!

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  20. I love this tutorial and I love your blog! I also read your tut on the nursing cover. Thanks for your generosity in sharing your talents!

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  21. I LOVED your quilted table runner idea and featured it here. So cute!

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  22. I was looking for easiest quilting tute to get started on my quilting expedition, thanks a ton. This post relieved of my jitters and here i am ready to make my first quilt ever.

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  23. Thanks for sharing this great table runner, and for the tutorial. Love it.

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  24. I LOVE this! Just finished mine this morning - perfect tutorial - thank you for sharing!!!!

    www.peterandstacy.blogspot.com

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  25. I don't recall which road I traveled down to find your tutorial but it is great! I just finished a birthday table runner that coordinates with a birthday quilt I made. My son's 8th is Sunday and the party is Saturday. I have a million things to do but I've had a bee in my bonnet about the tutorial since I read about it. Finally, i surrendered last night and pulled out the fabric. I agree, it was easy peasy chunky cheesy. I foresee many seasonal table runners in this style in my future. Thank you so much!

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  26. Thanks for sharing :) I've finished mine.
    http://jama-jujamy.blogspot.com/2010/09/jesien-jesien-juz.html

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  27. This is adorable! Thanks for the very detailed tutorial with step-by-step instructions! I'm a newbie quilter and the details really make the pattern seem achievable!! Saving this for scraps (when I have accumulated some)! :-)

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  28. Love your blog.....I heard about it at Pleasant Home blog where I am learning (I think) how to use up my stash. This table runner sure looks fun and very similar to the string quilt I'm working on at present. So, guess I now have another project (which I will give to my sister)...this runner! Thanks for the tutorial!

    Karen

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  29. OH THANK YOU for this tutorial it is very easy to understand. I think I am going to use this for a changing pad I am going to make for my little baby.

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  30. All Moda is on sale today at Porters, I am making this table runner! You have made my day! Ahhh I cannot wait :) grinning, so happy. Totally fallowing your blog now :)

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  31. hey i also finished this runner. would you check it out http://sewerjoyceinla.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html

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  32. This is great, just we finished sewings festive. Thank you for sharing!

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  33. Made one of these for my mom for Christmas and she LOVED it. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. Thank you for this tutorial. One of my best friends turned 41 today and I hadn't bought her a present due to the constant presence of sick kids lately. I made this runner after lunch and was almost done in time for the school run. I finished hand sewing the binding while my husband drove us to the school, popped the runner into a gift bag and the present was delivered. My friend loved it and so did I so I suppose I will have to make one for myself now. Bet I don't finish that one in two and a half hours!

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  35. Made one of these this afternoon for my friends 41st birthday present. Amost done in time for the school run so my husband drove while I finished sewing the binding on the way there. Popped it into a gift bag and delivered it to the birthday girl. She loved it, as did I. Guess I will have to make one for myself next. Bet that one takes longer than two and a half hours to make!

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  36. LOVE THIS!!! Found you from Family of Savages (she made a few of these as Christmas presents) and I cannot wait to make one! Thank you so much for sharing such a great tutorial! I'll let you know when I post about it!
    xoxo
    Ginger
    SSB

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  37. BTW, I'm your newest follower! :)

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  38. Hello Amy!! I just found your blog...I didn't even know you did one! :) I love it! Adding it my blog reader and I am going to attempt this beautiful runner! Hugs!!

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  39. This is amazing! I can't wait to try to make one! Looks like a great tutorial!

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  40. Thank you for this tutorial, it was so quick and easy for a new quilter like me to follow! I linked to your blog on my post. :)

    http://afewgoodyarns.blogspot.com/2011/01/finally-finished-project.html

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  41. Love it! You were featured today on my blog - Today's Top 20! Love if you could stop by!
    Amanda
    www.todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

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  42. This is great! Thanks for sharing. We will be featuring you on our blog ziggycrafts.blogspot.com. I can't wait to get started!

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  43. Thank you for this awesome tutorial I just made one yesterday in a short amount of time, I still have to put the edging on but had it "done" enough to grace the dinner table last night!

    I also put a link on my blog to yours!!

    Nancy

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  44. Wow!! thanks so much! Can't wait to make this!

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  45. I love this method and have did one in blues and purples - it was gorgeous and also my BIL's favorite!! You have inspired me to make some during the March Break holiday with a palette of spring fabric!! Thanks!

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  46. I love this method and have did one in blues and purples - it was gorgeous and also my BIL's favorite!! You have inspired me to make some during the March Break holiday with a palette of spring fabric!! Thanks!

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  47. Great tutorial! Thanks for the tip about not melting the batting on the first coupla strips. My iron thanks you! Kudos!

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  48. I just found your site and I love it! Thank you for making the tutorials so simple and easy to understand! I can't wait to get started on some of these projects!

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  49. Thank you for posting this tutorial. I think I now know what my next quilting project will be!

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  50. This is a wonderful tutorial.
    I never thought of doing it this way.
    Thanks for sharing

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  51. Hi Amy, Funny thing...I found your tutorial a while ago and used it to make a table runner. I have been trying to explain to my SIL about this technique but she couldn't wrap her brain around it. On her own, she found this post and sent it to me. I only laughed because, well, I had used it too. It's the one that made the light bulb turn on for me too.

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  52. LOL...I am Suzanne's SIL (above)and I really want to thank you for this! I am pretty visual, and Suzanne kept verbally considering "quilt as you go" for several projects. Every time she mentioned it, I asked her to (AGAIN!) explain it to me. It was not working...I would have had her show me, but we live about 1800 miles apart. So I went searching and found this. Truly awesome, and I totally, easily and completely "GOT" it. So, thank you!!

