This round, quilted mat is either a bit smaller or a bit larger than you might expect. It all depends on how you look at things… or maybe just on what you have in your hand and need to set down. Use one as a mini trivet for a small serving dish or as a jumbo coaster for a big coffee or soup mug. Finishing at 6”, it’s a flexible size for whatever you need at the moment. It requires limited fabric, batting, and piping so it’s perfect for scraps and leftover pre-cuts.
Even if you’ve never tried your hand patchwork or quilting, you can find success with this easy design. We’ve provided free pattern downloads for both the front wedges and the back circle. Print them on a lightweight paper – or print on regular paper and trace onto tissue – to use the patterns as “windows” to get striking fussy cuts from your fabric.
This is definitely a “beginner friendly” project and is part of our initiative with our friends at Janome America to come up with ideas that are perfect for all those new sewers out there who are ready to step up from mask making to a fun, new project. You can use any sewing machine along with standard presser feet and stitches. For more inspiration to get new sewers you know excited to continue their hobby, take a look at our Sewing is a Real Life Survival Skill article.
Each trivet/coaster uses four fabrics for the top and one for the bottom. We pulled from some pre-cut collections, which made mixing and matching easy, but you could just as easily pick and choose from a variety of designers by relying on color and tone. For more about our secrets to mixing and matching, take a look at: Top 10 Designer Tips for Blending Colors and Prints.
We show you how to draw in guide lines to following for your quilting, using our pattern pieces as well as your own ruler and fabric marking tools. Having lines and a pivot point to follow makes it easy to get a professional finish. Use a slightly lengthened stitch and a contrasting thread to emphasize the lines and increase the texture.
When you have a circle, a trimmed edge defines the shape so much better than a simple seamed edge. So don’t shy away from the piping! It’s easier than you might think and we show you the trick to joining the ends for a continuous circle.
Our ingredients list below tells you what is needed for a single trivet/coaster, but you’re going to want to make more than just one. Bundle up a batch as a last minute gift idea. Create a set for your own holiday tabletop. Make one in a different color for each family member as a fun alternative to “place cards.” They are also a great size for a crowded sewing and crafting space; just right for a mug of coffee and a couple of chocolates.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper foot for the piping
- Quarter Inch Seam foot
- Open Toe Satin Stitch foot for the quilting
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional, but can helpful when working with thicker layers; you could also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex system we love to use on many of our Janome studio machines — we used standard presser feet throughout.
Fabric and Other Supplies
- FIVE different scraps, pre-cuts (leftover layer cakes are great options) or ¼ yard cuts of 44″+ wide quilting cotton: for each trivet/coater, you need FOUR coordinated fabrics for the front and ONE for the back
- Scrap of low loft batting; each batting circle is just 6” in diameter
- 20” of standard packaged piping; the standard Wright’s piping comes in 2½ yard packages so we were able to use just one package for all four of our samples
- All purpose thread to coordinate with fabrics
- All purpose thread in a contrasting color for the quilting; we used white
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- DOWNLOAD AND PRINT our ONE pattern sheet: this ONE sheet that contains both the wedge pattern for the four top quadrants as well as the full circle pattern for the bottom.
NOTE: You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a handy guide rule on the page so you can make sure your print out is the correct size.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid line.
- From EACH of the four top fabrics, use the wedge pattern to carefully fussy cut ONE piece.
- As we mentioned above, fussy cutting is important to this design, not only to center a focal-point motif, but also to make sure your wedge is straight and true so the final right angle quilting lines look good.
- Arrange each set of four wedges into a finished top circle. This helps you keep track of the quadrants and insures the motifs are all going in the correct direction.
- Below is a drawing that shows our four samples. You are using such small pieces of fabric, if for ay reason you are not happy with the look of your top circle-to-be, cut new sections until you have exactly what you want.
- From the fabric for the bottom, use the full circle pattern to carefully fussy cut ONE piece.
- Trim the full circle pattern along the dotted seam line and used this trimmed pattern to cut ONE from the batting.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the patchwork trivet/coaster top
- Place the upper right wedge right sides together with the bottom right wedge. Pin in place along the center seam.
- Repeat to pin the upper left wedge right sides together the bottom left wedge.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch both pairs together. We “chain stitched” out two pairs. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot, re-setting the needle position per the manual for a perfect ¼” seam.
- Place the two halves right sides together, carefully aligning the center seams.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the halves together. Be sure to “nest” your seams, which means one seam allowance should go to the right and one to the left.
