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Drink Coaster Tutorial

on Jan 9, 2010 in quilting, sewing, tutorial | 16 comments

Here’s a quick little project how-to, to add some life to your coffee table, end table and desks around your house. These would be wonderful for all that super cute novelty fabric you’ve bought, but are now, not sure how to cut into it.

Drink Coasters!

First thing you need to do is go to your fabric scrap stash to find a few pieces that either ARE 5″ square or can be pieced to a 5″ square. Charm packs will work great for this project too. You will need 3 squares of fabric and 1 square of batting to make one coaster.

This coaster has a fusible applique circle on the front. Here’s how I made the appliqued circle:

I chose to use a spool of ribbon as my circle template. It was about the right size for the coaster.

Trace the circle onto the fabric. Cut out the fabric. I also used SteamASeam2 for my fusible applique. Trace the same circle onto the sheet of fusible.
Now, follow the manufacturer’s directions and iron/fuse the circles onto one of your 5″ squares.
That was easy, right? Since I was in a scrap-using way this morning, I decided to use batting scraps in this project as well. I pieced together my batting using a wide, long zigzag stitch. The edges of batting are butted up against each other, not over lapping.
Lay the applique coaster top on the batting. I used the coaster top to cut my batting to 5″ square, matching the top.
Next, make a mini-quilt sandwich with the coaster top, the batting and a coaster back. Secure it with 4 straight pins.
Its ready to be quilted. For this project I did a sort of channel stitched grid. I started in the corner.
Then I used my presser foot as my guide to sew in parallel lines across the whole coaster top.
Then I decided to go back and quilt perpendicular to those lines, in the same manner.
Just like quilting a larger quilt top, sometimes there’s some stretching and shifting. This will leave the edges uneven.

Take the quilted coaster to your work surface and trim it to be 4 1/2″ square. Pay attention, so the circle will still be centered on the finished design.
Ready to finish the edges. Set your sewing machine to a mid-width zigzag stitch. I set my stitch length to zero (although it does still move ever so slightly, so “zero” is a misleading number here.)
Lay the coaster on your sewing machine, matching the cut edge up with your needle’s center position. When you sew the zigzag stitch it will work like and “over cast” stitch on a serger.
Start stitching around the perimeter of the drink coaster to finish the cut edges.

I found, after one pass around the perimeter that the edges didn’t look as finished as I’d like. To make the thread more dense and leave virtually no fabric showing through, simply make another pass around the coaster, sewing over the zigzag stitches you’ve just created. This is the same technique I use in my Quilted Name Tags Pattern.

There you go.
Now, I need to go find a big glass of water to set on my fancy new coaster set!

If you make it, feel free to share it in the ReannaLily Designs Flickr pool.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I'll do one.
    Happy new year with pretty works, as always

    Regina, from Brazil

    Regina Diniz Outeiro

    January 9, 2010

  2. Very nice (and nice photos to). Thank you for sharing this how to.


    January 9, 2010

  3. Very nice! Easy and so pretty. Your tutorials are fantastic! I would love to link to some if you didn't mind.

    January 11, 2010

  4. These are adorable…love the finished edges! On my list of things to make…


    January 13, 2010

  5. This is absolutely brilliant! I can't wait to make ones just like yours. I'm waiting for some the new fabric lines to hurry up and come out that will be PERFECT for this! In the mean time, you inspired me to make coasters, just different. Check mine out here:

    And sign up for my giveaway while you are there!



    May 9, 2010

  6. These are adorable! What a great way to use up some scraps of fabric and batting. I plan to make some of these to include with a bridal shower gift. Thanks!


    July 11, 2011

  7. Very imaginative…I am going to try using 20″ pieces of fabric and batting and going thru whole exercise except the stitching around the edge. Next cut into 5″ cubes , then do the serger type stitching around the outside. Will let you know how this works.
    Thanks, Betsy

    Betsy Williams

    August 1, 2011

  8. Great tutorial! I think I will make some of these!


    September 2, 2011

  9. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!

  10. I like the idea of fusing the circle to the coaster. You could go with any theme using this method. Thanks for sharing.

    Peggy Gonzales

    November 22, 2011

  11. This is very nice and I will make some! Thank you!


    August 5, 2012

  12. O MY GOSH! THESE ARE SOOOOO CUTE!!! I am going to make a bunch of these for a Christmas charity project!! Thanks.


    September 29, 2012

  13. What a great tutorial for some quick gifts!


    November 23, 2012

  14. I have been making fabric coasters for about 10 years now. They make fabulous gifts.

    Mary Powers

    June 10, 2013

  15. Really cute gift idea!!!!!!


    November 11, 2013

  16. This is just what I was looking for. We like to give small gifts to each other at work. I like to do something homemade and this will be perfect in some Christmas fabric. Thanks.


    November 25, 2013


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