Welcome to the first week, and the first project, of How to Quilt: A Beginner’s Guide. This week we’re making Four Patch Coasters and learning about cutting and tools, sewing machine setup, and chain piecing.
To get started, we’ve made a playlist of videos that show you how to prepare your fabric for cutting, how to use a rotary cutter, how to thread a sewing machine, and more. Take a moment to watch and review. Be sure to refer to your sewing machine’s manual for specific threading and setup guidance.
Now that we’re all caught up on pre-sewing skills, let’s watch how to make a Four Patch Coaster!
Follow along with the written instructions below.
Four Patch Coasters
Fat 8th (a 9″ strip of fabric cut at the fold for a 9″ x 20″ rectangle) or a Fat Quarter (an 18″ strip of fabric cut at the fold for an 18″ x 20″ rectangle) of a Dark Value fabric
Fat 8th of a yard or a Fat Quarter of a Light Value fabric
From the Light Value fabric, cut:
(2) 2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″
(1) 5″ x 5″
From the Dark Value fabric, cut:
(2) 2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″
From the batting, cut:
(1) 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Note: We recommend using a 1/4″ foot to assemble this project, but if you don’t have one try marking your 1/4″ seams on the wrong side of the fabric with a ruler and pencil.
Four Patch :
Lay a light value 2 3/4″ square on top of a dark value 2 3/4″ square, right sides together. Sew a 1/4″ seam. Press towards the dark. Make 2 light/dark pairs.
Lay the light/dark pairs right sides together so the light squares are diagonally opposite each other as shown below. Sew a 1/4″ seam. Press in one direction. Four Patch measures 5″ square unfinished.
Lay the light value 5″ square right side up. Next, lay the Four Patch over the 5″ square, right sides together, and line them up so all the edges match. Finally, lay the 4 1/2″ batting square centered on top of the Four Patch to make a coaster sandwich.
Pin the coaster sandwich layers together at the corners. Add one more pin about an inch from one of the corners to mark the end of the sewing line for the next step.
Put the coaster sandwich under your presser foot on the side with the extra pin. Move the sandwich so your needle comes down a couple inches away from the pin marking the end of the sewing line, this will leave a gap for us to turn the coaster later. Sew 1/4″ from the edge of the batting, or 1/2″ from the edge of the 5″ fabric square.
As you approach the first corner of the coaster sandwich, stop stitching, remove the pin so you don’t run over it, and sew slowly towards the corner. Use the handwheel on the side of your machine to bring the needle down into the sandwich exactly 1/4″ away from the edge of the batting square. Lift the presser foot and rotate the sandwich so a fresh side is lined up. Lower the presser foot and sew, repeat at each corner.
Sew until you reach the last pin a couple inches away from where you began sewing. Lift the presser foot and cut the threads.
Using a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter, trim the corners at a 45 degree angle near to, but not through the threads of the seam.
Turning the Coaster
Reach in between the light value 5″ and the Four Patch at the gap and pinch the farthest side between your fingers. Pull that pinched fabric back out of the gap and repeat to turn the coaster sandwich right sides out. Use a pointed object like a pair of scissors, an orange stick (manicure stick) or a knitting needle to gently poke the corners into a sharp point. Try sweeping the pointed object along the seams to ensure no fabric is tucked into the fold.
Once the coaster is turned right sides, fold the excess fabric of the light value 5″ square at the gap into the gap so it’s even to the seam. Press a crease into the fabric. Repeat with the Four Patch, and make sure it’s lined up to the back side, not tucked in smaller or sticking out larger.
Put the coaster under your presser foot on the side with the pressed gap. Begin at the first corner so the gap is sewn closed first, and sew approximately 1/8″ from the edge around the coaster. Use the same process at the corners as you did when sewing the coaster sandwich together.
When you reach the first corner again, sew over your first few stitches before removing the coaster and trimming the thread.
The coaster measures 4″ x 4″ finished. Make as many as you like!
Want more practice with Four Patches?
Check out the Half Framed Four Patch quilt, a free pattern including ideas for how to quilt it.
Ready to join a community of beginners, share your progress and get exclusive tips?
Join the How To Quilt AQS Facebook group. We can’t wait to see what you make!