Friday, 19 July 2013

Crafty Coasters

I made a bunch of these as Christmas presents last year and I think they fit that old cliché of simple yet effective. Choosing fabrics for particular friends can really make them more than just coasters.  My friend Rae recently acquired a new poodle and a new house, so I made a set of 4 French poodle inspired coasters for her new abode.

For each coaster you will need:
- a piece of fabric measuring 4.5" x 11"
- a piece of medium weight wadding measuring 4.5" x 4.25"
- the usual gear: pins, threads, sewing machine, scissors...

1) Cut your fabric so that you have 2 pieces each measuring 4.5" x 5.5".

2) Place your fabric and wadding in the following order: wadding, fabric right side up, fabric right side down (see photo).

3) Your piece of wadding needs to be lined up against 3 edges of your fabric.  Pin and sew around 3 edges using a 1/4" seam allowance, starting on the long edge furthest away from where your wadding is placed.  This will leave one seam open.

4) Trim corners and sewn edges.

5) Turn inside out, poke out your corners and press.  Tuck in the open edge of your coaster about 1" - measure your coaster to make sure it's square; it should be 4" square.  Press and pin.

6) You will now top stitch the coaster in a right-angled spiral.  I usually start this on the edge of the coaster before your still open seam, rather than on the open seamed edge.  Place your needle 1/4" in from the edge of the seam you'll be following, but right at the end of the coaster.  Hopefully this diagram of the spiral will help as this is the pattern your top stitch should follow:

7) Stop sewing when you're 1/4" away from the next edge - for the first 3 lines this will be the end of the coaster, but from then on you'll stop sewing 1/4" away from your previous line of top stitch.  Make sure the needle is down, lift the sewing machine foot, turn your work 90° anticlockwise, put the foot down and sew another straight line until you get 1/4" from the opposite edge or a previously sewn seam.  You will repeat this action again and again until you have spiraled into the centre of the coaster.  Do a couple of reverse stitches when you've finished to secure the thread. 

I hope this makes sense!

8)  I usually trim the threads in the centre of the coaster and knot the tails at the start of the top stitch before trimming.

Your coaster is finished!  These work as lovely gifts in packs of 4, so repeat the whole lot 4 times to complete your set!  If you're feeling super crafty you could make some matching placemats by hopping over to this tutorial by Chloe at Gannet and Parrot.

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