Punch up your summer table with a runner that's easier than it looks. It's all about the fabric placement-we show you how!
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Designer: Ellen Maxwell


  • 1⁄3 yard yellow print (blocks)
  • 1⁄3 yard solid cream (blocks)
  • 1⁄3 yard red print (blocks)
  • 1⁄3 yard green print (blocks)
  • 1⁄3 yard blue print (blocks)
  • 1⁄4 yard solid red (inner border)
  • 1-5⁄8 yards blue-and-green stripe (outer border)
  • 2⁄3 yard blue check (binding)
  • 1-3⁄4 yards backing fabric
  • 26×62" batting

Finished table runner: 17-1⁄2×53-1⁄2"

Finished block: 9" square

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Cut blue-and-green stripe outer border strips lengthwise (parallel to the selvages), centering each over the same blue stripe (Cutting Diagram).


Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern piece.

Designer Ellen Maxwell prefers fussy-cutting the large triangles for each Pinwheel block so each triangle is cut from the same fabric motif. To follow Ellen's method, you'll need 1-1⁄2 yards red print and 1 yard blue print. Use a template of the Large Triangle Pattern to isolate and fussy-cut five sets of four matching large triangles (Fussy-Cutting Diagram).


From yellow print, cut:

  • 3--5-3⁄4" squares, cutting each diagonally twice in an X to make 12 small triangles total

From solid cream, cut:

  • 5--5-3⁄4" squares, cutting each diagonally twice in an X to make 20 small triangles total

From red print, cut:

  • 6--5-3⁄8" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 12 large triangles total or fussy-cut 12 of Large Triangle Pattern (3 sets of 4 matching triangles)

From green print, cut:

  • 2--5-3⁄4" squares, cutting each diagonally twice in an X to make 8 small triangles total

From blue print, cut:

  • 4--5-3⁄8" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 8 large triangles total or fussy-cut 8 of Large Triangle Pattern (2 sets of 4 matching triangles)

From solid red, cut:

  • 3--1-1⁄2 ×42" strips for inner border

From blue-and-green stripe, fussy-cut lengthwise:

  • 2--3-1⁄2 ×61" outer border strips
  • 2--3-1⁄2 ×25" outer border strips

From blue check, cut:

  • Enough 2-1⁄2"-wide bias strips to total 154" in length for binding

Assemble Blocks

1.    For one red Pinwheel block, gather four yellow print small triangles, four solid cream small triangles, and four red print large triangles. (If you fussy-cut the large triangles, choose four matching large triangles.)

2.    Sew together a yellow print small triangle and a solid cream small triangle to make a triangle pair (Diagram 1). Press seam toward yellow print. Repeat to make four triangle pairs total.


3.    Join a triangle pair and a red print large triangle along long edges to make a block unit (Diagram 2). Press seam toward large triangle. The block unit should be 5" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four block units total.


4.    Referring to Diagram 3, lay out block units in pairs. Sew together units in each pair. Press seams in opposite directions. Join pairs to make a red Pinwheel block; press seam in one direction. The block should be 9-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.


5.    Repeat steps 1–4 to make three red Pinwheel blocks total.

6.    Using green print small triangles, remaining solid cream small triangles, and blue print large triangles, repeat steps 2–4 to make two blue Pinwheel blocks.

Assemble Table Runner Center

Referring to Table Runner Assembly Diagram, lay out blocks in a row. Join blocks to make table runner center. Press seams in one direction. The table runner center should be 9-1⁄2 ×45-1⁄2" including seam allowances.


Add Borders

1.    Cut and piece solid red 1-1⁄2 ×42" strips to make:

  • 2-­-1-1⁄2  ×47-1⁄2" inner border strips
  • 2­--1-1⁄2  ×9-1⁄2" inner border strips

2.    Sew short inner border strips to short edges of table runner center. Add long inner border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward inner border.

3.    Fold table runner center in half crosswise and lengthwise; finger-press lightly to mark centers of side edges. Fold each blue-and-green stripe 3-1⁄2 ×61" outer border strip in half crosswise; finger-press to mark center. Repeat to mark centers of blue-and-green stripe 3-1⁄2×25" outer border strips.

4.    Aligning midpoints, sew long blue-and-green stripe outer border strips to long edges of table runner center, beginning and ending seams 1⁄4" from corners. In same manner, sew short outer border strips to remaining edges, mitering corners, to complete table runner top. Press all seams toward outer border. (See how to miter borders on the next page.)

Finish Table Runner

1.    Layer table runner top, batting, and backing; baste.

2.    Quilt as desired. Ellen stitched in the ditch between the blocks and the inner and outer borders. She machine-quilted a circle and an on-point square within a square at the center of each red Pinwheel block and a circle within a circle at the center of each blue Pinwheel block. She also added a scallop motif in the outer border.

3.    Bind with blue check bias binding strips.

How Do I Make Perfect Mitered Corners?

1.    Pin an outer border strip to table runner center edge, matching the center marks and allowing excess outer border strip to extend beyond the corner edges. Sew together, beginning and ending the seam 1⁄4" from the table runner center's corners (Photo 1). Repeat to sew outer border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward border.


2.    To miter one corner, lap one border strip over the other (Photo 2). Align the edge of a 90º right triangle with the raw edge of the top strip so the triangle's long edge intersects the border seam in the corner. Draw along the triangle edge from the seam out to the raw edge. Place the bottom border strip on top and repeat the marking process.


3.    With right sides together, match marked seam lines and pin (Photo 3). Beginning with a backstitch at the inside corner, sew together the strips, stitching exactly on the marked lines. Check the right side to see that the corner lies flat.


4.    Trim excess fabric, leaving 1⁄4" seam allowance; press seam open (Photo 4). Mark and sew the remaining border corners in the same manner.