Saturday, April 28, 2018

Coaster DIY


If you know me you'll know I don't like to use bias bindings. It's not that I don't know how to make them or use them, I find it tedious. Especially because I don't have a rotary cutter. I mean cutting bindings with scissors - that's just insane. I had a few rotary cutters in the past but in Singapore weather, they all turn rusty pretty fast. Heartbreak. These cutters are really expensive! Recently, I saw that Spotlight had a 30% discount off rotary cutters and before I knew it, I was paying for it at the counter. I got a small one this time because it's gonna get rusty right? I'm keeping it oiled though to prolong its lifespan.

So I realised my kids use hankies as coasters for their drinks. Which surprises me because we're not a coaster using kind of family. We used to have a dark wooden dining table which drove me nuts because I could see all the rings made by our cups. Instead of using coasters, I gave the table to hub's friend and bought another table with tiles for tabletop. That's the extend I go to just to avoid using coasters. Well, looks like my kids are very different from their mom when it comes to coasters.

I was going through my storeroom (I go there a lot nowadays) when I discovered I have these two skulls fabric already quilted. I immediately thought of making them into coasters for my kids. And the best part? There are no curves so I don't need bias binding. Just regular bindings will do.

Okay, so I took some pics and please don't get the idea I'm trying to teach You how to make a coaster with bindings. I'm sure everyone knows how to do it already. Right? Lately I've realised my memory isn't as good as before. So I jotted down some notes with the pics just in case sometime in the future I want to make another coaster and I no longer have my memory. I mean, losing one's memory - that's bound to happen in old age. Am I right? Have we had this conversation before?

1. Cut strips.
I was so pleased to discover I have a tiny amount of Alexander Henry's apples and pears from days of yore. Each coaster is 8" X 7" so I need 30" + 8" spare = 38". Double that and I need around 80". Width is 2.25". I had to make a number of joins to get the length I wanted.

2. Join strips.
Right sides together, make a 90 deg or the letter "L". Mark a diagonal line.

3. Sew on diagonal line. Don't bother to backstitch.

4. Trim seam allowance and iron seam open. Mine isn't perfect but it won't really matter.

5. Fold binding in half along the long edges and iron.

6. Sew binding to back of coaster - raw edge to raw edge. (use a walking foot) Why I prefer to sew to the back and not the front is because the final topstitch needs to happen on the front of the coaster. That way I can control how the sewing comes out.
Leave the beginning of binding unsewn for the purpose of joining later. My coaster is pretty small so no matter how much I leave the binding unsewn it's going to be fiddly later. Sew just an inch or so of binding to coaster stopping 1/4" before end.

7. Make miter.
Fold binding up so the raw edge of binding is in a straight line with the raw edge of coaster.

Place one finger on binding to hold it and bring it down so its raw edge is in a straight line with the raw edge of the coaster. Continue sewing binding to coaster. Start 1/4" away from edge.

8. Join binding.
When at the last lap, sew just a couple of inches just enough to anchor binding to coaster.

Cut the longer strip off at the overlap. Overlap = width of binding = 2.25"

Joining of binding is the same as step 2. Right sides together, make a 90 deg, draw a diagonal line. Use pins. It really helps. Sew on diagonal line.

Before you cut off the seam allowance, see if your binding is twisted. Iron seams open. Fold binding. Sew the rest of binding to coaster.

9. Pin binding to front.
Fold binding to the front and make miters. Pin, pin, pin.

Pay attention to the fold which makes the miter. Under the fold there will be bulk. So if on the front, the fold is on the right... (see arrow)

Then on the back, the fold has to be on the left. (see arrow)

10. Edgestitch binding to coaster.
Remember in step 6 I mentioned the reason why I start by sewing the binding to the back? Here you can see why. When I sew the binding down, I can do it accurately from the front. When sewing close to the corners, I use the pointy end of a seam ripper to hold down the miter because by then you'll need to remove the pins.

This is what the back looks like. Not perfect but no one will see it.

Is this how you do your coaster?


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