Check it out: http://www.urbanthreads.com/
(They have some Alice in Wonderland characters to die for. I have plans for them! Check out this Mad Hatter. Only $3 to download to my machine. Awesome. For a hand embroidery download, just a buck. Coolness.)
I stitched out a Union Jack from their site on a piece of bright pink Kona cotton. Just to see. Stitched out wonderfully! Instead of red, white, and blue, I went with light pink, pale blue, and grey. I liked how it turned out. But then I didn't know what to do with it?
Eventually I decided to make a coaster. See:
Already at use on my desk at work. Reminding people that as A Brit, I drink tea. Not coffee.
Blogland is chock full of tutorials for making coasters. Another one really isn't necessary. It's just a very simple project for stitched squares together. But what the heck, I took pictures while I made mine as practice for tutorial writing.
I eyeballed the flag and figured it would make a "larger" sized coaster. I thought about making it a potholder but didn't have any heat resistant batting on hand. (Will get some!). I thought I had scrap batting around, but oops, no. So I improvised and cut a square from a piece of thick fleece blanket like material. (For future coasters, I will probably use the fleece again. I have a tons of it. It worked great., was easy to cut, and easy to sew through.)
So 3 pieces of fabric. The embroidered flag, a piece of fleece, and backing fabric. All 6' by 6'.
Sandwich them together. Put the two thin fabric pieces right side together, and lay the inside piece (in this case fleece but batting if you have it.) on top.
Stitch through all three layers of fabric around the edge. I used my presser foot as the seam guide.
Don't forget to leave a space for turning.
Clip the corners to remove bulk, then turn it right sides out.
Ok, so turning, with the big flat embroidery and the attached stabilizer, wasn't a piece of cake.
But it wasn't impossible!
Push out the corners with a turning tool, or blunt end of a pencil, or in my case, I grabbed a nearby paintbrush and used the bottom of that!
Now the fun part, put the coaster back in the sewing machine, right side up, and sew some lines. Quilting it. You pattern doesn't have to be lines of course. You could stitch a pattern or use a decorative stitch. I stitched lines because that seemed to work with the Union Jack design.
Just be sure to secure with backstitching at start and finish.
At this point, I realized my topstitching hadn't closed the turning gap, so I hand stitched the opening closed.
And Ta-dah! Gosh, makes my stapler and tape dispenser look homely. They may have to get some Mod-Podge treatment.....
I'm not sure if I will link this up to any link parties. I mean, there are already so many coaster tutorials out there it seems a bit silly to promote another one.
Unless there is a linky party for British stuff for other people who love the Union Jack!
I'll be back with a project for the Toy Society!
((OK, I decided to link it up, what the heck. Just have this disclaimer that I know coasters are not a crazy original idea. Just showing off my pretty pink one!))