Monday, September 27, 2010

Bleach Discharge Coaster Tutorial

I was inspired by Kelly Nina Perkins article in the most recent issue of Quilting Arts Gifts. She discharged fabric with bleach and made mini quilts then assembled them into gift boxes. I decided to do a quicker project and just make a set of coasters with some flat surface design elements.

Select fabric to discharge

You can try commercial printed fabrics, but my best luck with fabric discharging has been using Kona cotton solids by Robert Kauffman. I chose a green for this project

Discharging the fabric

I used a new Clorox bleach pen (they do lose effectiveness over time) and made some doodles with the small end of the pen. It took about a minute to begin discharging the color. I immediately put the fabric in a bucket of water and swished it to remove the bleach and then washed it in the machine

Making the Coasters

I cut the discharged fabrics to about 5” square and adhered them to lightweight stabilizer with temporary adhesive spray.

adhered to stabilizer.jpg2

Next I did free motion machine and hand stitching. I used rayon 40wt thread for the machine work, and a beautiful rayon metallic thread for the hand work. My friend Sue gave me this gorgeous metallic thread a few years ago. It is too heavy for conventional machine sewing, but works fine for bobbin work. I did hand stitching today, maybe next time I’ll do some bobbin work.

machine and hand stitching

Next I trimmed them down to 4 1/2” square and cut backs out of a contrasting fabric. I also cut 3 3/4” squares out of heavy interfacing, like Timtex.

On the wrong sides of the backs of the coasters I ironed on some wonder under which helps to stabilize the back when you are turning the coasters right side out. I cut a 2” slit through the stabilizer and the coaster back, and removed the paper backing.

stabilize backing

While I had out the iron and the stabilizer, I ironed wonder under to 1" x 3” strips which will later be used to cover the hole in the back of the coaster.

make cover pieces

Next I matched the coaster fronts to the coaster backs, right side together and stitched around all four sides. Remember that slit you cut? That is how you will turn it right side out.


Next I clipped the corners and turned the coasters right side out, and stuffed them with the heavy stabilizer. (the pin is only to hold the stabilizer together for the photo)

stuff it 2

Iron the 1”x3” strips to the backs of the coasters to cover the slit, and sign if desired.

sign it



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