Be Thankful Table Runner

Created By:

Heidi Proffetty

Skill Level: Intermediate

Welcome friends and family to your Thanksgiving table with this personalized table runner. This is a great project to get the family involved with too. Before the big day arrives, have them jot down a few words to express what Thanksgiving Day or family gatherings mean to them.  Here’s a few examples: gravy, happiness, naptime, grateful, turkey day, family time, parade, leftovers, football, thankful, pumpkin pie, wishbone etc. Once you have constructed the table runner, use those big 9 mm or smaller alphabet fonts found on your sewing machine with your satin stitch foot to sew out those special or fun words onto some cotton twill tape to add as a meaningful accent to your table runner. And don’t forget to experiment with various thread types such as variegated, metallic, rayon, cotton, polyester and try out different thread weights such as a heavier 30 weight thread to make those words really stand out.  

Janome Supplies Required



The first step before you purchase your fabric is to measure the length of your table. This will determine the length of your table runner and the amount of fabric that you will need. Table runners should be long enough to hang over the edge of the table on each end by 6” to 10”.  For example, for a 5’ table you would want your finished table runner to be from 72” to 80” long. You can choose your preference on the width but I found somewhere between 13” and 16” works nicely.



Project Supplies:

Appropriate yardage of assorted (orange, beige and green) Dupioni Faux Silk fabrics*

1 - 25’ Roll of 1” wide cotton twill tape

1 - Spool of 40 wt. or 30 wt. polyester, rayon, metallic, variegated or

cotton thread for decorative lettering

2 Yards - of feather fringe or other decorative trim

Coordinating all-purpose sewing thread for the table runner construction

Ivory colored all-purpose topstitching thread for the twill tape and trim

¼” Wide double stick tape

Fabric and Craft Scissors

Fabric marking pencil

Cutting mat, rotary cutter & ruler

Mini clips

Fine pins

An iron and pressing cloth

Computerized Sewing machine with fonts

Optional: 3 small 3M Command Strips

*For a 5’ table size:  I used 1 yard of each fabric, 60” wide.



Part 1 – Preparing the fabric

  1. Using a low or silk setting and a pressing cloth, carefully press your fabrics.


Part 2 – Cutting Strips

Use a rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler.

  1. Cut 6 fabric strips, 2 of each color. Each cut strip should be 4.5” wide by 75” long.


Part 3 – Designing Layout

  1. Next, cut each of the 6 fabric strips into 3 or 4 shorter lengths. Layout the shorter cut strips, staggering the cut strips by lengths and color until you are happy with your design. You should have 4 new columns of fabric strips that are 4.5” wide by approximately 75” long*.


*When calculating the final length of your table runner, plan for ¼” seam allowances that are used when stitching the shorter cut fabric strips together.



Note: The above photo shows a 6-fabric strip layout for a wider width table runner. However, if you wish to make a 16” width table runner similar to this project, you will only need a 4-fabric strip layout.

Part 4 – Sewing the strips

  1. Following your design layout and starting with the first column of fabrics, match together each of the 4.5” ends and sew using a straight stitch and a ¼” seam allowance. Do the same for the remaining 3 strips. Trim each of your final fabric strips to 72.5” in length.



  1. Next, use mini clips or pins to secure, then sew each of your 72.5” strips together lengthwise using a straight stitch and a ¼” seam allowance. Press the seams as you go along.





Part 5 – Making the lettering on Twill Tape

For this next step you will be using the lettering or monogramming feature of your sewing machine and the list of words your family members came up with. Depending on your sewing machine model, you’ll have either 5 MM, 7 MM or 9 MM lettering options. The following images show 9 MM lettering capabilities of the Janome Continental M7 Professional sewing machine.

  1. Click on the lettering tab.

*Refer to Monograming and Programming a Pattern Combination in the Janome User’s Manual or use your tablet or smart phone, the AcuSpark app and scan the QR Code displayed on the Continental M7’s touch screen for additional help.

