Kitten-Proof Coasters

We have a lot of wooden surfaces at our house, so we like to use coasters. I recently made my husband and myself each one out of flannel.

coasters under mugs

I didn’t just wake up one day with the urge to quilt coasters, however. The impetus was a small roommate who developed a taste for cork.

cork coasters

These are ones we caught him chewing on early. We have become vigilant about storing them when not in use, but all it takes is one trip to refill one’s coffee mug, leaving Hamlet supposedly snoozing in his bed in the study, to return to a spread of little leftovers from his second breakfast all over the carpet. We bought a 25- or 30-pack of them several years ago, and we are now down to two or three, and they all have the beginnings of that Pac-Man shape.

We used to have a collection of cardboard bar coasters, but they degraded with use and we started to care more about having a house that looked like grown-ups lived in it, so most of them didn’t get moved to the last state with us and most of the rest didn’t move to this state. We only have a few special ones left.

cardboard coaster

So I decided to make coasters and thought absorbent flannel might do the trick.

Happily, I had a lot of flannel left over from previous projects, some in very husbandish colors and some pink. My compulsion to save all little leftover bits comes in handy.

flannel fabric scraps

I picked a picture for the center of each coaster and trimmed it. I didn’t measure it carefully or anything. Just trimmed.

middles cut

Then I did a little log-cabin-esque thing around it, except not in a circular way. I did not plan this out. I just sewed strips of about the right length where it looked like a strip was needed, and trimmed before adding a perpendicular strip. I ironed these as I went.

pink cat center

And I trimmed the strips themselves when they were too wide. I tried to make them slightly different widths and lengths, so that my not-measuring looked casually artistic instead of like a bunch of mistakes.

brown house center

I can’t sew anything without gaining some help.

black cat in pile of fabric

I found Tristan a bed. Here you can see my lovely studio dining room kitchen area table and my fantastic 6 by 6 inch yellow square ruler that I was using to (surprise) square everything up.

cat in bed on sewing table

You can see I worried that my pink one was too straight so as a last-ditch effort to make it funkier, I set my last dark strip at a jaunty angle.

finished pink coaster

The coaster-eater himself joined us.

two cats in bed on table

The piece of flannel I cut for each back was about three-quarters of an inch bigger than the front all the way around (so about an inch and a half wider total in both directions). I’m not sure about that (I was winging this and didn’t take notes), but I folded the sides in twice and the resulting binding is between a quarter and a half inch, so I am retrospectively declaring it as probably true.

I used craft fleece for the batting of the coaster quilt block. It is cut the same size as the coaster front. I did square up the coaster front at this stage too. My finished size was 5 by 5 inches.

layers of coaster

Then I pinned them all together and folded over the edges to create my binding. I ironed the folds at this point so I could picture the finish projects and pin them better. I did not actually quilt these. I don’t see the need.

coasters layered but not bound

“These do not look edible, Pretty Lady!”

cat on cutting mat

Percival joined us to supervise the finishing up.

cats spilling out of bed onto fabric

I sewed the binding down by hand, but it would be easier and work out just as well to do it by machine. I think I mainly did it by hand because I needed to put my machine away so we could use the table to eat on, and I also like having a little handiwork project.

finished coasters

There you have it. Two non-appetizing, durable, and cute coasters. A nice afternoon’s work.