For our second holiday guest blogger post, Anabela of Field Guided shared this adorable pattern for making kitty coasters! They are the perfect accoutrements for placing beneath your holiday drinks, and the cutest decorations for the cat lover in your life. Says Anabela, “I created these cat coasters after I had spent a few hours poring through Japanese craft books, [which] often make considerable use of materials such as cotton and linen, with a minimal color palette. I love this aesthetic, and I love cats, so I combined the two! If you don’t want to put your mugs on these little kitty faces, you can also hang them on the wall, or sew in a loop and hang them as ornaments!”
They’re a charming gift idea certain to delight friends and family alike. Anabela explains that “while you do need a sewing machine to make these, and possibly some embroidery skills, they are very simple and easy. If you wrapped up a set of them I am sure they would make a wonderful gift.”
So what are you waiting for? Let’s start sewing!
Fieldguided’s Kitty Coasters
Makes 4 coasters
- Template (download Anabela’s design, print at 100%— or draw your own)
- Sewing machine
- Ironing board
- 1/2 yard linen or cotton in a solid color
- 1/2 yard cotton batting (This is the material that goes in the middle of a quilt. In this picture it is shown in a very large queen-sized package, but you can usually find small craft-sized packs of it. You can also find it on a bolt at the fabric store.)
- Thread cutters
- Embroidery hoop
- Hand sewing and embroidery needles
- 1/2 yard gingham cotton for backing (Feel free to use a floral fabric or another solid color)
- Thread to match your fabric
- Erasable/fast fade marker or chalk to mark your fabric
- Embroidery thread (I used DMC 648 and 310)
If you don’t want to embroider the cat faces, you can always use fabric paint, markers, or crayons. Any craft store will have a range of these things to choose from. Just be sure to follow the directions on the package so the colors won’t run when wet. If you want to sew in loops, twill tape is a nice material to use, or satin ribbon.
1. Wash and dry your fabric.
2. Print out template, and cut it out. I drew mine freehand, directly onto thick vellum paper, but a printout on regular paper is fine too.
3. Cut fabric into squares so that it’s more manageable to work with. Make sure your squares are large enough to place on your embroidery loop.
4. Trace the cat face shape and cat face onto fabric. Only do this on the top layer. Don’t worry about marker lines, as they will fade within a few hours.
5. Once your cat face is on the fabric, place it on the embroidery hoop. If you’re using fabric paint or something of that sort, just paint or draw right onto your fabric, and skip the next step.
6. Embroider your cat face. I used pale grey for the whiskers, and black for the mouth and eyes. To make the whiskers and mouth, use a simple back stitch; for the eyes, French knots.
7. Press the fabric to get the creases from the embroidery hoop out.
8. Pin together the gingham backing, batting, and linen face. Cut out the cat face shape.
9. Arrange your fabric for sewing. Pin your layers so that the quilt backing is on the bottom, the gingham is in the middle, and the cat face is on the top, facing down. If you want to sew in a loop, place the loop of ribbon or twill tape in a U-shape between the kitty’s ears, and pin it in place.
10. Sew your cat face! Use a quarter-inch seam allowance, using the right edge of the presser foot as a guide. Start at the bottom of the kitty face, and make sure to backstitch when you start sewing. When you get to the ears, make sure the needle is down, lift the presser foot, and then turn the coaster so that you can sew the corner. Leave about a 1.5-inch-long opening, and make sure to backstitch when you finish.
11. Trim the seam allowance down. Clip the corners around the ears, but very carefully, so you don’t clip your stitches.
12. Turn the coaster inside out, and press.
13. Using your finger, fold down the opening, and hand stitch it closed using an invisible stitch or slipstitch.
14. Press one last time.
15. Make a cup of tea, and enjoy your new kitty coaster!
For more from Anabela, head over to her blog. And keep watching the ModCloth Blog for our next guest DIY and cooking posts!