quilted coasters

(Makes 6 coasters)


The World’s Tiniest Functional Quilts
These washable quilted coasters are an idea sparked from admiring an heirloom hand-stitched quilt. This project requires stitching just a few pieces, but your final result has endless creative possibilities.  It is also a great way to use those extra fabric scraps in your stash.  Warning:  It may even be a gateway to a larger quilting project.

scraps of 1 to 4 different fabrics, preferably cotton, linen or other lightweight wovens)
1-3 feet of quilt batting, depending on the thickness you desire
2 spools of thread - one to match the fabrics, and one in a lighter color than fabric(s) for topstitching

straight edge
rotary fabric cutter (optional)
cutting mat (if using wheel cutter)
1 hand sewing needle
straight pins
point turner tool
sewing machine
printer to print out the pattern pieces (included at bottom of this page)

For this project, you can choose three or four different fabrics (solid colors or prints) to make your own unique design.  The top side of your coasters will have three pieces/fabrics, and the back side will be one piece.  For best results, use similar fabrics types, as they will stitch together nicely.  We also recommend that you make one coaster before you sew all six, to make sure you like your colors and stitching details, and to test your batting thickness

Using the provided pattern pieces (see bottom of page), cut eighteen diamonds (3 of each color) and six hexagons.  The fastest way to cut the diamonds is to stack the 3 fabrics, cut long strips the width of the diamond piece, and then cut the angled sides, using a rotary cutter.

Putting right sides together, pin and then sew just one edge of two differently colored diamonds together, leaving 1/4” seam allowance.  Next, add the third colored diamond, pinning and stitching just one side again. 

Stitching from the outside of the hexagon toward the center, stop sewing when you meet the previous stitches.  Then, rotate and pin the third diamond to the first diamond, completing the hexagon shape.  Stitch from the outside to the center again, stopping at (and not crossing) the previous stitch line.  Now that your hexagon shape is sewn together, snip the seam allowances at the center, and press open the seams so that the top side of your coaster now lays flat.

To assemble the coaster, pin a front piece to a back piece, right sides together.  Next, pin two layers of batting to them, leaving a perimeter of batting around the edges that you can trim off after sewing.  Stitch all layers together 1/4” from edge, leaving one edge of the hexagon open so that you can turn it right side out. Before turning, make sure you’ve captured all of your edges in the stitching, and then trim the batting and snip all corners.

 Now, turn the coaster right side out, using a point turner to make the hexagon shape as crisp as possible.   Turn in and pin the remaining raw edges, then whipstitch the coaster closed, using tiny stitches.  Using a steam iron, gently press the coaster into shape, which makes topstitching easier.  

Now, it’s time to have some fun with your quilting stitches.  
On our coasters, we stitched an outline of the hexagon, stitched over where the different colors meet and then did some fill in lines.  You don’t need a fancy machine to do this, just stop each stitch line with your needle down, lift the sewing machine foot, pivot, and head in a different direction.  There is no need to be perfectionist, just have fun with it!

Don’t be limited by these instructions.  There are so many ways to modify this pattern.  To make it easier, you could eliminate the diamond cuts and use only one solid fabric piece on top.  That allows you to feature your quilting stitches.  Or, change the shape of your coasters to circles and do a spiral stitching design.  The only limitation is your imagination.  Modernize the tradition of quilting in your own way.

view related blog post:  keeping us in stitches