Friday, December 4, 2015

Last Minute Gifts: Coasters to Potholders in One Pattern

I love easy, peasy projects.

I love quick and easy best when holidays are coming and time is running short. Like now.

That's why I got so excited when my friend, Anne, dropped by with this little coaster. She made in no time, using only five charm squares and a bit of batting. I envisioned so many different uses for this idea.

The button isn't necessary, but it adds interest.
Scrap busters, stocking stuffers, little gifts for friends and neighbors, are all rolled up in one very quick and easy pattern. This is my kind of pattern!! I love the versatility, too, as these can be made any size you like. Each piece is made from five squares of fabric and a piece of batting The finished project will be 1/2" smaller than the size of the fabric squares. Anne's gift is 4 1/2" square.

I started with 5 1/2" squares of leftover holiday fabric, and made 5" coasters . These went so fast, that I made two sets of four in one short afternoon. It wasn't necessary at all, but I sewed flat buttons onto one set so as not to throw a cup off balance. I wrote "Merry" on the other with my sewing machine's alphabet setting.

A larger set came next. These finished at 6 1/2" square and I lined them with Insul Bright instead of batting. They make great mug rugs or small hot pads. 

Finally I made a potholder. 
Zip, zip, and done. 

Tutorial for the Potholder:
(To make coasters or mug rugs use only one layer of either batting or Insul Bright, and leave out the loop for hanging.)

Five 8 1/2" squares of fabric
One 1 1/2" x 6" rectangle of fabric
One 8 1/2" square if batting
One 8 1/2" square of Insul Bright

Fold four of these squares in half with the right sides facing out, and press. The unfolded piece will be on the back of your potholder.

Make the loop for hanging the potholder.

Fold the small rectangle of fabric in half lengthwise. Press. 

Fold one long side of the rectangle in to the center fold. Press.

Fold the other long side over the top.

Press and tuck it under the first fold.

Stitch along the outside fold.

Fold the loop in half and stay stitch to a corner of the unfolded 8 1/2" square of fabric. 

Layer the fabrics for sewing.

Layer the fabrics in this order from bottom to top: Batting, Insul Bright, the unfolded square of fabric. The fabric should face right side up. 
Arrange the folded squares out, one on each side of the square. Make sure the folded edge faces in toward the center. 
Lay the folded bottom square onto the layered batting and fabric. Line it up with the edges. 
Lay the folded square on the right hand side onto the layered squares. Half of the bottom square will be covered.

Lay the folded square at the top onto the layered squares next, covering half of the square on the right. 

Lay the folded square on the left onto to the layered squares covering half of the square on the top. 
The folded square on the bottom is now completely covered. Lift up the portion under the folded square on the left and lay it over the top of that one. 

Double check to make sure all the folds are at the center and all the sides are lined up carefully. Pin together.

Sew the potholder together.
For best results, sew with a walking foot. 

Sew all around the layered fabric square using a 1/4" seam allowance. Stitch a curve going around each corner to reduce bulk. You could draw the curve or just wing it.

Trim the fabric back to 1/8" to 3/16" all around. 

Slip your fingers under the layers at the center to turn the potholder inside out. 
Use a tool to push out and smooth the corners. I used a knitting needle - carefully so as not to poke a hole in anything.

The back of the potholder

It isn't really necessary, but I secured the squares of fabric in the center of the potholder with a bit of embroidery floss tied in a knot. 

There you have it. To make other sizes, simply cut things smaller or larger. There's nothing quite like quick and easy gifts all ready to go.