Once again summer is here, and my family is planning its annual trip to Maine. We’ll all cram into the old riverside home that was once my great grandfather’s, a naval man who never did hide his love for the sea. The walls are still covered with regalia from his days on the water, and this maritime-themed hostess gift will definitely fit right in!

These Nautical Needlepoint Coasters go hand in hand with last year’s Nautical Flag Napkins. Both take advantage of the amazing graphics and colors of the traditional nautical alphabet. To get the pop of really saturated reds, yellows, and blues I turned to the beautiful hand dyed colors of Koigu’s Premium Merino. And for a table-friendly backing, I used Wollfilz Wool Felt, so soft and gentle!

This project is so portable it fits right into the small pocket of a tote bag, so I know I’ll be whipping out my needle and yarn a couple more times this summer as I head off to visit friends and family, arriving with the perfect gift in hand! Make just a simple set of two coasters for the bedside or for fun, choose flags that spell something personal. These eight coasters together are the letters of my family’s name, F-E-R-G-U-S-O-N!

I look forward to spelling my way through the rest of the letter flags, celebrating summer, the sea and the generosity of this season’s hosts and hostesses! You’ll find free templates for all 26 letters of the alphabet in my Nautical Needlepoint Coasters Project Journal, along with step-by-step instructions right here! Happy summer seas! -Laura


To make 4-inch square needlepoint coasters…



From the needlepoint canvas, cut one 4 1/2-inch square for each coaster.

From the felt, cut one 4-inch square for each coaster. Put these to the side for now. 

Hem the Canvas

Cut a square, approximately 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch out of each of the four corners of your cut pieces of canvas.

Fold one edge of the canvas back 1/4-inch to align with the cut you made out of the corner. Using the matching cotton thread, hand sew the folded edge to tack it down, taking a stitch every 1/4-inch or so. Be careful to align the mesh. Later, You will be stitching through both of these layers of canvas.

Repeat the previous step for the second, third and then fourth edge of the canvas, always carefully aligning the mesh.

Now that the edges of the canvas have been hemmed, you are ready to needlepoint.

Stitch the Canvas

Using the provided Nautical Needlepoint Coaster Pattern, use the basketweave stitch for the entirety of the square canvas. If you are unfamiliar with the basketweave stitch, you can find a tutorial right here!

Stitch the Canvas Edge

With your tapestry needle threaded with the ecru yarn (Koigu’s color 0000), use a whip stitch to finish the edges of the canvas.

Back the Canvas

Take of the the felt pieces you cut and hold it to the back of the canvas. With a needle and cotton thread, hand sew the two squares together using a blind stitch.

You’re finished! Make another for a pair or several more to spell something out!