Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Coasters or Ornaments

This was inspired by a recent posting on Quilting Daily (Dec 2, 2014: Painting on Fabric: Easy 'Let it Snow' Coasters) which described how to use small, coaster sized snow flake stencils and fabric paint or PaintStiks to make quilted coasters or ornaments (or could be cute little blocks in a larger quilt).

This seemed like a fun project to do with kids (or others that are not quilters). I made a mock-up and took pictures so I could show the kids on my iPad.

Start with a 4 1/2 inch square of freezer paper

Fold in quarters (in half vertically and then horizontally) and then in 3rds.

Draw shapes to cut from the folds. Shading helps remind you what to cut.

Cut away the shapes (could also be hearts, circles, etc)

Open the paper to reveal the 'snowflake'

Center and iron firmly onto a 5 inch square of fabric that will contrast with the paint you will use.

Dab on slightly thinned paint with foam brush or stencil brush (or PaintStiks).

After the paint dries, iron to set and peel off the paper.
We had friends over for a barbeque (we didn't eat the friends, we ate the fish and shrimp) and while the guys were cooking, my friend and I and the two kids made 'snowflakes' on fabric squares. As a Christmas present, I finished them  by cutting circles of backing fabric and batting and using the 'pillow-case' turn method to finish the edges. The original instructions used felt which I did not have handy. This was followed by quilting with walking foot and triple stitch (really stands out visually)  to produce tiny [4 1/2 diameter] coaster sized quilts with little ribbon loops so they could also be ornaments). They turned out so nicely (sorry -- did not get pictures before they were gifted), I decided to make more for myself and experiment with other folding and cutting, other finishing techniques and colors.

I reused my previous snowflake, plus a new one, as well as other stencils.
Christmas trees are easy to make by folding the paper in half and cutting a series of 'moustaches'. The holly leaves were cut folding the paper once, on different angles and cutting a scallopy three sided shape. Instead of white paint, I used Pewter, which has a metallic shine, and a light green.
Contrasting edging is backing fabric wrapped to the front.
Pieces were finished by marking and folding under a 1/4 inch on all sides. Backing was a 6 1/2 inch square of contrasting fabric. 'Batting' is a 5 inch square of a very stiff fusible interfacing like Fast2Fuse Medium, centered on the wrong side of the backing.
Blanket stitching secures edges of stenciled piece.
The oversize backing fabric was wrapped to the front, mitering the corners to create a finished back and 1/4 inch exposed border. The stenciled pieces were centered on the front and fused down, being careful to get the ironed under edges straight and even. A little Roxanne Glue-Baste was used to secure the edges until I could stitch down (blanket stitch). Free motion quilting was used to add a little extra zing.  The 'snowflakes' were done in one continuous line.
Snowflake front
Snowflake back.
This was really fun, and very easy. I like this method of finishing. When you don't have the right color felt, it is not as fiddly as the pillow-case turn with batting, and the result is very stable and really thin. The finished size of these (5 inches) is probably a little big, but other sizes would be easy to figure:

Desired finished size of coaster == X inches on a side
  • Front fabric == X x X inches
  • Fast2Fuse == X x X inches
  • Back fabric == X+1 1/2  x  X=1 1/2 inches

Hope your Holiday is happy and healthy, with time for yourself to relax and reflect on all the good things in your life.


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