Sunday, December 5, 2010

Round Flower Coaster Tutorial

Well, brownie points to Accuquilt for marketing.  All those blogs showing off their new Accuquilt Go cutters.  The gadget girl in me couldn’t resist.  I mean she couldn’t resist.  My first project was making a Pink Chalk Studio Mail Sack.  I used the Round Flower and the 2 inch square dies.

(Cooper is wondering if there’s a chew in that sack.  He is ever hopeful.)
In fact, I had planned to do a tutorial showing how I drew guidelines on an interfacing to do a variation of Fold and Sew that made sewing up that square grid very fast and easy.
Enter the Big Uh-Oh – which is to say a freeze on my laptop that required a complete reinstallation of the operating system to fix.  Don’t I tell my students to back up frequently?  (Yes, I do).  Did I follow my own advice?  (No, I didn’t).  So, I lost all the photos for the book cover project, the Pyramid Triangle Christmas Trees, the Mail Sack, and photos on the other Round Flower project I’ve been working on.  Well . . . lesson learned, c’est la vie, etc.  I stand here bloodied but unbowed (okay, bowed a little because, you know, putting your computer back together is really a pain).  And I have a tutorial.  My first for the Go! 
Reversible Coasters, front:

And back:

With a little bag to keep them in:

Yes, those coasters look a lot like the ones I showed a couple posts ago.  These got me to what I wanted: a little thicker, and a finished edge that wasn’t satin stitched and didn’t require me binding the edges.  These are built off of two tutorials I found on line: one, the very popular Criss-Cross Coasters, and the other, a round version from Bethany Reynolds.
This project uses two dies: the Circles die and the Round Flower die.  Directions are for a set of four coasters.
The Coasters: Cutting Directions.  Cut four 5" circles for the lining fabric (which won’t be visible) and sixteen 5" circles for the criss-cross reversible side. 

You will also need four backgrounds for the Round Flowers.  Before running those through, however, iron Fusible Fleece onto the wrong side of four 6" squares.  Then run through the Accuquilt Go to create 5" circles.

In addition, cut four 4" circles of Insul-Fleece.  (I just used a template for these since there isn’t a 4" circle on the Circle die).

From the Round Flower die cut four flowers for the coasters.  If you plan on making the bag as well, cut five.  Before cutting the shapes, iron fusible web (I use Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite) onto the backs of the fabrics.  (Truth in advertising: I didn’t cut out just five flowers.  I was working on another taupe round flower project for which I ran through a whole bunch.  These are some of my leftovers).
Fuse the flowers onto the circles.

If you desire a little more durability and a more finished look, stitch down the edges of the fused shapes. 
Assembling the Coasters:
1.  Iron the sixteen criss-cross circles in half, wrong sides together.  Leave the lining fabrics flat.

2.  Place the lining fabric right side down and center the Insul-Fleece on top.

3.  Next place the Round Flower applique right side up.  Take one of the folded circles and place it on top, folded edge to the center.

4.  Take another folded circle and lay perpendicularly over the first.  Using a ruler can help you get an exact cross.

5.  Place the next folded circle, once again perpendicular to the previous patch.

6.  With the last folded circle, place it so that it weaves under the very first folded circle (like folding the top of a box in).

7.  Sew a quarter inch seam all around the edge of the layers.  (NOTE: you can see that I used pins in the picture, but after a couple of circles, I decided it worked better if I didn’t pin them and just held them carefully together as I sewed).

8.  Turn inside out through the criss-cross side.  Press and you’re done.  Couldn’t be easier!

The Bag: Cutting Directions.  Cut two outer pieces and two lining pieces, all 8" square.
Assembling the Bag:
1.  Fuse a round flower centered and low on one of the outer fabrics.  (NOTE: I was making this up as I went along.  I didn’t originally plan to box the corners and so placed the flower fairly low.  If I was doing this again, I’d bring the flower up about an inch).
2.  Place the lining and outer fabrics right sides together.  Sew the top seams.  Press the seam open.

3.  Time out for a gripe.  There are two things in the typical construction of a drawstring bag that I really dislike: one is picking out seams with a seam ripper so that I have an opening for the tie; the other is trying to get the safety pin with the tie attached out through the opening and having it tuck into the seam allowance instead.  I mean I really, really find this annoying.  What I’m doing here is taking steps to avoid that.  So . . . .
Place your ruler at the 3/4" mark on the open seam line of the top and make a mark next to the edge of the fabric.

Now place another mark 1/2" further down.

Do this for both the lining and outer pieces, on both the right and left sides.
4.  Pin the two sections together, right sides together, lining to lining and outer fabric to outer fabric.  Sew along the sides, top to bottom, and then sew the bottom of the outer fabric only.  Leave the bottom edge of the lining fabric unsewn.
As you sew, skip over the gap between the two marks on the outer fabric side only.  In the picture below, the outer fabric is on the left, the lining on the right.

5.  Draw a one inch square in each of the corners. 

6.  Cut out the squares. 

7.  Step number four took care of having to pick out stitches.  This next step insures that your safety pin doesn’t get stuck behind the  seam allowance flaps.  Take a little bit of quarter-inch Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite fusible and iron into the seam allowance centered over the marked dots.  Do this for both the lining and outer fabrics.  It’s hard to see in the photo so the arrows point to where the paper is.  Since you are fusing all the seams downs, there is also paper on the seam allowance of the other side as well, you just can’t see it in the photo.

8.  Peel off the paper and iron the seams flat.  Now they are fused down and won’t get in the way later. 

9.  Sew the bottom seam, leaving a gap in the middle of about 2 1/2" to 3" for turning the bag right side out later.
10.  For all four corners, fold out the cut outs so that the seams match in the center.  Sew across the raw edge. 

11.  Turn the bag inside out.  Stitch the opening closed.  You could be a pretty quilter and hand stitch it, but I am not that big a purist.  It’s the bottom of an inside of a bag; I’m fine with machine stitching it.  (Though I will think highly of your craftsmanship if you hand sew it instead).

12.  Push the lining to the inside.  You have two choices.  You can push it all the way in so that the seam is the top edge of the bag.  Or you can do as I did here: fold it in so that a quarter inch of the lining fabric folds over the top and creates a binding edge. 

13.  Almost there!  Place your ruler at the 3/4" mark along the upper seam edge and draw a chalk line across the full width of the bag, front and back.

14.  Stitch along the line, circling all the way around.  Then draw another line 1/2" down from the sewn line.  Stitch once again.  (You should be catching the opening you created earlier in-between these two sewn lines).

15.  Cut two pieces of cord 28" in length.  Put a safety pin through one end (forgot to take a picture of this – oops!) and thread it into one of the side seam openings; circle all the way through till you come back out through the same opening.  (Enjoy how easy this is when you don’t catch the pin in the seam allowance!)
Repeat on the other side with the other cord.  Knot the ends.
And you’re done!

Hey, did I mention I love my new Accuquilt Go?
Oh, and I am linking this post over at SewCalGal’s great blog and her listing on Accuquilt tips and ideas.


  1. Excellent post Terrie. Love all your tips & tutorial. Welcome to the Team of Bloggers with AccuQuilt products too!


  2. Terrie, I love this. What a great idea!

  3. Just the cloth part of the coaster makes a great little carry bag for things like earbuds or other small objects. Add a loop and a carabiner clip and you can hook it to a backpack or purse handle.