Free Design of the Month for February – Patchwork Bed Runner with Embroidered Blocks
The focal point of this bed runner is a large design offered by Brother as the Free Design of the Month. Surrounded by pretty patchwork, this embroidered bed runner adds a touch of elegance to your bed and makes a great accent for the bedroom. Complimentary fabric strips frame the embroidered blocks. Select fabrics that compliment your room décor, choose coordinating embroidery threads, and follow instructions to piece and finish this pretty patchwork bed runner. Are you ready? Let’s go sew!
Project notes: Bed runner is sized for a Queen size bed. Finished size is 21-inches wide x 75-inches long. Feel free to re-calculate strip piece sizes to create an alternatively sized bed runner. If you want to change the size, I suggest sketching it out on paper with your proposed size, beginning with three embroidered square block sizes and adding appropriately sized strips as needed to create desired width and length. Remember to add seam allowance to each piece. If your embroidery machine has a smaller hoop size, consider using smaller quilt block designs to fit your hoop, with additional fabric strips to increase the block size.
Materials and Supplies for Bed Runner:
- Brother sewing and embroidery machine with 8-inch or larger hoop capability. Note: The Brother SA446 8-inch square hoop is featured in this project. It’s ideal for this block size and makes for less wasted fabric.
- Brother Walking foot or Dual Feed foot for topstitching seams.
- Brother SA 538 seam guide for help with sewing accurate ½-inch seams.
- Embroidery threads to coordinate with your color scheme and size 11 embroidery needle for embroidering.
- Basic sewing notions including thread to blend with fabric, long pins, a sharp size 11-12 machine needle for sewing, and a tool for pushing out points and corners.
- Rotary supplies for cutting fabric blocks and strips.
- Materials for featured queen size bed runner are outlined below. Yardage varies depending on the width of the fabric and whether you choose to cut pieces on the lengthwise or crosswise grain of fabric. Choose from one of your three selected fabrics to use for backing. See Step One for a detailed list and sizes for cutting fabrics.
- Fabric #1 for top of bed runner: Solid or blender quilting cotton fabric for three embroidered blocks and contrast strips. Note: Choose a fabric that compliments the design and allows embroidered outlines to show.
- Muslin or thin cotton for backing embroidered pieces.
- Quilting cotton, Fabric #2 and Fabric #3 for top of bed runner: Choose complimentary solids or prints to coordinate with embroidered blocks.
- Fabric for backing cut and pieced as needed to fit finished top. See step four of instructions for details.
- Brother Free Design of the Month FD_2_2023. See Figure #1 below.
Please read through all instructions before beginning this project. Basic steps are as follows:
- Cut pieces for strips and blocks.
- Embroider blocks.
- Add strips to top, bottom, and sides of embroidered blocks to create one center block and two end blocks, then sew together to create top for bed runner.
- Finish by adding backing and topstitching seams.
Step by step directions to create embroidered bed runner:
Note: Seam allowance for all seams is ½-inch. Press all patchwork seams open. See Figure #2b to set up for sewing with the screw on seam guide. You can use the seam guide with both standard and walking foot.
- Cut materials for top of bed runner as shown in graphic and described in Figure #3.
- Embroider each block as follows:
- Layer thin cotton or muslin fabric with Fabric #1 piece facing right side up on top. Hoop and embroider using desired colors.
- Press, then cut each block to equal exactly 10-inches square. Note: Once blocks are cut to size, you can designate any edge as the top. After embroidering, I chose to rotate my blocks, using the point of the hexagon as the top. See embroidered blocks in Figure #4a and Figure #4b.
- Assemble embroidered blocks and strips cut from fabric #2 and #3, piecing together the bed runner as follows:
- Select the six strips measuring 4-inches wide x 10-inches long cut from fabric #2. Sew one of these strips to top and bottom of each embroidered square. See example in Figure #5 below:
- Next, select the six strips measuring 4-inches wide x 10-inches long cut from fabric #3. Add a strip to the top and bottom of each piece previously stitched. See example in Figure #6a below:
See Figure #6b for an example of what piece looks like on the wrong side.
It’s time to add strips measuring 22-inches long and finish piecing top of bed runner. Sew remaining pieces as follows:
- Select one of your completed rectangles, along with two strips cut to measure 4-inches wide x 22-inches long from fabric #2. Sew a strip to each side of the rectangle. Next, add a strip cut to measure 4-inches wide x 22-inches long from fabric #3 to each side. Designate this rectangle as your center block and set aside temporarily. See example of center block in Figure #7.
Now we’ll create the two end blocks. Select the two remaining rectangles. Sew strips cut to measure 4-inches wide x 22-inches long from fabric #1, sewing along outside edges of each rectangle. See example of the two end blocks in Figure #8.
Finally, sew end blocks to center block to complete top piece. See example of completed top in Figure #9.
- Option one: If you have a large piece of fabric, you can cut one backing piece to match the full size of your top piece. Layer the top and backing pieces with right sides together, smoothing all layers on a large flat surface and pinning layers together. Sew long edges, then short edges leaving a 6 to 8-inch opening along one edge for turning piece right side out.
- Option two: Cut two lengths of fabric measuring 45-inches wide x 22-inches long. Next, split one of the pieces in half lengthwise. Open out the larger piece and sew one of the smaller split pieces to each end, leaving an opening 6 to 8-inches long in one of the seams. You’ll use this opening for turning the bed runner right side out. See Figure #10.
- Option two continued: Note that option two gives you a back piece with excess length. Press seams toward ends instead of pressing them open. Next, you’ll want to mark the center point of top and oversized back piece with pins. Pin layers together, matching center pins and making sure layers are smooth, then cut away excess backing at each end. Sew long edges, then short edges.
Tips for both options: I used the walking foot to sew the layers together. This helps to evenly feed the pieced top with the backing. After sewing long edges, press and pin long seam allowances toward the body of the pieced runner. Sew short edges with the seams in this position for a wrapped corner with a neat finish. See Figure #11.
Options and ideas:
Bed runners come in a variety of different styles and are usually relatively flat. However, you could certainly add a layer of thin quilt batting to your top piece if you want a more traditional quilted look. Your choice of fabrics can make a big difference in your finished project. I opted for prints to surround the embroidered block, keeping the focus on the embroidery. The addition of trim such as tassels or fringe at the ends is yet another design idea if you like the look. Enjoy using your Brother machine to make this custom embroidered bed runner!