Rating: Any skill level but a little experience with a needle may be a plus. Sewing machine not required.
Every year, as Arizona temperatures stay scorching rather than dropping pleasantly like I would hope them to do, I get the craving for some real autumn atmosphere.
I fantasize about hayrides, pumpkins, and turning leaves. Afternoons spent with rain drumming on the windowpanes while we sit inside with cups of steaming tea and good books…
This is all a dream of course. It is a scorching 101 degrees outside in mid September and the unheated pool in the backyard feels like bathwater. But to feed my craving for autumn I have been roaming through my fabric stash and digging out my autumn fabrics; Oranges, browns, burnt yellows, blacks, and muted greens. I decided to take some of my favorites to make a set of reversible coasters to use for a “welcome to fall” tea party.
Small pieces of your favorite fall fabrics. At least three different ones.
Cardstock for printing hexagon templates (see below)
Needle for hand sewing (like using relatively small appliqué needles because they glide through the fabric easily)
Thread to match your fabric for sewing
Hand-quilting thread (if you don’t have it handy you can skip this and just use your sewing thread)
Thin cotton batting
Pen or pencil
Seed beads to compliment your coaster (optional)
Step 1) Pick your favorite autumn colors from your stash or go on an adventure to your favorite quilt store to buy a few fat quarters.
Step 2) Print a sheet of hexagons. I used the website www.printablepaper.net where I chose the ½” hexagons linked here: http://www.printablepaper.net/preview/hexagon-portrait-letter-2. It is best to print on cardstock since you get sturdier templates that you can reuse several times.
Cut out at 19 hexagons for your coaster.
Step 3) From each of your three chosen fabrics cut out 1 ½” squares. You need one for the center, six for the first circle, and 12 for the outer circle of hexagons. However, if you want to make several coasters you may want to cut yourself a little stack of each color so you don’t have to run back and forth to the cutting table but can park yourself in a comfy chair and not move for a while.
Step 4) Baste fabric to hexagons by folding fabric over one edge at a time and sewing through the paper and fabric.
Step 6) Once all the hexagons are sewn together, cut away the basting thread, take out the paper template (to reuse) and trim down the excess fabric on the back. I usually aim for 3/8” or so, but honestly, it isn’t an exact science. The exception to this rule is the outer edge of the coaster where you want to leave at least ¼” of fabric.
Step 7) Thread your needle again and baste around the outer edge of your coaster top so that the raw edges are securely tucked under. Set the finished coaster top aside.
Step 10) Cut a little on the inside of the trace line to get a piece of batting that fits to be sandwiched between the two coaster tops. I always find I have to put it on top of a coaster top and do a little fine trimming to get it to the right size and shape.
Step 11) Sandwich the batting and the two coaster-tops and whip stitch together with matching thread.
Step 12) Hand quilt the three layers together as you please. I just used three criss crossing lines from point to point in the hexagonal coaster.
Optional Step 13) You know have a perfectly lovely coaster for your tea mug or whine glass. However, if you want to give your coaster an extra luxurious oomph, consider decorating the edge with a few glass beads.
Step 14) Press with a hot iron. Congratulations, you have now made a handmade double-sided coaster to enjoy your favorite autumn beverage.