I made coffee cuffs for teacher gifts again this year. Last year I pieced them — but this year I relied on surface design techniques.

I took PFD white cloth and painted it with fabric paints, using water to make the colors blend. I made one with all hot colors — and then added some purple blotches for depth — and another in cool colors — again with a little bit of yellow green to jazz it up. After it was dry, I added another layer of paint using some of my rubber stamps. The hot color sheet got a third layer of metallic paints.


Then I layered it with cotton batting and a black sateen backing — and then quilted it simply using straight lines. Then I took my template for a coffee cuff (you can make one from a cardboard cuff) and copied it onto the fabric with a permanent marker.

At this point, I decide what color thread I’m going to use on the outer border. For the cool sheet, I wanted black, and the hot sheet called for yellow. Using the couching foot on my sewing machine, I couched crochet thread (in a color to match the border thread) over the drawn black line. I use a narrow zigzag — about 1.5 mm —  but not as tight as a satin stitch — about a 1.0 mm length.


At this point, using very sharp & long scissors, I carefully cut out the cuffs as close to the crochet thread as I can get without snipping the couching thread. It is OK if a few are snipped, but too many will cause problems. If I have couched with a large needle, there are a series of holes made in the couching step that you can cut along.



Then I stitch a zigzag around each entire piece off the edge using 1.5 width and 1.0 length. A third pass is then made only along the long top and bottom edges using 1.5 width and .5 length. When that is done, you can pin the two short ends wrong sides together and then zigzag over them off the edge using a little bit wider zigzag with a 2.0 width and .5 length. The satin stitching over the ends doesn’t create a large enough bump to cause a problem. Just slip over a cup & enjoy not looking like everyone else at Starbuck’s!

I should also mention that instead of throwing away those pretty scraps, I cut out bookmarks.


I intend to decorate the ends with yarns and beads. They are waiting for me on my work table for some time. Maybe this weekend.