How should I attach coins to my quilt?
September 20, 2008 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Help me decide how to attach state quarters to my quilt project!

I'm making a quilt for my mom and I want to attach one of each of the state quarters to it. Looking for creative suggestions: how would you do it?

So far:
I've considered drilling a couple of simple holes, basically making each into a button (there seems to be no consensus on whether this is actually legal, although the US Treasury stance is that it's OK so long as it's not for fraudulent intent -- see here). I've also considered drilling a single hole, poking a thread through and anchoring it with a bead, or sticking a loop on the back with some superglue. Number 3 has the benefit of not covering up the designs, although number 2 has my vote so far, for being pretty.

Creative types: what would you do?
posted by media_itoku to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You might try doing it the way they do mirrors in Indian shisha embroidery, like so.

No need to drill, I think that the quarters would stay on better than if you sewed through them or glued them, and it would probably look terrific. The only downside I can think of is that you'd cover up the edges of the designs.
posted by padraigin at 4:48 PM on September 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

There is a technique used to attach small mirrors with an embroidery stich that could work with quarters.
posted by francesca too at 4:49 PM on September 20, 2008

This site has a lot of coin related products.

You might find a way to attach these cases, and not damage the coins... see photo

Or these adhesive things might do better than super glue... and again, not damage the coin.

More questions: Will this be only a display quilt, or everyday use?
posted by Kimothy at 5:03 PM on September 20, 2008

Erm...these adhesive things

Oh, and on preview, you could use the embroidery thing with the cases and not cover the edges of the quarters!

Be sure and post pictures of this when you're done...
posted by Kimothy at 5:06 PM on September 20, 2008

Clear vinyl pockets? Sews just like fabric. Now sure how it ages, though.

I'd go for the mirror embroidery effect with a good strong thread.
posted by ottereroticist at 5:44 PM on September 20, 2008

Response by poster: More questions: Will this be only a display quilt, or everyday use?

Display only... phew.
Thanks! Keep them coming.
posted by media_itoku at 6:19 PM on September 20, 2008

American quarters are nickel plated copper and it is possible to solder copper to nickel with a acid flux. I'd make small loops with tails out of a piece of 14 gauge copper wire and then solder them to the back of the coins with a lead free solder making a rear loop style button. (Could have used a touch more solder/heat on the back) Be really generous with the flux, a good sized pea sized glob applied to the loop/coin before heating. I used a mini butane torch to heat the coin for soldering.

This wouldn't permanently damage the coin, you could remove the solder if you had to.

On preview: for something that isn't going to get washed you could go with a lighter gauge wire so the coin would lay flatter. Also offset the loop towards the top of the coin instead of centring it so it hangs better. Maybe shape the loop like eyes from hook and eye fasteners so they laid flat.
posted by Mitheral at 6:50 PM on September 20, 2008

When I went on exchange, I made a bunch of pins out of Canadian 'horse quarters' (they were a specially issued quarter back in the days before specially issued quarters were entirely unspecial here in Canada) by soldering pinbacks that I bought from a jewelry findings store onto the backs of the pins.

It didn't work brilliantly, though most of the problems were a result of my inadequacies as a solderer, and not so much any inherent problem with the plan, I think. Perhaps look at jewelry findings for other types of pin backs that might work. A safety pinback wouldn't be great for your quilt as it would be loose and sloppy, but a lapel pinback that you could simply poke through the quilt would likely work very well, and then, at the same time, they could be removed if the quilt ever needed washing (even display quilts get dusty / spilled on).
posted by jacquilynne at 7:07 PM on September 20, 2008

I think you should glue some kind of disc to the back (front, technically, I guess) of each quarter, and then use the shisha embroidery tactic so that the embroidery covers up the disc and leaves the entire quarter exposed.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:23 PM on September 20, 2008

Something to factor in is weight. The cavalry regiment I belonged to had gold embroidery on crimson silk as part of its guidon and after years of hanging on display the weight of the gold started tearing at the silk. To be fair the first one lasted from 1828 to 1978, but the second one had to be replaced after only 30 years.
posted by furtive at 8:10 PM on September 20, 2008

I agree that the shisa embroidery technique is the classiest-looking option. If the substrate fabric is not exceptionally strong, you might consider putting twill tape or grosgrain or a full extra layer of a stronger fabric on the wrong side of the fabric and stitching through both layers, so the quilt fabric is not the only thing supporting the weight of the quarters.
posted by doift at 8:48 PM on September 20, 2008

If you want this quilt to last more than 10 years, I'd advise not using adhesives or most plastics. You could use the shisha technique and either a cotton or poly/cotton blend thread OR drill a hole through each coin. As noted above, the weight of the coins is going to pull on the fabric, so you'll want to make sure they are well supported.
posted by pluckysparrow at 8:51 PM on September 20, 2008

I have no idea if this is possible, but I was thinking something like prongs...maybe a metal disc that would lay flat against the back of the material, the prongs poking through the material and then wrapped around the edges of the quarters, the way a diamond is set in a ring.
posted by kattyann at 10:13 PM on September 20, 2008

You could use something like these settings, or search around for larger versions of those prong settings they use for rhinestones.
posted by casarkos at 11:07 PM on September 20, 2008

I favor silicone caulk for attaching loops to the back. Get the button backs that have a large (but smaller than the quarter) flat area.

If the point of it is to display the state quarters, I wouldn´t drill holes in them and sew beads in the middle that would cover them up. Either proudly display the quarters or leave them off.
posted by yohko at 9:45 AM on September 22, 2008

One more idea: There are silver settings available for holding quarters, I think I saw some in a Rio Grande catalog. IIR, they have a small ring at the top for a chain, you could sew through this loop.
posted by yohko at 9:49 AM on September 22, 2008

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