yes, washing your fabric before you use it is the best way to go.
that way, you're covered on the color bleeding, fabric shrinkage, etc.
in hindsight, i should have trimmed the corner of the batting.
good thing is, these little cuties whip up very quickly and don't use much fabric at all...really great for using up scraps (don't forget lesson #1! on another note, i've recently discovered that i really love embroidering.
i came across the Sublime Stitching website, which has wonderful how-to's, patterns, kits, textiles, etc.
don't get too big for your stitches...er, britches.
if you haven't really sewn anything on a machine (except for sewing two pieces of felt together) in 16 years, do yourself a favor and don't start with a project that has curved pattern pieces.
it is much easier to keep a consistent seam allowance if you're working with straight edges. if you have a tutorial but no pattern and you think you can *eyeball* the pattern because, afterall, they're just simple circles..with your eyeball measurement and then add another inch or so.alrighty...BEFORE i learned the lessons above, i made this little ditty......which is cute and all but only 3" wide and, therefore, not the most practical of coasters.but, hey, if anyone you know needs a super-cute area rug for a dollhouse, let me know.taking what i learned, i set to work again and, lo and behold...not perfect, by any means (and needs pressing)..definitely a viable coaster.