Quilting – Beyond the Bedroom

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Quilting – Beyond the Bedroom

These coasters were a fast project, and are a fun way to add a little personality around the house in a useful way.

As I become more confident in my quilting ability, I find myself looking for new projects to try. I was looking at my stacks of fabric I decided to showcase some of my quilted items in our home – outside of our bedrooms! I’ve started with three projects – coasters, placemats, and a table runner.


These coasters were a fast project, and are a fun way to add a little personality around the house in a useful way. I had fun choosing the fabric on these – since they’re small and will be moved around the house, I didn’t feel like I needed to make them fit any particular style.


I began with the multicolored fabric and then choose other monochromatic patterns in similar colors. In order to keep the set more cohesive, I used the turquoise fabric on each coaster and alternated the second fabric as well as the binding fabric.


I paired up my fabrics and then pieced them together. Instead of sewing my fabric pairs straight across, I started with larger scraps and stitched them together on an angle, and then cut them down to 4.5inch squares. Instead of traditional quilt batting, I used flannel between my layers to help make my coasters more absorbent.


Next up were placemats. I had to take a few more things into account while choosing fabric for these – I wanted something that wasn’t too light, since there’s the possibility of stains, and I wanted something that would be durable. You’ll also want to consider the color of your dishes.


I went with a simple patchwork design for the front of my placemats – I know that these are going to see a lot of washing, and I didn’t want to put a lot of time into something that wasn’t going to be around long enough to achieve heirloom status. For the back of the placemat, I used an offwhite canvas for a little added strength.


Once I’d finished the body of the placemat, I realized that I wasn’t really sure what color binding to go with. I didn’t want to introduce a new print, and didn’t want the binding to match any of the fabrics that it would touch. I decided to use two of the colors from the body – the red print around the brown section of the placemat, and the brown around the rest. I started by folding under the ends of the red binding strip and carefully pinning it where the brown and red fabric met. I continued pinning it around the brown fabric until I came to the seam on the other side. I then folded under the edges of the brown binding strip and overlapped it over the red strip, again pinning it in place where the brown and red fabric met. Once my binding was pinned in place, I sewed it onto the placemat.


My last quilted project was a table runner. Our dining room gets a lot of use – we eat all of our meals at this table, my boys use it for homework, and it’s where I use my laptop most of the time. Because of that, table cloths just aren’t practical – but I think this table runner will be perfect!


I wanted a color scheme that would coordinate with our dishes, but still be understated and subtle since it will be on the table most of the time. I settled on a neutral gray with an inset middle of aqua, yellow and gray strips. Sizing will depend on your table – I decided I didn’t want mine to overhang the edges (too many little boys running around = too much risk of it getting pulled off!), so I sized it to be a few inches shorter than the width of my table.


Cutting the strips for the inset was a cinch with my Fiskars tools – I love how easy it is to use the clear acrylic ruler to cut them to a certain length without having to line everything up on my cutting mat! I made my strips 6 inches long and then randomly arranged them. After stitching them all together I added a gray border on all sides and bound them in a light aqua print. I quilted it with a simple straight stitch across the width of the runner for a clean, modern look.

Don’t be afraid to find a way to use your quilting skills outside the bedroom – I know that my family and I will get a lot of use out of these items, and I love how they brighten up our dining room. There’s just some about fabric + thread that makes a place feel like home, isn’t there?