Dark Blue Rail Fence Runner tutorial

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This is an easy table runner that uses 2½-inch strips of dark blue quilt fabrics and the simple rail fence quilt block.

The kitchen countertops in our new house look like blue Lapis marble. At first, we planned on getting new countertops like the ones we had installed at our last house but we have grown in love with the color and will keep the blue for now.

Dark Blue Rail Fence table runner on kitchen table

I have made several wall-hangings using the blocks that were in the table runner that was shared in my Sharing Quilt Projects #16 post. Quite a few of you asked for a tutorial on the table runner and I decided to make a dark blue runner for our new kitchen.

What you’ll need:

Here is a list of the basic tools you will use when making this table runner.

Equipment / Tools


I had some leftover strips from a jelly roll. These can be fun to use as the fabrics are usually coordinated. I really should have used a better selection of lights and darks.

  • 9 – 2½-inch x 42-inch strips of different dark blue fabrics
  • ½ yard of a light blue for the quarter square triangles and 3 – 2½-inch x 42-inch strips for the binding
  • Backing – 1½ yards
  • Thread
  • Batting

Rail Fence Table Runner tutorial

17″ x 50″

Use a ¼” seam allowance.

Make a group of three 2½-inch strips and then sew them together with a ¼-inch seam allowance. Repeat this step 3 times.

Press your strips, your strips should measure 6½-inches wide.

6½-inch square blocks

Trim one edge of each group to get a straight edge. Now cut them into 6½-inch squares.

Trim the blue quilt blocks to size

I happened to have a 6½-inch square Creative Grids ruler to use but you can use any ruler, just cut the blocks at 6½-inches.

You should get 6 rail fence blocks from each strip group and have a total of 18 quilt blocks.

Layout the table runner

Arrange your blocks, you will only use 16 of them. Change the direction of the blocks as shown below.

Arrange the rail fence quilt blocks

I’m not happy with the colors I choose for my table runner as they are definitely too monochromatic and blend together too much.

Sew the rows together as shown.

sew the rail fence blocks into rows

Add the setting triangle blocks

I was lucky enough to have some yardage in the same hue as the jelly roll strips.

Cut 2 – 10-inch squares, then cut diagonally twice to create the setting triangles. The triangles will have the straight of grain along the edge.

Cutting setting triangles

Sew the setting triangles to the rows.

The straight of grain goes along the edge of the table runner. Place one of the other sides of the triangle along the edge of your blocks.

The edge of the point will extend a little beyond your block.

Add the setting triangles

It might be a little hard to see my blocks so I am sharing a diagram to help you out. Sew your rows together.

Diagram showing how to layout the blocks and setting blocks

It will be helpful to pin your rows before stitching so you don’t stretch them. Can you see how the setting triangle is a little longer than the rail fence block? That is the way it should be.

I don’t remember where I bought the jelly roll I used, it is several years old and not very good quality. Do you notice all of the fraying? The weave of the fabric is very loose, which is probably why I never used the fabrics before.

Pin the rows of the table runner

Once you have your rows all pieced together, you are ready to add your batting and backing.

Completely pieced table runner
piecing the table runner

Quilt as desired.

I did a very simple meandering free motion quilting with a dark blue Aurifil thread. The quilting disappears on the large floral backing I used. That is a cotton fabric I bought probably twenty years ago! I should have used some of that in my rail fence quilt blocks.

Sew 3 of the 2½-inch strips together for your binding and sew.

Back floral fabric on table runner
back of the table runner

I pulled out the blue vintage truck placemats that I made, I think they go perfectly!

Blue truck placemats that match the table runner
Vintage truck placemats match

The size of the rail fence table runner is perfect for our kitchen table. We have decided we really want a bigger one and will be trading tables with our daughter as soon as the weather gets a little warmer or I talk Builder Bob into doing it.

table runner in kitchen
Dark Blue Rail Fence Runner on kitchen table

Now this is a perfect match! That is the actual color of our countertops and the table runner.

Blue Lapis counter top and table runner
table runner matches kitchen counter color

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make a table runner, I would love it if you shared a photo of it with me.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing.

Purchase an ad-free printable PDF version of the Dark Blue Rail Fence table runner tutorial in my shop. The photos have been reduced in size and the tutorial is 6 pages long.

Printable pdf of tutorial

You may also like my Three by Three quilt block tutorial or this table topper made with just two colors of batiks.

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Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. I love your colors in your table runner! I am soooo jealous of your countertop! So beautiful!!!

