project: hexagon lemonade coaster
June is here and it's hot outside and all you want is a nice cold pitcher of lemonade. Or not. In the Chicago area, it's still rather cool. Nice, but cool. And the only way you're longing for a lemonade is if you're in an Arrested Development sweat lodge. (Watch the new season on Netflix...you'll get what I'm talking about.)
But sweat is what this project is about. Actually, it's about the sweat that forms on cold beverages in the summertime. We have coasters for glasses, but what about that big pitcher of lemonade or iced tea? You need a BIG coaster for that, and now you can make one!
There are lots of ways to make a little mat like this, but I'm combining my favorite material (felt) with my latest obsession (hexagons).
Here's what you need (to make the size/pattern I did):
Felt - 2 pieces each about 12x12 inches (I'm using wool blend)
Fabric - 1 piece about 12x12 inches
Felt hexagons - 19 pieces with 1-inch sides (2 inches across)
Fusible interfacing (optional)
10-inch embroidery hoop
Iron (if using the interfacing)
A note on felt hexagons: You can cut them out yourself, but Benzie Design sells pre-cut (with precision!) wool blend felt hexagons. Renae from Benzie provided the hexagons for this project, and I love them! The package comes with 36 hexagons and you can choose your colors. Thanks, Renae!
Place one layer of felt and the fabric in the hoop. It will be tight, so open the tightening screw nearly all the way. As a side note, using a hoop isn't absolutely necessary, but it is very helpful.
Lay out the hexagons how you want them, just to get an idea of spacing and design. There's really no right or wrong way to do this. Mine is pretty big, as you can see it filling the 10-inch hoop, but you can adjust the design and make it larger or smaller if you want.
Remove all but the center hexagon, and start stitching there. Use three strands of embroidery floss and running stitch around the edge.
Continue adding hexagons and stitching around them. For mine, I left just a little space between each shape because I like the blue fabric peeking through, but you can place them right up against each other and they'll look great that way too!
After you have all of the hexagons in place, cut around the shape you've created, leaving a 3/8-inch border of fabric showing.
Wait...the back of my work is not pretty? Not a problem. I planned for that! You're going to add another layer of felt to the back of this, but if you'd like to make it a little more secure, cut a piece of fusible interfacing into a circle-ish shape that is smaller than your coaster.
If it's paper-backed, iron it to the back of your work, peel away the paper, and iron the second piece of felt to the interfacing. If it's the plain fusible interfacing (like Stitch Witchery), sandwich it between the work and the second piece of felt, then iron.
If it doesn't feel completely secure, don't worry. This is just to help prevent the layers from separating too much.
Cut out the felt around the coaster, leaving a small border of felt showing.
Stitch around the entire shape with three strands and running stitch, close to the edge of the fabric. Because this work will show on the back, hide your starting and ending knots between the layers of felt.
Usually I like to work on projects that I can finish in an afternoon or evening. This one definitely took me closer to a full day (putting together the different times I worked on it). But I think it's worth it. I love this, and look forward to using it on our table all summer!
And although I'm calling this a lemonade coaster, it's also very much like a penny rug. Functional and pretty!