Clever Coasters

Be forewarned ... these are so quick and easy to make, they are addictive! These clever coasters are ideal for hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, a last minute thoughtful thank you ... and a great way to use up scraps.

I don't remember who taught me to make these so I can't give credit where credit is due ... but thank you to the clever person who thought of this idea and to the kind person who taught me. I have thoroughly enjoyed making quite a few of these, as you will see later on, so I wanted to share the technique with you.

Cut gobs of 5" squares or, for the utmost in instant gratification, pick up a pre-cut charm pack. Each coaster is made from five squares:  one square is the back of the coaster while four others are folded and arranged on top of the back to comprise the front of the coaster.

Fold the 4 fabrics you wish to use on the front of the coaster in half to make 2.5 x 5" rectangles. Finger press the fold. Begin with the unfolded 5" square of fabric you want to use on the back of the coaster, right side up:

Place a folded rectangle along the left side of the unfolded square:

Place a second folded rectangle on top of the first rectangle and align it with the top side of the unfolded square:

Place a third folded rectangle on top of the second rectangle and align it with the right side of the unfolded square:

Place the fourth folded rectangle on top of the third rectangle. Align it with the bottom of the unfolded square, tucking the left end underneath the first rectangle. The coaster now resembles a 4-patch:

Pin each quadrant to hold the rectangles in place while stitching. Stitch a 1/4" seam around all four sides. To strengthen the seam at the corners without adding bulk to the seam as with backstitching, shorten the stitch length as you stitch each corner. I use a setting of 0.8 on my Bernina and begin the shorter stitch length about 1/4" away from the corner, pivot at the corner, then continue using the shorter stitch length another 1/4". I press the "clear" button to quickly return to the default stitch length.

Trim each corner close to the stitching line. Turn by "opening" the coaster from the center out and use your favorite tool to poke out the corners. Press lightly with steam to finish.

I warned you these are addictive ...


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