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supplies, sewing and a finished table topper for fall

Happy at Home Quilted Table Topper

Finished Size: 27” x 27” | Use ¼” seam allowance unless otherwise stated Read all instructions before beginning | WOF = Width of Fabric

In this detailed quilting tutorial, I’m going to guide you through the process of creating a quilted table topper with this stunning offset square shape. While it does have a lot of corners to bind, I think it’s worth it and I’ll walk you through how to do it every step of the way.

This table topper tutorial features fabric and a panel square from my Happy at Home fabric collection manufactured and distributed by Riley Blake Designs. You can use any 18” square center – from a panel square, quilt block or square of fabric – and the directions will work for you as well! Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or an advanced beginner, you’ll find this project both enjoyable and rewarding

If you prefer to have a printable PDF pattern, you can find it in my Etsy Shop >

JUMP TO THE VIDEO TUTORIAL | JUMP TO WRITTEN DIRECTIONS | GET AN AD-FREE PRINTABLE PDF OF THE TUTORIAL ON ETSY

 

FABRIC CUTS:

  • (1) 18″ pillow panel square, fabric or quilt block
    Welcome to our happy place is from my Happy at Home Fabric Panel from Riley Blake Designs
  • (2) 7½” squares of fabric for the points
  • 30″ square of backing fabric
  • 30″ square of batting
  • (3) 2½” WOF (width of fabric) strips for binding

BASIC SUPPLIES:

 

Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

00:00 introduction
00:30 Supplies
01:38 Cut topper fabrics
01:58 Pin triangles to center
02:21 Sew triangles to center
02:30 Prepare fabrics to quilt
04:10 Quilt your topper
04:20 How to pull up the bobbin thread
04:36 Why to use a walking foot
05:03 Baste fabrics together
05:43 Trim backing & batting to size

07:21 Clip inner points
08:32 Binding the table topper
09:30 Sew binding on a regular corner
10:06 How to Sew binding on an inside corner
12:07 Match the ends of the binding
16:01 Clip binding
16:21 Iron binding to front for machine binding
18:24 Troubleshooting mitered corners
18:57 How to glue baste binding
19:38 Sew on the binding
20:29 Finished table topper

HOW TO sew the Happy at Home Table Topper

Step 1: SEW THE TOPPER FABRIC TOGETHER

  • Square your center image, quilt block or fabric to 18″ square.
  • Cut each 7½” squares of fabric in half diagonally to make the (4) side triangles. (fig. 1)
  • Fold 18″ square in half and finger press. Open the square and lay it right side up on your workspace.
  • Place a triangle, right side down on top of the square, matching the raw edges and lining up the point with the fold you just finger pressed into the square. (fig. 2)
  • Pin or clip in place and add the second triangle to the opposite side.
  • Repeat the process of folding and pinning the triangles to the other two sides. (fig. 3)
  • Sew the triangles to the square with ¼” seams.
  • Press the triangles away from the square to create the topper top.
cut squares diagonally to make 4 triangles

figure 1

line up point of the triangle on the center fold of the square

figure 2

pin triangles to the square

figure 3

Step 2: LAYER AND QUILT THE TOPPER, BATTING & BACKING

You want the backing and batting to be at least 1″ larger than the topper on all sides just in case things shift when quilting. You will need a square of backing and batting that are at least 30″ but you can use bigger pieces and then trim.

  • Lay the backing fabric on your workspace, right side down.
  • Place the batting on top of the backing and make sure it’s laying flat with no air bubble or wrinkles.
  • Place the topper on top of the batting, right side up.
  • Pin together with quilting pins. (fig. 4)
pin the topper, backing and batting to quilt

figure 4

Step 3: QUILT THE TABLE TOPPER

Baste around the outside of your topper shape, about 1/8″ from the edge, with a long stitch. In the video I quilted some of the center square before basting around the outside of the shape – whoops! Normally it’s best practice to baste around the outside FIRST to help hold things in place. Because I had pinned it together well and it wasn’t a large quilt, it worked out fine but I’ll try to be a better quilting role model and baste first in the future. 🤣

Quilt as desired.

Step 4: PREPARE THE TOPPER FOR BINDING

TRIM

Trim the batting and backing to match the topper. (fig. 5) Because of the unique shape, trimming your topper is a little more time consuming than trimming a square or rectangle. Take your time and make sure you don’t cut into the side triangles in you use a rotary cutter.

Watch the video at 5 mins 43 seconds for more details about how I trimmed mine.

GET READY TO BIND THE TABLE TOPPER

I used a simple method for binding the inside corners of this topper that are more eased than mitered. I wanted to keep the project more advanced beginner friendly and not take all day! Here’s how I did it.

CLIP THE INSIDE ANGLES

You need to clip a very scant ¼” into the angle so you have some give to the fabric and will be able to pull it straight when you sew on the binding. To make sure you cut in the right spot and don’t cut too far, grab a small ruler and a heat erasable pen.

