Friday, August 17, 2012

Juicy Watermelon Tutorial & Giveaway

I came up with this idea at the beginning of the summer, and purposely chose to save it for August, thinking how appealing a refreshing watermelon design would be during sultry summer days. Well, joke's on me, apparently, because at least where I am, June and July were super hot, and today it barely hit 70 degrees.
Regardless, I wanted to share my ragged edge watermelon block with you, shown here in coaster form, and linked to Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Can I get a whoop whoop!

Perfect for a thirst-quenching glass of pink lemonade on a hot day...or a cool day...

These coasters were inspired by a table runner I made about 5 years ago.

In the runner, I used traditional colors and some feedsack-style prints. I wanted to update the look a bit and play around with some brighter palettes, hence the coasters. 

(Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post for the giveaway and an update on the Shades of Grey Charm Square Fabric Swap.)

Watermelon Block Tutorial
The beauty of this block is that you make one larger block and then cut it into four quarters, so it goes quickly!
1. To make the coaster, I started with an 8" square of background fabric, and fabric squares measuring approximately 6-1/2", 5-1/2", 4-1/2" and 3-1/2" for the circles (3 red and 1 green).
2. Go through your kitchen cupboards, ruler in hand, to find cups/bowls that measured approximately 6", 5", 4" and 3" in diameter. Here's what I found:
Depending on your bowl/cup/circle template options, you can make the outer (green) circle closer in size to the second circle, making a narrower rind. 

3. Trace the circle shapes onto the wrong side of the appropriate fabrics and cut out. 

4. Press each circle and the background square in half in both directions to make creases for lining up the pieces.

5. Line up the 4 circles right sides up on the background square, aligning the creases, and pin in place.

6. Stitch across the circles to secure to the background square. I simply eyeballed it, making sure I crossed the center crease every time. You can either stitch once or twice through each quadrant of the circle. If you stitch twice like I did in the photo below, think of the circles as a clock, with the creases at 12, 3, 6, and 9. Stitch from 10 to 4; from 11 to 5; from 1 to 7 and from 2 to 8. If you choose to stitch one line through each quadrant, center it between the creases (so between the 10 and 11 to between the 4 and 5). Don't bother stitching on the creases because that's where you'll be cutting. 
7. Cut the square in half along both crease lines (but measure, don't just eyeball this based on the creases!)

8. Add a framed border. I chose to use 1-1/4" wide strips. Sew to the sides and then top and bottom of each quarter-circle.

9. Cut backing and batting squares the same size as the coaster front.  Layer back and front right sides together, add the batting, and stitch around the outer edge using a 1/4" seam allowance and leaving an opening for turning (marked with red arrow in photo).

10. Trim corners, turn right side out and topstitch around outer edge, catching the folded in edges from the opening to secure. I topstitched a second line around the inner edge of the border as well. 
11. Wash and dry to enhance the frayed edges of the watermelon curves. Trim excess fraying if needed. Enjoy!

I was having trouble choosing between two different fabric groups when I made these coasters, so I made a second set.

I used a slightly smaller background square for these (7" instead of 8"), so the watermelon takes up more of the block. You can see the difference:

Just for fun, I'm going to give away one of these sets of coasters (if I can wrangle them away from my 3-year-old, who is calling them "hotpads" and begging me to let him use them in his play kitchen!) 

To enter, become a follower if you aren't already and then leave me a comment telling me what summer activity you're still hoping to do before fall (and school) comes lurking around the corner. 
If you're already a follower, just leave me a comment telling me about that summer activity you're still trying to sneak in here in August. Giveaway closes Monday, August 20 at 5 pm EST. 
At that point, I'll use our good friend random number generator to pick a winner!

p.s. Are you signed up for the Shades of Grey Charm Square Fabric Swap? I was just over on the swap's Flickr board and I am so excited by the different fabrics participants have posted! I like each one better than the next, and I haven't even bought mine yet! 
Join in the fun while there is still room! 
Sign up HERE
The swap is now full.


  1. How cute!! I would love to go camping before the summer is up, but I really don't see that happening this year...

  2. These are so cute!
    I already follow you - I'm hoping it's going to stop raining long enough to go to the funfair this weekend!

  3. I'm loving the frayed/shaggy edge - they are so cute!! I am a follower - yay!!! I'm trying to get all sorts of WiP's completed before September... wish me luck!!

  4. I'm a follower. I'd like to take the kids to a movie.

  5. I'm a follower, and am hoping to escape to the city for a weekend before summer ends.

  6. I am a follower! I love your watermelon coasters! Have to try them soon! I am in the Shades of Grey Fabric Swap and can't wait !


  7. Beautiful coasters (hot pads lol)!!! Love em! I'm in the swap too!!!! See you around!

  8. These are beautiful! I hope to get some more things made for my Etsy Shop. I also have a trip to the beach with my daughter!

  9. Too cute! Now I want some pink lemonade :o). My summer activity that I am hoping to squeeze in is a trip to the coast with the dogs so they can play in the water without freezing instantly. Thanks for the giveaway Ellie!

  10. I'm hoping to go camping one more time this summer!

  11. These are so cute :) And we're tripping out about the cool August weather, too. We're used to this being one long, nasty, suffocatingly-humid DOG DAYS month, with no hope for cooler nights until well into October. To wake up to 57 degrees on an August morning is unthinkable. lol

  12. So amazing and cute, thank you so much for sharing :)