Fall Inspired Quilted Coaster using Paper Pieced Blocks

I get asked about paper piecing all the time.  People either love paper piecing and are looking for new ideas or people are intimidated with paper piecing.  I am not going to be providing any ground breaking ideas.  I can't draw to save my soul so I am not going to be able to make any paper piecing patterns.  I am going to help those who are intimidated by it and maybe give those who know how a few tips to make life easier.  This first project we are going to two quilted coasters.  The paper piecing pattern makes two blocks at a time.  Ready to get started?

quilted coaster


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We are going to use a paper pieced pattern from Miss Rosies Quilt Co.  These recipe cards, as they are called, for Moda charm squares.  You don't have to use Moda fabrics with these, you can use any 5-inch squares of fabric that make you happy.  They also make "cake mixes" for 10-inch squares.  I normally only do paper piecing for super tiny blocks or for something really complicated.

Paper Pieced Quilted Coaster Supply List

Moda Cupcake Mix Recipe Foundation Paper Pattern Pad #3 each sheet makes two blocks
2 5-inch squares per sheet from the pad
Glue Stick - Make sure it's washable

Batting 5 1/2" square for each coaster
Backing - 5 1/2" square for each coaster
Border Fabric - Inner border - 2 strips 1"x3", 2 strips 1"x4"  Outside border - 2 strips 1"x4", 2 strips 1"x5"

I don't use pins when I paper piece.  I use a little washable glue stick to hold things together.  It doesn't get in the way, I don't have to stop to take it out, and it doesn't wrinkle or bunch the fabric. When you sew be sure to shorten your stitch length. 1.5-1.7 is what we are shooting for we want short enough to perforate the paper but not so short that it cuts the paper.




These paper pieced patterns are really easy to use.  Sew on one line and cut on the other.  Each pattern tells you which is which.  The one thing I found was the directions say to sew the pieces together with a scant quarter inch and the seam allowance measured a full quarter.

Now that we have the pieced center it's time to make the coasters.

Making the Coaster

The first thing we are going to do is add our border.  This will get our coaster big enough to actually cover the bottom of most cups.  Because the blocks aren't an easy measurement, I cut all my border strips a little long and trimmed down.  I find that easier than dealing with eighths and sixteenths.



Once we have our borders on we need to make a quilt sandwich.  I use some basting spray on projects this small.  Pin basting is fine but this is a 5-inch block and they will just get in the way.



Once we have our quilt sandwich we need to quilt them together.  Since we don't want a lot of lumps I am just going to stitch in the ditch.  Tighter quilting like stippling looks great on a quilt where you want that antique look but on a coaster, we want as little texture as possible.  The stitching is a little difficult to see except where I got out of the ditch.

Oh, binding.  I have made no secret that binding is my least favorite part of quilting.  Attach the binding in your preferred method.  For small projects like this, I like to do my cheater binding method. For whatever reason, though I went the traditional method.



I jacked up one of the corners but I left it.  It's holding my coffee or tea depending on the time of day cup, it isn't in a show to be judged.  Mistakes happen and some are just not worth fixing.  Some are worth fixing but none should be pointed out unless you are standing on your soap box like I am.  I haven't mentioned the mistake to Paul and don't plan on it.  I'm not going to point it out when I share photos of it.  Most people probably won't see that pointy corner so don't draw attention to it.

paper pieced quilted coaster


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About Melissa Shields

Mel is a 30 something year old quilter, attempting to balance her old school roots with today's trends. When not sewing or shopping for a new sewing machine Mel enjoys reading, reality TV, and Nascar.

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