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  53. These will make great gifts. Thanks for doing this and sharing. Ifollow your blog all of the time.

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  54. I've been wanting to make this runner for awhile - finally got around to it. I used leftover fabrics from a banner project - so I had everything already on hand. You have saved me from my fear of quilting - I'm in love with this easy project (although I did cheat and machine sew the bias trim). Thanks so much.

    http://bunchesandbits.blogspot.com/2011/11/decorated-for-fall.html

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  55. Thank you so much for this beautifully-written tutorial! I'm about to finish hand-sewing the binding on my first table runner, and I love it. Will post it in your Flickr group when it's done. It's only the second thing I've quilted, so it seems like a real big deal to me. Thanks for the tutorial and all the other inspiration you share.

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  56. This was the quickest project I have ever completed! Here is my finished product. I posted a link from my blog to yours!

    http://www.crafty-canadian.blogspot.com/2011/11/crafting-crafting-everywhere.html

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  57. Thank you for the simple and easy to follow instructions. I just finihsed [in dryer] my table topper. It was a brown bag project that I had no idea what I was getting. I hope she likes it- We'll see at our quilters Christmas gathering tonight. If I can figure out how to post photos, I will. I love your site. It's very welcoming and helpful. I am a beginner sewer & quilter and I really appreciate helpful websites like yours. Thank you for taking the time to do it!

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  58. Amy - Thanks so much for this tutorial. I've looked at it at least 100 times, but haven't tried it. Last week I trying to figure out what to make a friend's wife and had about 2 hours before I had to mail the box to New Zealand. I had Christmas fabric and then I remembered this tutorial! Thanks so much. She loves it!

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  59. What an absolutely perfect tutorial! Concise, clear and easy!! Thank you!

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  60. Thank You...perfect tutorial!!

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  61. I made my first one last week ... and LOVED IT!! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! I'll be making more!

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  62. Great tutorial! You've been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

    We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for home sewers.

    Grab a brag button!

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  63. I just made a runner using your tutorial, thanks it was so easy.

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  64. I've had you in my favorites for a while now and always wanted to try this runner - your runners are nothing less than adorable (I love the one you made for your mom in law)
    I finished my first one yesterday and also noted credit to you and added a link to your tutorial. Many thanks for sharing how to create these beautiful runners :)
    Here is how mine turned out! http://momentaryfancy.blogspot.com/

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  65. I am new to your blog, love this! I bookmarked you.

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  66. Is very, very, beautiful
    Congratolations
    Nayhu

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  67. I love this- I may try to teach this to a few 6th graders next year.

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  68. Oh Happy Day!!!! I just wait to try this. I just made my first set of foundation piecing coasters with random sized and shaped scraps and this is so going on my to do list soon! Thanks :)

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  69. I love this! May I feature it (and some of your other tutorials) on www.sewcanshe.com? I'll only use a couple pictures and link back to you for the tute. Please drop me a line and let me know... caroline@sewcanshe.com

    Thanks!

    Caroline

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  70. yay!! My first FINISHED quilt project :-) I have many partials.... but never could SEE the way to finish them! Your tutorial has helped me figure it out... I am excited to dive back in my fabric stash!

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  71. This turned out Gorgeous! Love the colors and all the different fabrics.... Just Fab.

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  72. Thank you for sharing such a great tutorial, I whipped up a Halloween version this afternoon.

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  73. I'm getting ready to put a Halloween table runner together this evening, thanks to your tutorial! Thank you!

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  74. I just found this on Pinterest and made up a couple winter runners. So easy and cute!! And your binding tutorial (I've always hated binding!!) made it quick and easy! Thanks so much :)

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  75. I LOVE this table runner. And using your awesome beginners series for quilting, I'm learning to use my sewing machine and play with quilting! So I'm making this runner my first project. I'm using a Moda jelly roll for my strips (with a couple other strips of another fabric mixed in). It's going well so far considering it's my first quilt and first major sewing project.

    Well I do have a question; A few of my strips (after sewing seams onto batting & backing fabric) are getting a little crooked. Which then can make the next strip crooked, etc. I'm trying to embrace the cool imperfections of my table runner (especially since I'm new & learning). So is there a way of tweaking something to fix or faux fix the crooked stuff (w out ripping out the seams)? Will some of this issue get fixed after I quilt it and square off?

    I've pretty much followed your instructions (pressing seams etc). I'm sure I don't have all perfect 1/4" seams though.

    Any help you could give would be great!

    Thanks for such great tutorials.

    Shannon :)

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  76. I just finished making this table runner! It turned out very nice.
    Thank you for the tutorial!
    Savana

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  77. Oh My Gosh! I love this and the technique! I just bought the Modern Baby book just for your quilt. So glad I found you! Thanks!!!

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  78. This is so cute! Your tutorial is wonderful - easy to follow with great photos. I will have to try one of these. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  79. I made a Halloween table runner using this tutorial. I am so happy! Thank you!

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  80. Really cute! I am thinking red white and blue picnic, and I think book covers! Looking forward to sewing tomorrow! Thanks.

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  81. Really cute! I am thinking red white and blue picnic, and I think book covers! Looking forward to sewing tomorrow! Thanks.

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  82. Pinning this. Looks like a great way to work with some of the scraps I have!

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  83. Thank you! I was just thinking the other day I would like to do a quilt as you go pattern. This is perfect!

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  84. WOW..!! These are absolutely gorgeous table runners and looking great great and thanks for sharing the tips and it is really helpful.To buy more table runners you can visit here.
    Buy Dining Table Set Online
    http://www.at-home.co.in/home-home-linen-table-linen-table-mats-napkins

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