Sew a Patchwork Table Runner on an Overlocker

Overlockers are not only for knits. Even though I use the L890 often to make knit garments I also enjoy applying these durable stitches to other types of projects.  There are so many things you can do with an overlocker. You can even sew patchwork on an overlocker!

Today I am sharing a beautiful table runner that will dress up your table this holiday season. You can use different fabrics for the squares and even embroider each square before constructing the runner. So many possibilities!

When doing patchwork on an overlocker, most people use the 3 or 4-thread stitch, but for this project, I wanted the beautiful ladder look of the flatlock to be the showstopping detail.

In addition, I added some tassels to the corners to really make this runner more than an everyday table piece and I even used some metallic thread for some sparkle. I love the subtle shine that it added to the tassels.

Ok, so let’s sew this patchwork table runner!

Materials:

  • 1 1/2 yards of fabric of choice – I used linen
  • 1 1/2 – 2 yards of fabric for backing
  • Serger thread like Mettler Seracor
  • Polyester thread like Wonderfil 40wt – I used Polyfast in Salmon pink
  • 12 wt Rayon thread such as Wonderfil Accent – I used Dark Peach
  • Metallic thread such as Mettler Metallic – I used Silver
  • A Bodkin or flat needle
  • Wonder tape
  • A piece of cardboard or book board the desired length of your tassel
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Quilting rulers

Materials to sew a table runner on an overlocker

Make the Tassels

Settings and Materials:

Set your overlocker to a 3-thread rolled hem. On my L 890, the settings are RN: 4.0, UL: 4.0, LL: 5.5, Stitch Length: 1.2 You can check your manual for your settings.

3-thread rolled hem

I used a Wonderfil Polyfast 40wt thread on the needle, a 12-wt Rayon Wonderfil Accent thread on the Lower looper and a Mettler Metallic in Silver on the Upper looper.

Rolled hem chain

Serge a long chain of thread. Just keep pulling until you have a couple of yards done.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - making tassels

Wrap your chain of thread around the cardboard until it is thick enough for a tassel. Around 40-80 revolutions depending on the desired thickness of tassel.

Thread a flat needle or tapestry needle with some of the chain and pass it under one end of the loops.

Tie a couple of knots to secure the top leaving a tail (about 1.5″-2″ long). Tie the tails at the very end to keep it all together.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - tassel making

Cut the other end of the loops. This might look a little uneven at this point, but we will trim it soon.

With another piece of chain thread (about 12″), wrap it around the top of the tassel forming the head. Tie the ends and pass the tail through the head with a needle. Trim the excess tail to finish it.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - tassel making

Lastly, trim the bottom with the help of a quilter’s ruler.

Repeat the previous steps to make four tassels in total.

sew-a-patchwork-table-runner-on-an-overlocker - tassels

Sew the Patchwork Table Runner

Settings and Materials:

Set your overlocker to a 3-thread flatlock. On my L 890, the settings are LN: 2.0, UL: 4.0, LL: 7.0, Stitch Length: 2.5 You can check your manual for your settings. If you have a blindstitch foot, it will help keep the pieces lined up and the flatlock stitch even. I used the clear foot C27.

I used a 12-wt Rayon Wonderfil Accent thread on the needle, and a Mettler Seracor on the Lower looper and Upper looper.

3-thread flat lock

Cutting and Piecing:

Cut 42 – 5″x5″ squares. This runner is set up in a 3 x 14 layout. You can use the chainstitch method.

With right sides together, join two squares then pull them apart to reveal ladder detail.

sew a table runner on an overlocker

Join another square to make rows of 3 and repeat until you have 14 rows of three squares.

Join the rows together. Make sure to pin matching the previously sewn seams. If not, the stitches will be offset.

 

sew-a-patchwork-table-runner-on-an-overlocker

Once all the squares are joined in a 3 x 14 layout, it is time to press, square, and trim the runner. It is okay to cut some off. Cut the backing of the table runner according to the top size.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - trimming

Lay the top and backing with right sides together. At the corners, pin the tassels inside the top/backing sandwich, leaving about 3/8″ – 1/2″ of the tail from the corner. Most of it will be used in the seam allowance.

Sewing the Top and Backing Together

Settings and Materials:

Set your overlocker to a 4-thread overlock. On my L 890, the settings are RN: 4.0, LN: 4.0, UL: 4.0, LL: 4.0, Stitch Length: 2.5 You can check your manual for your settings. If you have a blindstitch foot, it will help keep the pieces lined up and the flatlock stitch even. I used the clear foot C27.

I used Mettler Seracor on the needles and both loopers.

4-thread overlock

To sew it together, first mark an opening of about 6″ on one of the sides (I chose to do it on the shorter end). Then, clip into the seam allowance about 1/4″. This will allow us to start sewing and end sewing while leaving the opening unstitched.

sew a table runner on an overlocker

Flip the bottom of the opening aside to start the serging and as you near the end flip the top of the opening and serge off.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - finishing

Here you can see the final result.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - finishing

Trim any serged tails and turn the table runner right side out, pushing at the corners. Be careful to not pull the tassels too hard or they could come off. Press the opening in and use the Wonder tape on the open edge. Press it to close.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - wonder tape closing

 

Finishing up the Patchwork Table Runner

Settings and Materials:

Set your coverstitch to a chainstitch. On my L 890, the settings are RC: 3.3, CL: 1.5, Stitch length: 3.0 You can check your manual for your settings.

2-thread chainstitch

I used a 12-wt Rayon Wonderfil Accent thread on the needle and a Wonderfil Polyfast 40wt thread on the Cover Looper.

sew a table runner on an overlocker - chainstitching

Stitch around near to the edge, closing the opening. At the corners, put the needle down and pivot to continue sewing.

sew-a-patchwork-table-runner-on-an-overlocker

Give one last pressing, using fabric starch if you would like.

And that is it! You are done. How fun are those tassels? I just love them.

Add a beautiful centerpiece and enjoy your new table runner!

Keep on serging friends,

Silvia

 

Other serging projects you might want to try:

How to Make Napkins with an Overlocker: Three Ways

How to Make Reusable Produce Bags

How to Sew a Reusable Snack Pouch

 

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