How To: Hexagon Table Runner

Rainbow Hexagon Table Runner tutorial
I’ve used an ingenious but easy construction technique to assemble this rainbow hued Patchwork Hexagon Table Runner. After making hundreds of Paper Pieced Hexagons, and sewing them all together, I thought a table runner was a nice project that would to show them off to their full potential and that I could see and enjoy every day.
Hexagon project edges can be tricky to work with, I didn’t like the idea of squaring off the sides, as I’d lose the beauty if the zig zag edges, and binding all those corners wasn’t an option, so it took me some thought to devise my construction method. I like to imagine all the steps in my mind, truth be told, I wasn’t even sure it would really work until the final stages when it all came together perfectly. I’ve share some tips to keep your hexagons organized as well as a few methods of stitching them together. You could also make coasters and place mats with the same method.
I hope you enjoy this project, it was over a month in the making…

You will need:

Lots of paper pieced hexagons (see How to make paper pieced hexies)
Sticky contact paper (adhesive vinyl)
cotton quilt wadding
backing fabric
water solouble marker
ribbon or woven braid (20cm/7″)
Sewing machine and general sewing supplies

How to:

I’m going to share with you my secret trick to keeping all my hexies organized and in perfect order. Stick them on to contact paper! It’s not essential, but because this project was going to be portable, I wanted to make sure my carefully arranged colour scheme didn’t get mucked up.
arrange patchwork pieces on contact paper to keep organized
– Arrange you hexies, any pattern that appeals to you is good. The more hexies, the bigger the runner. I’ve used 117, 7 wide and 15ish long
– Stick them to your contact paper lightly. The contact won’t stick super strongly to the fabric but may tear your paper so your papers may not be reusable.

Joining Hexagons
– I used two styles of joining stitches. I’ve shared both techniques. Ideally you would want to match your thread colour, I’ve used contrasting thread to make it easier to see.
how to whip stitch sew hexagons
Whip stitch is the most traditional style of joining.
– With right sides of hexies facing and edges lined up, start by securing a couple of firm stitches (or knot) in the corner.
– Whip stitch (sort of around like a spiral) all the way. The closer and smaller the stitches the more inconspicuous from the front. Just catch the edges and not the paper inside.
– Finish with a a couple of stitches in the corner to secure.
joining hexagons with running stitch
Running stitch is a new method I tried out after I saw Mollie from Wild Olive try it here.
– With right sides of hexies facing and edges lined up, start by securing a couple of firm stitches (or knot) in the corner.
– Work a small running stitch close to edge, avoid catching paper.
– Finish with a couple of whip stitches in the corner to secure.
finished hexagon stitch styles
So my verdict:
As you can see from this photo above both stitches give a slightly different finish.
Running stitch works quicker but gives a wavy join, which I didn’t love.
Whip stitch takes a little longer as stitches need to be close together, but gives a crisper finish.
I used a combination of both depending on my mood.

Now you will need to join all the hexies together, I didn’t have any particular system, but tried to work it so I didn’t have to cut my thread with every seam.
How to join hexagons
You can see from the picture above, when it’s time to join the 3rd hexie, to avoid a gap at the Y join, add a couple of firm stitches where the corners meet.

Next comes the fun but time consuming part. Stitch, stitch stitch. I took this project everywhere. On a plane, to cafes, whilst waiting for Emma to do her swimming and gymnastics. Eventually the top was done!
hexagon patchwork, a portable craft
Removing the Papers
Once you have finished it’s time to take the papers out. My favourite part.
removing hexie papers
– Find the little knot and pull the thread, the paper should come out easily.
– Remove all the papers except for the ones around the edges.

Assembling the Table Runner
This part looks more complicated than it really is. With my foolproof technique you are guaranteed to get a very neat finish.
Assembling tabel runner
– Iron the back of the patchwork to flatten all the seams and to make sure the little ‘petals’ of fabric are sitting nice and flat. Take extra care in the outer edges to get a nice neat and crisp edge.
Assembling patchwork table runner
– Lay and pin patchwork top over layer of wadding.
– Carefully mark around edge, as closely as possible with soluble marker.
cut wadding - hexie table runner
– Cut wadding along marked line. (You may need to mark which end of wadding matches each end, will help you later)
This next part is a little counter intuitive but bare with me…
– Remove the papers from the outer hexagons.
– Iron out the fabric on the edges of the outer hexagons, leaving the fabric joined by seams flat.
I’ve marked with a dotted line where the original hexagon shape was. Don’t mark the fabric, this is just to make the picture clearer.
hexagon table runner assembly
– Assemble as follows. Backing fabric facing up, patchwork layer facing down, wadding (with edges lining up to where edges of hexagons were) on top.
hexagon table runner assembly
– Carefully sew around the wadding, following the corners accurately. Sew all the way around till you get back to the point where you started.
– Sew seam right on the edge or just touching.
hexagon table runner assembly
– Keep needle in down position when turning corners to get a sharp point.
sewing step
– Trim away excess fabric, clip points and snip internal angles.
clip corners
Here is my secret trick- shh!
cut hole in back
– Carefully cut a long slit in the backing fabric about 20cm/7″ long. Try to center it as much as possible.
– Turn inside out, pulling the patchwork top thought the hole.
turn inside out
– Push points out gently with tip of scissors.
– Press with iron taking extra care on corners and edges.
finishing ribbon
– Close opening by hand stitching a length of ribbon or bias tape over hole.

