Coasters!!!

Judging from the fact that Sara has made at least eight posts in the past few weeks, I definitely know my time is due.  I’d like to say that I’ve done very exciting things in the past few weeks, but I can’t.  I’ve spent a lot of quality time developing my relationships with NetFlix and basic cable.  I am very much ready for Spring, and I’m already weary of how winter makes me want to hibernate.   Most days, I come home, slough off the work clothes and happily don my pajamas or other comparable “house uniforms.”

Half the battle for me is overcoming the “hassle” or “trouble” of getting a project started.  Once I get going, I’m energized (until I hit my “middle point, of course) and excited with new ideas.  Part of the excitement about moving into my spacious 2-bedroom apartment (in comparison to the Hobbit Quarters of my previous abode) is having the room to set up a little craft station.  After four months, the sewing machine was still tucked away in the closet.

Last night, that changed.  Sometime between watching Bones and NCIS, I pulled out the sewing machine, managed to change the foot, while seated cross-legged on my living room floor, and somehow made coasters!

When visiting Sara, I discovered the Last Minute Patchwork Gifts book and had scanned a couple pages for good ideas.  I have a lot of scraps left-over from making my quilts over the years.  In all, I think I’ve made about 8 which sounds more impressive than it is because I have absolutely no skill or education on the craft but kind of cobble things together after coloring in designs on graph papers, with crayons.  Still, I’ve fallen in love with pretty fabrics, and most of my quilts began with falling in love with one specific fabric.  Of course, I bought double of that fabric over the years, imagining I was some pioneer women who would magically whip up something wonderful and useful with the “scraps.”  As a result, I have a rather large crate of small bits of fabric.  Yes, I could make a quilt of all of them, but I’m a little too materialistic for that and prefer to buy something new each time.  Making coasters only required a 4.5in x 10in strip of fabric per coaster and you really don’t have to match!  It was perfect.  Also, talk about instant gratification — after about an hour, I had cut, pieced, and sewn 2 coasters with two more ready to go.

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Unfortunately, the photo quality here does not give the piece justice.  This is a very simple craft, so the beauty of fabric is key.  This fabric is 100% cotton but made to look like silk.  It doesn’t slide around the machine and washes nicely.

After cutting the fabric, fold it in half, wrong sides out, and stitch up 2 sides.  Turn inside out so that the right side is facing outward. Then you have to cajole the square of batting into the nice pocket you’ve just created.  It’s a little tricky, but I found that if I folded it in half length-wise, inserted it in the pocket, and then unfolded it inside, it was less bumpy.  The next step is to sew up the open end.  Turn in the two separate sides and sew together.  As you get the end of the square, stop the machine with the needle down, lift the foot and turn the corner.  Do this at every corner to make design.  Voila.  Coasters!

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