Approx 12.5cm (5in) diameter
For four coasters
- Fifty-six 7cm (2 3/4in) squares of different fabrics
- Fifty-six 1in paper hexagons (measurement indicates the size of each side of the hexagon)
- Four 14cm (5 1/2in) square pieces of heat-resistant wadding (such as Insul Bright)
- Fabric glue pen (optional)
- Spray starch (optional)
- Fabric marker pen
All measurements include 1/4in seam allowance, unless otherwise stated.
If you search online for ‘free hexagon template’ there are many sites offering templates. These usually have the template pages all set up for you to download and print straight from your computer, ready to cut out. When making a project, always ensure you use the same paper for all templates as different thicknesses of paper can affect the finished size of your fabric hexagons.
1. Cut out or prepare fifty-six 1in paper hexagons. Angela used a Sizzix 1in hexagon die to cut her paper hexagons but you could use the template provided on the Pattern Sheet .
2. Use the paper hexagons to cut fabric hexagons, cutting out the shapes from the 2 3/4in fabric squares and allowing a 1/4in seam allowance all round. You could spray starch the fabric before you begin cutting, to give it more body. You need fifty-six fabrichexagons in total – seven for the front of each coaster and seven for the back.
PREPARING THE FABRIC HEXAGONS
1. Place a fabric hexagon right side down and a paper hexagon on top. There should be a 1/4in of fabric all around the paper (see Fig 1). Fold the fabric edges over the paper, mitring the corners. Sew through the paper and the fabric using large tacking stitches and being sure to anchor the corners. When you have stitched all the way around, fasten off the thread. Alternatively, you could use a tiny amount of fabric glue, as Angela did, to fix the fabric to the template all round. Press the work.
2. Repeat this process to prepare all fifty-six fabric hexagons. You will now have a pile of hexagons ready to assemble into flowers.
ASSEMBLING THE HEXAGON FLOWERS
1. Arrange the hexagons into flowers, with one in the centre and six around it for the ‘petals’ (see main photograph). Angela arranged hers by colour (blue, orange, pink and mint), and with a central feature print.
2. Starting with the central hexagon and one petal, put two pieces right sides together. Using a small needle and matching thread, start in one corner bringing the knotted thread through between the seam allowance and the paper (Fig 2). Now work small stitches through the very edges of the fabric, stitching the hexagons together and being sure not to catch the papers. Make a small knot at each hexagon corner to secure them.
3. Work in this way around the entire flower centre, sewing all six petals to the centre hexagon and also to each other. Tie off the thread ends by burying them in the seam allowance. Make up eight hexi flowers in this way.
When sewing the hexagons together, avoid using a piece of thread any longer than your fingers to your elbow, as the thread will be pulled through the fabric many times, and a short length will reduce knotting and fraying.
ASSEMBLING THE COASTERS
1. Using one hexagon flower as a template, place it on a square of wadding and draw around the flower using a fabric pen. Use scissors to cut out the wadding flower. Check the wadding shape – it needs to be slightly smaller than the fabric flower shape so the coaster doesn't end up with lumpy edges, so trim lightly round the edges (about 1/8in all round). Repeat this to make four wadding flower shapes.
2. Carefully remove the paper templates from all of the hexi flowers. Using large stitches, tack the wadding flower shape onto the back of one of the fabric flower shapes (Fig 3) – this will hold it in place whilst you sew the front and back of the coaster together.
3. Choose a back for the coaster from the other flowers, place the flowers right sides together, and stitch around the edge, leaving three hexagon sides unsewn. Turn the coaster right side out and carefully sew the remaining three sides closed. Lightly press the coaster. Repeat this to create the other three coasters.
4. Quilt the coasters as desired. Angela worked machine quilting lines around each coaster in the patterns shown in the photograph in Fig 4 and diagrammatically in Fig 5. Quilt the lines shown in red 1/4in away from the outer edge, the lines shown in green 1/4in away from the centre hexagon and finally the lines shown in blue. Remove tacking threads. Your coasters are now ready to use!