And that’s all there is to it. What do you think? I quite like it, although initially I was worried that it would look like Rainbow Brite had thrown up on my table! But now I think it’s a nice pop of colour, especially in my very dark kitchen area over winter.
finished table runner hexagon rainbow
I decided not to quilt it, but may add some stitching to it later. We’ll see. I’ll just enjoy all the colours and patterns for now, and hopefully it will encourage me to keep the table clear of junk. hexagon dining table modern rainbow patchwork


  • Mmmc says:

    Thank you for this next step/s. Your runner looks so beautiful and crisp. I’m completely impressed. Am keen to make a full-blown quilt, but know my head will explode first.

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      I don’t think I’d have the patience for a whole quilt so a runner was a nice compromise

  • Alessandra says:

    splendid tut!!! so detailed!!!
    thank you so much!!!!
    xxxx Ale

  • Carina says:

    Agree. Fantastic tutorial and SO inspired to finish my little project. If that colourful masterpiece isn’t incentive to keep your table clear not sure what will 😉 best wishes, Carina.

  • Nash Khan says:

    Oh My Goodness, this is so GORGEOUS! I can NEVER pull this off like you did! <3 <3 <3 Pinned!

  • Barb Schaum says:

    I am hooked on hexes too. Love the table runner

  • kay susan says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous and your detailed tutorial is much appreciated. Thank you!

  • marysza says:

    oh i LOVE this idea!!!

  • Michele T says:

    This is beautiful… there’s something about rainbow colours that make me smile!! I am definitely pinning this to my Quilt & Sew board. Thanks for a terrific tutorial too!

  • Wow – this looks amazing. I wish I had the patience, the time and the skill to give this a go. You should be so proud of this.

  • Wow, you make it look so simple. I’ve only just started my first two basic quilts, maybe this is a next patch-workey project that I could attempt! Love it.

  • Cassandra says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial Cinti :)
    I’m just looking at all those hexies and saying to myself.. ooh! I’ve got that print, and that one… Oooh! I need that print!
    Such is the life of a vintage sheet addict!!!

  • Paula McElrath says:

    Why do you and some others baste through to the top of the fabric? Isn’t that just an added step later on?
    Great tutorial’m

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Yes I suppose. It’s the way I have always done it, although it does allow you to be less accurate with cutting earlier on so saves time that way. And both basting all the way through and removing thread is pretty quick. I’ve never tried the other way, but will for next project to compare.

  • Ruth Robinson says:

    wonderful tutorial

  • Sarah says:

    That’s amazing! I love the colours and the hexagons! Just great, well done!

  • Pam C says:

    This is a great tutorial for a really pretty hexie table runner. Thank you!

  • Diane G. says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks so much. Your runner is beautiful.

  • Jane says:

    I am wondering if you could use patterned backing fabric-just have lots in the stash that’s all!

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Of course you can. Use whatever you like :) I just used white because it was a remnant of the perfect size.

  • Aliceeyyy says:

    It’s awesome. I am impressed by work and will definitely try it but I would like to try it in other shape.

  • candypop says:

    Love the tutorial and fought it trough until the end!!
    Thank you!
    Would like to show it to you how you inspired ne.
    Great pictures!
    Have a nice one :-)

  • Ashley says:

    I LOVE IT! Just one question… Why did you hand sew the hexies, and not machine sew them?

  • Deb C says:

    Gorgeous rainbow effect, now you need some PLACEMATS to match!!!

  • Sue says:

    Looks like a hexie project I might be able to actually complete. Really like how you add batting and the slit for turning. I think a simple row of hexies appliqued over the slit would look great or maybe green bias tape and one pieced hexie shape like from a grandmother’s flower garden for flower on each end–you could end up with reversible table runner.

  • DianeM says:

    Your table topper is beautiful. I really like your idea of keeping everything rolled up on the contact paper…genius! I just finished the body of a small hexie project (pics on my blog) and am adding a border of contrasting hexies before deciding on how to finish it. Your method turned out beautifully :)
    Smiles, DianeM

  • Babs says:


    this backside of the tablerunner is really really great.
    I’m doing EPP since a few month, want to make a quilt, and even thought:”hmm, how will I make the backside?”
    Now I have the solution ;o)))

    Thanks a lot, your blog is great!
    Babs, from Vienna, Europe

  • Heather L says:

    This is beautiful! I’m inspired to work with hexes now…but maybe on a smaller project? Seems like a lot of time/work! Love the tips and tricks you shared…thanks!