- Open the completed circle wrong side up on your work surface.
- With your seam ripper, take out 2-3 stitches from the last seam allowance.
- This allows the center point to “pinwheel” and flatten out. Press flat, pressing all the seam allowances in a clockwise direction.
- Find the batting circle. Center it on the wrong side of the finished top. Lightly pin in place, keeping your pins away from the quadrant seams.
- Using a matching thread, stitch along the seams both horizontally and vertically, also known as stitching in the ditch. This secures the batting in place.
NOTE: If you are brand new to quilting, we do use some terms here you may be unfamiliar with, such a chair stitching, nesting, and pinwheeling. We have a five-part Quilting Basics series that might be helpful to review prior to starting the project.
Add the piping
- Find the piping. Cut a 20″ length.
NOTE: If making your own piping, this is the time to do it. You can review our Piping Tutorial for more details. Although for this quick and easy project, packaged piping is our recommendation.
- Pin the piping around the entire outer perimeter of the trivet/coaster top, on the right side. The raw edges of the piping should be flush with the raw edge of the fabric. Your joint should be at a wedge seam. Leave an approximate 1″ overlap of the piping head and piping tail.
- We like to first press the piping into its curved shape. On small, round items like this, it helps maintain a smooth curve.
- Attach a Zipper foot. and re-thread with thread to best match the piping in the top and bobbin.
- Machine baste the piping in place, staying as close to the piping cord as possible. Start and stop the seam at the overlap so the head and tail ends are still free.
- At the starting/ending point, use your seam ripper to reveal the cord. Cut the ends so they butt together.
- Trim away the excess fabric if need be, then re-fold the fabric into place around the piping cord. Finish the basting stitch across this joint.
NOTE: Again, if you are new to working with piping, check out our full Piping Tutorial, which has great step-by-step notes on joining.
Layer top and bottom, and batting
- Place the completed trivet/coaster top, with the piping basted in place and the batting stitched in place, right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Place the plain bottom circle right side down on the top. So, the top and bottom are right sides together with the piping sandwiched between the layers.
- Pin through all the layers.
- Continue with a Zipper foot.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter, leaving an approximate 3” opening for turning. As you did when basting the piping in place, you goal is to stitch as close to the piping cord as possible. Go slowly and keep your seam allowance consistent. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 3″ opening.
- At the opening, pull away the bottom panel, revealing just the piping against the top panel. Still using a Zipper foot, carefully stitch right along the piping cord across the width of the opening. By doing this short seam now, when you turn the trivet/coaster right side out, the piping will be completely flush around the front and you will only need to worry about hand stitching the opening along the back.
- Clip the curved edge all around, being very careful to not clip through your seam.
- Turn the trivet/coaster right side out through the opening and press flat. Using a long blunt tool, such as a chopstick, knitting needle or point turner, gently round out the perimeter seam. Press flat.
- Fold back the raw edge of the bottom panel along the opening so it is flush with the sewn seam. Lightly pin in place. Thread a hand needle and hand stitch closed the section of opening pinned down on the back of the placemat.
- Re-thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. We used white. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
NOTE: You can certainly just use a standard presser foot for the quilting. However, if you are new to quilting or simply want more control, try using Walking or Even Feed foot or engaging your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex system. We used our Janome Open Toe Satin Stitch foot.
- Flip the trivet/coaster so the top is facing up.
- Using a see-through ruler, a fabric pen or pencil, and the original paper pattern, draw guide lines for the right angle quilting. There are three “L-Shaped” quilting lines within each quadrant.
- It can help to first draw a diagonal line from the center point of the top to the outer edge in each quadrant. This gives you a pivot point for your right-angle quilt line, insuring the that this 90˚ turn is exactly even from line to line.
NOTE: You are working on the right side of the fabric, so make sure you are using a fabric pen or pencil that will easily wipe or wash away or vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
- To start, re-stitch in the ditch along the main vertical and horizontal seams of the patchwork. This is exactly what you did above to secure the batting, but this time you are stitching through all the layers.
- Then , stitch along each drawn line within each quadrant. Remember to sharply pivot at the drawn diagonal line.
- You are starting and stopping just inside the piping.
- For the neatest finish, we recommend using a lock stitch function at the beginning and end of each line of quilting. Our Janome studio models all having this option, and we truly love the small, neat knot it creates. If you do not have this option, consider leaving your thread tails long at each end, then bringing them through to the back with a hand sewing needle, then hand knotting and trimming close.
Project Design: Anne Adams
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever