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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Sew an EZ Coaster – Great Kid Sewing Project for Teacher Gift

These EZ Coasters are a great sewing project

You can’t beat these easy directions to stitch a coaster set!  School will soon be out and trips to Grandma’s house planned.  This project is perfect to introduce your youngster to sewing.

finished coaster

These coasters will make you think, yet they are really very easy to do.  And, they teach some basic sewing skills.  A set of 4 of these coasters makes a lovely year-end Teacher Gift, or a hostess gift to have on hand – but think ahead to help your young one create a gift to GIVE at the appropriate time.  Think sport team colors, favorite colors, seasonal fabrics…..

Cut Pieces & Press

  1. Cut 5 – 5″ squares from 2 different fabrics.  Cut 3 from one of the fabrics and 2 from the other fabric.  The fabric with the 3 squares will also be the underside of the coaster – the Base Square.

  2. With 2 of each of the fabrics, press in half, wrong sides together as shown. 

Cut 5" squares and press in half

      Layer & Prepare to Stitch

  1. Lay the remaining square RIGHT SIDE UP – this will be the Base Square.

  2. Lay one of the folded squares on top of that Base Square, matching raw edges along the top.  The folded edge will be towards the innermost part of the Base Square.  In photo at the left below this would be the light colored square.

  3. Lay a second folded square (in photo the brown square) along the adjacent edge, overlapping the first square and matching raw edges along the upper edge.  Steps 2 and 3 are shown in the left photo below.

Add next square...

4. Lay a third folded square (same color as the first one – in this case, the lighter colored one), along the next edge, overlapping fabric from the second square and matching raw edges along the side.  See Photo at the right, above.

5. Lay the last of the folded squares (dark in this case, same as the 2nd square layed down), with raw edges along the remaining side.  Lift the first corner so that it will lay on top of the left side of this last square as shown in the photo below.

Lift to alternate colors shown.

6.  MESH all together so that there is only a very very tiny hole in the very center where all of the FOLDED edges intersect.  If there is too big of a gap here, you’ll have problems in the end.  Really! The hole shouldn’t be even as big as you see in the middle of the photo below.  Pin as shown.

Mark & Stitch

  1. For a new sewer, be sure to mark a stitching line 1/4″ from all the raw edges on each of the 4 sides.  Also mark a pivot point at each corner.  Practice on paper first how to pivot with the machine needle down at the corner as you lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to sew the next side.

Stitch each side, pivoting at the corner.  For advanced sewers, you may know that taking 1-2 stitches at an angle at each corner will actually give a better ‘corner’, but that is too much for a new sewer to absorb.  Make it FUN for your young one.  The love of sewing is more important than a perfect result!

  1. Check that all the raw edges have been caught in along each of the sides before turning!  Stitch with a larger seam allowance if needed along all 4 sides to be sure you catch ALL the edges.

4. Angle trim across each corner to eliminate bulk.  Explain why this must be done by showing how it would look if you do NOT trim.  It is easy to teach this by NOT trimming one corner, turning right side out through the middle ‘hole’ and comparing the corners.  Then, you can easily turn it back wrong side out and trim that corner as well.

Turn right side out through the middle hole.

5.  After turning right side out through that middle ‘hole’, it is time to make those corners as nice as possible.  I find that the Ball Point Bodkin is the SAFEST, best tool for this task. Teach good habits here, do NOT show using the scissors points for this step!

Bodkin at work

6.  Further ‘work’ on the corners can be accomplished with a sturdy pin.  Teach making ones work as good as is possible.  Always do your BEST!

Use a pin on each corner to get the point nice.

7.  Give a final press and SMILE!  Repeat 3 times for a set of 4.

Other Variations

Stitch in a circle instead of a square.  Use a pinking sheers to trim and notch all at once.

Press each square point to point, in triangles and proceed in a similar manner as directed above.

I’d love to hear how this works with your youngsters!  I’ve had a great time with these at Londa’s Sunroom Sewing Studio with my students.  I’ve integrated some teaching techniques and ‘warnings’ in my directions above that should prove helpful!  Having a collection of 5″ squares cut and ready to go has been a great way to keep speedy sewers busy when they finish another project before the other students.


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