In true procrastinator fashion, I have quite a few Christmas gifts to make and only 10 days left to create them! The time has come for me to set aside the piecing projects I’ve barely started in favor of easy screen printing projects.
The Khaki Coasters from the 2012/2013 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts are one of my favorite small printing and sewing projects. These coasters are not only a manageable size and an easy printing process; they’re also a great way to upcycle.
Jacqueline Lams, the designer of this project, was making gifts using materials she had on hand when she came across a pair of khakis intended for the trash can. Instead of tossing the pants she reclaimed the material and gave it a second life as a set of Thermofax screen printed coasters. Here’s how she did it:
1. Reclaim a large chunk of fabric from the pants by cutting away all the seams, cuffs, pockets, and zippers. From this fabric, cut 8 4½” squares on the straight of grain.
2. Prepare a surface for screen printing by placing padding on a firm surface and covering it with painter’s plastic.
3. Place the squares on the printing surface and lay the screen smooth side down on top of the fabric.
4. Squirt the paint directly onto the surface of the screen. While holding the screen in place with one hand, pull the paint over the screen with a foam brush.
5. Carefully pull the screen off the printed surface to reveal the print. Allow the paint to dry.
6. Cut the batting into 4¼” squares. Sandwich the batting between two printed khaki squares with the painted sides facing out. Fuse the stack together with a hot iron following the batting manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat this step with all four coasters. This will also heat set the fabric paint.
7. Using a straight stitch and black thread for both the top and bobbin threads in your sewing machine, stitch together all four sides of each coaster with a ¼” seam allowance. Repeat the stitching several times to achieve a sketched look with the thread. Don’t worry if your lines are not straight. Variations in the stitching adds to the hand-drawn look of the border.
8. Trim the unstitched edges on the coasters to reduce the fraying threads. (Figure 5)
If you don’t have a set of Thermofax screens at home, try using stamps or another technique that involves painting on fabric to create your coasters.
For more great gift-giving ideas you can use this winter and beyond, download the digital copy of Quilting Arts Gifts 2012/2013. And if you’re interested in even more quilted gift inspiration, don’t miss the Quilting Arts Gifts Ultimate Collection.
Happy gift making and giving!