Sunday morning sew: Bali table runner

Waffle Time Table runner patternI seem to be stuck in a Murphy’s Law sleep pattern lately — I’m in a dead sleep when the alarm rings at 7 a.m. on weekdays, but on weekends I find myself waking up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. Instead of reading (or vacuuming), I decided to take advantage of my early Sunday morning “found time” to work on a table runner for the table on my screened porch.

I started with this pattern from Atkinson Designs — Waffle Time — that I had purchased a few weeks ago at my favorite quilt shop in Winchester, Va., The Scrappy Apple. I like the Atkinson Design line of  quilting patterns; their bag, pouch and table runner patterns are cute, and the instructions are VERY easy to follow. That’s an important consideration when you are sewing on six hours of sleep, trust me.

Over the past year or so, I’ve made about three dozen bags using Atkinson’s Zippy Strippy bag. They are a GREAT way to use up random 2 1/2″ fabric strips and miscellaneous trims. I gave a bunch away as Christmas gifts and I hear that they are used as jewelry bags, make-up kits, crochet hook carriers and lingerie bags. I use mine to carry stuff for my work computer — the power cord, Ethernet cable, wireless mouse and VPN token. It’s probably the most stylish computer accessory bag in Corporate America!

This table runner pattern is another great one for thinning out your fabric stash. You only need an 9″ x 42″ strip of the main fabric and about 1/4 yard each of the remaining fabrics.

Colorful fabrics

I had this flowered batik in my collection — and the coordinating fabrics, too.

My plan was to make a runner that I could use this summer out on the screened porch. I love being on that porch and love entertaining out there. I thought a bright, fresh, fun runner would look great against the dark tile tabletop. So I dug around in my fabric stash and came up with a feature fabric — a batik with a mottled purple and turquoise background and lime green flowers. It only took a couple of minutes to come up with turquoise and purple batiks for the borders and a shocking lime green batik for the contrasting squares.

The instructions were pretty simple — cut the center strip and the border strips, and the 2″ contrasting squares, strip piece narrow cuts of the two border strip fabrics and cross-cut at 2″, then sew together to form the “waffle” sides and ends, then add the narrow inner border, the “waffles” and the wide outer border.

I have to admit that the instructions provided several warnings about watching the direction of the pieced “waffles” and given those warnings, I was able to get everything pieced correctly the first time, which is kind of a record for me.

Here’s the finished product:

Pieced table runner

The finished top — took me about 3 hours from the first cut to the last stitch


And a detailed view:

Colorful fabrics

A detail showing the inner and outer borders with the contrast block

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. Now I have to quilt it — a great project for next weekend.

I’d recommend the “Waffle Time” pattern to any quilter with a basic understanding of sewing. I think the bold, graphic elements of the contrast blocks would make this pattern work for just about any type of fabric — from florals, to holiday, to moderns. As an added bonus, the pattern includes recipes for homemade waffles; the pecan ones sound especially yummy. Or maybe it’s just time for breakfast…


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