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 dream of hayrides, pumpkins, and turning leaves. Afternoons spent with rain drumming on the window panes while we sit inside with cups of steaming tea and good books.
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 autumn coasters to use for a “welcome to fall” tea party.
You do not need to be an expert but a little experience with a needle may be a plus. And a sewing machine is not required for this fall sewing project. Here’s a simple DIY fall idea that you can make this autumn season.
Materials that you need:
- Small pieces of your favorite fall fabric (Choose at least three different colors)
- 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 decorate your coaster (optional)
- Pick your favorite autumn colors from your stash or go on an adventure to your favorite quilt store to buy a few fat quarters.
- Print a sheet of hexagons. I used the website Printable Paper wherein 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.
- 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.
5. Baste fabric to hexagons by folding fabric over one edge at a time and sewing through the paper and fabric.
6. Whipstitch the hexagons together. Try to make your stitches small and avoid grabbing too much fabric with your needle.
7. Once all the hexagons are sewn together, cut away the basting thread. Then, take out the paper template, which you can reuse next time. 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.
8. 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.
9. Make a second coaster top working from steps 3 to 7. You can reuse your hexagon templates.
10. Use your coaster top to trace an outline on a piece of thin cotton batting.
11. 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.
12. Sandwich the batting and the two coaster-tops and whip stitch together with matching thread.
13. Hand quilts the three layers together as you please. I just used three crisscrossing lines from point to point in the hexagonal coaster.
14. You now have a perfectly lovely coaster for your tea mug or wine glass! However, if you want to give your coaster an extra-luxurious oomph, consider decorating the edge with a few glass beads just like what I did.
15. Press the coaster with a hot iron. Congratulations, you have now made a handmade double-sided coaster to enjoy your favorite autumn beverage!
(This article was written on Sep 24, 2013, and updated on Oct 20, 2020.)
5 Tips For a Successful Machine Applique
Have you ever tried machine applique? Machine applique is a fun and easy technique to add to your quilt making. Many quilters stay away from applique altogether, thinking it looks difficult or time-consuming. However, this is not necessarily the case at all. On the...
How to Declutter Your Fabric Stash
Collecting fabric is almost inevitably a side effect of being a quilter. As we make our beautiful quilts or dream about future quilts, we almost always acquire more fabric than we use up. If you have been quilting for a long time, you most likely own a solid pile of...
Beginner’s Guide to English Paper Piecing
English Paper Piecing has endured for several hundred years and has in recent years had a huge resurgence. A wealth of new shapes, many of them looking deceptively complicated, have surfaced. Instagram is lush with gorgeous photographs of all manner and sizes of EPP...