Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sewing FO: Quilted Coasters

Just a quickie post this time to talk about my new favorite and fast hand-sewn gift: coasters.  About a year ago I signed up for Verb's Pressed Seam fat quarter club, which means that every month I have six delightful new fat quarters of fabric arriving at my door.  I really love the idea behind yarn/fiber/fabric clubs both as a way to steadily support small creative businesses and as a way to grow creatively myself.  Clubs often get me to try things that I would normally not choose for myself; and as long as I'm careful in selecting clubs that are put together by people with whom I share similar tastes in colors/prints, I rarely get something I outright dislike.  More often opening club packages is a happy mixture of "Ooh, beautiful!" and "I would never have picked this out for myself, but it's so INTERESTING!".

With the fabric club, getting a steady influx of fat quarters is a great way to keep the creative juices going.  The first month I managed to use five out of the six fat quarters right away, and the second month I used three.  After that, I started to lag.  Six months in and I was still wowed by every shipment, but had fallen into the habit of washing the fabric, pressing it, and returning it to the plastic fabric bin.  I started to feel a little guilty about how much fabric I was amassing (although we'll have another post later on stash guilt), and started looking around for ways to use up some of those fat quarters.  Along comes the delightful little quilted coaster pattern from Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts (by the same author as Last-Minute Knitted Gifts).

Quilted Coasters 

I chose several prints and spent two afternoons making about twenty coasters.  About half ended up being a gift for my sister-in-law.  Originally I was a bit worried that the coasters would be too bumpy to be really practical, but they're great!  The only part that really took some practice was cutting out squares of batting and stuffing them in the folded-up coasters, but it got easier after I'd done four or five.  And now that I've done the pattern all the way through several times, I think I could get into a good production-line rhythm with them. Here's the entire set that I selfishly kept for myself, with a large water glass for scale. My favorite one is the butterfly print where the coaster is nearly completely taken up by one giant wing!

Quilted Coasters

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