Wave Coasters and Tray: A tutorial

I love the look of improv quilting, but have always been a bit too scared to tackle a massive project straight away – it seemed a bit daunting for someone who likes straight lines and measurements!

I first came across how to sew curves on Lynne’s blog, and after coming across some scraps, it seemed like the perfect match for my first attempt at improv sewing!

Wave coasters improv quilting tutorial by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Inspired by the bright colours I made stripey wave coasters along with a little tray to keep them all together when they’re not in use ‘cos I’m all about the trying to be neat and tidy at the moment (I’m blaming it on being Spring, it’s sure not to last long!). Would you like to see how I made them?!

Materials Needed

4 x 5.5″ squares (front of coasters)
4 x 4.5″ squares (back of coasters)
Scraps for the wave (1-2″ wide by 2.5″ tall)
4 x 4.5″ squares of wadding

2 x 6.25″ squares (for the coaster holder)
2 x 6.25″ squares of interfacing

Make the coasters

  1. Sew scraps together into 5.5″ widths to make four waves. Press your seams (I pressed them open).
Wave coasters improv quilting tutorial by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence
  • Lay the strip on top of the coaster front. Use a rotary cutter to make a wavy curve across the width of the coaster. I freehand this so please do mind your fingers!!!!!
  • Now to sew the curve together! It’s really not as scary as it looks – promise! Place the fabrics ‘right’ side together, matching the top seam. I find it easier to sew slowly and ease the top fabric into position – moving it back as the curve bends away from you and easing it forwards as the curve comes back. It will look all bunched up, but don’t worry. A good press will flatten it all out!
Wave coasters improv quilting tutorial by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence
  • Now to cut your second curve: I did this in two stages firstly cutting a curve on the wave, laying it over the bottom section of the coaster fabric and cutting again along the same wavy lineΒ (if you want to cut both curves at the same time I would recommend cutting the front pieces bigger to allow for losing fabric to the seam allowance of the curve). Give it another good press.
  • Trim each of the coaster fronts to 4.5″ square and back with wadding
  • Quilt the front of your coaster – I went for a very simple outline of the wave
  • Place the coaster back on top of the right side of the front and pin in position. Sew around using a 1/4″ seam allowance and leaving a hole for turning. Trim excess fabric from the corners before turning out, using a chopstick to push the corners out if needed.
  • Topstitch around the top of the coaster and Voila!
Wave coasters improv quilting tutorial by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Make the Coaster Tray

  • Iron the interfacing on to your fabric (I used soft interfacing to reinforce both bits of fabric, so you could maybe only use one piece of firmer interfacing)
  • Draw 1″ squares onto the wrong side of the fabric in each of the corners on both pieces of fabric.
  • Fold the fabric diagonally and sew down the line. Repeat for the other three corners and trim the excess fabric. Repeat for the other piece of fabric.
  • Place the fabrics right sides together and pin the corners into position. Sew around the top using a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a hole for turning.
  • Turn the coaster tray right side out, and give it a good press around the top seams. I also folded over each of the sides and gave it a good press to create the base. Topstitch around the top of the tray and give it another good press.
  • Place your coasters into the tray and congratulate yourself!!!!

I’m so happy with these! And because I had so much fun making them I made two sets……so, it’s Giveaway Time (two giveaways in two days – I really haven’t planned my blog posts very well this week!)!!!!!

If you would like to win this set of coasters and tray then just let me know what would be your favourite drink to place on your new coaster!!!! I’ll pick a winner on Monday 24th March with the help of Mr Random Number Generator.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Malmesburyjen!

I hope you have found the tutorial useful and please do get in touch if you have any questions,

See you soon,

S x

Today’s sky ● overcast and very windy!

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  1. How cute, I love the colour choices πŸ™‚ I would say that it's be white for me, but after my first post baby night out, I've decided that I should definitely stick to tea!

  2. I love these, so neat. Your topstitching is perfecIion.
    And I'll have a glass of red please. Don't worry, i will make sure there are no drips πŸ˜‰

  3. ohhh I really hope I win these because I am tbh desperate to have them I love them soooo much and can't be naffed making them, isn't the tray gorgeous.
    I will lovingly put them on my patio and drink a nice ice cold glass of wine

  4. Great colour choices! I've been puzzling over freeform curves and seam allowances for a while, I don't fully understand why you'd cut the second side different from the first, if they were layered and cut in one go (with a bigger front bit), then squared up to the right size afterwards, would that work instead?

    I've ordered a Tassimo this week so any drink from that will do nicely!

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