  • Mary Ann says:

    I was working on my first hexie project last night and got a perfect layout then didn’t know how to save it. Contact paper is brilliant! Thanks for the idea.

  • KatieLynne says:

    Miss Cintia,
    Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. The project is just lovely and your detailed images and explanation are perfect! Thank you for taking the time to do such a thorough job. Your work is beautiful.

    I’ve been interested in tackling a hexagon piecing project and this is very inspiring. And now I know exactly how to do it!
    Happy Holidays,

    KatieLynne in Astoria, Oregon, where water abounds, every view is a postcard, and the nights are quiet…except for the seals!

  • Jeanette W. says:

    I’ve been working on a grandmother’s flower garden hexagonal quilt for a LONG time—3 years? The directions in the book I’m using direct me to applique what I have now to a large piece of white fabric and then cut out what is not needed on the back (after appliqueing). I’m afraid I won’t get the appliqueing done properly. Any ideas how I should stretch out the white fabric so I can easily applique the “flower garden” onto it? I’m afraid of puckers. Should I set up my portable quilt frame? That would stretch out the white fabric, wouldn’t it? Any other ideas?

  • Liz says:

    This was great! My favorite part is the last step with making the slit in the middle. I hate finishing projects “pillow style” because the last edge never looks as sharp as the others, so this was pretty ingenious, thanks for the tips!

  • Lee says:

    I’m finishing up making the hexies, and I hope I’ll be able to finish the actual quilt before my next child is born (May). Thanks for the beautiful inspiration!

  • 4jsMOM says:

    Thanks for this very informative tutorial. It’s just what I’ve been needing to get me started on my own hexagon table runner.

  • Elena says:

    I cut out template hexagons from a cover of a plastic duo-tang – one that is bigger and many-many are 1- size smaller ones. I use these flexible templates instead of paper. The bigger one is used as a guide to cut out hexagons from fabric (in my case it is usually old clothing to be recycled in craft projects) and the smaller ones are used for making the actually hexagon. Once several layers of hexes are joined together, I remove them (they all have cut out whole in the middle which I use with my scissors to pull the template out) and then use in the out rows of the project. In my case there is no need for keeping hexagons arranged anywhere — I join them as I go. And no need for extra cutting paper — I just use those duo-tang templates over and over.

  • Mary says:

    I discover your blog and your beautiful table runner! Congratulations, they are both perfect!

  • Daphne says:

    I have wanted to do patchwork and discovered your web site, now i can’t wait to get going, the table runner looks great, hexagons appeal most as its portable and you can do it anywhere. Thank you for many wonderful ideas.

  • May Olson says:

    I love the way you finished your tablerunner…very clever!I have a load of hexies and I think my first project will be a tablerunner instead of a full blown quilt which I had originally planned to do.I love your blog….thanks

  • sheshe says:

    Awesome..very inspiring. Thanks u for this great it & it easy to practice..

  • Leona says:

    I have never worked with hexies but may give this a try using black & white’s.

  • Kathi says:

    Love your style of tutorials.. thanks for taking the mystery out of hexi piecing and backing too! Love your table topper! Thanks for the template :) Kathi

  • Lindsey says:

    Really love what you’ve done to turn the hexies into a table runner.

  • Valarie says:

    Love your table runner.I have made a lot of large bright hexagon flowers. Had planned another quilt but now can’t wait to make them into a runner.

  • Lindy says:

    Do you leave the paper in your outer hexagons forever? Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Vikki says:

    really useful tutorial. I’ve sewn lot of EPP hexies together and didn’t know how to edge. was advised to straighten edges off but love this idea. exactly what I needed. thank you :-)

  • Betty says:

    Plan on doing this type of runner and maybe mats to go on table,thank you for your time to share it,hugs from Australia

  • Angie says:

    Thanks so much for tips and tutorial..can’t wait to try out!

  • Mathilde says:

    Thank you SO MUCH! I’m new to quilting and am making a hexagon table-runner but I absolutely couldn’t figure out how to do the backing. You have saved me MANY headaches (and saved my roommate a couple of meltdowns)!

  • Valorie says:

    do you take each Hexie off the contact paper one at a time to sew then together. I’m not to clear about that step

  • Roxanna Owen says:

    I am so appreciative of your tutorial. It is EXACTLY what I needed. I have lost sleep trying to reinvent tour wheel. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • oh my goodness, I am so inspired! Never thought I would do hexies, but you have thrown open the door with your instructions and photos. LOVE the shortcuts you take!

  • Kindal says:

    Could you hand sew the backing and wadding instead of using a machine? If so, would the instructions change or remain the same? Thanks, I love this tutorial.

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