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A Slice of Layer Cake Runner

Precut quilting fabric makes for a quick and easy project

Jun 2, 2024 - 5 min read

A Slice of Layer Cake Runner Primary Image

A widely spaced warp lets the weft fabric strips shine through. Photos by Matt Graves

A bundle of precut quilting fabric squares inspired designer Rebecca Fox to create a table runner that would show them off. She considered some options, and then landed on a design that looks more complicated than it is. Here she is to tell you about it.

A Slice of Layer Cake Runner by Rebecca Fox

Weavers dabble in all types of fiber pursuits, and I am no exception. I love quilt fabrics, although I’m not much of a quilter. When I saw precut fabric squares in a neutral palette from black to white with shades of gray, I immediately wanted to use them to weave something. I have since learned that the precut 10" squares are known as layer cakes, while precut long strips 2 1⁄2" wide are known as jelly rolls. (I do wonder why these precut fabrics have food-related names.)

Using fabric strips as weft is not a new idea. Weavers have recycled old fabrics into rag rugs for ages. If you have a stash of precut quilt fabrics, you can make use of them with this project.

My layer cake was 10" wide, which limited the width of my warp to about 9" wide. My first thought was to use rep weave, which is warp-faced—but I wanted to see the fabric strips more easily. Instead, I utilized the crammed-and-spaced technique with a plain- weave threading. The result has a rep feel to it without being a true rep weave.

I cut the fabric squares into 1⁄2" and 1" strips, discarding any that contained pinked long edges. A rotary cutter made this job quick and simple.

The resulting table runner has adorable ruffled edges and a spongy, thick texture that will protect your table from hot pans (I recommend throwing on extra warp to make some terrific trivets). This woven layer cake will look beautiful gracing your table as you showcase your baking skills! Bon appétit!

A runner with shades of white and grey sits atop a table.Rebecca used precut quilt fabric squares for weft in her table runner.

Project at a Glance and PDF Download

Visit the Handwoven library or log in below to access the PDF download for the Slice of Layer Cake Runner, available to Handwoven magazine subscribers.

STRUCTURE Plain weave.
EQUIPMENT 2-shaft loom, 10" weaving width; 12-dent reed; 1 boat shuttle; 1 stick shuttle; 2 bobbins.
Warp: 8/2 unmercerized cotton (3,360 yd/lb; Valley Yarns; WEBS), #8990 Black, 136 yd; #8001 White, 32 yd; #8682 Silver Gray, 64 yd. 8/2 unmercerized cotton (3,360 yd/lb; UKI; Yarn Barn of Kansas), #02 Charcoal, 64 yd.
Weft: 8/2 unmercerized cotton, #8990 Black, 50 yd. 8/4 cotton carpet warp (1,600 yd/lb; Yarn Barn of Kansas), #83 Black, 10 yd. Toscana layer cake quilting cotton, 10" square (100% cotton fabric; Northcott), Evening Shadow precut tiles, 1 pack.
Other supplies: Pinking shears, 5 mm; rotary cutter; self-healing cutting mat.

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