Uncle Sam Table Runner
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Uncle Sam Table Runner for the Fourth

Uncle Sam Table Runner

Uncle Sam Table Runner with plant

Decorate to celebrate with this Uncle Sam Table Runner, featuring our Uncle Sam: Hat machine embroidery design. Rickrack is a fun addition that adds whimsy and embellishment, tying in the yellow Rayon and gold Poly Sparkle™ Threads featured in the design.

Poly Sparkle Threads in quilting

Featured table runner measures approximately 12″ x 32″.


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Choose the desired design to feature on the Uncle Sam table runner. The featured design is Uncle Sam Hat, embroidered in the 9×10 hoop size (3 sizes are included). If using a smaller hoop/size, either adjust the table runner dimensions or plan to add more quilting around the design to fill the extra space on the center block.

Secure the fat quarter to a piece of Soft ‘n Sheer using KK 2000. Hoop the stabilized fabric, and then place the hoop onto the machine.

UNcle Sam Hooping for Embroidery

Install the Top Stitch Needle and thread it with the first color in the design. Load the bobbin with Bobbin Thread.

Embroider the design, referring to the color sequence chart for appliqué instructions, if applicable, and thread changes. be sure to clip jump threads with each thread change. The featured Uncle Sam Hat design is an appliqué design with two appliqué fabrics used for the hat. Use KK 2000 to secure the fabric before appliqué stitching, and then trim with appliqué scissors.

TIP: Curved tip squeezers allow for clean and easy jump stitch trimming.

trimming jump threads

When embroidery is complete, remove the fabric from the hoop. Press the fabric from the wrong side to remove any hoop markings, keeping the iron away from the stitches if possible.

finished Uncle Sam Hat embroidery design

Leave the stabilizer intact. Trim the embroidered fat quarter to approximately 10 1/2″ W x 12 1/2″ H.

trimming center rectangle



Cut the rickrack length into six 12 1/2″ lengths. Place one length along the right edge of the embroidered rectangle; pin in place.

Repeat to pin a second trim length to the left edge of the embroidered rectangle. Set aside the remaining four rickrack lengths.

Baste the trim to the rectangle right edge. Then, baste the trim to the rectangle left edge.


Install the 70/10 Universal Needle. Thread it and a bobbin with 50 wt. Cotton Thread.

First, pin one solid fabric strip to the right edge of the embroidered rectangle, sandwiching the rickrack. Then, pin the remaining solid fabric strip to the left edge.

Stitch each strip using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam toward the strip. Then, topstitch 1/8″ from the seam along the strip.

topstitch next to rickrack edge

Place two coordinating print fabric squares right sides together on a flat work surface. Use a half-square triangle ruler to mark the diagonal seams to either side of the diagonal from one upper-edge corner to the opposite lower-edge corner. (Or, mark a diagonal line from one upper-edge corner to the opposite lower-edge corner. Then, mark 1/4″ beyond that line on both sides.)

Stitch along the marked seamlines. Then cut along the center to create two half-square triangles.

cut down center of seamlines

Press the seams toward the darker fabric.

finished half square triangles

Repeat to create half-square triangles using the remaining coordinating fabric squares.

Place two half-square triangles right sides together, placing different fabrics right sides together. Mark, and then stitch per the previous half-square triangle directions. Repeat to piece each HST.

Position two pieced squares right sides together, either matching the same fabrics or alternating fabric colors. Stitch the upper edge. Repeat to stitch two strips of four squares each.

stitch diamond pattern strip


Stitch the pieced strips to either side of the red solid fabric rectangles. Press the seams toward the red fabrics. Place a length of reserved rickrack over the seams just sewn; pin in place. Topstitch along the rickrack center to secure.

Next, place the stripe rectangle right side down over the pieced rectangle, with long edges aligned. Stitch, and then press the seam toward the stripe fabric. Repeat to stitch the remaining striped rectangle to the opposite edge.

Place a rickrack length along the seams just sewn; pin in place. Topstitch along the rickrack centers to secure.

topstitch rickrack

Stitch a blue solid fabric rectangle to either side of the stripe rectangles. Press the seams toward the darker fabrics.


Place the backing fabric wrong side up on a flat work surface. Evenly spray the fabric wrong side with KK 2000.

spray-baste table runner top

Center the batting rectangle over the backing, smoothing with your hand to flatten and secure the layers.

Spray the wrong side of the table runner top with more KK 2000. Center the table runner top over the batting, smoothing gently with your hands to flatten and secure the layers.

place table runner over batting

To plot quilting lines, if desired, spray a rectangle of Fabri-Solvy with KK 2000 and center it over the table runner top.

fabri-solvy over the top

Draw the desired quilting lines onto the Fabri-Solvy using a fabric marker.

If desired, use a few Clover Wonder Pins to further secure the layers for quilting.

using Clover Wonder Pins

With the 70/10 Universal Needle and 50 wt. Cotton Thread, quilt the table runner as desired. Possible quilting plans: Follow the plotted quilting lines with FMQ (free-motion quilting) or straight stitching; quilt-in-the-ditch of each seam; straight-line quilt along each rectangle, and then add decorative stitches to the pieced rectangles; or choose your own quilting adventure.

Or use Poly Sparkle 30 wt. Thread and a 90/14 Needle to quilt the table runner, per the featured Uncle Sam Table Runner.

quilting the table runner


After quilting is complete, trim the table runner so all edges are even.

Bind the table runner in the manner of your choice.

binding table runner

If using Fabri-Solvy in the previous quilting steps, wash the table runner to remove the water-soluble stabilizer after the binding is complete.

finished table runner with danish

Check out our Decorative Bindings tutorial for some creating binding ideas for your Uncle Sam Table Runner!

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!


  • Ellen March

    Hi Joan,
    No, we don’t have a kit available for this, but the Uncle Sam design is sold separately or as part of a collection or thread palette.

  • Ellen March

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your feedback! You can certainly swap the yellow fabric and rickrack for a different color if you wish. The gold thread in the design is also easily swapped for a different thread color (try the silver Poly Sparkle in the thread palette for a different look!).

  • Martha Lamica

    I enjoyed the pod cast. It helped that you explained the applique methods since this is new for me. I’m looking forward to completing my project. Thanks!