We’re pleased to welcome Janaé King back to SewTimeless! Last summer, she brought us a fabulous Beach Set Tutorial. Today, Janaé is sharing another project perfect for the beach house, using Daniela Stout’s Tonga Cabana batiks.

Tonga Cabana Table Runner



  • One pack of Cabana Treat-Strips (2.5” x 42”) by Daniela Stout for Timeless Treasures
  • One Cabana 6-Pack (6” x 42” strips) by Daniela Stout for Timeless Treasures
  • 3 yards of Fusible Fleece by Pellon (thin cotton batting can be used as a substitute, if desired)
  • Thread to match fabric (thread will show on the outside of table runner)
  • Sewing Machine (capable of doing straight stitch and zig zag stitch)
  • Sewing Pins
  • Rotary Cutter
  • 6” x 24” Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Iron & Ironing Board

I am completely in love with the new Tonga Cabana batiks by Daniela Stout for Timeless Treasures. The colors are beautiful! When I was first asked to prepare a tutorial using this delicious fabric, I immediately thought of placemats. But then, after working with the fabric, I decided a table runner would show off the collection even better! (Matching placemats would be fun and can be made easily using this tutorial. When you get to step 14, instead of sewing all four panels together, keep them separate and bind each one for a placemat.)

I will be showing you a super easy technique using ALL [40] 2.5” strips in your pre-cut package. Each strip will be backed with Fusible Fleece (or cotton batting), folded, and sewn. Strips will then be zig-zagged together to form panels that will later form your table runner.

Let’s get started!

Open your package of 2.5” strips and use a scissor to cut each 42” strip in half to yield [80] 21” strips.


Cabana Treat Strips

I prefer not to precut the Fusible Fleece, but keep it in one big piece. Lay Fusible Fleece on ironing board, glue side up. Lay strips, cut from above, close together on top of Fusible Fleece. Using a hot iron, fuse strips to Fusible Fleece.

Fusible Fleece

Using rotary cutter, ruler, and mat, cut between strips to separate them.

Cut Between Strips

Fold and pin each strip by folding one long side in to the center.

Fold and Pin to Center

Fold in other long side to center.

Fold Other Side to Center

Fold in half and pin.

Fold in Half and Pin in Place

Continue down the strip until the whole strip is pinned.

Pin Entire Strip

Fold and pin all 80 strips.  That’s a lot of pinning! I like to break it up; if desired, pin 20 at a time, sew, then go back to pin more. Your fingers will thank you.

Pin all the Strips

Sew a straight stitch down the center of each pinned strip to hold the folds.

Sew down the folds

You will now have piles of beautiful sewn strips.

Beautiful finished strips!

Set machine to a zig-zag stitch, making sure stitch is long enough to catch both edges of two strips as you are sewing them together.

ZigZag Stitch

Zig-zag strips together in sets of 20.
Note: I kept my strips in color order of how I cut them. Forty strips (two of each fabric in the 20-piece collection) come in the 2.5” package. After I cut each strip in half, I separated out the halves so that I had four matching piles. Each pile became one set of 20 strips that were sewn into a panel. I arranged my strips from light to dark, ombré style.


You should have four panels. At this point you will want to use a hot iron to press each panel flat. You might find that your panels get a little warped in the sewing process and that is normal. I used a very hot iron and spray starch and some stretching to manipulate each panel into a rectangle and not a wavy mess. Trim each panel down to your desired size. For the table runner I chose 18” wide; you may choose to go wider or skinnier.

Cut Sets

After you find a pleasing arrangement for your panels, zigzag stitch them end-to-end to form your table runner. At this point, you will have to roll each panel before sewing so that it fits under the bed of your machine. Note: If you desire placemats, do not sew panels together. Keep them separate and continue on with the tutorial by adding binding to each panel.

Zigzag stitch panels together

Time to pick up that 6Pack!

Cabana 6Pack

Choose four strips you would like for the binding. Cut a 2.5” strip from each 6” strip. If desired, cut each strip in half, in order to mix colors up a little. Sew all strips back together using a mitered seam to reduce bulk in your binding.

Prepare binding

Press binding in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, using a hot iron.

Press binding in half lengthwise

At this point, you can use your favorite method for binding your table runner, or follow along as I show you my preferred method. It’s fast, easy, and done all by machine.

First, lay binding on one long side of table runner with raw edges together. Start at the top edge. Binding and table runner will be flush with each other. Sew to the end of the long side and cut binding flush with table runner. In the same manner, sew binding on to the other long side of the table runner.

Attach binding

As shown in the photo, flip the binding that you just sewed above, to the outside of the table runner – or, I like to say “flip it up”. Start the short edge binding flush at the top with the previous binding. Sew down side to the end of the binding, making sure binding is flipped out. Cut binding strip flush with the end of the previous binding. Fold binding to the other side of table runner and pin in place for sewing. Binding will show on both sides of the table runner.

Attach binding

At corners, there will be no tails or extra fabric beyond the corners. You should only have about ½” of raw edge at the very corner.

Corner of binding

The side with the raw edge will be folded in first!

Fold raw edge in

Then the other side will be folded over and it should create a square corner.

Corner of binding

Stitch as close as you can to the folded edge of the binding. The trick here is to fold the binding far enough to the backside so that when you sew, the stitches on the front will be on the table runner, not the binding. If you are trying to stitch so that you catch the binding on the front… well, it’s just pretty impossible to get it to look good. So if you run a stitch right by the binding, it will just blend in with the other stitching and no one will notice that you didn’t spend hours hand-stitching your binding down.

Sew down binding

At this point, I loved my table runner, but I knew it needed a little jazzing up. So I figured tassels would do that trick. From a 6” strip, I tore off 1” strips. I tore five strips for the tassel and two for the top knot.

Preparing Tassels

Fold the five strips in half.

Fold Tassel Strips in Half

Take one contrasting strip, tie around top and knot it.

Tie Knot

Tie another contrasting strip around the top and knot it.

Tie 2nd Knot

Snip ends of the knots.


I made a total of 14 (seven for each end).  To make life super easy, I used a fabric glue to attach the tassels to the ends of the table runner.

Attach tassels - done!

Ta Da! It’s all finished, and I’m in love with it. Now I just wish I had a real Cabana in my backyard to use my table runner in, but for now, I think I shall dream…

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