Quilt Block Coaster Tutorial Using Island Hopping

Island Hopping Sampler

While I was working through the Holiday Table Runner and our new Island Hopping fabrics, I quickly realized my mom was going to need accessories to go with her new table runner. Seeing as this is more of a summery fabric line and I had some random small pieces from the collection, it seemed reasonable to make a set of coasters for all the warm weather beverages!

After some deliberation and not being very motivated by the random designs I was finding online, I concluded that a lot of quilt blocks are kind of perfect to make into simple coasters with some very simple quilting. I finally settled on the Economy Block (aka the Square in a Square block) as something that would retain a small size at 5.5” square and still had a dimensional look. Rita Hodge over at Red Pepper Quilts has a great little tutorial on how to sew and square up these adorable little guys. (Also, the focal fabric she chose for the 3” centers is ridiculously adorable!)

Anyways, I was stumped for quite a while on what to do with the centers since the Island Hopping focal was a bit large to use in such small squares, but the secondary focal was PERFECT to fussy cut.


I had a reasonable amount of scraps from the collection and was able to pull together a very vibrant look. (I’m just going to show you the construction of one.)


Once everything was cut, I followed the simple instructions, pressing and stitching my way to completion of the “top”.

I ended up using some white flannel I already had lying around, to give it a little body, without the unstable bulk I think anything thicker would have offered. The focal fabric was just right to use as the “backing” for these coasters.


Next, I used 505 Spray & Fix to lightly baste the layers together, trimming the edges afterwards.


I did a really simple stitch in the ditch with white thread around the center portion, just to keep it all together.


Lastly, the binding. I opted for black because I happened to already have some prepared AND I tend to like black binding on just about anything bright.


I really love how this design turned out and I know my mom will too. 🙂

There is definitely some fantastic fussy cutting potential for the 3″ coaster centers with these fabrics:

Birchtree_Daydream Tranquility_TrellisOhClementine_Daisies LionsShare_Monarch SweetTweets_Birdhouses MoonShine_DeerMe LeoLounge_LionZoo TokyoTrainRide_KamakuraModernDeco_Medallions

What do you guys think, do you like the name “Economy Coaster” or “Square in a Square Coaster” better?




  1. Barb S. - May 29, 2015

    I like Square in a Square Coaster. For me, the name Economy Coaster cheapens these beauties.

  2. Judith Green - May 30, 2015

    I would prefer tropical coasters as reference to the cheee

  3. Judith Green - May 30, 2015

    Sorry, my post did not complete … Tropical Coasters would reflect the cheerful aspects of the summer season. Love your choices in fabrics. I also have used flannel numerous times in place of batting with small projects. Great blog!

  4. J. Holland - May 30, 2015

    My hubby lol when he read my jotted notes concerning this quick project, seems I named it ” Cheap SIS” coaster. I vote for Square in a Square but in my house it will forever be the insiders joke.

  5. Amanda Best - May 30, 2015

    Beautiful coasters! I think square in a square is a better name.

  6. Kelly B - May 30, 2015

    So glad you made these lovely coasters! It confirms that I’m ordering the table runner kit. The colors exactly match my dishes. And of course I’ll need to make several “cheap SIS”–thanks Ms Holland! 🙂

  7. Cindy - May 31, 2015

    Nicely done. Love the fussy cut floral centers. I’m with the others, Square in a square Tropical Blooms coasters. The fabrics are so bright and cheerful.

  8. Ann - June 1, 2015

    Great way to use up scraps! Don’t you just love to fussy cut? I sure do.

  9. Jackie - June 5, 2015

    I love the coasters. This was just the right thing for me to read right now. I am coming to the end of a table runner that is driving me nuts. I know I am not the only one who agonizes about ‘perfect points’. I can never, ever,
    ever get them perfect enough. So enough of that table runner – I am off to make some Square in a square cheap sis (ha) coasters. I need a break. And when I am done I have the perfect thing to put on that coaster11111

  10. Susan - June 17, 2015

    I like the name square in a square – great for me to use up some panel pieces. If some are bigger – it will be turned into a mug rug!!!!!!!

  11. Rose - June 19, 2015

    I love your summer coasters, but I vote the Square in Square Coasters is a great name, cheap summer coasters does cheapen the coasters as another poster stated. Love Them, may make some for Christmas with Christmas fabrics. Thank you for posting the tutorial.