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Coasting Along

September 17, 2010



Have you ever used a coaster to keep condensation off of your table and found that the water just accumulated on the top of the coaster and when you  picked it up all the water just drained off onto the floor? Come on, what good was the coaster when you end up having to grab something to wipe it up after all?! I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a few of my own to eliminate the hassle of cleaning up after myself.

I try to keep a glass of water handy during the day because I realize I don’t really drink enough. It’s sort of a vicious cycle, if I drink enough I have to stop what I’m doing and go to the bathroom and I think going to the bathroom is a HUGE waste of my time…guess I better get over that though and keep drinking more water.

Anyway, there’s no reason to spend money on coasters when you can make your own.  Here’s how…

Start with a small group of scraps


Using your rotary cutter and mat, cut the scraps into random strips, I used 1″, 1 1/2″, and 2″ strips.

Sew them together with 1/4″ seam allowances in your choice of patterns. I made a couple of log cabin blocks, a triangular log cabin, and simply sewed a few strips together in rows. 

 I was a little concerned about pressing the seam allowances to one side as you usually do when piecing blocks because I didn’t want glasses to be unstable when they are sitting on the coasters, so I tried pressing the seam allowances open for one of the blocks. In the long run it really didn’t make any difference, the glass doesn’t wobble on either one.



For the backing fabric I pressed Decor Bond to the wrong side of the fabric. Decor Bond is a heavy weight fusible interfacing by Pellon that is great when you want to add a little extra body to something.


Since I wanted to make a couple of different shapes, I needed something circular just a little larger than the base of a glass. This roll of tape seemed to be the perfect choice. For the square coasters I just used a pencil to make a square the size I needed and then rounded the corners using the base of a spool of thread.

 Once I had the circle traced on the Decor Bond, I cut it out and used it as a pattern to make a circle of Timtex the same size. You can also use Fast 2 Fuse instead of Timtex, this just happens to be what I had on hand. If you don’t have either of these, you can make your own rigid base by pressing several layers of Decor Bond on top of each other. I tried to make a coaster without this additional piece of stiffener and it was more difficult to sew a nice finished edge. It was also a little floppy when it was finished.

 This photo shows the order to layer your fabrics and batting. I placed the backing fabric on top, then the Timtex, next a layer of Warm ‘n White cotton batting, and finally the finished quilt block.


After all of these were layered together and BEFORE I trimmed anything away, I stitched very close to the edge of the backing fabric and Timtex. If you have an edge-stitch foot use it now because it will make this step so much easier! 


 Here is a photo of the square coaster with the edge stitching done and  all the extra fabric and batting trimmed away.


Now, using your edge-stitch foot again, line the edge of your coaster up with the guide of the foot and sew a satin stitch around the edge. Even with a very good sewing machine you may not be able to get the stitching as close as you would like so just stitch around the coaster once again. It will give you a very nice finished edge with this double amount of stitching. If you don’t have an edge-stitch foot use your regular zig-zag foot or open toed zig-zag foot.



After stitching around twice.

 Ta daaa! Four finished coasters, quick, easy, and cheap since everything was made with leftover scraps!  Make some for yourself. I think these would be great made up in holiday fabrics and would make great gifts.

No more sweaty glasses, dripping all over my sewing cabinet!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2010 10:22 pm

    Where do I go to put my order in for these! I love them!! Very creative!

  2. September 18, 2010 9:55 pm

    Love the idea and love the outcome! Great photography and lay out too! WordPress is a good choice for a blog!

  3. Kelly Hutchens permalink
    September 19, 2010 9:28 am

    GREAT JOB Sandy!!! The step by step is very well done! Awesome coasters! (and yes you DO need to drink plenty of water! Getting up to pee is good for you too… keeps you from sitting in one position too long!)

  4. Mary Wallace permalink
    September 20, 2010 9:15 am

    …looks like a great Sister/Mama gift ~ maybe with a sunny beach theme…we picked up Mama yesterday in Tupelo…see you next month!!

  5. kindergartenteacherclaire permalink
    September 22, 2010 8:02 pm

    do you have me for Christmas this year?

  6. September 24, 2010 6:47 am

    Sandy ~ You’re are so right about the threads being like paint. I ran an embroidery shop for years and also thought all the colorful threads, lined up on the rack, was a beautiful site.

    Your coaster are fabulous. Great colors! Although, I do much sewing, I have not taken up quilting, . . . yet!

  7. Carolyn permalink
    November 9, 2012 9:43 am

    this is a great idea, thanks so much!

  8. Dorothy Stobbs permalink
    November 30, 2012 11:10 am

    This is a really neat way to use up scraps while at the same time being practical. No more water stains on furniture!!

  9. December 5, 2012 9:46 am

    love the zig zag idea, so clever, i’m doing a craft show on the 15th, this would be perfect… are you going to sanford in january? I’m still working on your giraffe design, needle turn is taking forever, should have done machine… oh well. got referred from favequilts this time btw

    • December 6, 2012 11:01 am

      Bea, glad to hear you found me on FaveQuilts! Yep, I’ll be vending in Sanford, hope to see you there. Hope you make and sell lots of coasters.

  10. Jill Bost permalink
    January 1, 2013 8:26 pm

    Hey Sandy, I tried making something similair for Christmas presents for friends this year. When sewing around the circle, the fabric wanted to pinch and pleat rather than staying in place. Any suggestions? Is that the reason that you stitched around the coaster before cutting off the excess?

    • January 2, 2013 1:00 am

      Yes, Jill, I think if you stitch around the edges of your coasters before cutting off the excess you will be more successful. I didn’t have any trouble with pinching or pleating and trimming the excess at this point gave a good clean edge to satin stitch around. Good luck!

  11. maureenc permalink
    October 31, 2013 5:56 pm

    Reblogged this on KenMaursCorner and commented:
    Fast and easy gifts to make

  12. November 1, 2013 3:45 am

    If you use the “Quilt as you go” method you can completely cut out using the Fast 2 Fuse or the Timtex. And just sew the individual scrap pieces directly onto the Warm & White. I recently took a free Craftsy course where I learned how to do same. They show using this method for making potholders out of the scrap fabrics which the finished item looks similar to yours, except for your edging, using the satin stitch for joining the layers together.

  13. Sharon permalink
    May 31, 2014 11:10 am

    I just saw this pattern. Can I make these to sell or are they completely copyrighted?

    • June 1, 2014 5:12 pm

      I created this tutorial for you to use as you wish, so yes, you can make these to sell. The patterns on my website, however, are fully copyrighted.

      • Sharon permalink
        June 1, 2014 5:42 pm

        thank you very much Sandy. You are a very gracious lady and very helpful. You made this old woman happy.

  14. Jamie permalink
    October 18, 2014 5:05 pm

    These are soooo cute and will be making some! I’ve always wondered, though — what keeps the “sweaty glasses” from soaking through and marring the surface underneath? Thanks for the tutorial!

    • October 19, 2014 2:58 pm

      Jamie, by using Timtex or another very stiff product along with the batting and fabric a lot of moisture is absorbed into the coaster. I can’t guarantee that it will totally keep from marring the surface underneath but it does a pretty good job.

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