how to make an embroidered coaster

Another Way To Make Coasters

Tags: circular, coaster, embroidery, how-to, zigzag

There are many ways to create quick and easy coasters, in fact I have a whole blog post designated to these various ways (how to make various styles of coasters) but for the past week, I've been trying a new theory.... well not exactly new, but new to me as I haven't tried using Solvy (stabilizer that dissolves in water) as a way of making neatly finished stitched edges.

I'm actually going to use my embroidery machine to do this, but you can also do it on a regular sewing machine too by using a hoop to keep the Solvy taut.

What you will need:

  • Solvy or other water soluble stabilizer
  • Embroidery hoop and sewing machine or Embroidery machine
  • Pre-stitched embroidery or creative fabric lined with batting and stabilizer (preferably heat resistant batting)
  • Backing fabric
  • Small embroidery scissors
  • Bowl of water for dissolving stabilizer

Make sure you have your pre-stitched embroidery or creative fabric ready before starting. I stitched out a cute sewing embroidery that I found on my machine. I added a circle around it as I intended to make circular coasters and wanted it aligned nicely, only to find later I should have just tacked that line in instead. The embroidery is backed with heat resistant batting and stabilizer.

embroidery stitched on a Bernina 570qe of sewing supplies
embroidery stitched on batting and stabilizer

First up is to load the Solvy stabilizer into my embroidery hoop. I have used two layers of Solvy to ensure it doesn't tear with all the stitching. It needs to be taut in the hoop but don't pull it too tight as it may tear. I start by stitching an outline of the coaster directly on the two layers of Solvy - this will help me position the backing. I'm using a circle this time, but you can use any shape you want.

solvy loaded into hoop and an outline stitched
Solvy loaded into hoop and an outline stitched

I cut a square of backing fabric and place underneath the Solvy with right side facing away from the Solvy. Notice how I can see through the Solvy? This is also very helpful for placing the backing fabric underneath and making sure the corners of the fabric are not folded under. A little water soluble glue can help stick it in place if the fabric won't play nice!

Now I carefully stitch around the coaster outline again making sure the backing fabric doesn't move. After this, I trim the backing fabric right back to the stitching. If you are using a fabric that frays readily, you might want to stitch around 2 or 3 times or even use a tiny zigzag.

backing added on the underside of solvy, stitched and trimmed
backing added on the underside of Solvy, stitched and trimmed

It is time to add the pre-made embroidery. I align it as best as I can matching up the circles. This is sitting on top of the Solvy and not within the hoop that is holding it. It pays not to have too much excess fabric around the embroidery but you do want some as it will help you keep it smooth while stitching. 

Once the embroidery is attached, I can trim that back to the stitching. It really helps to have small embroidery scissors - mine have curved blades so it ensures me not to cut the Solve or area within the stitching.

trimming excess fabric close to stitching
trimming excess fabric close to stitching
excess fabric trimmed back to stitching
excess fabric trimmed back to stitching

Now with the excess fabrics gone, I can finish off the edges with a wider zigzag. I have plenty of variations in my machine to choose from.

raw edges are stitched over with a wide zigzag
raw edges are stitched over with a wide zigzag

As I mentioned earlier, some stitches around my embroidery were not covered (on the left side of the coaster). I'm wondering whether I should add a second set of decorative stitches or simply unpick them.

I decided on the latter and used my quick unpick to very carefully lift and cut every 3-4 stitches. I was then able to use tweezers to pull the threads out.

removing unwanted stitches with quick unpick tool
removing unwanted stitches

Surprisingly I can barely see where the stitches had been. I did this all while the coaster was still in the hoop as I figured if I had made a mess of the unpick, I could add more stitching as a backup plan.

raw edges are stitched over with a wide zigzag
Coaster stitching completed still in Solvy stabilizer

Now to remove the Solvy. To start, I trim away the excess - close to the stitching but not too close just incase I cut a thread.

excess Solvy stabilizer trimmed away
excess Solvy stabilizer trimmed away

Then I dunk the coaster in tepid water for a few minutes.

coaster submerged in warm water to remove Solvy stabilizer
coaster submerged in warm water to remove Solvy stabilizer

And almost by magic, I have my finished coaster.

finished embroidered coaster using Solvy stabilizer technique
my finished embroidered coaster using Solvy stabilizer technique

I hope you give this a try - I'd love to see your results if you do so send me a pic please!

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