  2. Phyllis Tomchuk says:

    I have been reading your tot, on the Blue Rail fence table runner. I so want to make one also. Thinking I would go for multi colors though. Love the ideas you put out there. One cant get bored. And wishing your pooch a longer life. And you getting out with your coffee in the a.m. how cool is that? We have been under a blanket of forest fire smoke for the last two months. Finally got some relief. Got so tired of cleaning up ashes. Leaving windows down an inch on the car was not a good idea, Couldnt have windows open in the house either. We still do need a lot of rain, very dry here. We were on evacuation alert., all that time. With temp, at 43c. (116f) was sufficating. All the fires are not out yet. Plus we were getting smoke from Oregon and California.
    Oh we do have a/c home. Enjoy your coffee in the fresh morning air.
    Keep us in stitches, thanks may many yard. (meters)

  3. Robyn Lidstone says:

    Such a beautiful table runner, Connie. Do I have ESP or what? Yesterday I was sorting my jelly roll strips and selected nine to make a table runner. They are not dark blues, but in purplish/blue tones. I hadn’t decided on a design, but now I can make the one you have so generously provided. I’ll find some matching fabric for the triangles.

    Thanks again for all your wonderful ideas and kindness to all your happy followers.

  4. I love the colours that you used in this Rail Fence runner as I think that they match the Lapis Lasuli perfectly. Beautiful! I would love to make one of these for my daughter’s new house.

  5. Louise Johnson says:

    I think the runner goes well with the counter tops and the placemats provide lovely contrast! I have reluctantly closed down my sewing as we have put our house on the market and will be relocating but I am so glad you have your library so I can pull from it when our new house is completed and yes, my first honest to goodness sewing room! So I continue to enjoy all of your past year and now this years posting and living vicariously through your experiences!!!

  6. I just made a 120 by 120 inch bedspread with this “fence rail” pattern ,I’m praying for snow this weekend so I can finish sewing it together and can post it… I have really enjoyed your various “moves” and grandkid picturess. You are just a regular small business owner and I abmire you so much…

  7. Love, love, love the counter and runner. Really complement each other.

  8. Maree McCormack says:

    Hi Connie,
    I live in Australia and not only love your work but also your benchtop, which is the same as mine. Great minds! The only difference is mine is laminate, about 15 yrs old and in need of updating; yours looks like a ‘stone’ or composite, which is much longer lasting. Would you be able to tell me the product name? Probably can’t get it here but you never know.

  9. Lynda Riley says:

    I LOVE your counter tops in your kitchen. The beautiful cobalt blues are stunning & set in the gorgeous timber cupboards really compliment.
    The gorgeous colors of your table runner really set it all together.
    Thank you for sharing your sewing knowledge & personal touches.
    Blessing to you for 2021

  10. Pam Temple says:

    It that your blue counter top? I love it! So pretty and fresh looking.

  11. I like the way that the runner strips are close in colour. It reminds me of ombre. Your counter is a gorgeous colour!

  12. Hi Connie:
    Your work is beautiful. I could live with those colours. Love royal and cobalt blue. Nice rich colours.
    Thanks for sharing and keep enjoying the ” wild life.” It is always nice to see.
    Love the snow we have about 14 inches. It was -14 here this morning. Up to -10 now so will try my snow shoes.
    Shirley in Canada

  13. Wow!
    Love those counter tops, your runner and place mats match beautifully!

  14. Wow, Connie, your countertops are beautiful and the table runner makes it “magazine worthy.” Thanks so much for sharing your new place with us. It’s fun to see all the different and fun surroundings of your country home.

  15. Glenda B. says:

    Love, love, love this table runner! Definitely buying the PDF.
    Really like your kitchen, you have a lovely, serene place to cook and enjoy meals in. All the best from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

  16. I love this table runner! The blues look awesome in your new kitchen. I sure want to make this.

  17. That is really the perfect runner for your kitchen. It looks beautiful and the truck placemats go perfectly with it. It looks like a snowy background too.

  18. It’s amazing how well the runner matches the counter! Really a pretty look! Thank you for the easy runner pattern too.

  19. I always see the colorful counter tops in magazines and store displays and wonder…what it. But I absolutely love this. And it’s as if you dyed to match the fabric. Finishing a Chinese Lantern quilt and should be doing this Rail Fence next, kid’s prints and semi solids to use up some of the “treasures.” Thanks.

  20. Wow! Your runner and countertops were made to be best friends! What a perfect match, with your placemats too! Those mitered corners always scare me away from using in a runner because of the binding.

  21. Wow I absolutely Love your kitchen! The blue counter tops are perfect! I’m not really a blue person but with everything together it really caught my eye. Lol Made it really special adding the table runner, and your right, the vintage truck placemats are perfect!
    Thank you so much for sharing pics of your lovely country home. I love forward to reading your posts. Enjoy and have fun!

  22. LOVE the color of the countertops and the table runner!!! Thanks for sharing.