This is an English paper piecing project you can whip up in short order. Kona Precut Hexies, with all their pretty colors, are so much fun to work with – the Bright palette reminds me so much of the beach balls I used to play with as a kid! So I decided to use that form in these generously-sized coasters. Even though each coaster is different, they all blend together in a set. Won't they look cute at a backyard barbecue? Best of all, a single pack of Precut Hexies yields up to five coasters!
Size: 5 1/2" x 6 1/2"
- Downloadable hexie template
- 1 pack Kona Precut Hexies (I'm using the Bright colorstory, but any of the six palettes would work.)
- Washable glue stick
- Coordinating thread (a light grey or beige works well)
- Contrasting thread for basting
- Hand sewing needle (a sharp or quilting needle in a size you like)
- Low-loft cotton batting, 7" x 7" piece
Step 1: Each coaster requires eight hexies. Download the hexie template and carefully cut the eight smaller hexies out along the lines. Apply a small amount of glue stick to one side of a paper hexie, and center it glue side down over a fabric hexie. Press them together with your fingers. Repeat this process with the other hexies. Cut out the large hexie from the template, pin it to batting, and cut around its edges. Set the batting aside.
Step 2: Baste the fabric to the each of the paper hexie templates, using contrasting thread. Begin by folding one edge of the fabric over and finger pressing the fold. Bring the needle up through the fabric and paper near the center of that side. Then fold the adjacent edge of the fabric over the template and finger press. Pass the needle back down just past the little fold where those two edges of fabric meet. Your stitch should anchor the folds over the corner, as shown above. Bring the needle back up near the center of the next side. Fold the third edge of fabric over, finger press, and then pass the needle back down over the corner. Repeat this process on each of the remaining sides of the hexie.
When you've basted all the way around, don't tie a knot in the basting thread – you'll
need to remove the basting later. Instead, pass your needle through only the fabric at
the back of the patch, and then trim it with about a 2" tail. That will keep the loose end
out of your way, and make it easy to remove the stitches in Step 6.
When you're done basting, the fabric should be securely folded over the edges of the
paper and smoothly covering the front.
Step 3: Sew the hexies together with a whip stitch. Place two hexies together with right sides facing, and then take tiny stitches through the very edges of the hexies. Try to catch only a few threads from each hexie in your needle.
It's easiest to first sew hexies all around a central hexie, using one continuous seam.
Then, sew the short side seams between the hexies. When you're sewing the side
seams, feel free to fold your work in any direction you need to in order to make the
edges meet with right sides facing. (Incidentally, you'll have one hexie left over. It comes into play shortly.)
Step 4: Now, fold your finished hexie flower in half along any side seam, so it looks like the diagram above. Sew two more side seams along the edges marked in the diagram. Repeat this process two more times to sew the remaining sides.
When you've sewn all six seams, the sides of the shape will curve upward, like this.
Step 5: Take the leftover hexie and position it in the top opening, with its right side facing one of the side hexagons. Whipstitch them together along their edges. Then move this hexie so its adjacent edge lines up with the adjacent side of the opening. Whip stitch these edges. Repeat that process one more time. When you're done, three edges should be sewn in place and the other three should be open. This opening is where you'll turn the coaster right side out.
Step 6: Remove all basting stitches with a seam ripper, and then peel
away the paper templates. Turn the coaster right side out, taking care to poke all the
points outward with your fingers.
Step 7: Flatten the coaster and press it. Take the batting hexagon
you cut in Step 1 and fold its two vertical sides inward. Slide the rolled batting into the
coaster through the opening and then unfold it so the points of the batting nest into the
points of the coaster. Press once again.
Step 8: Close the three open edges with a ladder stitch.
Step 9: Quilt the coaster by hand or machine as you like. I decided to echo the shape of the hexagons, and place my quilting lines in different locations on each coaster.
Variation: With July 4th coming up soon, why not make up some of these coasters in reds, white, and blues?