April 3, 2018

Scrappy Rope Coaster Tutorial

I've been making rope coaster for an upcoming fundraiser.  My quilt guild is going to to have a table at a boutique and we were asked to make small items to sell.  I make 3 sets of coasters before I found the prototype that made me happy.  The first photo shows the winning attempt.

One of my blog friends, from across the Pond, asked for a tutorial.  So here it is and there are way too many photos, but that's the breaks.

For supplies, you need some clothes-line rope, fabric scraps, thread and a glue stick.  Using a glue stick on the ends of your fabric will save your sanity.

First, cut a length of rope about 65 inches long.  Loop about 5" of rope, back on its self so you have a 2.5" loop. 

Use a piece of thread, about 30" long, to wrap the loose end of the rope loop.  (It doesn't matter what color thread because it will be covered up.)  I start in the middle and work toward the frayed end of the rope.  Wind it good and tight.  Other tutorials say to burn the ends of the rope with a lighter.  I don't even own a lighter, and I like this solution; no burnt ends!

Now you're ready to hide the thread wrapping with the first piece of fabric scrap.  The scrap I used is about 2" x 3".  Run a line of glue on both of the short ends of the scrap, and wrap the loop as shown above.  This will be the end of the rope that gets stitched last.

The fabric scraps I used for decorative wrap are about 1 1/4" wide, some were 4" long and some as long as 10", it just depends on your scrap bin.

For the start of the rope coaster, we also need to hide the fraying end.  Pick a long fabric scrap and apply glue to the end.  Lay the rope so that there's excess fabric to tuck under when we start stitching.

Wrap the rope, until the first scrap is all used.

Use the glue stick to secure the fabric scrap end to the rope.

Now, we're ready to start coiling the rope.  Curl it up like a Snail and stick a couple of straight pins in to hold the shape for the beginning.

Sorry about the dusty machine!

Using a wide zig-zag stitch, follow the Snail shape.  The beginning is a little arduous because the shape is so small at that point.  It gets better really fast.

Once I reach the end of the fabric, I like to continue on, stitching the bare rope.  I think it gives the eye a break.

Once there's a round of just rope, another fabric strip is called for.  Apply glue to the end of the strip, then wrap the strip.

Continue, then apply glue to the end of the strip to secure it; then resume stitching.  For this example, I used two long long fabric scraps and one shorter scrap, in addition to the first piece I used on the ending loop.

When you get to the loop, stitch just as you've been doing, until the end of the fabric wrap.

Then pivot the coaster to stitch over both pieces of rope; pivot again and stitch back to the beginning of the scrap.

I go back and forth, a couple of times, to be sure the rope is laying nice and flat.

These coasters are fun to make, they are useful and casual.  Some would say rustic, and that's OK with me!  Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
May your bobbins always be full

1 comment

  1. Thanks for a great photo tutorial. I like the way you used a break between each fabric piece, giving it character. I'm sure you're guild will be very pleased with them. Is it ok to share this on Pinterest? Oh, I just saw the logo above haha - thanks once again :)


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