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"seize the day" coaster TUTORIAL

A big WELCOME to all of you visiting from the CELEBRATE YELLOW event over at MADE!! 

My most productive days always start with an early morning run with my best friend, after which I enjoy a hot cup of coffee, and read my favorite blogs before the rest of the house wakes. 

Part of that perfect morning also includes one of my crazy obsessions.  An obsession with having a motto - a mantra of sorts.  Something that gets me motivated to tackle the day.

It became clear to me (one perfect morning) that I should combine that motto with my need for a coffee coaster (my desk was beginning to resemble the Olympics with all those rings).  A coaster that is more than just a coaster.

I picked a quote that is dear to my heart, because I remember my mom always saying it.  "carpe diem" (seize the day) - short, sweet, and to the point. Love it.  And to illustrate the feeling of the quote, I picked out some bright and cheery fabric.

OK... on to the tutorial.

So, this tutorial was made on one of my "wingin' it" sewing adventures (now that I think about it, most of my projects fall in that category).  So please bear with me - some of the directions vary slightly from the photos.

  • (2) 6X6in. squares of fabric
  • (1) 6X6in. square of batting
  • 26in. piece of piping
  • alphabet stamps (mine are from Joanne Fabric with 40% coupon)
  • fabric ink pad
  • 6" strip of fusible web (I used steam-a-seam 1/2")
  • 6" piece of twill tape
  • matching thread

Lay the twill tape across one of the 6X6in. squares of fabric and measure in 1", this will be the starting point for stamping.


Finger fold at the mark.

Whenever I do a stamp project, I always lay out the stamps in the correct order first (I learned this the hard way), and then do at practice run on a scrap of fabric.


To insure that the words don't run off the side of the twill tape, start with the last letter (at the fold) and worked backwards.

After the ink dries, lay the twill tape on top of the fusible web.


Peel off the paper backing. 

Position the twill tape on the piece of fabric that you want to be the top, and adjust as needed until it is in the desired location. 

Fuse the twill tape to the fabric using an iron.

Now on to the piping.  

Stack the pieces in this order: (from bottom to top)
front fabric (with lettering) - right side up,
backing fabric - right side down.

(I hope that was not too confusing)

This is the point where my pictures will vary from the directions. 

I realized after finishing the coaster, that it would be better to have the seam at the top (behind my coffee cup) rather than the bottom. 

So, instead of starting the piping at the bottom of the coaster (like the picture above), start at the top (opposite the lettering). 

Work your way around, carefully pinning all of the layers.

Leave an opening 2-3inches wide for turning.

Cut off the excess piping.

It should look something like this (above).

Using the piping as a guide, carefully stitch around the coaster. I placed the rounded (rope) portion of the piping just inside the foot, to the left of the needle (above).

Clip the corners, and turn.  Iron.  (remember, the opening and those loose ends of the piping should be at the top of the coaster instead of the bottom like the one above.)

Overlap and tuck the ends of the piping inside the opening.

Top stitch around the coaster, and the edges of the twill tape to secure it in place.

This step is optional. 

I thought my coaster needed a little texture to add some interest, so I quilted the top. (Please don't look to closely at the stitching, I was under pressure to finish before nap-time was over.)

And that's it!  Now just sit back and enjoy that cup of coffee!


I already have plans for a second coaster. Double sided - a "choose your own adventure" for your coffee break!

Here are a few other slogans/mottos/quotes/words that I found:

  • the best is yet to be
  • live what you love
  • oh, happy day!
  • live now
  • smell the roses (or other favorite flower)
  • make your own opportunities
  • keep on keepin' on
  • a will finds a way
  • be yourself
  • if not now, when?
  • dream it. do it.
  • take a chance
  • smile
  • relax
  • create 
  • ...

Thanks for stopping by - come again!


  1. Love our morning runs! Maybe someday I'll love coffee too!

  2. so cute and love the pics, they're always so beautiful, as are your projects. :)

  3. Nothing is easier than to deceive one's self. (Demothenes, Ancient Greek statesman)

  4. This is lovely. Gingham, twill tape, coffee, sheer goodness.

  5. We know the good, we apprehend it clearly, but we can't bring it to achievement. To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has that is courage in a man. (Euripides, ancient Creek dramatist.)

  6. love the colors you used...thanks for your tutorial!

  7. Where did you find the Versacraft stamppad? I'm in Seattle too and have searched high and low for one...

  8. Jen, I actually ordered it from Etsy.  I looked everywhere too, and couldnt find what I needed.  Here is a link to one on Etsy.

  9. Hi! I love this idea!

  10. Oh my gosh this is gorgeous! I love it! What a fun sentiment to mull over with coffee. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  11. This is super great tutorial! I used to wonder how people sewed without getting the sems showing... but wait. how do you flip now? Sorry, I am so new at sewing, I have no idea how this stuff works.
    Just Better Together

  12. Great project! I love the piping especially. I never thought to stamp on a sewing project. I'm going to tuck this away for future use!

  13. how very wierd! the post arrived today with some mini alphabet stamps and cotton tape, and some gingham!! now i have the perfect use for them :) x

  14. Love this!! Great tute - thanks for sharing. I'm looking and waiting for the next one.