Valentine’s Day was last month, but I’m a lover of hearts and still enchanted with projects that feature them! I love having handmade gifts in the closet that I can use for last minute occasions, hostess gifts or “just because”. These darling Reverse Appliqué Heart Coasters from Allie at Miss Luvie fit that need perfectly!
This is a simple project that beginners as well as more experienced sewists will enjoy. There are several techniques you can learn from Allie if you’re new to sewing and the coasters don’t take much in time or supplies to make. Heart Coasters are also a great use for scraps, and scrap projects are so satisfying during dreary weather. Staying home and cozying up with a fun stash-friendly project and a warm cup of tea sounds just wonderful!
The Heart Coasters are about 4.5” square finished so for each one you’ll need a 5” scrap of cotton, solid or print, twice that much linen or, as Allie from Miss Lovie used, linen look muslin and a 5” piece of batting. You won’t want a batting with much loft for your coaster so Warm and Natural or something similar would be great. A lofty batting could tend to make your cup or glass tip! Make your coasters all the same, color coordinate your prints or mix it up and make each one different. No matter what you choose they’re going to be adorable and make very welcome gifts!
If you haven’t done much with reverse applique, you’ll love Allie’s instructions and have fun with how easy it is to do for your Heart Coasters. She’s even provided a heart template for you to download so you don’t have to stress over drawing a perfect heart. You’ll use the template to draw a heart right on the linen so your stitching will be lovely. Easy-Peasy, right?!
It may seem fussy, but don’t be tempted to skip the clipping after you trim your heart seam! Allie suggests lots of little clips, the secret to smoothly turned curves, and you’ll be so pleased with how your heart turns inside out. Hint: if this method is new for you, file it away for future turning reference!
Allie also gives some excellent tips on topstitching your Heart Coasters. I’ve done a LOT of topstitching and her instructions are excellent. My top four tips for “practically perfect in every way” topstitching are below and if you follow them, combined with Allie’s instructions, you’ll love the result. Another technique you can file for future reference!
- Slow down. Take a nice sip of your tea, a deep breath and don’t rush. The more topstitching you do, the faster you will naturally start stitching, but speed is not the point here. Pretty is!
- It’s easiest to line up the edge of your fabric with the edge of your presser foot to help with even stitching. If the needle on your machine can be moved to multiple positions, use a scrap for sample stitching and figure out just where you want that needle to be for the width of topstitching you’d like. Hint: make a note of the position for future reference!
- If your machine has a “needle down” option, use it. Pivoting often is the secret to topstitching around curves and “needle down” allows you to turn your fabric without worrying about your needle having a mind of it’s own.
- Lengthen your stitch to about 4 mm. This makes an attractive and smoother stitch that shows well. Dual Duty XP Heavy thread is super for topstitching as it gives good definition to your stitches – give it a try!
Heart Coasters are rather addictive and you’ll probably wind up with quite a stack when you’re done stitching. Package them in fours or sixes and tie them up with ric-rac, ribbon or baker’s twine, so they’re all ready to go for gifting. Most importantly – give yourself a moment to admire your work and smile. Sewing feels so good!
Click here for the Reverse Applique Heart Coasters tutorial Allie of Miss Luvie wrote for the Thirty Handmade Days blog and off you go stitching. You’ll have stacks of coasters ready for gifting in no time at all!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.