  1. Set your sewing machine up with the satin stitch or F Foot and the zig zag stitch plate. Thread your machine with desired decorative or embroidery thread.


  1. Once the words have been programmed into the sewing machine, you can start stitching the programmed words, feeding the tape and centering as you stitch along the cotton twill tape.


Here’s a great tip: Use 3 small 3M Command strips stacked. Peel off the protective tabs and stick them together except for the top tab and then temporarily adhered the stack onto your zig zag plate creating a temporary alignment guide. This keeps the twill tape feeding straight and smooth and your lettering will come out perfectly centered on the tape!


Note: It’s a good idea to place the non-adhesive tabs of your 3M Command strips over the bobbin case cover so that you can still access your bobbin if necessary.








When you use the Programming a Combination feature on the Continental M7, you can have your combination of programmed words repeat over again and again down the entire desired length of the twill tape. I programmed two separate combinations (for two different sets of words) and I also used different colors of embroidery thread for each of set of words I stitched to create some added interest.

Yards and yards of beautifully stitched words on twill tape!



  1. After stitching out the lettering, cut the twill tape into strips each approximately 74” long. 


Part 6 – Centering & Adhering the Twill Tape to the Table Runner

  1. On the right side of your table runner top, measure and mark with a fabric marking pencil down the center of each of your 4 fabric columns.


  1. Next, using ¼” wide double stick tape, cut 4 pieces of tape about 1/8” short of the length of each fabric column. Peel away one side of the protective paper and stick the tape down along the center of your markings. Following manufacturer’s instructions, iron to adhere the tape along the entire length of each of the 4 fabric columns. Using double stick tape not only help keeps your twill tape aligned straight but it also secures the twill tape for stitching eliminating the need for pins.



  1. Working one piece of tape at a time, peel back the protective paper from the top of the tape to expose the adhesive.



  1. Next, take the first strip of lettered twill tape and center the tape along the adhesive. Use your iron and press cloth as you go along to adhere the twill tape to the centers of each of the 4 fabric columns.


  1. Using a colored thread that matches the twill tape, stitch 1/8” down along the left and right sides of each twill tape.



Part 7 – Final Construction

  1. Using rotary cutter and ruler, measure and trim the ends of the table runner top to measure 72.5”. You should end up with a table runner top dimensions of 16.5” by 72.5”.


  1. Next, using the leftover fabric, piece together, stitch and trim a backing equal to the same dimensions as the table runner’s top dimensions. With right sides together securely pin the table top runner to the backing.



  1. Stitch ¼” around all sides leaving a 7” to 8” opening along one shorter ends. Don’t forget to activate both the awesome needle stop in fabric and pivot features of the Continental M7 for turning corners. With these features turned on, the presser foot will automatically go up when the machine stops and the needle stays down in the fabric very useful when turning corners.


  1. To reduce the bulk in the corners, carefully clip close to stitching all 4 corners. At the unstitched opening, turn the table runner right sides out.



  1. Hand stitch the opening closed.







Part 8 – Top Stitching

  1. To give your table runner a professional appearance, edge stitch close, 1/8” around all 4 sides of the finished table runner.



Part 9 – Add Decorative Feather Trim

  1. Measure the final width of your table runner, then cut 2 lengths of feather or other decorative trim double the width of the finished table runner and add ½” more to hide the raw edges. Pin the trim in place to each end. Fold the raw edges of the trim under ¼” and align overlapping the ends. Secure with pins. Because you are stitching through some bulk, use your walking foot and a straight stitch to attach the trim.






Note: Because of any adhesives that might be used in the purchased feather trim, I recommend discarding your needle once you have finished this project and inserting a new one for your next project!




Everyone is Talking about Be Thankful Table Runner

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.
So useful
Thursday, November 30, 2023

I'd like to express my gratitude for teaching me this appliqué method. I successfully applied it with small letters, and, so far, it's the most effective among all the methods I've seen and tried.

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