|Photo from Pixabay|
Many, many years ago now when we first met our friends Dick and Terry, they had some apple shaped fabric coasters in their home, which I really admired. I had seen similar ones in catalogs but hated to spend the money. I borrowed one of Terry's coasters, took it home, and figured out how to make one.
I even made a pattern back then, but my first coaster turned out smaller than I liked, so I apparently drew around it to make a couple of larger ones. (And then kept the too-small pattern! What was I thinking?)
Still, I was glad I had kept it, for late this summer when the impulse struck to make some more apple coasters, I was able to quickly find the pattern. Using it for my first coaster in this batch made me realize it was really too small, so I did draw around it to make a larger leaf and apple.
I will spare you the wretched details of my first attempt using yellow homespun plaid for the apples -- my others had been homespun and I really liked the look, but in the process of trying to stitch the coasters I made an unbelievable amount of mistakes. (And homespun is really unforgiving of mistakes. It tends to shred if you try to pull out stitches.)
I will try and give a tutorial of sorts, in case anyone else is in an apple coaster sort of mood. You will need the apple pattern, fabrics and thread, cotton batting, and a sewing machine. Oh, and an iron.
Here is the pattern I ended up with. I think if you click on it, it will open up actual size.
Logically enough, you will need to cut 2 apple shapes and 2 leaf shapes for each coaster. You could use red, green, or yellow fabrics for the apples. The first ones I made were red and green. Of course you will want some shade of green for the leaves. You will also need to cut 1 apple shape out of cotton batting for each coaster.
Start by making a leaf. Place the two fabric leaf pieces right sides together and sew around them using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving the flat bottom area open and being sure to backstitch when you start and end your stitching. Turn the leaf right side out and carefully poke out the seams to make a well shaped leaf. Press the leaf flat with your iron.
You are going to pin the leaf in place between the 2 fabric apple shapes. Keep the point of your leaf down and line up its flat raw edge with the raw edge of your apple pieces. If you like, you can fold the bottom part of the leaf slightly before pinning to give it just a bit more dimension, as I did. You can see that quite well on the coasters pictured below.
Next, place the batting apple shape on top of the fabric apple-leaf-fabric apple sandwich. Pin everything together very securely.
Now you are going to stitch around the apple/leaf combination, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Start on one side and stitch around, leaving about 2 inches open for turning, backstitching at beginning and end of stitching. Trim your seam allowance to make it the apple smoother and easier to turn. I left the seam allowance in place at the open area to make it simpler to tuck it in.
Turn your apple right side out, carefully smoothing the edges from the inside to ensure a nicely shaped apple. Neatly tuck in the open part of the seam allowance and hand-sew the opening closed.*
Now top-stitch all around the apple (not the leaf) close to the edge, to give a neat finish that will hold the batting in place. It will also hold your hand-stitched opening securely closed.
* I tried to save time by just tucking in the seam allowance, pinning, and then doing the top-stitching step, as a means of closing the opening. You can see in the photo below that this really didn't work out as well as I had hoped. I've done this on bigger projects like hot mats or place mats, and it's been fine, but I think the hand-stitching the opening shut is really essential on a project this small, with a rounded seam.
There you have it! An apple coaster! Now make as many more apples as you would like. Shades of red, yellow, green, or gold would all look nice.
I decided that the ones I made were too bright yellow, and I didn't really like the green I had chosen for the leaves, either. (If only I had been able to salvage my homespun ones. But I couldn't.) So I picked a gold toile and a green calico for the ones I would be giving away. I still wasn't thrilled with these, but liked them better than the brighter colors, and I wanted to get them on their way.
I kept the brighter yellow ones for our own use. I mixed them in with our red and green homespun ones and they look fine.
Happy apple season!