Save Your Coffee Table! Make Easy No-sew Collage Coasters

Headshot We finally figured out whose house we are going to for Thanksgiving, and now I need a hostess gift. Sure, I’ll take a bottle of wine, but because we’re going to go into NYC to see the BIG parade for the first time, I will be arriving at the family shindig late and sans hot dish.


What do people love more than stuffing (besides leftover stuffing)? A handmade gift! A handmade gift shows you cared enough to take the time to make something special—alas, I don’t have much time.

Thankfully, what I am lacking in time, I have made up for through genius inspiration. Enter this coaster project (pictured at left) from the new Fresh Quilting book by Malka Dubrawsky. I can’t decide what I like best about this book—the contemporary design, or the brilliant use of color.

Although all the projects in the book are well spelled out, I don’t quite have the time to whip up a set of fully quilted coasters. I do, however, have the time to be fully inspired by Malka’s bold use of color. Add a little iron-on vinyl (yes, there is such a thing!) and sharp pair of scissors, or better yet a rotary cutter and you too can have a set of colorful coasters that any hostess would love to have.

Here’s how I put them together:

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1. Choose bright fabrics. Use solids and small patterns that read as solids to really capture Malka’s contemporary style.   2. Cut the fabrics into off-kilter rectangles. Straight is boring! Play around with the placement. (In the quilt world this is called auditioning your fabrics.)
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3. Yes Virginia, there really is an iron-on vinyl.   4. Trace a round object on the back of your vinyl and cut the circle out with your scissors.
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5. Carefully layout your fabrics right-side up, so that the sides and ends all touch but don’t overlap.   6. Pull the backing paper off of the vinyl circle and set the circle on the center of your fabrics. Note: some fabric strips may not end up touching the vinyl. Save these pieces for another coaster.
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7. Place the protective paper over the vinyl and iron for 8 seconds.   8. Flip the fabric over and iron for 4 more seconds. Cut out around the vinyl circle.

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9. To finish your coaster, cut another vinyl circle and iron it on to the back of the coaster following the directions in step 7.

Don’t have a selection of commercial fabrics? Consider using bits of old clothing, or fabric you’ve previously screen printed, dyed or painted. I can’t wait for my next gelatin printing session so I can make some new coasters for our next family gathering. I fear I may start getting invitations just for my coasters!




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