Oh how I love this set of coasters!
Coasters are a bit of an issue for me.
I have a glass of ice water within reach all day long. I have a lot of potter friends – so most of my cups and glasses are lovely to look at and delightful to hold, but completely uninsulated so they sweat like crazy.
I’m always seeing pretty, pretty coaster tutorials online – and I’ve made a few. But the fabric ones (which are what I love to make) just catch the water and hold it in place. They usually soak completely through, so instead of getting a ring on my furniture – I get a big blobby smear.
Then I had a bit of an epiphany. Maybe everyone else has already thought of this – but none of the tutorials I’ve read mention it and it was a new idea for me, so. . . what if I put something waterproof inside a coaster – to block the moisture from soaking through to the bottom? Of course! *smacks forehead* I could make some very pretty – and also completely functional – felt coasters! Happy dance!
Fast forward to today. My coasters are finally finished!
These are not hard to make – they only use very simple stitches – but they take a LOT of time. Luckily, they’re small and easy to schlepp around for some portable handwork to pull out at the doctor’s office, the park, on long car trips, etc.
Here’s what you need. . .
- 1 1/2 sheets wool-blend felt for the coasters (I used licorice)
- 4 squares of waterproof fabric for the inside of the coasters (I used scraps from some art aprons I used to make, but you could use anything waterproof like an old raincoat or shower curtain liner)
- small scraps of wool-blend felt in assorted colors for the flowers and butterflies
- embroidery thread in colors to match the felt
- Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy (optional)
- freezer paper (optional)
- size 8 embroidery needle (optional)
- Thread Heaven (optional)
So there you are! Download your patterns and gather up some felt and thread in pretty colors and start stitching! It’s fun – and the finished coasters are so, so pretty. 🙂
Cut the four squares apart (leaving a little extra room around each square), peel off the paper back and stick the film to a square of felt.
Embroider the design right through the stabilizer and the felt.
I’m going to applique most of the flowers and the butterfly, so all I stitched here are the stems, butterfly trail, and the small flowers all around the edges.
For the star flowers around the edges I used two strands of green (DMC #522) and a single stitch for each stem, and two strands of fuchsia (DMC #601) for the flowers.
You have a couple of options when you stitch the flowers.
In this first photo, I stitched the stem up to the base of the asterisk, then stitched the full asterisk for the flower.
In this second photo, I stitched the stem up to the center of the asterisk, then stitched the rest of the asterisk around it, skipping the bottom stroke of the asterisk so it looks like the stem goes up into the flower.
Which do you like better? That’s what you do for yours. :)
Trim around the edge of your stitched coaster, right on the line.
Soak out the Sulky Sticky FabriSolvy in cold water for at least an hour and rinse clean with more cold water. Hit any stubborn bits with a kitchen sprayer – don’t rub the surface of the felt.
Let the pieces dry flat. Don’t wring, twist or even smoosh them. Just set them on a towel and let them dry overnight.
You can see a coaster with the stabilizer removed at the bottom of the photo. Look! Now I know exactly where each applique piece goes. The stitched stems and flight path are great guides!
Applique and embroider the rest of your design.
Download the applique patterns here and print or trace them onto the paper side of a sheet of freezer paper. One sheet has enough applique pieces for 8 coasters. Make a second set for a friend!
Iron the freezer paper to the felt and cut the small pieces out – cutting the freezer paper right along with the felt. That keeps your cutting accurate on such small pieces.
Peel off the freezer paper and use a swipe of glue stick to stick the flower where it goes on the coaster.
Use whipstitch and two strands of matching thread to applique each flower to the coaster, then add all the little detail stitches.
Here’s a detailed color and stitch guide and a super close-up photo of one finished coaster.
Use two strands of thread for all stitching - the applique and the embroidered details.
Whipstitch the flower with DMC #3746, large center with DMC #333 and tiny center with DMC #741. The orange French knots in the purple center are DMC #741. The blue French knots and straight stitches on the outer ring of the flower are DMC#3846.
Whipstitch the pink flower with DMC #601. Lay the green bit so it overlaps the base of the pink petals and whipstitch with DMC #522. The orange highlights on the petals are lazy daisy stitches in DMC #741.
Cut a second piece of felt to match the first.
Sew the two layers together around two edges. I used whipstitch. Whipstitching felt edges is a tiny bit different from whipstitch applique. There’s a video here showing how.
Slip a piece of waterproof fabric (cut a bit smaller than your coaster) between the layers and keep stitching all the way around.
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