Craft Chat

Project Pinterest: Quilted Table Toppers

I can spend hours pinning, but not so much doing!  Maybe you can relate?  I Love You More than Carrots is hosting a new weekly link-up called Project Pinterest.

Bake, make, or decorate… but most importantly, do!  I really like this idea for some motivation, so I’ll try to follow along: choose one pin per week to try out, and link up with a tutorial.  Inspiration to not only pin! pin! pin! but do! do! do!

Source: Twin Fibers

This pin of a guest room table topper was my inspiration.  What I like about this project is that it can be as simple or as fancy as you want—it’s basically just a big coaster for a side table.  You can use one great fabric that complements the colors of your room, or you can go scrappy and make a traditional quilt block.

I went the second route, with two different blocks for each nightstand in our bedroom.  I used the same colors, same size, and a similar block pattern  to try and unify the two tables.

Our furniture is about as mismatched as you can get—a baby blue nightstand that has been in my bedrooms since childhood and a distressed red/black table that we picked up at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.  The colors and styles of each table are completely different, other than the basic shape.

Detour story: I tried my hand at painting the baby blue nightstand when I was in college (it was originally white)—and I wasn’t so successful.  This was before blogs (or Pinterest) entered my life, and I had no idea what I was doing!  All I had was the vague instructions from a Home Depot catalog.  In the process, I made all the rookie mistakes… I got tired of sanding, I used the wrong kind of paint, and I didn’t let it dry long enough before I put my big fat tube TV on top of it.  So the paint is chipping and that experience has completely scared me off from attempting another DIY furniture project!  I don’t have the patience!  All the more reason to use fabric to hide the flaws of my botched paint job and try to coordinate the conflicting styles of our bedside tables!

But first, full confession: I was very moody this past weekend.  Sam can attest to that, poor hubby.  This project was not at all difficult, but it took me so much longer than it should have because I was slicing the wrong measurements and cutting holes where they weren’t supposed to be and ripping out oodles of stitches because of careless mistakes.  It was probably an actual miracle that I worked with sharp tools all day and no one got hurt in the process.

So, I would say this project should only take about an hour to make one table topper.  Throw in another half hour if you’re making two, since you’re just repeating the same steps.  There were no instructions from my inspiration pin, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard to improvise.  I’ll spare you all my mistakes along the way and share the simplified instructions below.

Quilted Table Topper

Time: One hour

Cost: Free if you have fabric scraps (or about $5-$10 if you’re buying all new supplies)


  • fabric for front and back in the size you choose (for example, I used scraps to make a 12” front and cut one 12” square for the back)
  • one piece of batting
  • sewing machine
  • tools for measuring and cutting


1. Measure your table top and decide what size your topper should be.  My tables have different measurements (12” x 14” and 13” x 18”), so I decided to go with an easy 12″ x 12″ that would fit both and hopefully not accentuate how mismatched the tables are.

2. Create the top to fit your measurements.  This can be done in lots of different ways: it can be as easy as cutting one piece of fabric, piecing strips of fabric for a striped block, or by piecing a traditional quilt block.  There are a ton of resources on the internet if you want to make a block.

I used Marcia Hohn’s Quilters Cache for instructions to make a Flyfoot block and a Waterwheel block using scraps of blue and red fabrics that I already had on hand.

3. Cut a piece of batting and backing fabric to match the measurements of the finished top.

4. Layer just the front and batting together, and sew them together along two or three seams.  This is just to keep the batting attached to the front—when you add the backing, there’s no stuffing required!

5. Place the backing on top of the front (stitched to the backing), right sides together.  Sew a ¼” seam along all four sides, leaving a gap of 2-3” before you join your starting point.  Make sure to backstitch when you begin and end to anchor your stitches.

6.  Turn the topper inside out, pulling through the gap.  Poke a knitting needle or pen into the corners to make them pointy.

7.  Fold in the edges of the gap and sew a straight line to finish it up.  You can quilt a design or along the seam lines, or you can leave it as is.  I quilted a simple grid along the seam lines.

All done!

Like I said, the basic steps are super easy, and you can make it as simple or as fancy as you like! Now I have no fear of placing a glass on the nightstand, and our mismatched tables are a little more cohesive with coordinating pops of color.

These would be great to add a personalized touch of color to a guest room (not that I have one of those…) or any other bare room.  Despite the angst that went into my afternoon of crafting, I do love the final result.  Yay for Pinterest!

6 thoughts on “Project Pinterest: Quilted Table Toppers

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