At each inside corner, draw lines ¼” from the raw edge on both sides of the corner, long enough that they intersect. Where the intersect is the point where you will pivot your fabric – more on that in a minute. Clip straight from the corner to just before the pivot point. (fig. 6)

Repeat on all 4 inside corners.

trim backing and batting to size of your table topper

figure 5

clip seam allowance

figure 6

Step 5: BIND THE TABLE TOPPER

Make your binding by sewing the three strips of fabric together and then pressing in half, matching the raw edges.

If you are new to making quilt binding, here is how to do it. I usually put my strips of fabric together at my machine as I sew.

  • Place one strip of fabric right side up.
  • Take the next piece of fabric and place it on top of the first strip, at a 90 degree angle, right side down, with the ends close to each other but not exact if you didn’t remove the selvages. (I never do, it’s just an extra step!) I always have my second strip coming towards me and not hanging down into my lap. It will be a square where the two strips overlap. (fig. 7)
  • Draw a diagonal line from one overlapping point to the other. (fig. 8)
  • If you are using directional fabric, place your hand or truler on the line and fold the top fabric down to make sure the direction of the fabric will be the same. (fig. 9)
  • Sew along the line and trim ¼” from the stitching to remove the triangles.
  • Repeat and add the third strip of fabric, moving your fabric down so the 2 pieces you just sewed together become the strip that starts right side up.
  • Press the seams open and trim and dog ears, or triangles, that go beyond the sides of the fabric strips. (fig. 10)
  • Press the full length of the fabric in half, matching raw edges.
layer right sides together to join quilt binding strips

figure 7

draw a line for sewing binding strips together

figure 8

checking direction of binding strips when you use directional fabric

figure 9

cut dog ears off quilt binding strips

figure 10

THERE ARE THREE BASIC WAYS TO BIND YOUR TABLE TOPPER:

Hand Binding:
Sew the binding on the front, press to the back and sew by hand. That is the most traditional way to sew on binding and leaves an invisible finish. It is also the most time consuming.

Machine Binding Method 1:
Sew the binding on the front, press to the back and sew the binding on with your machine. There are plusses and minuses to this method. The binding on the front will be smaller – ¼” – but when you sew the binding on the back you will have a stitch line on the front that is beyond the visible binding. If your binding is a consistent distance all the way around this can look like a decorative stitch but sometimes it’s not as even as you’d like.

Machine Binding Method 2:
Sew the binding on the back, press to the front and sew the binding on with your machine. This is the method I used on my table topper and in the video tutorial. The binding is a little bigger on the front this way but then you only have one stitch line on the front and it’s on the edge of the binding for a polished look.

Follow the directions placing the binding on the front or back, depending on which way you decide to bind your topper.

Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

START YOUR BINDING

Start your binding on one of the bottom triangle sides. These are the longest areas on the topper and will be the least difficult to match and sew the two ends of the binding together. (I’m not going to lie – it’s a little tricky but it works!)

Leave an 8-10″ tail and begin sewing the binding to one of the triangle sides, about 1½” from the point. (fig. 11)

HOW TO SEW BINDING ON AN OUTSIDE CORNER

  • When you get ¼” from the end, leave your needle down, lift your presser foot, pivot 45 degrees and sew off the point. (fig. 12) Cut the thread and remove from your machine.
  • Fold the binding up and away from the next section of fabric you need to bind so that the raw edge is lined up with the raw edge of your topper fabric. (fig. 13)
  • Fold the binding back down towards the fabric, making sure the fold of the binding is lined up with the raw edge you just sewed. (fig. 14) If you don’t get that fold lined up well you won’t get a nice mitered corner when you flip and press the binding.
  • Sew the next section, starting off the binding, ¼” from the edge and continue until you get to your next inside or outside corner.
stitch off the outside corner when binding a quilt

figure 12

step 1 in folding quilt binding on an outside corner

figure 13

how to fold quilt binding to get a good outside mitered corner

figure 14

HOW TO SEW BINDING ON AN INSIDE CORNER

Inside corners are trickier than outside corners. I’m going to show you the easiest way to get them done. Grab your ruler and heat erasable pen because we are going to be drawing lines on the binding just like we did on the topper when making the small cuts in those inside angles.

When you are sewing your binding onto your topper and you are a few inches from the inside corner, stop sewing but leave the needle and presser foot down so they won’t move.

    find the pivot point to bind an inside angle on a quilted project

    figure 15

    • Draw lines on the binding, ¼” from the raw edge on both sides of the corner, long enough that they intersect. The line that is on the side of the angle that you will pivot to should line up with the line you drew previously. (fig. 15) You now have the pivot point on the binding.
    • Continue sewing the binding, stopping with the needle down at the pivot point, or where the two lines you just drew intersect. Lift the presser foot.
    • Gently pull the edge of the topper in front of the needle so that it forms a straight line with the part of the topper you just sewed that is behind the needle and making sure it lines up with the edge of your ¼” presser foot. (Or if you aren’t using a ¼” presser foot, make sure the edge is lined up so you will continue sewing ¼” from the edge.) (fig. 16) You can make this adjustment because of the clip you made in the seam allowance in the angle before.
    • Continue sewing the binding all the way around your topper until you get back to the straight section where you started.

