Creative articles about sewing

How to Sew Checkered Coasters with Fringe Trim

I happily lived without ever using coasters until a few years ago when I purchased a salvaged wood dining room table. The top was beautiful, rough, and worn from its previous life but it didn’t have anything to seal the wood to protect it from moisture.

After vigorously applying about 10 layers of wax (my arms are still sore), I wanted to protect the delicate finish that I had applied… and that meant using coasters religiously. Suddenly I had three sets!

Modern, Stylish and Easy to Make Coasters

These coasters are surprisingly easy to sew and a really fun way to learn how to use fringe trim.  And hopefully you’ll learn a trick or two to making checkered patterns really quickly!

This pattern/tutorial includes directions for making a set of 4 coasters; perfect for beginners who need lots of pictures and help.

As always, feel free to customize your own coasters; you can sub out the checkers for a different pattern (an Ohio star, stripes, gingham!?).

I chose checkers because they’re easy to make with strip quilting and checkers seem to be everywhere right now in the design world!

For colors, I went with neutral Art Gallery Fabrics that complimented my reclaimed dining room table. Other fun color combos could include black/white with yellow trim, light green/dark green with beige trim or light pink/dark blue with light pink trim.

I can’t wait to see your coasters, share them with me by tagging @quiltdstudios on social media or even by emailing pictures so I can admire your beautiful work.


  • This pattern uses a scant .25” seam allowance (if you use a standard .25” you might be fine but you might need to add another strip for width)
  • RST = Right Sides Together
  • To prepare cotton fabrics, I almost always iron and starch it prior to cutting. This is a great habit to get into if you’re looking for crisper corners and more precision.
  • Download the free template HERE

Supplies Needed:

  • (1)  8” x 15” rectangle of Color A fabric –  Art Gallery Fabrics Sandstone
  • 8” x 15” rectangle of Color B fabric – Art Gallery Fabric White Linen
  • 5” x 11” rectangles of backing fabric – I used more Color B AGF White Linen
  • (2) 6.5” x 11” rectangles of Iron on Batting or normal quilting batting
  • (4) 15.5” lengths of fringe trim (62” total) – I used this trim, but cut the fringe down a bit in the end.
  • 1 circle template printed and cut out – download here

How to Sew the Checkered Coaster Tops

Checkers are surprisingly easy when you use a few tricks! First we’ll cut out strips from the Color A and Color B FQ’s.

Cut (5) 1.5” x 15” strips from the Color A fabric and the Color B fabric.

Sew (right sides together) (1) 1.5” x 15” Color A strip to (1) 1.5” x 15” Color B strip lengthwise. Repeat this with the rest of the strips until there are 5 pairs of strips.

Sew the pairs together making sure to maintain the Color A/Color B/Color A pattern. I used some extra fabric for these so some are over 15″, and that’s totally okay, it’s just the minimum. 

Once all the strips have been sewn together, press the seams to the side (or open, your choice).

Subcutting the Stripsets

First lay the stripset that we just made on the table horizontal, so that the strips are parallel to the bottom/top of your cutting mat.

Using a ruler (or a slotted strip cutting ruler) cut (8) 1.5” strips from the stripset.

After cutting 8 strips, pull every other strip up by one square of fabric so that the pattern resembles a checkerboard.

Pin pairs again matching the seams and sew RST the alternating strips. NOTE: In the pictures, you can see I moved alternated moving the columns/strips down and up but I totally could have just flipped the strip to make the checkerboard (in my defense I finished these at midnight). So do as I say, not as I do haha.

Sew (2) pairs together, again making sure the strips are still alternating to make (2) checkerboard panels made of 4 strips.

Once sewn, iron the checkers flat, you can iron the seams to the side or open (I ironed to the side).

Look at your beautiful checkered pattern!

Cutting the Coaster Circles

If you’re using iron-batting, iron the batting rectangles onto the back of your checkered panels so that they align on all sides (minus the offset squares on the top and bottom of the checkers).

Note: Feel free to quilt straight lines on your top/batting to get a fun effect, I didn’t but I probably will next time I make them!

Lay your backing fabric on your cutting mat right side down, then your batting/top right side up.

Trace out two circles on your panels and cut around each circle following the line.

Once you have two circles, repeat this process with the second panel of checkers/batting/backing. (My second panel isn’t pictured, but I did the same steps for it!)

By layering them all together, you should have a circle of backing, batting and top that match each other.

Basting the Fringe Trim Around the Coaster

Now the fun part! There are a few ways to baste the trim to the backing circle. I used both and prefer the glue method.

Lay the backing circle right side up and lay the fringe trim around the backing circle with the bottom of the trim lining up with the outside of the circle (the fringy bits will be facing in).


With a thin line of glue, glue down the bottom part of the fringe and heat set with a warm iron (not on cotton setting, I used polyester). Overlap the beginning and the end of the fringe by .5”.

If you don’t have glue, use a 2.0-3.0mm basting stitch around the exterior of the circle to secure the fringe, the seam allowance should be very narrow. The first one I made I sewed directly over the bottom of the fringes scalloped bit but it made the coaster a little pulled in at the edges so I prefer the glue method. 

Sewing the Checker Coaster Top to the Backing

Lay the backing circles right side up (with the fringe up) and the checkered circle right side down so they align.

Clip or pin around the perimeter, using a .25” seam leaving a small gap/hole (about 1.5″). I back stitch a few times to really secure the ends near the hole so my stitches don’t come lose when I’m pulling the coaster right side out. 

Completing the Coasters

Pull the coaster right sides out using the small hole that you left and iron it flat.

Fold in the seam near the hole about a .25” and hand stitch closed using a matching thread color (it’s a little difficult with the fringe, it’s helpful to hand sew the fringe to the backing and then the front to the fringe. I used a dab of hot glue to secure it instead of hand stitching, you can also use elmers glue and heat set it. 

Iron your coaster flat (being careful not to scorch the fringe), and if you’d like it to lay extra flat: stitch around the perimeter of the inside circle about and eighth of an inch from the edge (I didn’t do this on mine, but you can!).

I also trimmed my fringe to be a little less than .5″ to make the coaster a little smaller. 

Repeat these steps for the last three coasters!

That’s it! You’ve made the most adorable set of coasters and I can’t wait to see them! Don’t forget to share your progress with me and of course, reach out or comment with any questions!

Free sewing instructions: Checkered Coasters with Fringe Trim

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Products:
Reverse Pattern Foot with Clear Sole #34
Reverse Pattern Foot with Clear Sole #34

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  • Carolyn Newsome EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    I think I’d make the back in two pieces with a seam down the middle, leaving a 1.5″ section unsewn for turning. Then I could sew all the way around the circle and not have to finish that circular edge.

  • Cindy Cooke EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    Cute idea! Think I will simplify a little by  pressing the seams all the same way and then sewing using my circular attachment. Love the neutrals with the fringe!

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