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ScrapBusters: Pinwheel Coaster Set

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What's the hallmark image of summertime entertaining? A tall glistening glass of lemonade filled with clinking ice cubes. And what is that wonderfully refreshing glass doing? It's sweating. The condensation is pouring down the sides. It's making a little puddle. This beautiful summertime image needs a beautiful summertime coaster. That's what we have today, a set of fast and easy ScrapBuster coasters. We've mixed bright prints with solid summer white in a classic pinwheel pattern. Make sure that gorgeous glass of lemonade doesn't leave behind a less-than-lovely ring.

These coasters are fast and easy, but when working with triangles, you do need a little patience and precision. If you are new to quilting, check out our great Quilting Basics series for all the tips you need to get started with success:

Quilting Basics - Tools, Notions & Other Stuff You Need - Part 1 of 5

Quilting Basics - Rotary Cutting & Trimming - Part 2 of 5

Quilting Basics - Quilt Blocks from Squares, Rectangles & Triangles - Part 3 of 5

Quilting Basics - Piecing Quilt Blocks by Machine Part 4A of 5

Quilting Basics - Piecing Quilt Blocks by Machine Part 4B of 5

Quilting Basics - Quilting The Quilt - Part 5 of 5
 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Amounts listed are for a set of four 4½" x 4½" coasters.

  • FOUR Charm Squares (5" x 5") - If you choose not to use Charm Squares, you'll need appropriately-sized scraps from four coordinating fabrics; we used four Charm Squares from the Pezzy Prints collection by American Jane for Moda Fabrics 
  • Scraps or ¼ yard of a 44-45" coordinating solid; we used Cotton Couture in Soft White by Michael Miller Fabrics
  • Scraps or ¼ yard of low loft batting; we used 2107 Natural One™ batting from Pellon
  • All purposed thread in a contrasting color for topstitching/quilting; we used dark yellow
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Straight pins
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. If you are using Charm Squares for your print accents, no additional cutting is needed. If you are using scraps, cut FOUR 5" x 5" squares.
  2. Cut each square along the diagonal to create two triangles.
  3. Cut each triangle in half to yield a total of four triangles from each Charm Square. Each triangle is 3½" along the sides and 5" across the base. 
  4. When complete, you should end up with sixteen print triangles.
  5. From the solid fabric, cut EIGHT 5" x 5" squares. 
  6. Leave four of the eight solid squares as-is. Cut the other four squares into triangles in the same manner as above to yield a total of sixteen solid triangles. 
  7. From the batting, cut FOUR 5" x 5" squares.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Pair up a solid triangle with each of the print triangles. You should have sixteen pairs. Pin each pair along the 5" base.
  2. Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot
  3. You can also stitch them all at once, using the chain piecing method. 

    NOTE: As mentioned above, if you are new to piecing, check out Quilting Basics Series. All the sections are excellent for those new to quilting; Part 4B covers chain piecing.
  4. Press flat, pressing the seam allowance towards the darker triangle. When complete, you should have sixteen squares.
  5. Pair up the squares into eight sets of two. 
    NOTE: We wanted all our coasters to be identical, so all our pairs were the same: yellow/white with orange/white and green/white with teal/white. You can follow this same method, or for a wilder look, mix and match at random.
  6. Pin the eight sets of two right sides together along the inside 3½" sides. 
  7. Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance.
    NOTE: Remember, the seam allowances should be pressed towards the darker (the print) portion of the square. This will allow the center points to match up and the triangles to lay flat against each other when placed right sides together.
  8. When complete, you should have eight rectangles, each made up of two squares.
  9. Pair up the rectangles to make a larger square and complete pinwheel pattern. 
  10. Pin in place, aligning the long center sides and being careful to match the seams.
  11. Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance to create a finished square.
  12. On the back, you can use your seam ripper to remove just a couple stitches on both sides of the seam at very center. This will allow you to swirl the seam so you can press everything nice and flat. This is a quilting technique called pinwheeling.
  13. When done, you should have four pinwheel coaster tops. 
  14. Cut each top down to a 5" x 5" square. Trim an even amount off each side so the pinwheel pattern remains balanced.
  15. Find the four solid back squares and the four batting squares.
  16. Create four "quilt sandwiches" from the assembled pieces. To do this, place a batting square flat on your work surface. Place a coaster top right side up on top of the batting, aligning all four sides. 
  17. Finally, place a solid square right side down on top of the two previous layers. Again, make sure all raw edges are flush. 
  18. Pin in place around all four sides, leaving a 2" opening along one side for turning. 
  19. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch around all four sides, remembering to pivot at each corner and to lock your seam on either side of the 2" opening.
  20. Trim the corners and turn the coaster right right side out. Press well, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  21. Hand stitch the opening closed. 
  22. Re-thread the machine with contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. We used yellow, and we lengthened our stitch.
  23. Run a double row of stitching/quilting around the inside of each solid triangle. The first seamline should be just inside the seamline. The second seamline should be ¼" from the first.
  24. For the cleanest finish, use a lock stitch if possible rather than a back tack.


     

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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Comments (7)

StonyBrook said:
StonyBrook's picture

So cute!  I just made 4 sets, 3 for my son's teachers and 1 for me.  They were a big hit, and I thank you for the tutorial.  The only thing I changed was that I did the quilting "in the ditch" with a border line a little ways in around the edge.   I love this site, thank you!  :)

dstitchgal said:
dstitchgal's picture

LOVE these! Can't wait to make some.  Love this series too!

RedHairedLady said:
RedHairedLady's picture

I love pinwheels, and these are super cute! Love the Pezzy Prints! There's an easier way of sewing pinwheels though. You put two charm squares right side together, draw a line down the middle (diagonally) on one side, then stitch 1/4 inch away from the line, on each side. Then slice the square in half down the middle line with a rotary cutter and ruler. Voila! Two half square triangles, that you can then sew into a pinwheel!

babs4008 said:
babs4008's picture

Good idea!  My sister showed me your way of sewing triangles.  It works great!  Thanks for sharing!

mwlipari said:
mwlipari's picture

These will make great summer hostess gifts. I love the scrap it series.

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