Hissyfitz Designs

A Light-hearted Look at Appliqué Quilts by Sandy Fitzpatrick

Coasting Along

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick22 Comments



Have you ever used a coaster to keep condensation off of your table and found that the water just accumulated on the top of the coaster and when you  picked it up all the water just drained off onto the floor? Come on, what good was the coaster when you end up having to grab something to wipe it up after all?! I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a few of my own to eliminate the hassle of cleaning up after myself.

I try to keep a glass of water handy during the day because I realize I don't really drink enough. It's sort of a vicious cycle, if I drink enough I have to stop what I'm doing and go to the bathroom and I think going to the bathroom is a HUGE waste of my time...guess I better get over that though and keep drinking more water.

Anyway, there's no reason to spend money on coasters when you can make your own.  Here's how...

Start with a small group of scraps


Using your rotary cutter and mat, cut the scraps into random strips, I used 1", 1 1/2", and 2" strips.

Sew them together with 1/4" seam allowances in your choice of patterns. I made a couple of log cabin blocks, a triangular log cabin, and simply sewed a few strips together in rows. 

 I was a little concerned about pressing the seam allowances to one side as you usually do when piecing blocks because I didn't want glasses to be unstable when they are sitting on the coasters, so I tried pressing the seam allowances open for one of the blocks. In the long run it really didn't make any difference, the glass doesn't wobble on either one.



For the backing fabric I pressed Decor Bond to the wrong side of the fabric. Decor Bond is a heavy weight fusible interfacing by Pellon that is great when you want to add a little extra body to something.


Since I wanted to make a couple of different shapes, I needed something circular just a little larger than the base of a glass. This roll of tape seemed to be the perfect choice. For the square coasters I just used a pencil to make a square the size I needed and then rounded the corners using the base of a spool of thread.

 Once I had the circle traced on the Decor Bond, I cut it out and used it as a pattern to make a circle of Timtex the same size. You can also use Fast 2 Fuse instead of Timtex, this just happens to be what I had on hand. If you don't have either of these, you can make your own rigid base by pressing several layers of Decor Bond on top of each other. I tried to make a coaster without this additional piece of stiffener and it was more difficult to sew a nice finished edge. It was also a little floppy when it was finished.

 This photo shows the order to layer your fabrics and batting. I placed the backing fabric on top, then the Timtex, next a layer of Warm 'n White cotton batting, and finally the finished quilt block.


After all of these were layered together and BEFORE I trimmed anything away, I stitched very close to the edge of the backing fabric and Timtex. If you have an edge-stitch foot use it now because it will make this step so much easier! 


 Here is a photo of the square coaster with the edge stitching done and  all the extra fabric and batting trimmed away.


Now, using your edge-stitch foot again, line the edge of your coaster up with the guide of the foot and sew a satin stitch around the edge. Even with a very good sewing machine you may not be able to get the stitching as close as you would like so just stitch around the coaster once again. It will give you a very nice finished edge with this double amount of stitching. If you don't have an edge-stitch foot use your regular zig-zag foot or open toed zig-zag foot.



After stitching around twice.

 Ta daaa! Four finished coasters, quick, easy, and cheap since everything was made with leftover scraps!  Make some for yourself. I think these would be great made up in holiday fabrics and would make great gifts.

No more sweaty glasses, dripping all over my sewing cabinet!