Create appliqués with a little extra pop using batting and freezer paper for a trapunto effect. Before you set the table for spring, whip up coordinating napkins.
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Designer: Rhoda Nelson


Quantities are for table runner and four napkins.

  • 1⁄4 yard multicolor dot (appliqués)
  • 1⁄2 yard green polka dot (appliqués, binding)
  • 1-7⁄8 yards multicolor stripe (appliqués, backing)
  • 1⁄8 yard purple polka dot (appliqués)
  • 1-7⁄8 yards solid white (appliqué foundation, napkin lining)
  • 1 yard each of white-and-lavender dot and white-and-green dot (napkins)
  • 32×66" batting
  • Freezer paper

Finished table runner: 16×60"

Finished napkins: 15" 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 backing and appliqué foundation rectangles lengthwise (parallel to the selvages). Click on "Download this Project" above for leaf pattern.

From multicolor dot, cut:

  • 21 of Leaf Pattern

From green polka dot, cut:

  • 4--2-1⁄2×42" binding strips
  • 9 of Leaf Pattern

From multicolor stripe, cut:

  • 1--22×66" backing rectangle
  • 6 of Leaf Pattern

From purple polka dot, cut:

  • 6 of Leaf Pattern

From solid white, cut:

  • 1--18×62" rectangle for appliqué foundation
  • 4--15-1⁄2" squares

From white-and-lavender dot, cut:

  • 4--15-1⁄2" squares

From white-and-green dot, cut:

  • 4--15-1⁄2" squares

From batting, cut:

  • 1--22×66" rectangle
  • 42 of Leaf Pattern

Prepare Appliqués

Designer Rhoda Nelson used a freezer-paper method for appliquéing. To use this method, complete the following steps.

1.    Layer freezer paper, shiny side down, over Leaf Pattern. Use a pencil to trace pattern 42 times, leaving at least 1⁄2" between shapes. Cut out freezer-paper shapes on drawn lines.

2.    Center a batting piece and a freezer-paper template with shiny side up on the wrong side of multicolor dot leaf (Diagram 1).


3.    Using tip of a hot dry iron, press fabric seam allowance over edge of freezer paper, ensuring fabric is taut against template. For sharp outer points, first fold fabric straight over points of freezer-paper template (Diagram 2). Then press under remaining edges (Diagram 3). The seam allowance will adhere to the freezer paper. (Do not touch iron soleplate to freezer paper past turned fabric edge.)


4.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 to prepare remaining multicolor dot, green polka dot, multicolor stripe, and purple polka dot leaf appliqués.

Appliqué Table Runner Top

1.    Referring to photo, position leaf appliqués on solid white 18×62" appliqué foundation in a gentle curve; pin in place.

2.    Using thread that matches appliqués and a small slip-stitch, hand-appliqué around most of a leaf appliqué. Carefully peel off freezer-paper template and discard, then finish sewing around leaf. Stitch around each leaf in same manner to complete table runner top.

Finish Table Runner

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

2.    Quilt as desired. To further enhance the trapunto effect, Rhoda outline-quilted around each leaf appliqué. She machine-quilted an allover swirl pattern on the remainder of the quilt top (Quilting Diagram).


3.    Trim quilted table runner to 16×60" including seam allowances. Bind with green polka dot binding strips.

Assemble Napkins

1.    With right sides together, layer a white-and-lavender dot 15-1⁄2" square and a white-and-green dot 15-1⁄2" square. Place a solid white 15-1⁄2" square atop layered squares; press. (The third layer of solid white prevents show-through on this reversible napkin and gives it more stability.)

2.    Sew together around all edges, leaving an 8" opening for turning in the middle of one edge (Diagram 4). Clip across each corner. Turn right side out and press. Hand-stitch opening closed.


3.    Topstitch 1⁄8" and 1" from all edges to complete napkin.

4.    Repeat steps 1–3 to make four napkins total.