Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Table Toppers for Every Holiday

If you’re looking for a quick and easy weekend project, or even projects you can quilt in a day, why not work on table runner quilt patterns or table toppers? A topper is a beautiful way to decorate your table for any season. These small projects are prefect for practicing machine quilting or trying new techniques, such as fusible appliqué. They make wonderful, practical gifts, too!

Hocus Pocus,” by Joy McKeon from Quilting Quickly Fall 2014, is a fun table topper made from Halloween fabrics. But, you could easily use autumn or Christmas fabrics. If you have a long table and you’re looking for a table runner quilt pattern, or want to make a bed runner, add more strips and make the side borders longer. Easy Peasy!! The Fons & Porter staff show you how to put this fun project together in a free quilting video tutorial, How to Make the Hocus Pocus Table Topper. So helpful!

Foliage,” by Kay and Allison Bergquist from Easy Quilts Fall 2015, is sure to dress up your autumn table. The patchwork blocks in this fat quarter friendly project are based on the ingenious Card Trick block. Kay and Allison used bright seasonal batiks, but you can use a different color scheme to suit your needs. Quilt patterns using fat quarters for your seasonal projects? Doesn’t get much better than that.

The scrappy border blocks in my “Christmas Table Runner” from Easy Quilts Winter 2009 were made using paper foundation piecing and the holly leaves and berries were appliquéd on top of the quilt blocks using fusible web. (If you’d like a refresher course in paper foundation piecing, watch this free quilting video tutorial, How to Use Paper Foundation.) Here’s a tip on turning this into a fall project: use an autumn fabric in the center and replace the holly leaves with oak leaves.

Make Valentine’s Day a special holiday with this easy-to-make table topper. “Flirty,” by Jenny Doan from Quilting Quickly Spring 2013, can be made from leftover pre-cut squares. Add a heart quilting design and this topper is a perfect way to show your loved ones you care.

Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with this adorable table topper. The four-leaf clovers in “Luck O’ the Irish,” by the Fons & Porter Staff from Quilting Quickly March/April 2016, are sure to bring you luck! Did you know each leaf in a four-leaf clover is believed to represent something? The first leaf is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck. Great story for a great table runner quilt pattern!

Table toppers don’t have to be rectangular! Madeleine Roberg used a wedge template to make “Wave Runner” from Easy Quilts Winter 2013. You can easily make this into a longer, fabulous table runner quilt pattern by adding more wedges. Use prints or solids to match your home décor. Or, use holiday themed fabrics for a festive table topper. The choice is yours!

Table toppers can also set the mood for a spring or summer celebration. “Island Chain,” by Pam Biswas from Quilting Quickly September/October 2016, has a beachy, island feel and is super easy to make using pre-cut squares. Watch the free quilting video tutorial, Sew Easy: Quick Triangle-Squares, to see a quick triangle method that makes construction a snap.

So, whether you need a break from making larger quilt projects or want to try a new technique, an easy table topper is just the ticket.

Nancy Mahoney, Fons & Porter Guest Blogger


Happy Quilting!



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Nancy Mahoney

About Nancy Mahoney

Author, teacher, fabric designer, and award-winning quiltmaker, Nancy Mahoney has enjoyed making quilts for over 30 years, during which time an impressive range of her beautiful quilts have been featured in many books and in over 180 national and international quilt magazines. Nancy enjoys combining traditional blocks and updated techniques to create dazzling quilts. She doesn’t consider herself a specialist in one particular area, although Nancy’s favorite techniques include precision machine piecing, quilt design, and machine appliqué. When she’s not designing and making quilts, Nancy enjoys traveling to guilds and events around the country, sharing her quilts, teaching her piecing and machine appliqué techniques, and visiting gardens. Visit Nancy on her website,, for more quilting information and fun!

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