Project Creator: Corrie Sebire
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: INTERMEDIATE
These cute little coasters make a lovely Christmas gift for someone or you might prefer to make them for your own house to serve drinks during the festive season. I like that you do the paper piecing while watching tv and relaxing (at such a busy time of year) and then the rest of the coaster is constructed at your sewing machine. A very satisfying project and you’ll just keep wanting to make them as they are so easy and fun.
> Sewing machine (I used my Brother DreamWeaver VM6200D)
> Fabric Scissors and small scissors for trimming threads
> Needle and thread for paper piecing
> Iron on adhesive like Vliesofix
> 5/8 inch paper hexagon pieces (about $6 a packet from quilting stores/eBay)
> Scraps of fabric or mini charm square pack for hexagons
> 5 inch squares of white fabric for coasters (2 per coaster)
> 5 inch squares of quilt batting
> Pre-made bias binding (or 0.10m fabric and a 12mm bias binding maker)
Take one paper hexagon and a scrap of fabric/mini charm square. Pin the hexagon to the wrong side of the fabric and cut around the fabric leaving a ½ inch seam allowance.
Fold the seam allowance over the edge of the paper hexagon then, with a needle and thread, baste the fabric to the paper hexagon using long stitches. (You can use a special fabric glue pen designed for paper piecing if you prefer.)
Repeat step 1 and 2 using a variety of fabric designs until you have at least 7 hexagons covered in fabric. Arrange in a flower design with one hexagon in the centre surrounded by the other 6 hexagons. Take care to use a range of fabric designs and colours scattered around the centre design (think light and dark, big designs and small designs and having them evenly distributed around the centre).
Now we will join the hexagons together using a needle and thread. Starting with the centre hexagon and one of the surrounding hexagons stitch together using tiny stitches along one edge, corner to corner.
Open out the hexagons you have just joined, then take the next hexagon from your arrangement and join it to the centre hexagon and then the second hexagon you have just attached. You continue around in a circle until all hexagons have been stitched together and you have a flower design. Each hexagon needs to be joined to a side of the centre hexagon and a side of the hexagon next to it.
I like to make a few of the paper pieced designs in one or two sittings and then put the coasters together in another session but you can also do one at a time if you prefer.
With a sheet of iron on adhesive and a pencil, draw the outline of your hexagon shape onto the paper side of your adhesive. Cut it out.
Take your completed hexagon arrangements to the iron and press carefully, with the paper pieces still inside. I then remove the papers by snipping the basting stitches and gently pulling the papers out taking care not to undo my folds. Now press your fabrics again with the iron.
Fuse your applique product (Vliesofix) to the wrong side of your hexagons. Remove the backing paper and trim off any excess adhesive that is outside the hexagon shape. Now iron to the centre of a 5 inch square of fabric. This will be the coaster front.
Take a 5 inch piece of quilt batting and a 5 inch piece of fabric for the back of the coaster and pin together with right sides of the fabric facing out and the batting in-between. Place a few pins around the outside of the “quilt sandwich” you have just made.
On your sewing machine select a Blanket stitch (it looks like a comb, a straight line with perpendicular lines coming from it) Position your fabric with the needle to the right of the hexagon design. As the stitches are formed, the right hand side of the stitch should be on the white of the fabric and the left of the stitches be on the hexagon design. It’s a great stitch for applique and easy, once you’ve got the hang of it. Take it slow and turn your fabric as you get to each corner and move your fabric around for the next straight line of the hexagon. Keep going until all sides have been stitched. Trim any threads and excess batting so that you have a neat 5 inch square.
Make some binding (I used a 12mm bias binding maker) or buy a pre-made binding (something narrow and not too wide as it’s a small project) to cover the edges of our coaster. Attach the binding using your preferred method. I prefer to open out the binding and have the raw edges matching and attach to the right side of the coaster and then when finished I fold over to the wrong side and stitch in place by hand. You can attach the binding entirely by machine with a decorative stitch or by stitching in the ditch on the right side of the coaster. It’s entirely up to you. Refer to the Beginners Quilt Project here http://brotherinspires.brother.com.au/quilt-project/ for step by step instructions on how to attach binding.
When you’ve finished attaching the binding to the front of the coaster it will look like this. To finish the start and end of the binding overlap with one end folded back slightly to hide the raw edge. The folded over edge sits neatly over the other end of the binding as you can see in the photo.
Now fold the binding over to the back of the coaster and neatly stitch in place. Trim all the threads and you are done!
If you aren’t a fan of binding you could easily sew the coaster front and back together with right sides together and then sew around the edges, leave an opening, turn out through the opening, press and slip stitch the opening closed. For this option you might like to use an extra piece of 5 inch fabric for the coaster back once you have finished appliquéing the hexagons to the coaster.