22 September 2014

tutorial: handmade fabric coasters with create by the yard!

when my good friend marissa from the modern austen (if you don't already follow her blog, you may remember her from the pantone color challenges we co-host a couple times a year) approached me and asked if i would be interested in collaborating on a sewing project with her and kristin from create by the yard, my almost immediate answer was YES.  i used to sew handmade skirts a lot until i gradually lost sight of the hobby because i had no space to spread out my patterns or a private place to sew where i wouldn't be a nuisance. when i moved recently, i was eager to carve out a corner of the lower level of my townhouse for a crafting corner and marissa's offer couldn't have come at a better time to get back into sewing.

kristin from create by the yard offers a large selection of high quality fabrics that can't be found in large retailers.  i also love that she offers organic and "recycled" fabrics.  kristin's site is so fun for anyone to browse who loves sewing or crafting but doesn't want to leave the comfort of their home.

marissa and kristin challenged myself and a few other bloggers to create something with a yard of kristin's fabric.  you may not think that much can be made with such a small amount of fabric, but we hope to prove you wrong. :)  throughout this week, we'll each be sharing our project and i'm up first.  be sure to check out lizzie tomorrow, marissa on wednesday, anjelica on thursday, and sara on friday.  and did i mention there's a giveaway?  scroll down to the bottom of the post for that!

today i am so, so excited to bring you a tutorial of how to make your own reversible fabric coasters. i can think of unlimited uses for coasters!  i use them on my desk at work, in my bedroom on my dresser and my nightstand, in my living room on the coffee table and side tables, on the deck on my patio table, even in the bathroom when i'm doing my make-up in the morning and need my coffee nearby but don't want any accidental spillage to stain the counter-top.

coasters also make awesome gifts and can be appreciated by just about anyone as long as you have an idea of their taste so you choose fabric they'll like... you can give a set to a coworker for his/her home or to use on their desk at the office, to a friend as housewarming gift, to a new grad to take to college... really anyone!  since they're flat and lightweight, they're also easy to send in the mail as a birthday or "thinking of you" gift.  and the great thing is, they require so little fabric!  sift through the remnant bin at your local fabric store or your own fabric stash or order some fabric from kristin and join me in making some fabric coasters!

01 > get your dvd player going with your favorite movie or live concert footage of choice.  i'm watching hanson perform their first album, middle of nowhere, acoustic.  fun fact, i was in the audience for this performance!  no, i'm not that terrified looking girl in the bottom left-hand corner.  :)

02 > gather your supplies:
  • cutting mat
  • ruler
  • rotary cutter
  • scissors
  • pins
  • two pieces of fabric, each 1/4 yard or 1/2 yard, depending on how many coasters you want to make.  i received 1/2 yard each of the moda autumn woods/fall berries in gray & tan from kristin's shop.  i could have cut about 24 coaster sides out of each 1/2 yard of fabric, so i bet 1/4 yard would be enough if you want to make half that many coasters!
  • fusible interfacing (i used pellon interfacing from joann's that was $2.49 a yard, look for the craft interfacing with the yellow label on the bolt - it's cheaper to buy it off the bolt rather than in a package in the notions area, especially if it's on sale or you can find a coupon)
  • iron, sewing machine

03 > cut your fabric into equal sized squares.  you should first make sure your fabric is even on all sides or use a straight edge ruler and the selvage (that's what i did) to create perfect squares.  i used the width of my ruler (5 inches) to cut my squares to make it easy on myself and it ended up being just the right size for a coaster.

04 > cut an equal number of squares out of each fabric for however many coasters you wish to make!  one will be the front and one will be the back.  all of my squares are 5" x 5".

05 > cut your interfacing the same way you cut your fabric squares, but only cut half as many.

06 > check the instructions that came with your interfacing to iron the appropriate side (in my case it was the shiny side) to the wrong side (the back side) of your fabric.

07 > again, iron the interfacing to the wrong side of one of your squares of fabric (fabric A).

08 > take fabric B and place it right sides together with fabric A that you ironed the interfacing to.

09 > optional step:  place a few pins along the perimeter of your coaster to keep it together while you sew.  i found this step wasn't really necessary since it is such a small project and it's easy to keep it held together as you sew.

10 > start about 3/4 of the way down one edge of your coaster and sew along the edges of your coaster.  when you make it all the way around, leave about a 2" opening in the center of one of the sides.  don't forget to back-stitch!  i like to make sewing easy on myself and choose one of the numbered markers on my machine (it reads 1, 2, 3 from left to right and i lined the edge of my fabric up along the number 1) or a part of the foot to guide my sewing.

11 > cut your corners!

 12 > turn your coaster right-side out.  you'll really have to work it through the small opening!

13 > use a small pair of scissors (or a chopstick or pencil) and poke the corners out to a nice point.

14 > here is what your coaster looks like after you pushed out the corners.  

 15 > iron your coaster

16 > now you will top-stitch along your coaster.  doing this will sew the opening that was left in step 14 closed.  pick a point on your foot to use as a guide and try to sew as close as you can to the edge of the coaster.

 17 > the finished product!


i have one of these coasters on my dresser where i put my cup of coffee in the morning when i'm doing my hair and picking out my jewelry...

... and i have one on the top of one of my bookshelves where my computer is since i always seem to have some sort of drink next to me.  but funny story:  it's never diet coke!  i bought a case of diet coke for some company who came over as i knew it was their preferred beverage, but they ended up bringing their own and i was left with a whole case of diet coke!  i decided i should drink it so it doesn't go to waste and it just happened to be what i was drinking as i was doing this project.  does anyone want some free diet coke??

so there it is, my fabric coasters!  i do want to reference this tutorial that helped me make sure i had all the steps down to plan my own.  i hope you enjoyed this little project and may consider tackling it yourself.  i'd love to hear what you think in the comments!

thanks again marissa & kristin for the opportunity to create something so fun!  and because kristin also wants to see you craft something fun, she is offering 30% off at her shop, create by the yard, with the code bloghop0914 or you can try your luck at winning a $30 gift certificate through the rafflecopter below!  giveaway runs from 9/22-9/29 at midnight and kristin generously ships worldwide.  good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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