By Donna Fenske, Nancy’s Notions Guest Blogger
Woven coasters make great gifts for wedding showers, birthdays, and hostess gifts. Choose your favorite 2-1/2″ fabric strips, and you’re ready to get started!
Make perfect fabric tubes with the Fasturn Perfect Tube Guide, which includes the Tiger Eye Guide, a cutting and alignment tool that works with the Fasturn Perfect Tube Guide. The right side of the guide shows the width of fabric strips to use with each of the six different sizes of Fasturn cylinders. These woven coasters are made with 2-1/2″ wide fabric strips and the #5 Fasturn cylinder.
Insert the alignment tool into the Fasturn Perfect Tube Guide. Notice that there are Tiger Eye symbols at the top of the guide showing the perfect needle position for each size Fasturn cylinder. Align the Tiger Eye needle positions at the top of the guide, and manually lower the machine needle into the correct hole on the guide. Remove the protective paper from the back of the Fasturn Perfect Tube Guide and firmly attach to the sewing machine throat plate. Raise the needle and remove the Tiger Eye Guide.
Sew a sample fabric tube to test the fit of the tube on the Fasturn cylinder. Fold one of the fabric strips in half lengthwise, right sides together. Slide the folded fabric into the Fasturn Perfect Tube Guide, sandwiching the metal plate between the two layers of fabric. Slide the fabric strip through the Guide until it is under the presser foot. Lower the presser foot and set your machine for a short stitch length and a very narrow zigzag, between 0–1 mm. This zigzag, or wobble stitch, helps prevent thread breakage while turning the fabric tubes. Sew the sample tube and check the fit on the Fasturn cylinder. If it’s a bit tight, adjust the needle position to the right, as needed.
After you’ve determined the correct needle position to get a perfect fit on the Fasturn cylinder, sew 12 fabric strips 2-1/2″ wide x 42″ long using the same technique. Use fabrics from your stash to give the coasters a scrappy look, or start with precut fabric strip packs that include an array of coordinating colors. We’ve used 6 gradations of two colors, but you can include as few or as many colors as you like.
Cut the 12 sewn tubes into 7″ lengths. Cut your choice of batting into 12 strips, 1/2″ x 8″, for stuffing the tubes. Thread one 7″ tube onto the Fasturn cylinder, and press the seam open while it’s on the tube. The Clover Mini-Iron is perfect for this small task.
Fold one side of the fabric over the cylinder opening, and insert the curled end of the Fasturn wire turner into the cylinder. When the curled end reaches the opposite end of the cylinder, turn the wire to catch the fabric tube.
Arrange 6 of the tubes vertically, gradating from light to dark, or whatever arrangement is most pleasing to you. Pin the top of the tubes to the padded side of the Quilter’s Cut ‘n Press I. Weave the remaining tubes horizontally, again gradating from light to dark, or your preferred arrangement. Start the first horizontal tube over the vertical tubes, then under the next, over the next, under the next, and so on. Repeat with remaining tubes, starting the next row under the vertical tubes, then over the next, under the next, over the next, and so on. When you’ve woven all 6 horizontal strips with the vertical strips, pin the outer edges of each row to hold them together.
Complete the coasters in a square shape by machine basting the outer edges. Trim 1/4″ outside the basting stitches. Make coordinating bias tape using the 1″ Bias Tape Maker and a 2″ wide strip of cotton fabric. Press the binding as it comes through the Tape Maker. Fold the bias tape in half and bind each coaster using your favorite technique.
Make the coasters round using the largest size of Circles Mix ‘n Match Templates. Place the template over the woven tubes, centering on the crosshatch of a vertical and horizontal row. Trace around the outer edges of the template with a Trace ‘n Mark Marking Pen. Machine baste along the traced line, and trim 1/4″ outside the basting stitches. Make coordinating bias tape using the 1″ Bias Tape Maker and a 2″ wide strip of cotton fabric. Press the binding as it comes through the Tape Maker. Fold the bias tape in half, then preshape and press bias around the edge of the circle. Stitch binding in place using your favorite technique.
Each set of 12 fabric tubes will make 6 coasters. They’re so easy to make. You can give them as gifts or change your home décor with each season or holiday. Have fun with this simple project, and enjoy the creative process!
Watch a video demonstration of the simple step-by-step directions to make this fun project.
Thanks to Nancy’s Notions, and especially to Donna Fenske, for being today’s guest blogger!
Bye for now,