Monday, May 28, 2012

Quick and Easy Coaster Tutorial

Quick and Easy Coaster Tutorial - by fern's frocks 
please feel free to make these to your heart's content, but please link to this page if you share the tutorial, or if you sell them...mention ferns frocks as your inspiration.  That would be pretty fantastic of you!  :-)

Materials needed:

  • fabric- enough for 8 squares, approximately 5 inches each. (this allows up to a half inch seam     allowance depending on your sewing preference. 
  • absorbent fabric for inside- I use birdseye diaper cloth from that I love.  It's thin, and absorbent.  Flannel would work as well! you need 4 squares, same size as your fabric squares
  • thread- coordinating or contrasting!  whatever you like!
  • sewing machine- although one could complete this sewing by hand if you really wanted to.
  • optional: serger-this honestly makes super quick work of things.  But, a zig-zag stitch or stitching 1/4" in the seam allowance will also do the trick.

Let's get started.  
1.  I suggest using a ruler and rotary cutter to cut your squares.  It's quick, easy, and accurate.    I must admit, I didn't when I made my coasters...but I had in mind that my serger would cut away my imperfect cuts(and it did!).  

2.  Once you have your squares, take two of your main fabric and put them right sides together.
(2) my "open end for turning right side out" edges were each serged to prevent fraying when turning.  feel free to do this as well!  but it's not necessary.
3.  Then, take one square of your absorbent fabric and place it on top of the wrong side of a square.  It doesn't matter which one.  Make sure you line up the edges.  If you'd like, and it makes you more comfortable, you can pin the squares before sewing.  I used my serger and did not use pins.

(3) please ignore my nail polish, it's been a long week...
4.  Start your stitching 1.5 inches from one of the corners and sew to the corner.  This side will be where you turn the coaster right side out.  It also makes it neater if you are using a serger to start there and sew out...
(4a) pins are marking where I started my stitching
(4b) note the pin is only marking the side not going through the serger at the moment

5.  Next sew or serge the next 3 sides completely.  

6.  When you get to the 4th side (flip coaster over if serging), start the stitching 1.5 inches from the corner and sew to the corner.  

(6) all sides stitched
7.  Next, if you did not use a serger, sew 1/4 inch from your first stitching (in the seam allowance) to reinforce your coaster.  

8.  You may clip the corners before turning if you'd like, and depending on how big your seam allowance is, I recommend it.

9.  Now you're ready to turn your coaster right side out.  Use a tool of some sort- back end(not sharp side!!) of a seam ripper, pencil, dowel, your finger, etc to push the corners if needed. 

10.  Fold the opening's seem allowance and iron entire coaster.  
(10b) showing coaster after ironing
 11.  Next you're ready for the final step!!  Top stitching!  Start on the opening side, about an inch from the corner and stitch all around your coaster! 

12.  I do a bit of back stitching when I start and finish to make it secure, then I tie my ends and clip.
(12b) again with the polish...


                                                             A Coaster!!!  

Repeat the process for the remaining squares!  When you're done you have a great hostess gift, instant perk up for your living or family room, or a great gift for teachers!  Really, I don't know too many people who wouldn't want fantastic coasters hand made by someone who cared for them!!

tying a ribbon around your set always adds a finished and professional look!

Thanks for reading my tutorial.   I hope you enjoyed it.  Please feel free to leave me comments!  Criticism, compliments, pointers, etc!  I'd love to hear it all!  

Enjoy the day!

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