Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



By Donna Fenske, Nancy’s Notions Guest Blogger

Make a colorful statement on your dining room table or buffet, family room coffee table, kitchen countertop, or even your bedroom dresser with a Shell Game Table Runner. This project calls for lots of circles, so keep your sanity in check by using precut fabric circles. You’ll save time and get right to the fun part of this project—design and construction.

Start by cutting the fabrics and batting for the table runner. Choose a plain white, or tone on tone white print, and cut a 16″ x 34″ rectangle for the background, and three 2-1/2″ wide crosswise strips for binding. Cut an 18″ x 36″ rectangle of the same, or a different fabric, for backing. Also, cut an 18″ x 36″ rectangle of batting.

You’ll be working with 3″ fabric circles for this project, and you’ll need a total of 100 of them. We used 10 each of 10 different colors to really make this table runner colorful, which means it matches a lot of the color schemes in your home, too. Get ready to place your fabric circles by applying adhesive spray or glue stick to the wrong side of the precut fabric circles.

Next, arrange the circles on the background fabric. Place the background fabric on a flat work surface, right side up. Arrange fabric circles 3/4″ from the top and side edges. To match our sample, arrange circles in the following manner:

-       First row: Place five circles across the width of the fabric, with edges of circles touching.


Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



-       Second row: Repeat the shell design by overlapping four circles at the intersections of the five circles in the previous row.


Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



-       Repeat the pattern, alternating rows of five circles across with rows of four circles across, to complete 21 rows.


Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



Hold all project layers together temporarily for quilting by “fuse tacking” the backing fabric, batting, and background fabric. Fuse 1″ strips of the 5/8″ wide paper-backed fusible web 4″–5″ apart on the front and back of batting. Position the 18″ x 36″ backing fabric on a pressing surface, wrong side up. Remove the paper backing from the fusible web strips on one side of the batting. Turn that side toward the wrong side of the backing fabric, and center the batting on backing fabric, and smooth out wrinkles with your hands. Remove paper backing from the fusible web strips on the side of the batting now face up. Center the 16″ x 34″ background fabric over the batting, and smooth out wrinkles with your hands. Use your iron to press the layers together.


Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



Then, appliqué all of the circles onto the background fabric. Thread your sewing machine with clear monofilament thread, or a matching thread. Stitch the circles to the background fabric using a blanket stitch or zigzag stitch.


Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



Finally, bind the table runner. Use the Curved Corner Cutter Ruler to trim the four corners of the table runner into a rounded shape.


Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



Trim away excess batting and backing fabric. Create and add binding all the way around the table runner using your favorite binding technique.


Shell Game Table Runner – Discover the fun of fabric circles



Download free pattern instructions for this project, including a curved corner template.

Thanks, Donna Fenske, for being my guest blogger.

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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