Friday, December 8, 2023

Quick gift project

Last weekend I made a set of coasters for my quilt guild's holiday gift exchange.  It was fairly quick, and I dug into my Christmas  fabric scraps to start getting into the holiday spirit.  A little bit of Christmas music on Spotify helped get me in the right frame of mind.

These use fabric squares folded into rectangles or triangles and no patchwork piecing.  I made some with the 4-patch design years ago.  I don't remember exactly where I found the tutorial at the time, but it may have been this one from the blog Quilt Piecer.  This year I saw the variation using folded triangles at AppleGreen Cottage here.  

I chose to add batting inside my coasters, which made them a little thicker, and made it harder to get crisp corners.  It bothered me especially on the triangle variation because the triangle points didn't end up quite in the corners as you would see in a pieced quarter-square triangle unit (QST). 

Though the tutorials didn't call for it, I added topstitching to embellish each coaster.  It helped make them less floppy, as well as drawing my eye away from those troublesome points.

I also added batting.  One tutorial suggested leaving it out, while the other used fusible fleece.  I just used scraps of 80/20 Quilter's Dream batting.  I will say fusing it to the fabric for the back of the coaster would have made things easier.  If I made these again, I might use just a touch of basting spray to keep the batting in place while I stitched around everything.  Not a huge deal though, and I could have used pins.  I just chose to skip them.

Another tip if you use batting:  pay attention to the order to stack the batting and assorted fabric pieces.  You stack the pieces, sew around the edges, then turn the whole thing inside out.  If you stack the batting inside,  between the fabrics at the start, you'll end up with batting on the outside of the coaster when you turn things inside out.  No need to ask me how I know.  Just look at the picture:

That's what happens when I don't read the directions and don't think through what exactly I'm trying to accomplish. This led to a little grumbling and seam ripping, but I really had no one to blame but myself.  

I gifted these at the guild gift exchange, and received a lovely hot pad, chocolate-peanut clusters and a jar of marmalade.  Not a bad trade, I think.  There isn't much of the chocolate left, and the marmalade will be lovely on my breakfast toast.

And I think I need to make myself a set of  coasters to keep...

What's your quick go-to gift project?  Or do you have an ornament pattern you particularly like?  I haven't decided  what to add to our tree for 2023, so I'm open to suggestions.

Happy quilting, 

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