Big Stitch Coasters Tutorial

13_big stitch coasters_baste and big stitch_carolyn friedlander

These big stitch coasters are one of my favorite quickie projects that get used often around my house. Not only are they a great way to show off some favorite fabrics and/or colors, but they are also a great way to practice your big stitch hand quilting! Of course, you could machine quilt these as well!

8_big stitch coasters_finished coasters_carolyn friedlander


Supplies + Materials (to make four coasters): (here’s a post of some of my favorite Big Stitch Quilting supplies.)


  • Roughly 70” of 1” bias tape for binding (Or cut 1 7/8” strips on the bias and use 25mm bias tape maker to create your own.)


Big Stitch Coasters Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander


  • Four 5” x 5” fabric squares for front
  • Four 6” x 6” fabric squares for back
  • Four 6” x 6” squares of batting
  • Perle cotton thread in a variety of colors (I use sizes no. 12 and no. 8)
  • Big Stitch quilting needles
  • Thimble
  • Circle Template (below)
circle template for big stitch coasters_carolyn friedlander-1

1. Fold and press coaster fronts in half and in half again. Align circle template with folds, mark arc and cut along line.

2. Layer coaster front (RIGHT side UP), batting (in the middle), and coaster back (RIGHT side DOWN) and baste together. Using perle cotton thread and big stitch needle, stitch through all layers. (Note: I simply followed the fold lines, but you can get as creative or decorative as you want with it!)

3. Repeat for remaining coasters.

4. Trim excess batting and backing, and bind all edges.


This post originally appeared as part of the series on slow sewing over at Sew Mama Sew. You can find that post here.

Here are a couple other versions to check out.

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4 Responses to Big Stitch Coasters Tutorial

  1. Carmen August 14, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Thank you for articulating my own thoughts on making and sewing, Carolyn!

    I find that making things for myself is an incredibly affirming process — I’ve purchased far less clothing over the past few years because I will now walk into clothing stores and think, “hey, I know how (or can figure out how) to do that.” Of course, we can’t learn to do everything, and we won’t have time to make all the things we want, but it’s empowering to be able to make even a few things that we can be proud of or give to others. In terms of sewing, I think it’s generally more expensive to make our own stuff, but I’m happy engaging with my hobbies rather than watching TV or something. (I have a degree in film studies, and it’s remarkable how my film spectatorship has completely plummeted. Nothing against the art at all, but I’m rarely in the mood to just sit back and watch!)

    I can also completely relate to “unplugging” via my sewing. I’ve always felt that sewing allows me to make every single decision in a project, and there’s really no risk! Something beautiful will emerge if I make the “right” choices, and I’ll learn something by making the “wrong” choices.

    Most of all, I wholeheartedly agree with you that we are so, so lucky that we can choose to create in our spare time. All the more reason to be mindful of the process!

    • carolynfriedlander August 18, 2014 at 11:11 am #

      I love hearing your thoughts, Carmen! I totally agree. I especially love that you mentioned the low-risk aspect. In the end, it is just fabric and if it doesn’t go perfectly, then you at least learn a ton that you will take with you to your next project–and the potential reward is totally worth it either way! Good stuff.


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