After my patchwork class at Gather Here I was newly inspired to really pursue quilting. My instructor highly recommended the book Last-Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts which I promptly bought from the store. The book is divided into sections based on how long and how complicated each project is. Obviously, I started at the beginning: Quilted Coasters.
The materials are simple – you just need some cute fabric, cotton batting, a sewing machine, scissors, pins, and a measuring tape.
A word about cotton batting. My book highly recommends using all cotton materials in quilting – fabric, thread, and batting. It is a more natural fabric that will wash and wear nicely, and won’t fall apart on you. The book recommends Dream Cotton as their batting of choice. It comes in many different sizes so I started with the craft size (46” x 36”). Which, incidentally, I found at my local quilt specialty shop: Cambridge Quilt Shop (an awesome local find!).
I always start any sewing project with ironing my fabric first. I thought this particular fabric (Erin McMorris’ Raindrops) was appropriate for the day since I was hunkered down at home while Hurricane Sandy was raging outside. Isn’t it cute?
The pattern called for two 4.5” x 10” pieces of fabric and two 4” x 4” pieces of batting.
After cutting those out I pinned the fabric pieces together to prep for sewing.
I sewed the sides closed on both pieces of fabric (leaving the end open), trimmed off the excess string, cut the corners, and turned the fabric right side out.
Fitting the batting into the fabric was a challenge at first. After wrestling with it for a bit, I had the idea to fold the batting in half, fit it snugly into one corner, then unfold it inside the fabric. It worked out well!
Once the batting was smooth inside it was easy to fold in and pin the open edge.
Time to sew! I started at one edge and worked my way inside. One trick is to pivot the corners with the sewing needle in the down position so you can sew one continuous line.
The key to quilting a small item like these coasters is to keep the sewed lines straight and parallel. Using the sewing foot and plate of the machine are both easy ways to stay on track. I eyeballed this process since the coaster is small. I imagine once I start quilting larger items I will have to dart, or mark, the fabric.
The finished product!
How do you like them? I think they came out super cute for my very first quilting project on my own. I can’t wait to make more from the book and share them with you!