Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cheers and Thank You

I didn’t have enough time to make a hostess gift prior to my trip to my friend’s lake house (Have I mentioned that I am a procrastinator?), but I rationalized my rudeness by telling myself, “well it would help to see the lake house first to see what they might need.” So rather than a hostess gift they will be receiving a “thank you so much for letting me and my 20 month old son mess up your house gift”.

I decided to make some quilted coasters similar to these on Etsy. I actually purchased this set for my sister-in-law’s birthday and was very happy with them, but this time around I decided to make my own. I also saw this project as the perfect opportunity to use this fabric printing technique in the most recent edition of Martha Stewart Living. Instead of using shells I used the same technique with ferns, leaves and pebbles.

Step 1: Fabric Printing
You’ll need cotton fabric, fabric paint, bits of natural material, and a foam paint brush.
FirstI washed and dried some white cotton fabric. While the fabric was drying I set out in my yard to find some bits of nature to use for my print making. I settled on a few leaves, some ferns, and some smooth rocks that looked like they could be found on a river bank. Like Martha, I used a sponge brush to coat my leaves and rocks with fabric paint, then I pressed them firmly onto my now clean and ironed fabric. I let everything dry thoroughly before sewing.

Step 2: Sew The Coasters
You’ll need a sewing machine, a package of batting, fabric from step 1, coordinating thread.
If you don’t have a sewing machine, you should purchase one. They are easy to use and the craft possibilities are endless. If you happen to be new to sewing, these coasters are a great beginner project. To make four coasters, you’ll need to cut 8, 4.25” x 4.25”squares of fabric (2 pieces for each coaster), and four 4”x 4” squares of batting. I used one piece of plain fabric and one piece of printed fabric for each coaster. Pin your fabric pairs together with the "wrong" sides of the fabric facing each other. Start sewing about an inch away from one corner (giving yourself about a quarter of an inch seam allowance) and sew all the way around the square, stopping about 2 inches from where you started. Remove the pins and turn the square inside out. You can use a chop stick or other pointy object to “poke out” the corners (unless you want your coaster to have rounded edges). Insert a square of batting into your sewn square. Once the batting is snug and laying smoothly, fold in the opening and secure it with a pin. You may also want to run an iron over the whole thing before top stitching.

You can use any design or pattern you please for the top stitch, just make sure you do at least one pass around the parameter of the coaster to ensure that you close the hole that you stuffed with batting.

Viola! Coasters. I tied mine together with some raffia and cut out a scrap of paper to look like an oak leaf, upon which I wrote a little thank you note.

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