Earlier this week, I recieved a lovely e-mail from someone looking for easy English paper piecing ideas. She needed a project that could be finished in less than two hours with a group of sewists.
So my brain started spinning on all sorts of fun ideas. Hexagons were an obvious choice, except that to really explore hexie possibilities, you need a bunch of them. Suddenly, the 1″ honeycombs I had bought for my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt came to mind, and the mini-tute below is the result of that inspiration. All told, the two coasters took me about three hours to design and finish, but that also includes time spent with my two youngest kiddos, who of course needed play time, lunch and naps as soon as the ideas struck.
2 1/2″ strip of fabric
Felt in two colors, 5 x 10″ rectangle of each
1″ honeycomb papers
hand sewing supplies
rotary cutter and mat (rotating works wonderfully for this)
Acrylic ruler (4 1/2″ square makes life super easy, but any size will work)
1. Place a paper piece on your fabric strip and cut approximately 1/4″ away from the paper on all sides. Please ignore the pink fabric for anything but demonstration purposes, I did not end up using it in the finished coasters. Cut out 8 honeycombs.
2. Baste honeycomb fabric pieces to paper pieces. I used a sewline glue pen for this step, but any basting method works. Below you can see my basted honeycombs with my first layout idea (yes, directly from Lucy Boston’s patchwork of the crosses.) I then scrapped the pink honeycombs for a simpler coaster.
3. Sew shapes together, either in a cross or circle pattern. Press thoroughly. If you used a glue pen, you can then starch the back of your sewn piece, press again, and the glue should come right off. The starch also helps keep your edges nice and crisp.
4. Cut out two 4 1/2″ squares of felt from one color. Applique your cross from step 3 to one square, and the circle to the other square.
5. Trim up your felt (just in case you didn’t get the design on perfectly straight. Mine were kinda wonky at first), so that the felt extends 1/4″ beyond the straight edges of the design.
6. Cut the other piece of felt into two 4 1/2″ squares. Using fusible webbing or a running stitch (I used fusible webbing), attach the backing felt squares to the squares from step 5.
7. Ta da! A cute and fun coaster set. Wouldn’t these be great in red and pink for Valentine’s day? Or you could make four of each, and have a tic-tac-toe board all ready for your coffee table. . . .