In my Etsy shop, La Rue de Fleurs, I sell a number of handmade original quilts, art quilts, and soft goods. When I originally started my handmade quilt business in 2012, the purpose was to make, enjoy making, and then sell the product to customers so I could make some more! Over the years, I have found I enjoy making just a few items on repeat, but still not enough to have a full shop of similar items all the time, which is maybe confusing for customers. I’m not sure.
Anyway, in 2020, like a lot of other people, I had the opportunity to reimagine the direction I wanted to take my business. I saw many people wanting to learn traditional skills and experiment with the arts. I knew I could help! I began to focus more on teaching, through my residencies and other arts education opportunities, but also through products I could offer in my online shop. I began to create more patterns and kits to share the love of creativity with other makers and I am so glad I have pivoted in that direction.
Today I would like to focus on one of my favorite little kits, the DIY Four-Patch Coaster Kit and how and why I make them to sell in my shop.
Why Four-Patch Coaster Kits?
One of the first patterns I wrote is the very basic, “DIY Four-Patch Coaster Kit” which I sell in my Etsy shop HERE. What I love about the Four-Patch Coaster Kit, is how accessible it is to a beginner or seasoned maker to work with. Of course, if you’ve been quilting or sewing for a long time, you may not care about the sheet of detailed instructions, but if you’re just beginning, you’ve got two pages of step-by-step instructions to walk you through the make. For the seasoned sewist, there is just a fun blend of little pieces all curated and ready to go, but with nothing to add to your already overflowing scraps. If you are new to sewing, you get everything you need to assemble a set of four coasters in one curated packet. All you need to do is provide a needle and thread.
If you are interested in how to make some DIY Four-Patch Coasters for yourself, you can purchase a kit HERE or read the blog post about how to make them from your own stash HERE.
Each Kit is Unique
For me, the opportunity to use up and reimagine some of my smaller amounts of fabric is truly a blessing. I really enjoy looking through my leftover 2.5″ and 5″ scraps to come up with fun combinations. Assembling each kit is like playtime for me since one of my favorite things about quilting is telling a story through my fabric combinations. Possibly even better, is trying to come up with a creative name for each combination!
To get started I look for a fabric with an interesting icon or pattern that would look good on a coaster and make sense in a 2.5″ block. Once I find a good jumping-off point, I look for an additional print that accentuates the inspiration piece of fabric. Then I round out the bundle with some blenders or solids and a coordinating backing fabric.
Here are a few of the recent kits I made to restock my Etsy shop.
Fun and funky coaster kits using retro and pop-inspired fabrics.
Timeless and traditional floral fabric coaster kits.
Whimsical and moody woodland and garden-inspired bundles.
Holiday and Christmas-themed coaster kits.
Do you see with each grouping I started with one inspiration fabric and then worked my way out? Some of them have the same fabric starting point, but each combination uses a different mix to complete the bundle in a new way. As I look through my bins, I am pulling anything I think is the right size and amount, but also a fun spin on the color or theme of the other fabrics. Then, mix, mix, and remix! I love it! Just a little fabric playtime.
To complete each DIY Four-Patch Coaster Kit, I pull a coordinating 5″ square of backing fabric and cut four 5″ squares of quilt batting to make the coasters nice and absorbent. Each curated fabric combination gets put in a nice cellophane bag along with a little tag that says “hand made.” If you are making the coaster set as a gift, you could tie the little tag on a ribbon and wrap them all up to make an impressive package. Finally, I add the two-page instructions and a thank you card with all of my contact information, and a discount code.
If you would like to watch me creating and packing the kits, check out this studio vlog on my YouTube channel.
Thank you so much for joining me for this little behind-the-scenes look at how I create the DIY Four-Patch Coaster kits for the La Rue de Fleurs’ Etsy shop. As always, enjoy your fabrics and stay creative friends!
Inspiration and resources are linked where applicable. All written work and photographs are original content and are copyright protected; kindly give due credit by linking back to my website or source website if you use or share.
(©2023, Janice Bailor // laruedefleurs.com)