Follow your heart… to the sewing machine!

Ok friends, valentine or not, you can count this to be a fun weekend!  Noelle and I are thrilled to present this quilting project by Joan Bassett, one of Create & Decorate‘s talented designers. Joan is excited to share her Sweethearts Table Mat with you, our amazing blog friends, to create on this Valentine’s Day weekend (is there such a thing?). Perfect for your farm table or dresser top, this pattern doesn’t require to be finished in country red, but we are sure you’ll agree that this color combination isn’t just perfect for Valentine’s Day, but all year long.

Below is the materials list and instructions. On your mark, get set… GO!

Sweethearts Table Runner

Designed by Joan Bassett


For product information, see sources on page 77.

2-1/2” x width of fabric (WOF)* red fabric strip** (for hearts), one

1/3 yd. red and white check fabric** (blocks and binding)

1/2 yd. background fabric**

Muslin or fabric of choice, a 21-1/2” x 37” piece (backing)

The Warm Company Warm & Natural cotton batting, a 20-1/2” x 36” piece

Iron and ironing surface, ruler, straight pins, scissors, sewing machine and thread, rotary cutting equipment, walking foot (for machine quilting and attaching binding), tape

*Width of fabric is selvedge to selvedge.

**100% cotton fabric is recommended.


Note: Finished size of piece is approximately 16-1/2” x 32-1/4”.


            1. Cut red fabric strip in half crosswise. From one of these halves, cut two 2-1/2” x 3” pieces and one 2-1/2” square. (Save the remaining half for strip piecing.)

            2. From red and white check fabric, cut four 2-1/2” by WOF strips. Cut one of these strips in half crosswise for strip piecing and save the remaining strips for binding.

            3. From background fabric, cut one strip 6-1/2” by WOF. From this strip, cut three 6-1/2” squares, three 4” x 6” pieces, and one 6” square.

            4. Cut two 2-1/2” x WOF strips. Cut these strips in half crosswise. From one of these halves, cut two 2-1/2” x 3-1/2” pieces and one 2-1/2” x 4” piece. Save the remaining three halves for strip piecing.


Nine-Patch Blocks

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, use a 1/4” seam allowance. It is helpful to label units or sections as they’re completed.

            1. Strip piecing: Using Fig. 1 as a placement guide, sew a 2-1/2” half strip of red fabric, background fabric, and red and white check fabric together. Press seams to the outside, then crosscut into six 2-1/2” sections.

Fig. 1   


            2. Sew remaining 2-1/2” half strips of background fabric to each side of the 2-1/2” half strip of red and white check fabric (Fig. 2). Press seams to center, then crosscut three 2-1/2” sections.

Fig. 2      


            3. Referring to Fig. 3, and matching seams where possible, sew the sections from steps 1 and 2 together; press to outside sections. Make three blocks; these Nine-Patch Blocks measure 6-1/2”.

Fig. 3    


            4. Draw a diagonal line on back of the three 6-1/2” background squares. Layer a Nine-Patch and a marked square right sides facing and drawn line paralleling checkered squares. Sew 1/4” on each side of drawn line (Fig. 4). Press flat, then cut on drawn line; this makes two Half Nine-Patch Blocks (Fig. 4a). Press to background half. Repeat two more times for a total of six Half Nine-Patch Blocks.

 Fig. 4    


Center Heart

            1. Sew short sides of a 2-1/2” x 3-1/2” background piece and a 2-1/2” x 3” red piece together (Fig. 5). Press to the red. Repeat one more time. Sew a 4” x 6” background piece to one of these sections (Fig. 5a). Press to background piece. Sew a 4” x 6” background piece to the opposite side of the remaining section (Fig. 5b); these are the sides of the heart.

Fig. 5          

Fig. 5a and b    

            2. Sew the 2-1/2” red square to one end of the 2-1/2” x 4” background piece. Press to the red. Sew a 3-1/2” x 6” background piece to this section (Fig. 6). Press to the background piece; this is bottom of heart.

Fig. 6     


            3. Referring to Fig. 7, sew a side heart unit to the 6” background square; press to background square.

Fig. 7     


            4. Matching seams, sew bottom heart section and remaining side section together (Fig. 8).

Fig. 8    

            5. Matching seams where possible, sew center heart sections together (Fig. 9). Press seam to one side.    

Fig. 9     


Putting It All Together

            1. Matching seams where possible, sew two Half Nine-Patch Blocks together (Figs. 10 and 10a). Press seam to one side. Repeat one more time.

Figs. 10 and 10a            


            2. Matching edges, sew remaining two Half Nine-Patch Blocks to center heart block (Fig. 11). Press seams to Half Nine-Patch Blocks.

Fig. 11     

            3. Matching seams where possible, as well as outside edges, sew sections together as shown in Fig. 12. Press seams to outside sections.

Fig. 12     



            1. If you decide to mark runner with a quilting design, do it now. (We machine quilted ours using a walking foot.) Place backing on a table or floor, right-side down, and tape to secure. Layer batting on top of backing. Place runner on top of batting, right-side facing up. Pin and baste together if you’re going to hand quilt, or pin together if you’re going to machine quilt. Remove tape and quilt as desired. Machine baste around outside edge of runner, staying inside 1/4” seam allowance. 

            2. Remove pins or basting, then trim batting and backing even with runner.



            1. Sew the three 2-1/2” red and white check strips together end to end. Press seams open. Press this strip in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together. Beginning in the middle of one straight edge of runner, line up raw edge of binding with runner edge. (We used a walking foot to sew binding on.) Begin sewing 3” from end of binding, using a 1/4” seam allowance. (This 3” is called a Starting Tail.) All outside corners are mitered. For inside corners, sew into inside corner, stopping with needle down where 1/4” seams would intersect. With needle in the down position, lift presser foot and turn runner to continue. Sew around to within 4” of Starting Tail. Stop with needle down and trim off any excess on Ending Tail so the strips overlap by 2”. Fold the end of the Starting Tail in 1/4” and finger press. Tuck Ending Tail into Starting Tail. Continue sewing through all thicknesses.

           2. Press binding out over stitching, away from runner.

            3. Turn binding to back side of runner and blind stitch binding down. At inside corners, pin binding to form an inside miter—the front of the binding will form a miter naturally.

            4. Whipstitch the mitered folds closed.

For questions regarding this design, please contact Joan at


3 thoughts on “Follow your heart… to the sewing machine!

  1. Okay……I just have to tell you that I was so surprised to see this adorable table runner with a piece of my fabric ( the cream with the burgundy flower) in it that I designed some years back. To say the least it put a smile on my face. Thank you Joan for using it…… wouldn’t matter to anyone else but it did to me!

    Blessings, Linda

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