We regularly use coasters for drinks on the small glass or polished wooden tops of occasional tables. We have some very nice coasters - bamboo,ceramic, wooden, acryllic - but the most practical are made of fabric, purchased from a Japanese shop. They look good, wash and don't form a vaccuum with a cold or wet glass in the way glass or wooden coasters do.
On a recent visit, my brother commented on the advantage of the fabric coasters, so I decided to use some of the small pieces of Japanese fabric in my stash to make a supply for our house and for my brother.
Finding fabric was easy and fun. I wanted something firm, cotton, with a small pattern. I made most of them reversible (I confess this gave me the licence to claim thirty to get my title rhyme - only 24 separate coasters!). After choosing the fabric, I ironed interfacing to the back, cut them to a suitable size, matching pairs and then selected edging. After running out of suitable bias binding in my stash, I noticed some of the Japanese coasters I was using as a model were edged in gross-grain tape. A visit to Hetty's Patch down the road delivered enough ribbon and tape to make coasters for the Adelaide Hilton!
My first attempts were pink Japanese fabric bought in Japan by my friend Judith. I tried different corner techniques. On the whole, the going-all-the-way-around-and-folding-the-corners produced, I think, the best result. They all require some hand-sewing.
I then did a few by edging two pieces with narrow gross-grain ribbon and stitching the two together around the edge of the gross-grain. That worked pretty well.
I did browny flowers,a Japanese stripe,
and some pink experiments.
They are very much 'folk' craft. They are not perfectly square. In the end, I hand-stitched about half of the edges. I found it quicker and more enjoyable than manoeuvring the machine around the corners and ensuring I caught both sides of the edging evenly.
These would be very simple indeed if I used pre-cut 5" quilting squares or a single fat quarter cut into the same. For the moment we are all coastered-up with enough for my brother. I did, however, order a pack of 5" squares in the recent One Stop Fabric Shop sale.....
My thanks to Judith for her gift of interesting Japanese fabric.