    You can watch this process on the video at 10 mins. 6 seconds.

    HOW TO MATCH YOUR BINDING

    As I mentioned before, matching the binding on such a small section is tricky but doable. You can watch this process in the video starting at 12 mins. 7 seconds.

    • Sew your binding just past the last inside angle, knot the thread and remove from the sewing machine.
    • To make explaining this process easier, I’m going to refer to “binding A” and “binding B”. (fig. 17)
    • Binding A is the beginning of the binding – the original tail you left when you started sewing the binding to your topper.
    • Binding B is the other end of the binding – the amount you still have after going all the way around and getting to this point of needing to match the ends.
    • Cut a 2″ piece of fabric off the longest end of binding B, you will use this as a guide (we will call it “fabric guide”) for how long to cut each tail of binding so they match up perfectly. (fig. 18)
    • Place the binding A tail flat on your topper, lining up the raw edges.
    • Open the 2″ piece of binding you just cut and place it flattened on top of the original binding tail with the fold going across the binding at 90 degree angle. Place the fabric guide so the 2 ends are in the middle of the space where the binding isn’t sewn down.
    • Cut binding A using the far side (the side that is on the opposite side of where the binding is sewn to your topper) of the fabric piece as your guide. (fig. 19)
    labeling binding parts A and B

    figure 17

    cut a piece of binding to use as a fabric guide to match quilt binding every time

    figure 18

    where to cut binding with fabric guide

    figure 19

    • Place binding A and the fabric guide back down on your project, keeping the raw edges and cut edge lined up.
    • Now place binding B on top of these pieces, lining up the raw edges. (fig. 20)
    • You will use the fabric guide again but you will cut binding B on the opposite side of the fabric piece. (fig. 21)

    The fabric guide lets you cut your binding so the length with be perfect when you sew the two sides together. When I learned this way of matching binding it felt like life-changing magic!

    Now that your two ends are cut it’s time to sew them together. First, grab your seam ripper (I love this one) and remove the stitches on each side, leaving only a few before each corner. You need as much freedom to move these binding pieces as possible to get a good match.

    Fold the topper in the area between the binding A & B and pin so you have more room to work on matching and sewing the binding together. (fig. 22)

    layer top binding piece

    figure 20 

    how to cut quilt binding to match

    figure 21

    matching quilt binding on a table topper

    figure 22

    • Place binding A, right side up, flat on your workspace or machine.
    • Place binding B, right side down, on top of binding A, lining up the edges as shown. (fig. 23)
    • Draw a diagonal line through the square formed where the 2 pieces overlap and sew. (fig. 24)
    • Because there isn’t a lot of extra space / give on this, I don’t pin the pieces together but just hold them and move right to sewing on the line so they won’t shift.
    • Once you sew on the diagonal line, remove the pin from the topper and make sure your binding is correct before trimming the excess triangle ¼” from the stitched line. Every so often you might flip binding B the wrong way and end up with a twist in your binding – if you cut the excess before checking it’s a lot harder to remove the stitching and fix the mistake.Press the seam open, line up the raw edges and re-press the binding so it has a nice fold (it usually gets a little loose after all the steps to match the ends).
    • Sew the rest of the way so your binding is attached all the way around your topper.
    how to layer quilt binding strips

    figure 23

    sewing quilt binding strips together

    figure 24

    PRESS THE BINDING TO THE OTHER SIDE

    • Take your topper back to the ironing board with the side you sewed the binding on facing up.
    • Press the binding away from the topper.
    • Turn the topper over, fold the binding over the edge and towards the opposite side of the topper and press. I press the outside mitered corners first and then press the eased inner angles.

    You can see that process in the video starting at 16 mins. 21 secs.

    FINISH YOUR BINDING

    If you will hand stitch your binding, pin the pressed binding, grab your needle and thread and sew the binding on.

    If you will machine stitch the binding, I recommend glue basting the binding in place. This helps the binding from shifting and puckering when you sew it onto your topper.

    • Using washable school glue, run a small line of glue under the edge of the binding. (fig. 25)
    • You can then press the binding down, clip in place and allow to dry before sewing OR you can press the binding with an iron (no steam) to dry the glue and get sewing right away.
    • Once the glue is dry, sew close to the edge, all the way around the binding. Choose your thread and bobbin colors based on your fabrics and whether you want the stitching to blend in or stand out.

    That’s it – you’re done! Enjoy your table topper!

    glue basting binding

    figure 25

    Happy at Home Table Topper and runner
    buy an ad-free, printer friendly Happy at Home Table Topper pattern on Etsy

    Love this idea?

    If you post on Instagram be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

    🧵 Tara Reed

    P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

     

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