I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t like throwing away potentially useful things and hence have accumulated a large collection of scrap fabric. A fun way to use up scraps, is to piece them together to form a patchwork fabric. I enjoy this a lot, because you get to essentially make your own fabric with a unique pattern and texture. Quilting the resulting patchwork can help to stabilize the construction.
Here I’m going to show how to make a quilted coaster. It’s a fun little creative project that can be finished within a few hours.
You start by combining small pieces of fabric to a patchwork piece about the size of your desired coaster size . Then you cut out a square from a simple cotton backing fabric (I chose some with a high contrast batik pattern) and adjust the size of the patchwork piece to match . This step is easiest, if you use a roller cutter. Then you cut out a matching size of batting  and layer the three squares as follows : patchwork front piece (right side up) at the bottom, backing fabric (right side facing down) in the middle and batting on top. If you have some, it’s easier to stabilize this sandwich with “wonder clips” (funny name, no?) than with pins . Then sew the three layers together , leaving a small opening on one side . Clip the corners off , to make it easier to turn the coaster inside out  by pulling the outer fabric over the batting and backing layer. Then iron the nearly finished coaster carefully and bend over the edges along the little opening and fix with pins or clips [9 & 10]. Then sew once around the edge, closing the opening, and then move on to quilting the rest of the coaster as you please . I like to follow the lines that I created during patch working. Finally, you can tidy up the loose threads by fixing them with a few knots and pulling them into the batting with a hand sewing needle.
The final product: a set of 7 coasters
So far I have made 7 coasters, which I think form a nice set. Only the one with the dark brown falls a bit out of the pattern, I think. Probably I’ll keep adding more coasters whenever I feel like doing a small yet creative sewing project (and I have already cut out three more squares of the backing fabric).
On a side note, I would like to direct your attention to the cute owl mug in the title and last image above. It features a design by artist Vicky Sawyer, who’s paintings of birds and other animals reliably raise a smile on my face. Vicky Sawyer produced a whole series of bird images following the logic that “if birds can build nests, then they can make hats”. Here’s a proper image of the snow owl on the mug and one of a tufted titmouse, because I happen like tufted titmice very much.